In many homes, the living room is where families and their guests go to kick back and relax after a long day. In many homes, this room is also where the television, computer and other knickknacks come together and choke the space. This is even truer in a small living room, which fills up after putting just a few pieces of furniture inside. Because of this, many people think that having a larger space is better but that isn’t always true. The secret to making a small living room look good is to take advantage of the living space you already have.
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.
The budget is an important consideration in living room remodels because it allows you to work within your means and prepare all needed funds before you start with the renovation. Whether you are planning a simple make over or a major overhaul for your living room, it is important to know the factors that may affect the cost of your living room remodel project.
Aside from the adorable dogs (Jacob and Wylo) cuddled up on the armchair-meets-dog-bed, that gallery wall is the clear statement-maker in this living room designed by Philip Mitchell. Mix and match frames for a subtle nod of personality. And speaking of personal touches, consider hanging art that means something to you, whether it's your children's artwork, your own, or a portrait of your pets.
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.
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.
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."
A hand-me-down buffet's original cherry finish felt a little formal for this Arizona ranch home, but with some matte chalk paint, the item took on a more casual look that set the tone for equally laid-back vintage pieces, from the leather luggage (that stores extra blankets) to a coffee table made from an antique mission door. A midcentury turquoise sofa adds a splash of happy color.
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.
If your living room has access to a ton of natural light, don't block it out with dark curtains. Let it pour in to make the space feel more airy and open. Even if you don't have large windows and tons of sunlight, choose lighter shades to maximize the light you do have. Semi-sheer shades like the ones in this living room designed by Barrie Benson will help, too.
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.
The layout of a living room also plays a significant role in determining a living room remodel cost. Changing the layout may mean adding a full or half partition, extending the space or removing existing architectural features such as a false column, etc. Changes in layout do not only include physical changes in the arrangement of the space, but it also encompasses ceiling layouts, lighting layouts and power layouts. Changes in the ceiling and lighting layout is considered to be a major type of renovation, thus they cost more. Changes in electrical wiring are also critical because the process is much more labor intensive and will require materials such as additional wiring, etc.
A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.
It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. "In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees," says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. "I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink."
Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
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.
Have you ever seen a room in a magazine that was just so stunning that you had to have it in your own home? While you may not be able to recreate it perfectly, decorating a small living room doesn’t have to break the bank. Print the picture out, take it with you to your favorite furniture stores and have a little fun trying to match each piece. You probably won’t find perfect matches, but similar pieces you do find will feel much more personal and make the final space much cozier. For visual interest, try some thrift store finds.
Windows – If your living room lacks ventilation or looks too dark, you can also try to replace existing windows or add windows to your living room. Replacing old windows helps improve natural lighting, optimizes energy efficiency and gives added ventilation. In addition to the practical benefits, new windows can also contribute a new character to your living room.
The approximate costs and value of a typical Living Room Remodeling project are summarized below. Use higher estimates for larger metropolitan areas and the lower estimates where home prices are below the national average. Adjust costs for substitutions or refinements in the last section. For size differences of up to 25%, scale total costs in direct proportion to the size of your project. Use the adjusted costs as a basis for setting a material budget and for comparing contractor bids (if you choose to have a professional perform the work).
If you frequently entertain guests at your home, choose a strategic living room layout that promotes conversation and comfort. For example, in this living room designed by Leanne Ford Interiors, the incorporates semi-circle seating that's both spacious and inviting. Sectionals are also a good option when a circular sofa isn't. And if you also love the all-white aesthetic, take note. Ford brush painted the natural IKEA rug and custom-made rope light.