The living room is the entertaining, gathering, and relaxation area for most homeowners. With the variety of purposes that the living room provides, it’s no wonder homeowners eventually remodel their living room. A living room remodeling can range from a small project that takes only a few hours to complete or a large undertaking that requires a contractor, a budget, and a timeline.
Regardless of the size of your living room, it is always beneficial to enter into your remodeling with a solid plan. Your remodeling plan should include a budget, timeline, crew if necessary, and specific details of your project. While there are many living room remodeling ideas out there, you choose one that will increase your home’s value while improving your quality of life within your home.
Open the Layout
Opening up your home’s layout will always be the number one remodeling project among homebuyers. The National Association of Home Buyers survey shows that 79% of buyers want an open layout between the family room and kitchen while 70% would like an open layout between the family room and the dining room. While open floor plans may be all the rage now, they weren’t always a home trend that buyers appreciated.
Prior to World War II, most homes consisted of small closed-off rooms with a main hallway that weaved between them and provided access to each room. The formal layout was slowly done away with as entertainment within the home became more casual during the 1950s. Eventually, large living rooms were combined with dining areas to create a modern open floor plan.
If your living room is small or closed off from the rest of the house you can create a modern open feel by having a wall removed. Generally, this wall should connect to the kitchen or dining area. Removing a wall isn’t as easy as grabbing a sledgehammer and busting through the drywall.
A contractor should determine if the wall you are looking to remove is loading bearing or non-load-bearing. A load-bearing wall supports the weight of the floor or roof above, so if it is removed you will create an unsafe structural issue. If the wall is non-load-bearing it could still contain electrical or plumbing work that needs to be rerouted by professionals.
Let the Light In
Nothing brightens a room and provides an instant facelift like natural light. If your living room has small windows that keep natural light from filling your living space you may want to consider investing in new windows. Replacing windows can be a big project so you should contact a window installation provider to assist you.
The project will be even larger if you anticipate removing a portion of an exterior wall to create a space for larger windows. Regardless of how big a project your new window installation will be, choose windows that fit the style of your living room.
Also, consider replacing your existing windows with energy-efficient versions. Over 45% of real estate agents think energy efficiency is the number one factor homeowners should consider when selecting windows. When your new windows are installed don’t cover them with big bulky thick curtains.
Instead, let the light stream in by opting for thin sheer curtains that can be pulled back during the day. You can also opt for blinds that open completely during the day but add a bit more privacy at night.
Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
Neutral paint color is always a good choice when remodeling your living room. Neutral paint provides a blank canvas that you can build on. It also creates an airy open feel in even the smallest of living rooms. Warm gray tones, light beiges, and soft white tones are the most popular neutral paint tones for homeowners.
If your living room has low ceilings you can paint the ceiling the same color as the walls to create an expanded feel. Avoid using very dark or extra shiny paint colors. These will shrink the room and make it feel confined.
Install New Flooring
Carpeting has always been one of the most common flooring options in a living room. If you are a homeowner who values the soft comfortable feel of a fully carpeted room then you may just need to replace your carpeting.
However, if you are looking to update your living room with a more modern feel or if you have knocked out a wall to combine your living room and dining area you may want to opt for hardwood, vinyl, laminate, and tile floors. This will create a seamless transition between the living room and the dining area.
Over 54% of homebuyers are willing to pay more for hardwood floors, which means a higher resale value if you are considering selling your home in the near future. Hardwood floors cost more than laminate, and average around $3 to $14 a square foot plus installation costs. If you don’t have the budget to splurge on hardwood floors you can opt for faux wood laminate flooring which ranges from $2.70 to $10 a square foot.
Create Extra Space
No, this is not about knocking out another wall. This is about creating the illusion of more space in your living room. Faux extra space is a perfect remodeling project when your budget is tight. One way to ensure that your living room looks open is to keep your ceiling white. Dark ceilings have a tendency to make a small room look like a cave, which is the exact opposite of what you want your living space to be.
You can also add built-in storage to your living room. These units do not have much depth as they fit closely to the wall, but they do add height to your room. Tall vertical storage adds the illusion of height and depth when they are installed behind a sofa.
In the end, you should choose a living room remodeling that will be the most beneficial to you and your family. Consider what you like and dislike about your living room as well as the purpose you would like your living room to serve. If you are having trouble deciding or you would like a second opinion, it is best to consult a real estate agent who can advise you on the best remodeling options for your home.