10 Living Room Remodeling Ideas That Pay Off

Remodeling your living room can seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and consideration, it can pay off in the long run. Investing in certain upgrades and focusing on design elements that increase functionality, comfort, and aesthetic appeal can transform your living space and potentially increase your home’s value. Here are 10 living room remodeling ideas that provide excellent return on investment.

Open Up the Layout

One of the best ways to reinvent your living room is to open up the layout. Knocking down non-load-bearing walls to create a more free-flowing, open concept living space makes the room feel brighter, more modern, and welcoming. It improves traffic flow and allows you to rearrange furniture in more flexible configurations. Great for entertaining, an open layout also creates a better connection between living spaces and the rest of the home. Just be sure to consider sound transmission when removing walls. Strategically placed furniture and acoustical treatments can help minimize noise.

Upgrade Windows

Replacing outdated, inefficient windows with modern energy-efficient models pays dividends. New double or triple-pane windows greatly improve insulation, leading to reduced energy costs. They also prevent drafts, moisture, and noise transmission. Opt for low-emissivity coatings and argon or krypton gas fills for optimal efficiency and sound dampening. Take the opportunity to expand window size as well to usher in more natural light. Well-placed larger windows can make the room feel more expansive. Consider adding decorative touches like crown molding, extended jambs, or accent shutters to give new windows a built-in look.

Install Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting or can lights are a sleek, unobtrusive way to provide focused task lighting and dramatic ambiance. Outfitting the living room with recessed lighting uses minimal space while eliminating the need for obtrusive track or pendant fixtures. Opt for dimmable LED recessed lighting to save energy and allow control over light levels. Place recessed lighting strategically to illuminate seating areas, media centers, artwork, architectural details, and other focal points. Make sure to include lighting on dimmers to set the mood for movies or entertaining. Professionally installing recessed lighting improves lighting design flexibility.

Update Flooring

Installing new living room flooring can completely transform the feel of the space. Timeless hardwood floors add character and value. For a contemporary look, large-format porcelain or ceramic tile replicates the beauty of wood with more durability. Tiling a focal wall creates a modern decorator accent. Low-pile carpeting in a neutral shade is a budget-friendly option that provides softness underfoot. Just avoid high-traffic areas like entryways. Or try higher-performing synthetic or wool carpeting. Regardless of material, new floors eliminate worn or dated surfaces and lay the foundation for a stylish, refreshed room.

Add Architectural Interest

Strategic architectural details take the living room design to the next level. Vaulted or tray ceilings draw the eye up, making the room feel grander. Accent beams, ceiling medallions, and crown molding add appealing visual texture. Niches carved into existing walls are great for displaying art and decor. Add architectural interest to a focal wall with textured wallpaper, shiplap or tongue-and-groove planking, tile, brick veneer, or paneling. Chair rails, wainscoting, and picture rails provide classic millwork touches. Fireplace makeovers with new surrounds and mantels create an impressive focal point.

Upgrade Interior Doors

A minor living room remodel detail that reaps big results is upgrading interior doors and trim. Outdated hollow-core doors can be swapped for solid wood doors with detailed profiles to match the room’s style. Whether painted, stained, or natural, solid wood doors lend elegance along with noise dampening. Complement new doors with contemporary or traditional baseboard, door casing, and crown molding. Wider trim and door casings add presence. To save costs, focus on visible interior doors leading to adjoining rooms. Upgraded trim and doors give the space a finished, upscale look.

Integrate Multifunctional Storage

Work clever storage solutions into your living room remodel. Custom built-in cabinetry and shelving PHY_quote_0 create concealed storage while doubling as display space for decor. Storage ottomans and trunks stow extra blankets and pillows. Tasteful cabinets fitted around a fireplace integrate media components and conceal clutter. Repurpose an old entertainment center by adapting it into a storage closet. Floating wood shelves mounted on brackets provide display space while keeping the room light and airy. No matter the approach, strategic storage helps maintain order in a high-traffic living area.

Update the Fireplace

The living room fireplace naturally commands attention and serves as a wonderfulfocal point. Bring an outdated fireplace into the modern era with a stunning makeover. Simple fixes like painting the brick or stone surround and mantel in a fresh color quickly modernize the look. For a more updated style, install new stacked stone or shiplap surrounding the firebox. Swap out an old wood-burning insert with a sleek gas insert or electric fireplace with realistic flame effects. Top off the new surround with a thick, substantial wood mantel. The transformed fireplace becomes the room’s crowning jewel.

Upgrade Seating and Tables

Worn, dated, or impractical living room furniture drags down the whole look of the space. As part of a remodel, replace sagging sofas and mismatched chairs with cohesive, comfortable seating. Sectionals or a curated sofa and loveseat provide flexibility for seating arrangements. Accent chairs promote conversation. Sturdy yet stylish wood or metal coffee tables anchor seating areas. Side tables give convenient access to lamps and decor. The right scale and proportions of seating and tables suit both daily activities and entertaining needs.

Install Statement Lighting

Make a dramatic impact with stunning new living room lighting fixtures. For traditional charm, an elegant crystal chandelier makes a dazzling statement while providing ambient lighting. Cutting-edge pendant lights introduce modern or industrial flair. Sconces flanking a fireplace or mounted on columns add symmetrical elegance. Eye-catching floor and table lamps show off your decorating style. Dimmer switches enable modifying light levels to suit any activity. No matter the aesthetic, a striking new lighting fixture or fixtures become a focal point and instantly modernize the living room.


