Crisp whites combined with punches of bright colors immediately transport you to the coast. In this living room, aqua accents in the pillows, throw, and rug mimic the ocean’s dazzling blues, and the pops of bright orange are inspired by the magnificent hues of the setting sun. Whitewashed horizontal shiplap planking evokes the feel of old Gulf-front beach houses.
A minor renovation for a living room remodel project typically includes simple work such as repainting walls and ceiling, installation of wallpaper, changing lighting fixtures, resourcing new furniture pieces, installing a knock down shelf, adding accessories or changing soft furnishings like window treatments, upholstery or textiles – basically anything that does not require an extensive amount of demolition or structural change in the space. Minor renovations may be taken on as a “Do It Yourself” project, especially if you have prior knowledge and experience on such. On the average, minor renovations cost less in terms of labor because it eliminates the need to hire subcontractors or even construction professionals.
The best place to start is with the seating – one corner sofa will usually seat three to four people, and if that’s all you think you’ll need, then you can leave it at that. Placing your sofa along the longest wall helps to make the most of the space, but think about where you want the focus of the room to be, too. If you need more seating, look at armchairs that offer comfort but don’t take up too much space – cramming a room with too many large armchairs is something to avoid. But armchairs and sofas don’t have to be your only options – go for bean bags and floor cushions for an eclectic feel, pouffes and ottomans if you’re more traditional, and smart design chairs for contemporary living room ideas.
To create symmetry, a contractor relocated the corner hearth with a new one, centered on the wall opposite the open kitchen. Built-in cabinetry on either side of the fireplace reinforces the sense of balance. The homeowner traded her single living-room settee for two generous Ikea sofas and a Ralph Lauren chair, all slipcovered for easy cleaning. The pine coffee table came from a garage sale, and the metal "C" is from a local garden store.
Choosing a larger rug—even in a bold pattern—is a trick that makes a room feel bigger. Unlike smaller rugs, the large size doesn't visually break up the floor. This can also help anchor the space and give you a good staple piece to design the rest of the room around. Corner seating can also help you get more mileage out of less surface room for a longer traditional sofa.
The following gallery includes floor-to-ceiling DIY living room decorating ideas. (And we literally mean floor to ceiling.) We’ve got projects for floor vases, side tables, footstools, lighting, and signs. If you’re looking for a quick fix for a small bare spot, we’ve got awesome wall art concepts that can be completed in a few minutes. If you’re feeling more ambitious, the gallery also includes big picture projects like a faux fireplace and a wood paneled accent wall. While the finished products are professional level, most of them require only a few simple tools and a limited skillset.
"The room doesn't get a lot of light, so I decided to make it cozy and turned it into an English-style portrait room, which is ridiculous, but fun," says celebrity chef Alex Hitz. Taking the cozy route in a living room without a ton of natural light is a great solution. And what's cozier than a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with seating beckoning you to curl up on it? To display your books more creatively, offset them with artwork. In this room, a Peter Rogers portrait of Alex Hitz's close friend, the late Nan Kempner, hangs over the bookshelves to create some contrast.
• Moldings and trim – Changing the decorative trims and moldings is one of the most popular ways to upgrade the looks of a living room. A piece of moulding with decorative details can easily transform a drab living room into a more elegant space. Decorative trims range from ceiling cornices, baseboards and window trims. They vary in material, thickness and design, with details ranging from formal to casual. Some decorative trims are also available as stock options and are already sold in painted finishes, providing a more economical substitute to custom made trims. Custom milled trims, on the other hand, are made from high quality wood and are more expensive