Once upon a time, the living room was the gathering place of friends and family. Every part of our time at home seemed to center on a space so important to our home that we named it after our primary task: living.
Today, much of the work of a living room has been turned over to the family room or den, a space carved out or given over to a large screen TV, movie-quality speakers, and multiple game devices and streaming services.
Our living rooms have become more formal. They are our house in it’s Sunday Best clothing.
The decision to redo the living room should keep this in mind. Here’s a guide to how to decide what to keep, and how to dispose of the rest.
The couch: Every living room has at least one multi-person couch. Large, dramatic, with distinct features that helped form the character of the room, sometimes it is the first decision made in a space, and all others happen around it. Is it in good shape, though maybe a little work. A good re-upholstering is often expensive, but slightly cheaper than a whole new sofa. But it is is heavily scratched or dinged, perhaps from a pet years ago, or another piece of furniture placed too close, it needs to go.
If you must dispose of your couch: consider giving it to a second-life furniture outlet like St. Vincent DePaul. Often these places will send a truck and a couple burly folks over to your house, and for a small price you can save yourself the big work, and know it’s going to a second home.
The carpet: The carpet in your living room was the most used feature especially on the corners or pathways where people walk while passing through. If it is not worn, and If the colors still work for your new vision, keep it. Otherwise, it’s got to go.
If/when you dispose of your carpet or rug: There really isn’t a second chance for carpeting or a rug. Think about renting a Big Daddy Dumpster for your project, it just got big.
Comfortable chair: This was likely, at some point, matched to the couch. It should face the same fate. Keep it and reupholster it if you can.
If you must dispose of your comfy chair: Donate it, unless it is too badly damaged to re-use. In that case, throw it in the dumpster.
Window treatments, art, and wallpaper: I hate to say it, but they’re the most likely casualties of the decision to remake your living room. They did what they needed to do, but they were unique to their location. 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 curtains and wallpaper: Dumpster.There just isn’t a second life for them.