Remodeling and Disposing of Your Dining Room

As COVID-19 or normal nest-fluffing activities prompt us to make bigger and more comprehensive changes to our house, the dining room is typically considered as an afterthought.

We set it, we forget it.

Silverware pun aside, the formal dining room often receives little love. We do a lot of daily eating in and around our expanded kitchens, and the idea of having company for dinner is still a rare treat.

But when it is time to re-do the dining room, here is a guide for how to handle each part of the redesign.

The table – many dining room designs and redesigns focus on the table. Appropriately so. The table makes the determination for whether you will eat in the dining room at all. Is it too big? Is it too formal? Is it covered with the bills, or a vexing jigsaw puzzle?

If you dispose of your dining room table and chairs: think of St. Vincent DePaul or some other local agency that employs folks to resell furniture. If it is functional, there is likely another life with another family. If your table was damaged to the point of unusability, only then should it be thrown in your Big Daddy Dumpster.

The china cabinet: was it part of a set with the dining room table? Then it’s got to go to make room for the replacement. If not, try to determine if it can be redone in a way that complements your new look. And what about the curios that are stored inside? Are they heirlooms whose story you know? Keep them, if not …

If you dispose of your china cabinet and contents: Determine if it is functional. If so, donate it. There is simply no sense in throwing away working furniture in a country with a 40% poverty rate. If it’s broken or unusable, BDD!

The carpet: It’s the focal point of the space only in that it must work with the table. But it gets heavy use, especially on the corners where people step on it while traveling from room to room. If the whole room is getting re-done, the most likely casualty in this war is the carpet or rug.

If/when you dispose of your carpet or rug: There really isn’t a second life for carpeting or a rug. It’s time to consider renting a dumpster for your project, it just got big.

Window treatments, art, and wallpaper: Sorry, they’re gone. They served their purpose, but they were unique to that space and time and design. For the most part, they’re difficult to remove in a way that preserves them. And no one can use them again.

When you dispose of your window treatments and wallpaper: Dumpster. MAYBE your art can earn a second life at a furniture reseller, but they will have a say in that. Be willing to make the trip knowing that you will return with the same full trunk you had when you set out.

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