Few rooms are more central to the flow of a home than the living room. Outside of the kitchen, perhaps, it’s the most used room in the house. It’s the place where you relax, read, watch TV, play with your kids, and entertain neighbors and friends. But if you find that your living room looks a bit dated or lacks some functionality, it may be time to invest in a remodel or renovation.
5 Remodeling Tips for the Living Room
Whether you plan on being in your home for the next decade, or you anticipate selling within the next 12 months, a living room remodel will almost always enhance the value of a home. However, don’t just focus on ROI. If you’re planning to live in your home for even a few months, it’s worth considering your own personal preferences and what makes you feel relaxed, happy, and satisfied.
With all of that being said, here are some helpful tips for remodeling your living room with fantastic results:
1. Open it Up
If you have an older home, your living room is probably closed off from most of the home. The best way to modernize this space and improve the flow of the entire main floor is to open it up. Find out if it’s possible to tear down walls (or even remove a portion of a wall to create wider openings into kitchens, hallways, and other adjoining rooms.
2. Make it Look Bigger
Even if you can’t tear down a wall (for structural reasons), there are still plenty of ways to make the living room look bigger. Favorite design tricks include:
- Swap out dark paint colors for whites or light pastels;
- Incorporate more natural light into the room via larger windows and/or skylights;
- Use mirrors on walls to reflect light and create the perception of more depth;
- Get rid of clutter and embrace minimalist design.
When you combine these tricks, you’ll find that even the smallest space will instantly feel bigger. If you do this and nothing else, you’ll have spent your time and money well.
3. Freshen Up The Flooring
Flooring takes up a lot of visual space in a living room. If it’s dated or worn, you’ll find it hard to achieve the look you want. Try freshening up your flooring by sanding and re-staining hardwoods, replacing carpet with a sleeker alternative, and/or using spacious area rugs to establish some visual relief.
4. Install a Fireplace
Photo: Polly Eltes
A fireplace is a classic and comfortable staple of the living room. It serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose. If your home doesn’t already have a fireplace in the living room, this is the perfect opportunity to integrate one.
If you have the ability to retrofit the space with a wood fireplace and chimney, this is a great option. If the structure of the existing house and/or local building codes don’t allow it, eFireplaceStore recommends looking into gas fireplaces or even electric fireplaces.
5. Rethink Your Layout
Sometimes all it takes is a simple reordering of furniture to create an entirely new look in your living room. If, for example, you currently have two sofas, a coffee table and two accent chairs spread across the room, switching to a sophisticated sectional with a couple of new end tables and an ottoman will significantly change the appearance of the room. (And you may not even need to purchase new furniture. Simply rearranging what you already have could work.)
Give Your Living Room a Second Life
No room is meant to keep the same style forever. Styles change, preferences evolve, and family needs fluctuate. With the booming housing market and steep appreciation of homes in most areas of the country, there’s never been a better time to renovate your living room and fall in love with it all over again.
While many remodel jobs can be done on a DIY basis, others require a little more expertise. If you’re doing something like building a fireplace, tearing down a wall, or changing the flooring, it would be smart to hire a contractor. Here’s a good guide on how to find the right one for the job!
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