Renovation Series: 5 Useful Hacks for Your Living Room Renovation

Most people want their living room to be a beautiful and livable space. After all, that’s where family and friends gather for movie marathons or game nights. 

But what happens when the leather couch chips away, or the varnish on the wooden furniture fades, and the living room slowly loses its glow?

People in this situation may feel the need to step their game up and upgrade their living area.

Living Room with pastel-colored furnitures

Living rooms generally take a shorter period of time to be tweaked and revamped than the spaces at home that require an interior designer’s finicky planning, such as the kitchen or the bathroom.

However, budget and time constraints, as well as a lack of good ideas can be forks in one’s way when it comes to renovating a living room.

Whether we’re stuck in a creative rut or overwhelmed with design inspirations, we need solutions that are practical and realistic when it comes to something as easy as spicing up our living rooms or handling more difficult repairs and restorations.

Here are 5 tips to get inspired and make your living room come to life.

Spend wisely.

It’s perfectly fine to spend some money on your living room, but be wise in doing so. Unless you reside in an apartment, you are most likely going to have that living room forever. 

With this in mind, we must always recognize the importance of budget planning, as mentioned in this article on renovation planning: set aside most of your funds on things that take up a significant amount of space instead of unnecessary fillers. An example of this would be a couch and an entertainment source like a TV set or gaming console.

Open Space Condominium

If you want some tchotchke then make sure you’re going to like it forever, like stunning art pieces from your favorite craftsperson or a fixture with a unique design.

You wouldn’t want to splurge on things that would not be of use to you in the future. While investing in tweaking and revamping your living room adds to aesthetic value, following current home trends may not be in style anymore after several years. 

Eventually, the home design trends right now will be replaced by newer and fresher ones. However, don’t be discouraged because you can still have an awesome renovation plan for your living room. 

Your renovation plan shouldn’t require excessive funding, nor should you worry about pieces that will go out of style because you’ll be sticking to the classics, which will be talked about further. 

Mind your doors and windows.

First impression matters, and what better way to make your visitors’ jaws drop open than to make your door the first thing you renovate. 

Repaint the faded color of your door, have the rusty door knobs replaced, or hire good carpenters if you have any termite-infestation problems. Make sure they use good termiticides on the door surface in order to prevent future problems like this. 

When choosing door colors, it’s better to stick to neutrals such as browns (oak or mahogany) and whites (ecru or ivory). Whatever you do, don’t get Pantone’s colors of the year, because the hoopla will die down eventually. 

Door knob on white door

Meanwhile, natural light in your home is ideal especially for your daily dose of Vitamin D, but more than that is the optical illusion of a bigger space. 

Think of the infinity pool illusion and apply this principle to the windows in your home: light from an open window exposing the wider ‘outside’ and tricking the eyes into thinking that the house has a bigger area beyond it.

Flower pots on window

For best results, choose sliding or casement windows over double-hung windows. The wider opening of these types of windows allow more ventilation, light, and the effect of bigger space, which is what we are after. 

However, if you have a concrete wall on your window view or if you just feel like your windows are perfectly fine as they are, then let them be. Consider double glazing your windows if they aren’t already, and clean them regularly.

Use measurements and illusion techniques.

It all starts with scaling your furniture and fixtures correctly. If you notice ill-proportioned pieces of furniture or home supplies, especially those that do not go well with the original design or architecture plan of your house no matter how hard you try, then it’s time to make changes. 

Sell or give away furniture pieces that are taking up too much space or do not fit in well with the look you are going for. 

When it comes to scaling correctly for your living room, use precise measurement tools. Don’t rely on your memory when looking for home supplies. Remember the measurements correctly to avoid getting overly small or overly big home supplies.

Now, let’s talk about walls: if you can reduce the color contrasts on your walls, then do so. As much as possible, make the color of the wall white. 

If it’s a darker color, it would emphasize where the spaces end and ruin the illusion of a bigger space. Maintain your white walls by scrubbing and cleaning it on a regular basis.

White and black furniture in studio apartment

Meanwhile, when it comes to flooring, uniform and light colored tiles would be ideal. Aside from making your living room look bigger, they are light and easy on the eyes. 

Ceramic tiles are a classic pick, but if you want a more elegant and refined look, then porcelain tiles or marble tiles are good choices too. However, if your flooring is not tiled, then don’t worry because the same principle applies. 

For instance, if you use woodworks like parquet, or patterned sheets such as vinyl or linoleum, make sure that you do not break the pattern on the flooring (ie. choosing different styles of flooring in various areas of your home) to avoid sabotaging the large space effect that uniform flooring brings.

Wood flooring

When choosing your flooring sheets, supervise your workers to make sure that the patterns face the same direction. If there are cosmetic flaws like such, don’t hesitate to let your workers correct it, unless you are doing it yourself.

Make necessary adjustments.

Since there are a few changes to your home, make the effort to adjust. For instance, newly painted walls have a strong smell which can be countered by putting a few pieces of charcoal in 4 basins, and placing them in the corners of your living room.

Charcoal is known to absorb strong chemical smells like that of paint or varnish. However, if you don’t have access to charcoal, then use your trusty electric fans.

Black charcoal

Don’t turn on the AC yet, as it may trap the strong smell and make you feel dizzy while doing stuff in your living room. 

On your part, use a face mask to filter what you can smell. Better yet, don’t use your living room yet and wait until the paint dries and the smell goes away.

Bonus tip: If you live in an apartment, get your landlord involved!

Do not shoulder all the renovation expenses, especially if the apartment you’re renting has a flawed home design or faulty engineering, especially in the living room area. 

There is actually a law in the country that mandates landlords to pay for the repairs, damages, or imperfections of their apartment units: Article 1654 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. 

The lessee or the renter of the apartment can actually rescind the obligation to pay for rent if the landlord refuses to shoulder repair expenses.

However, if your main purpose is for beautifying your space, like repainting, then you should ask permission from your landlord first before continuing with your renovation plan. 

Things can all be accomplished through good communication: a nice approach if you’re trying to get your landlord involved, strategic planning and thinking, and allotting your budget carefully. 

How about you? How would you renovate your living room?

The fact remains: planning ahead is the secret to success. Strategizing and thorough thinking of a renovation plan is the key to improving the look and functionality of your living room. 

Which of these tips are of great help to you? What tip do you consider actually including in your renovation plan? Hopefully this helps you come up with a good renovation plan for your living room, and may your renovation plan be executed beautifully.


Sources:

Let the Light In: 4 Window Types For Maximum Daylight. (2020, November 16). www.brockwindows.com. https://www.brockwindows.com/windows-101/let-the-light-in-4-window-types-for-maximum-daylight/

Mendelsohn, H. (2021, March 23). These 27 Small Space Design Ideas and Tricks Will Truly Maximize Your Area. House Beautiful. https://www.housebeautiful.com/home-remodeling/interior-designers/tips/g1454/small-space-design-ideas/

O’Neill, M. (2017, December 26). 25 of the Biggest Design Mistakes New Homeowners Make. Architectural Digest. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/home-renovation-mistakes-new-homeowners-make

Wallender, L. (2020, November 23). What Is A Double Glazed Window? The Spruce. https://www.thespruce.com/double-glazed-windows-1821739