One of the keys to a successful renovation is plenty of forethought, knowledge and information — especially if you're making structural changes, or working with several professionals and a big budget. Take your time to plan before you begin, so that you are less likely to have regrets when you are finished. "Designing a room or a remodeling project is a journey or a process," says interior designer Karen Soojian, ASID, "and it takes time to develop ideas and do things right. In other words, you need to know your destination and how you plan to get there."


First, start with the ceiling. It is always best to turn down the whole ceiling if you want to change the atmosphere of the house. If it is too low then give it a height. If it is too high that you are already sacrificing the energy efficiency of the house, adjust a bit on its height. Also, take note of the materials. Since the living room usually functions as the entertainment room, it is often more appropriate to use sound-proofed materials as ceiling.
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.
This cozy little space shows how small living room decor can quickly become an art form given the right pieces. In this room’s case, the abstract white sculptures on one wall and the feather painting on the other would probably point to an oceanic theme, but when you get to the blue area rug and notice the flowers, you begin to wonder if the room really is following a specific theme. Without those pieces of wall art, the room would look stale and a bit generic, which shows how even one piece can transform a room’s look in unexpected ways.
In the living room of Vivia Horn’s Japanese-style retreat in Hunter, New York, the leather-and-plastic Italian sofas, cocktail table, and wool shag rug were purchased in the 1980s at Bloomingdale’s. The Japanese-style fire pit and tin range hood are custom, the floor lamp is from the '70s, the sisal carpet is by Stark, the ceiling beams are Douglas fir, and a series of color lithographs from Japan are displayed along the pine wainscoting.
For the obvious reasons, major renovations cost more than minor renovation in terms of both labor and materials. They require more materials to complete as compared to minor renovations. As mentioned, major renovations are also best left to the professionals due to their complex nature. As a result, they incur more labor costs. It is also best to keep in mind that when dealing with a full or major renovation for a living room remodel project, it is highly recommended that one should not skimp on skilled labor, especially when it comes to structural, ceiling, flooring and electrical works because substandard work often compromises quality and will cost you more in the long run.
A stacked fieldstone fireplace takes center stage in this family room. Rather than just a sheer wall of stone, the exposed chimney is designed with a central recess for artwork, along with tapered edges on either side, to keep it from appearing too overpowering. Sconces mounted directly to the stone are an attractive way to shed plenty of light on the antique timber mantel.
This cozy little space shows how small living room decor can quickly become an art form given the right pieces. In this room’s case, the abstract white sculptures on one wall and the feather painting on the other would probably point to an oceanic theme, but when you get to the blue area rug and notice the flowers, you begin to wonder if the room really is following a specific theme. Without those pieces of wall art, the room would look stale and a bit generic, which shows how even one piece can transform a room’s look in unexpected ways.

One of the keys to a successful renovation is plenty of forethought, knowledge and information — especially if you're making structural changes, or working with several professionals and a big budget. Take your time to plan before you begin, so that you are less likely to have regrets when you are finished. "Designing a room or a remodeling project is a journey or a process," says interior designer Karen Soojian, ASID, "and it takes time to develop ideas and do things right. In other words, you need to know your destination and how you plan to get there."

In a Buenos Aires home, the original marble mantel in the living room was specified by Maison Jansen, who decorated the apartment in the 1930s. The circa-1940 chairs in the foreground, the console (left), and the side table (right) were designed by Jean-Michel Frank for the Argentine firm Comte. The 1930s Frits Henningsen settee is covered in a Holland & Sherry mohair, the chairs next to the fireplace are 18th-century Gustavian, the circa-1950 Sphere cocktail table and lamp are by Jean Royère, and the 1930s table (front left) and sconces are by Maison Jansen.


Although moldings and trims are small part of a living room’s decor, they also contribute to added costs. Ceiling cornices and baseboards, for example, typically run the full expanse of the living room’s perimeter, thus they require a good amount of material, depending on the size of the room. Consequently, the main factor that affects the cost of materials for living room decorative trims is the size of the room.
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.
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.

Your own home may not have a living room that’s quite so versatile—it’s a sad truth that the smaller (or more oddly shaped) a room is, the fewer ways it can work as a space. My own L-shaped living/dining area only really works one way, due to short walls, radiators and an entire wall of windows. So think of these specific layouts as tailored to this space, but take inspiration on how you can re-think your own home in a multitude of ways.
Painting the walls, ceiling, and floors white really lightened things up, and new 8-foot-tall windows and French doors (minus view-blocking wooden blinds) bring in much more sunshine. The all-white backdrop cleared the way for a crisp and cozy color scheme of grey, black, and green. Gingham curtains and plaid pillows play up the preppy country feel.

• Ceiling – Ceiling works also take up a large part of the costs of any type of renovation project, mainly because of the extensive amount of work that they require. For living room remodel projects, minor ceiling renovation works may range from simple repainting and repair. While major ceiling renovation works range from removing old ceiling boards to replacing them with new gypsum boards to the improvement of the ceiling layout and design. In some cases, the ceiling is given a whole new look by installing recessed, drop or cove ceilings. Other options for living room ceiling finishes are textured panels, wallpaper, wood accents, creative paint treatments and other trim finishes.


Think of a secondary purpose for your living room – A good way to optimize space, whether dealing with a small living room or a large living room, is to use it for a secondary purpose. Nowadays, most homes combine two areas together such as a living room with a music room or home office. The best way to take advantage of a living room remodel is to incorporate a secondary purpose for your space and you can do this by carefully planning the layout and design essentials ahead of time. Aside from that, multipurpose furniture such as sofa beds also help achieve a dual function living room.
If you just want to spice up a dull space, that one visual oddity can make all the difference. This is especially true in a small living room since there normally isn’t much to look at. The rug in this room is a great example because it breaks up the plainness and uniformity the room otherwise has. It also accomplishes this without being overly intrusive. It also forces you to look down at the floor, then up at everything else in the room, ensuring you see every bit of the room’s contents. The right accent pieces make all the difference.
In the living room of an antique-laden apartment in Greenwich Village, the antique Swedish sofa and Baroque chair, right, are upholstered in Robert Kime fabrics, the armchair is 18th-century French and a vintage Persian Soumak rug from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar rests on a sea-grass rug from ABC Carpet & Home. Among the items on the wall are an antique water-buffalo skull, 19th-century French gouaches and a drawing by Jean Cocteau.
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.
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