Renovating your living room: It's exciting, but it can be a bit overwhelming, too. Where should you start? How much can you afford to spend? How do you know whether that contractor with the impressive portfolio will really show up when he's supposed to? And what if the sofa that looks so gorgeous on the showroom floor makes your own house resemble a bordello? Relax. We're here to make it simpler for you. Follow our step-by-step guide to renovation, and get ready to kick back in a new living room that suits your needs, your style and your budget.
While most light fixtures can be easily changed, adding new lighting fixtures, outlets and switches are not meant for “do it yourself” projects due to their sensitivity. Making changes to a lighting and electrical layout is only easy if the ceiling frames are exposed as there is no need to remove ceiling boards and cause additional damage to the home. But as mentioned living room renovation projects that involve electrical work may require hiring an electrician.
Front and back doors open directly into a two-story-high living room, where spruce-planked walls and wood beams salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn reflect the home’s rural setting and give the space a refined, barnlike feel. Interior decorator Phoebe Howard balanced the rustic elements with color. “I added an air of elegance with a soft color palette that reflects the surrounding sky and hills,” she says.

Living Room Size and Layout – The size of a room is one of the key cost factors in determining the total amount of budget that you will be needing for a living room remodel project. The size of the room does not only determine the total area of the space, but it also partially defines the scope of work for the project. This is mainly because most of the aspects of construction are affected by the square footage of the site and oftentimes materials and labor are priced per square foot.
Architect Luís Bernardo Brito e Abreu renovated his São Miguel home to reflect his family's artistic, maritime history. The living room features a vintage chair by Illum Wikkelsø, and the mantel and stone benches are both of local basalt. The sculpture of a head on the bench at right is by Ernesto Canto da Maya, and the wall sculpture above the mantel is a 16th-century naval decoration.
Wallpapers, on the other hand, involves a more meticulous installation process because it requires prep work such as skim coating to even out the surface, the application of a metylan adhesive and the careful laying of the wallpaper itself. Typically, the installation of wallpaper is done by a professional and may either be charged on  per roll or per foot basis.
As we've mentioned a few times already, a small space doesn't mean you can't have fun with color. So if you love incorporating pretty pastels or vivid brights but want to make sure your living room doesn't look chaotic, the trick is to stick to a tight color palette. Mixing patterns is also fair game, especially when done as masterfully as this cheerful room designed by Ellen Kavanaugh.
A good way to cut on costs when improving windows for living rooms is to furnish them with a window treatment. You can either buy new curtains, shades or blinds, depending on the prevailing style of your home. Window treatments are available in different types of materials and present a wide range of choices when it comes to design, colors and patterns.
A good place to start when it comes to redesigning your living room is with the walls. While paint may seem the simplest choice, and easy to change, don’t discredit the design opportunities of wallpaper in living rooms. There are tons of great living room wallpaper ideas, from modern geometric patterns to traditional florals, and loads of ways to use them – you don’t have to cover the whole room or go for the ubiquitous feature wall. You could wallpaper only above the dado rail (if you have one), either side of a chimney breast, or behind a shelving unit to give your displayed items a stylish backdrop.
When remodeling a house, or a living room for that matter, there are always two resources that would never run out and yet would never be enough – money and time. These must be used properly along with a well prepared plan. A plan that is flexible but backed by organized ideas that would make this room a lot better than your present one. So here are some useful tips that would help you maximize your sources in remodeling your living room.
Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.
Because of this ranch-style California home's open floor plan, the owner had to get creative with carving out designated spaces for "rooms." To help differentiate this living room from the adjacent kitchen and den, she placed the midcentury sofa (recovered with leather in the 1970s) on a vintage Moroccan rug she found on eBay. The floor-to-ceiling storage nook keeps books, blankets, and firewood at the ready.
The fiddle leaf fig tree definitely wins the popularity contest as far as design favorites for indoor trees. And for good reason: They look great with pretty much any interior design scheme, from bohemian to modern spaces like this one designed by Hecker Guthrie. It really freshens up the cooler gray tones of the living room and makes that floral-printed pillow pop even more.
This Ibiza living room features local-limestone floors covered in custom Spanish esparto rugs from Antonia Molina. Walls covered in a sandy lime plaster, and a wood-beam ceiling set a rustic tone in the living room. Custom sofas by Atelier Tapissier Seigneur and curtains in a quilted Braquenié fabric; the Oeil cocktail table by Pierre Chapo is vintage, the lacquered-coral sculpture is by Maurizio Epifani, and the painting over the mantel is by Alex Katz.
Wallpaper is one of those trends that just keeps on giving and giving. If you go with a classic chinoiserie wallpaper, you can do just about anything with it as your style changes over the year. This modern self portrait by Chuck Close is a bold contrast to the chinoiserie wallpaper (Iksel's Eastern Eden) behind it in this Miles Redd-designed home. The contrast doesn't stop there: Redd continued to venture beyond design convention by incorporating contrasting jewel tones and mixing modern furniture styles with antique pieces. Oh—and believe it or not, the lime green chair is from Ikea! Proof even the best designers love a good deal.

The fiddle leaf fig tree definitely wins the popularity contest as far as design favorites for indoor trees. And for good reason: They look great with pretty much any interior design scheme, from bohemian to modern spaces like this one designed by Hecker Guthrie. It really freshens up the cooler gray tones of the living room and makes that floral-printed pillow pop even more.
With the possibility of unforeseeable issues, it is best to have a contingency fund to make you prepared along the process. In addition, room expansions for living room renovation projects should not be taken lightly and must be left to the hands of a trusted professional. Scout for a good contractor as he will be able to assess everything carefully, spot problem areas ahead of time and prepare a complete bid.
This next room illustrates why decorating a small living room is tricky. When you want to make a room stand out but are unsure how to do so, you may think of adding some visual interest pieces like pictures or pottery. In a small space like this one, however, there is a very fine line between making your space look lived-in and making your space look messy. This room walks that line spectacularly with an array of shapes, sizes and colors that make it look like someone lives here already. Make sure each piece has a purpose and a function.
For designer Patrick Printy, his bungalow in Oakland, California is all about eccentric design. In this living area attached to his study, a pair of vintage sofas are upholstered in a Ralph Lauren Home stripe, the Eero Saarinen table is from Design Within Reach, barstools by CB2 are covered in a Katie Ridder fabric, the ceiling lantern is by Visual Comfort, the rug is by Ralph Lauren Home, and the busts are by Oly.
Consult a professional  – When in doubt, always hire a professional to help you with your living room remodel project. Skimping on labor may save you money at present, but may result to added problems in the long run. Professionals like contractors, designers and workers have years of experience to back up their know how on construction and you can be assured of a good quality of work and end product which will last for years.
In general, wall treatments for living room renovation projects can run from $500 to $2500 per project, depending on the material, the type of finish and the amount of prep work needed to complete the project. Other factors which greatly affect the cost of wall treatments for living room renovations are the size of the room and the height of the wall, since they determine the full area of material coverage. 
×