Redesigning or updating a living room might seem simple at first. Update the paint, add some new art and you’re set, right?
While these small changes can make a difference in this high-traffic space, a full living room remodel or redesign can have a huge impact on your home and its overall value.
For example, older homes often have smaller, cramped living spaces that could benefit from removing a wall or redesigning the layout. Or perhaps your living room lacks natural light; including new windows or skylights into the design might be in order. Or maybe you need brand new floors or are considering built-ins. All of these changes require a bit more planning and elbow grease than a weekend with a paint roller.
If you’re thinking you need a more in-depth remodel, we want to make sure you take the right steps and follow best practices for designing your living room. Here are our favorite living room design and remodel tips.
Best Practices for Designing a Living Room Remodel
Know your living room requirements
When planning your living room remodel, it’s important to think through what function the living room plays in your home. A couple of decades ago, it was common to have a “living room” and a “family room” in a home with the former serving a formal function (usually meaning no kids or pets allowed).
But today’s open floor plan movement means that many families consider the living room to be their all-purpose, hang-out-and-high-traffic area. It’s where they watch TV, host guests and relax.
This is not to say that you can’t bring a formal lens to your living room remodel. Just be ready to explain clearly to your designer what function you’d like the room to have. This knowledge will have bearing on how the rest of the living room remodel project is executed.
Maybe you have a favorite painting, or you loved what a friend did recently in their living room, or you’ve been browsing through your back issues of Domino. The best way to design your dream living room is to be inspired. Be inspired by the things around you like fluffy blankets or the modern lights at your favorite restaurant or even the colors you see in your yard.
As you collect your inspiration and ideas, however, don’t make any spontaneous purchases just yet, especially on big ticket items like couches. These larger items can make or break the perfect living room picture you have in your head in an instant. So simply allow your living room inspiration and ideas to marinate for a while.
Know your living room remodel budget
Living room remodel budgets are a bit easier to plan since you don’t typically have to worry about potential plumbing or electrical “surprises” like you might in a kitchen. It is, however, important to understand your full budget and to include line items like new furniture (couches tend to start in the $1,500-$2,500 range), lighting, structural costs (e.g. moving or adding walls or windows), updated electrical or sound systems and flooring.
You’ll want to consider labor and material costs, as well. Wallpaper typically costs more than paint, hardwood more than carpet and both often require professional help. Understanding your budget will help you make wise decisions in the design process and get the living room you want.
It can also help your budget to know which pieces and accessories you want to carry over into your new living room. After all, some of the best living rooms are a combination of new and old, cozy and clean, vintage and modern. So, if you love that old table lamp from your grandmother, you can probably use it again in new and fresh way in your updated space.
Work with a living room remodel expert
If you’re considering a more in-depth living room remodel beyond a quick coat of paint, you could benefit from the expertise of a living room remodel company or design expert. These individuals are not only trained to bring your ideas and inspiration to life, they can also walk you through trickier aspects of the remodel.
For example, you might want a wall moved, but may need to build in more support in that area. An expert can help you understand any structural concerns and make sure the right professionals execute the changes.
You might also need an expert eye when you have lots of inspiration and ideas and are having trouble narrowing things down. A living room remodel expert can take your favorite piece of art, the pictures you pinned and the paint swatches you pulled and bring together a cohesive design. They can also make sure you purchase the right couch and accessories and help you build out a room you’ll love for years to come.
Inspect your living room design
Most professional living room design experts will provide you with at least an inspiration board, if not a full rendering of your living room design. This step allows you to make any design changes before you knock a hole in the wall, or install marble (that you didn’t really love) over the fireplace.
It also allows you to see and feel the flow and layout of the room ahead of time. This visualization not only takes the guesswork out of the end product, it will give you goal to look forward to. With extensive living room remodels, timelines can stretch from a couple weeks to a month or two, so keeping this vision in sight will help you appreciate both the process and the finished product.
Above all, work with someone you trust when designing your perfect living room. A reputable company, designer or contractor will make sure you understand their process from start to finish and will be transparent about their practices. This includes being open about their process, and your project expectations and timelines. They’ll also provide you with testimonials from other happy clients so you can make an informed decision.
Living Room Design and Remodeling in Columbus, OH
Dave Fox is an employee-owned, design-build remodeling firm with an unparalleled reputation in Central Ohio. Since 1982, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners redesign and remodel their living rooms. Want to work with us on your next living room project? Contact us today and sign up for our newsletter here!