When embarking on a living room remodel, focus on enhancements that maximize livability, visual appeal, and functionality. Smart investments like opening up the layout, installing recessed lighting, upgrading windows and flooring, and adding architectural details pay dividends for years to come. Clever storage solutions, fireplace makeovers, new interior doors, and statement lighting transforms the space. Top it off with comfortable new furniture scaled to fit the room. With proper planning and design choices that suit your needs, remodeling a tired living room really pays off. The room becomes a stylish, inviting space for family activities or entertaining.

Frequently Asked Questions About 10 Living Room Remodeling Ideas That Pay Off

Here are some common questions people have about remodeling their living room and how to get the most value from living room renovation projects.

What are the best living room remodeling ideas to increase home value?

Some of the best living room renovations that can increase a home’s value include:

  • Opening up the floorplan – Removing walls to create an open-concept living space makes the room feel larger and more modern. It can improve flow and increase desirable openness.
  • Upgrading flooring – Hardwood floors, luxury vinyl plank, tile, or high-end carpet boost value. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting in high-traffic areas.
  • Redesigning the focal point – A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace makeover, statement window, or improved media center creates an impressive focal point.
  • Improving lighting – Adding recessed lighting, pendant lights, sconces, and natural light through new windows makes the room brighter and more appealing.
  • Adding architectural details – Vaulted ceilings, beams, built-ins, wainscoting, and crown molding boost style and value.

What living room remodels offer the best return on investment?

Remodels that are likely to recoup a high percentage of their cost in added value include:

  • Minor kitchen and bath remodels – New surfaces/fixtures offer a 75% ROI
  • Entry door replacement – Offers up to 78% ROI and improves curb appeal
  • Wood flooring – Offers a 75% ROI compared to carpet
  • Neutral paint colors – Appeal to more buyers for about a 107% ROI
  • Universal design features – Appeal to more buyers for a 59-60% ROI

How can I remodel my living room on a budget?

Some budget-friendly living room updates include:

  • Paint walls in a modern neutral color for about $100-250
  • Update lighting fixtures – $50-350+
  • Refinish existing hardwood flooring – $2-5 per sq. ft.
  • Add molding for architectural interest – $2-5 per linear ft.
  • Replace doors with pre-hung interior doors – About $100-200 per door
  • Update fireplace mantel or surround – $150-500
  • Slipcover worn sofas – $50-300
  • Declutter and thoroughly clean the space

Should I remodel my living room before selling my house?

Renovating your living room before selling can add value and give your home maximum appeal. But avoid over-improving based on your tastes. Simple updates like paint, flooring, lighting, doors, and de-cluttering often provide ample appeal for most buyers. Bigger investments like knocking down walls or adding high-end finishes may not pay off much in your particular market.

What small living room remodels add the most value?

Some of the best small living room renovation ideas that boost functionality and enjoyment include:

  • Multi-functional furniture like ottomans with storage and fold-out desk space
  • Well-placed concealed storage like built-in cabinets and shelves
  • Mirrored walls or furnishings to add depth
  • Tall bookshelves section off space without blocking light
  • Light, neutral color palette to make the room feel larger
  • Vertical space utilization – wall-mounted cabinets and decor

Should I renovate my living room for resale value or my own enjoyment?

Ideally, strike a balance between renovations that improve your quality of life daily and appeal to future buyers. Focus on timeless upgrades like opened floorplans, hardwood floors, neutral colors, and improved lighting. Then add personal touches like fresh paint colors, comfy sectionals, and custom cabinets for functionality. Avoid overly quirky or distinctive finishes that limit buyer appeal.

What renovations help a small living room feel larger?

Tricks to make a small living room feel more spacious include:

  • Light, neutral wall colors
  • Mirrored furnishings or accent walls
  • Uncluttered layout and multipurpose furniture
  • Window treatments mounted high to draw eyes up
  • Recessed lighting to reduce visual clutter
  • Open floor plan to adjoining rooms
  • Large artwork and small furniture to avoid a cramped look

Should I get quotes from contractors before starting a living room remodel?

Yes, it’s wise to get quotes from at least three reputable contractors before undertaking a living room remodel. They can provide accurate estimates for your specific project scope and conditions. This helps avoid cost overruns or unexpected issues down the road. Check reviews and verify licensing, insurance, and bonded status as well.

What preparations help make a living room remodel go smoothly?

Pro tips to ensure a smooth living room remodel include:

  • Get written estimates from contractors outlining scope, timeline, materials, and payment schedule
  • Secure all necessary permits from the local building department
  • Book contractors as early as possible and allow plenty of time
  • Have a plan for redirecting living room functions to other areas during renovation
  • Protect existing sections of home from dust and damage
  • Pack up valuables and fragile items to keep safe during work
  • Maintain open communication with contractors throughout project


Remodeling your living room is an exciting project with the potential to greatly enhance your enjoyment of the space for years to come. The right improvements can also boost your home’s style and value if selling is on the horizon. Focus on renovations like opening up the floorplan, upgrading windows and flooring, installing recessed lighting, adding architectural details, and creating an impressive focal point. Clever storage solutions and comfortable, scaled seating also help maximize the room’s functionality and comfort. With savvy design choices that suit your needs, remodeling a tired living room can pay off in a refreshed, inviting space your family will love.