My #1 piece of advice is to make your space work for you. If you have a formal dining room and never use it consider WHY. Do you have white upholstered chairs and never eat in there because you don't want the kids to get the chairs dirty? Consider selling or re-upholstering those chairs and swap out for more family friendly options so you can use your room. Or maybe you just don't see the point in ever eating in there when you have a perfectly good breakfast nook...
I know lots of people who have formal dining rooms and seriously NEVER use them. I just can't see wasting that much square feet in my home. If you're one of those people, consider repurposing your dining room to better fit your family's needs.
- Perhaps your dining room would serve your family better as a music room complete with a baby grand piano and built in cabinets to store sheet music.
- Or maybe you need a larger area for homeschooling, or a place to work on crafts as a family.
- Or perhaps you really need an entire room dedicated to a home office but you don't have any spare bedrooms you could use for the task. I just love this post on Emily A. Clark's blog where she announces her plan about repurposing her dining room into a home office. The last time she gave us a peek into her office there were floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves in the works. I can't wait to see this space when she gets done! Isn't that desk in the bottom right corner of the photo beautiful?
- Or how about repurposing your dining room into a designated playroom? My sister-in-law, Michelle, did just that in her former home. I thought it was a genius idea! It gave her girlies a place to play with their toys right next to the living room but did not allow the toys to take over the living room. They had never really used the dining room for eating anyways. It really worked better for their family.
Or, better yet, move it into the master bedroom for instant shoe storage!
I just LOVE this idea. It hints of a luxurious dressing room like the one below but could be added into just about any master bedroom, no matter the size.
Still, if you are the type of person who loves having a formal dining area and you'd never think of repurposing it, I recommend you take a good look at your china cabinet/ buffet.
Are there dishes in there that you have no sentimental attachment to and never use? How about you donate them to someone who could really get some good out of them?
Once you've gotten rid of all the extra dishes, you can really showcase what's leftover. I just love the look of a well-styled, de-cluttered china cabinet. Sure beats an over-crammed one. Not only does it look better but you can actually open the door without the fear of breaking everything as the piles and piles of porcelain and glass topple out on you. Furthermore, dusting and washing the china is a lot simpler task.
Or perhaps you have approximately 18,953 cloth napkins stashed in your buffet and you have never once used them? Get rid of them in a garage sale! And maybe get something you really do want with the money you make. Or you're holding onto 500 stained tablecloths...throw them away or use them as rags or something! And maybe you have some Christmas napkin rings that you inherited and think are the most tacky things in the whole world. Time to ship them off to Goodwill...someone else might want them and for now they're taking up valuable space in your home.
So...what are your thoughts after today? Anyone inspired to completely rearrange furniture this weekend? Are you going to get up from the computer right now and start moving the toys into the formal dining room and list your dining room furniture on Craigslist? Maybe you can use the profits to buy Christmas presents for the family and squeak thru the holidays DEBT FREE!