Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Living Room RemodelJune 28 2022
Pulling off a living room remodel – even if you’re just moving furniture around – isn’t always the walk in the park it seems to be when compared to remodeling other rooms. After all, this is the space where the whole family hangs out! No pressure or anything! I’ve seen a lot of living room remodel mistakes over the years, and I have a solid list of things to avoid when tackling this room. So, today I’m continuing my Things I Wish I Knew Series and talking about all things living room!
10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Living Room Remodel
1. How important is it to start with your WHY before you make any purchases or demo anything?
If you don’t start with “why” you’re just wasting your time and money! Design that isn’t functional won’t “work,” and if it doesn’t work for you, you aren’t going to like it. Soooo, if you want to like your design, you need to think critically about your space before starting. Ask yourself the tough questions, be realistic about the answers, and design for the person you are – NOT THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE.
2. What’s the first thing you need to consider when tackling a living room remodel?
I honestly think the first thing to consider is your budget. If you want a new couch but can’t afford one, that’s going to change the way you design your room. Living room decor can add up fast, so I suggest making a list of all the things you need and then comparing that list to what you can afford. Not fun, but very true.
3. What’s the most timeless or classic material you could use in a living room?
I love a good jute rug. I have yet to meet jute rug that’s gone out of style. My suggestions: get a large inexpensive jute rug (This is my favorite from Amazon) and layer it with fun, colorful rugs in a smaller size. This way you spend less and have more options.
4. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve seen made when people attempt to update a living room?
It’s so tough, but resist the urge to hang your TV close to the ceiling. The biggest mistake I immediately notice in a living room is when someone hangs their TV too high. A good rule of thumb is to hang the TV as low as possible.
5. What’s the WORST material to use that *seems* like a good idea but actually isn’t?
I cant’ even tell you how many times I’ve bought a really cozy shag rug, moved all my furniture to get it in place, then found myself regretting it because IT SHEDS! If I wanted another pet, I would get one. Make sure your rugs don’t shed before buying. PRO TIP: read the reviews online. They help me a lot!
6. What’s a “can’t reverse that” change people should know about before they remodel?
If you want to change your fireplace, don’t just jump to paint your brick. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve painted SO MANY brick fireplaces and I love the look. I’m just suggesting taking a minute to think about it before pulling the trigger because once you paint it, there’s no going back!
7. Why is it important to consider resale in the living room?
The living room might not be the money-maker of the home like the kitchen or the main bath, but it’s definitely important. If a family loves the house, but can’t fit any of their furniture in the living room because the floor plan is bad, it might be a deal breaker. Things that I recommend doing in a living room that ALWAYS add value: add storage and wire for a TV (you can always cover it with art). And if you’re selling, stage the room!
8. If you had to tell us just one thing a homeowner should definitely leave up to the pros and not attempt on their own, what would it be?
GAS! Don’t touch it. Don’t even think about it. Call the pros, let them get you all set up. It’s not expensive and you won’t regret the peace of mind.
9. If someone could only make one change, which one would have the biggest impact?
I always recommend new pillows! Pillows can make a HUGE difference. PRO TIP: not the actual cushions, but the little extra pillows that come with your couch… DONATE THEM IMMEDIATELY. Those are the pillows to replace to make your couch feel cozy and fresh.
10. What’s the most common problem you’ve run into with ordering materials?
Scale in the living room can be really tough and ordering online is so hard. A coffee table that might look great in a smaller living room is going to look lost in a large living room. My advice is to tape everything out on the floor and always check the height of the coffee table.
11. Anything else you want to add?
Don’t forget a dog bed! The living room is for EVERYONE in the house, even your pup. If fido has somewhere to lay down, everyone relaxes and feels happy.
Thanks for highlighting the importance of preparing the right budget before starting the remodeling project. As you mentioned, we need to align the decor and ideas with what we can afford. I’ll ask my sister about how much she’s willing to spend on the living room remodeling. I want to make sure that she chooses the right decor and interior design for her budget.
Jasmine, quite a helpful blog. Living room renovation is not a cakewalk and professional help is advised. This way you are less likely to make errors. Be careful with the colors, layout and storage. You may take design inspiration and convey it to the constructors. For instance, special entry door ideas or lighting that might add life to the space.
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