8 ways to makeover your living room

The windows were changed to a full glass sliding door and dark, wood-toned laminate was used for the floor and ceiling, creating a beautiful symmetry. (Movent Design pic)

After living in a house for some years, it is easy to get bored with the same old décor. But just changing the furniture in the living room may not be the answer to creating a new, refreshed look.

What may be needed is a living room renovation or facelift. It does not need to go as far as tearing down the walls between the kitchen and living areas, it can be something smaller that does not cost too much.

A simple living room design update is a great way to breathe new life into an old home. It can also be a good way to get a new home ready for tenants.

Here are a few ideas.

1. Change the flooring

One of the reasons the living room may look dull is because the flooring is worn out. Old parquet flooring can fade and the varnish may scratch off.

Marble flooring or tiles may become scratched and scuffed, or the grout lines have darkened.

Changing the flooring can have a dramatic impact. Switch from dark to lighter floors to brighten the space, for example. Or use larger floor tiles and experiment with different layouts, such as a herringbone pattern.

Changing the flooring from square tiles to a light-toned laminate has created a more inviting living space. (ML Engineering Construction pic)

2. Change the fans and lights

Old fans and lighting fixtures can make the living room look dull. Update the lighting to reflect a new style.

This would be a good time to change to LED bulbs. They cost 50% less to run than CFL, even after including the slightly higher cost of the bulb itself.

Another benefit to upgrading the lighting is adding variety, such as ambient, accent and task lights. According to interior designers there are six ways to light the living room, so mix it up!

A mix of recessed downlights and recessed track lights provide ambient pools of light on the floors and walls. (Renovation Equal pic)

3. Rearrange the furniture

Optimising the arrangement of the furniture opens up new spaces and improves traffic flow. It may even free-up hidden power outlets that can now be used.

4. Add more storage

Who doesn’t need more storage? Custom-built cabinets make full use of awkward corners and tricky spots. And when the clutter is gone, the living room is brighter and easier to move around in.

The most obvious places to add living room storage are under the stairs, where the TV is, or along the wall. And if the ceiling is high, why not extend the shelves all the way up to create a beautiful feature wall?

5. Update the windows

Worn out or warped windows make the living room look old. Update the window frames, or if it is feasible increase the size of the windows to let in more light.

New curtains can also dramatically improve the look of the living room. Use floor-to-ceiling curtains to make the room feel taller, and add extra fabric width so that the pleats are evenly distributed when they are closed.

The space was opened up by removing the sliding doors, extending the flooring and installing a modern four-panel window with a dark frame. (ML Engineering Construction pic)

6. Repaint the walls

Adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest ways to update the living room and even improve one’s mood. Instead of plain white, use blue for a calming effect.

Use different painting techniques to add special effects. Sponging, rag rolling and dragging are just some of the painting techniques that can add a dramatic effect to the living room design.

Oxford blue was used to create a feature wall behind the TV and the same blue has been added at half-height on the opposite wall. (You Home Design pic)

7. Create a feature wall (and ceiling) as a focal point

A feature wall is a way to give the living room a focal point. A feature wall can be created out of almost anything; a large hanging artwork, wallpaper, even decorative plates. But one simple and affordable way is to add a coat of paint.

When your gaze is drawn to the feature wall, keep it going by adding a statement piece at the ceiling, such as a stylish light or plaster ceiling design.

This 64 sq metre unit was updated with a feature wall made from wallpaper. (Interior Hunters pic)

8. Update the ceiling

An important area to consider during a facelift is the ceiling. Adding a unique plaster ceiling design (or even removing the plaster altogether to add more height), can create a visually interesting look.

A ceiling renovation for the living room has the added benefit of adding better light distribution. For example, a plaster ceiling with an island adds beautiful cove lighting for a soft, warm ambience.

A ceiling renovation for the living room has the added benefit of adding better light distribution. (AC Design and Construction pic)

This article originally appeared on recommend.my – Malaysia’s #1 Home Improvement Services Platform. Recommend.my offers a safer and more convenient way to hire the best home improvement and home maintenance professionals. From flooring to interior design to air-conditioner servicing, get access to thousands of the best local contractors and professionals at your fingertips.