Due to the global pandemic, people all over the world are spending more time inside their homes than ever before — and that’s saying something. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that homeowners already averaged 90% of their days indoors. Now, that percentage is likely growing.
In an average year, Research Gate reveals that we spend most of our time (about 36%) at home in our bedrooms. Living areas, like the kitchen and living room, are the second most popular rooms. Homeowners spend an average of 20% of their time in these areas.
If you are spending more time inside, it stands to reason that improving indoor areas is a markedly worthwhile investment. Focus on the rooms where you spend the most time and rooms where you relax first, like the living room.
Remodeling your living room is one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects you can take on. “All in, remodeling a living room costs $6,705 to $7,823,” according to House Beautiful. To get you started, here are eight ideas for remodeling your living room.
Create A Remote Learning Space For Your Kids
As of last April, 80 to 83% of children took part in remote learning, according to a poll by Gallup. As recently as the fall, those numbers have somewhat declined, but not as much as you might expect. CNBC reveals that over half of elementary schools and high schools remain remote-only. Others are implementing strategies using part virtual, part in-person instruction.
If you find yourself suddenly tasked with ensuring your child attends remote or part-remote day school, create the perfect environment for them to do it. Create a remote learning nook or designated learning space in your living room. Here are the best ways to do it:
- Choose a spot with plenty of natural light. According to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) and Family Education, “Many studies have proven that natural lighting in learning environments boosts performance, well-being, and creativity.” Exposure to natural light also promotes healthy circadian rhythms and will help your child sleep at night.
- Fill the space with comfortable seating. If you are working from home and continually moving around in your seat because your back hurts, you know the struggle. Sitting for hours at a time is similarly uncomfortable for your child. Provide chairs with lots of back support, and offer multiple options if possible. That way, if a chair becomes uncomfortable, your child can move to a bean bag or pouf.
- Get rid of clutter and eliminate distractions. Studies show that even adults get distracted by clutter or multiple visual stimuli. Keep children’s desks and/or the designated learning area as neat and tidy as possible. Keep toys and electronics out of your child’s makeshift classroom. Teach them how to pull up and use digital textbooks on a laptop or desktop computer. That way, they will be free from temptations from distracting mobile apps and games on their iPad or another device.
- Build a learning nook or create a learning corner. To optimize children’s learning experiences, transform a nook or a corner of your living room. Make this part of the living room stand out and stand alone as your child’s virtual living space. Gut an old clothes closet and turn it into a learning nook, or remodel a corner into a small classroom. Install curtains to section off the area.
One of the most practical ideas for remodeling your living room right now is to make it into a learning space for your child. Prioritize natural light and comfortable seating, and do what you can to eliminate distractions in your child’s at-home classroom.
Transform Your Living Room Into A Gaming Area
If you are lucky enough to have extra space in your home — perhaps a den or an extra spacious foyer — you want to designate your living room for other purposes, like a video gaming area. It is one of those great ideas for remodeling your living room that is not strictly functional, but it is likely to bring you happiness if gaming is one of your passions. To transform your living room into a gaming room:
- Start with the basics. If you are interested in online gaming, for example, invest in a PC gaming chair. Purchase a video gaming monitor or video gaming monitors (many gamers use two), and any other necessary accessories, like a desk, speakers, and/or a gaming mouse. If you prefer video game consoles, consider purchasing a large, high-quality TV or setting up a wall projector.
- Make it look the part. Many people add flourishes to gaming rooms to make them look the part. Consider adding LED strip lighting, neon signs, and/or floating shelves to spruce up the looks of your gaming room.
Remodeling your living room can be fun. If you enjoy gaming, transform your living room to make the most of your space and get some much need rest and relaxation.
Add Some New Decor
Remember ideas for remodeling your living room do not have to be especially grandiose or over-the-top. Instead, if it suits you and your schedule best, start small. Try adding some new decor and see what a tremendous difference that can make. Get inspired by these 2020 decor trends:
- Go vintage. “As clients become more conscious of their impact on the environment, buying vintage is part of that awareness. Whether it’s a small bust, painting, or large sofa, vintage pieces can be incorporated into any space, adding instant character,” Apartment Therapy writes.
- Choose multi-functional decor. Did you know that there is decor that also functions as storage? Purchase footstools or ottomans with storage, or choose a full-length or wall-mounted mirror with hidden storage inside.
- Incorporate nature. Add some plants — large or small — to green up your living rooms. According to research, plants increase our focus and air quality and make us happier.
- Add a personal touch. Instead of purchasing more throw pillows or hanging a tired and cliched “Live, Laugh, Love” sign above the couch, consider an engraving or a personalized item. It is possible to add personal, engraved messages to all sorts of decor, including picture frames, clocks, games, shadow boxes, paperweights, wall art, and more.
Remodeling your living room does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. Instead of knocking down the walls or ripping up the carpet, think smaller. Add some well-selected decorations to give your living room a new look.
Convert It Into A Livable Space For An Aging Parent Or Loved One
Once again, some of us may be lucky enough to have several, comfortable living spaces, like a living room, den, family room, or extra spacious foyer. If you have room to spare, your ideas for remodeling your living room can get extra creative. For instance, if an aging parent or loved one needs help with some day-to-day activities or someone to help them keep up on the appropriate medical services, consider building them a space inside your home. Convert your living room into a bedroom — or even a studio with a small kitchen area — for your loved one.
Here are some tips to get you started.
- Build a space that will foster independence. “If your parents will be moving into a bedroom in your house, adding a few features can go a long way toward boosting privacy and autonomy. An in-room kitchenette — or at least a mini-fridge, sink, and coffee maker — means your parents can relax in their own space and avoid the main kitchen during busy mornings,” Houzz writes. Install a TV inside the room so your loved one can watch what they want when they want.
- Think beyond their day-to-day care. Be prepared in the event of a medical emergency. For example, consider fitting your loved one’s newly converted room with a digital assistant. That way, he or she can call emergency services wherever they may be, even if they slip and fall and cannot get up.
Similarly, a sonic boom alarm clock or extra loud alarm clock is another popular safety feature. It is a fact of life. For many of us, our hearing goes as we age. An extra loud alarm clock will wake up anyone in the morning, even those who are hard of hearing. This will help give you peace of mind. With this alarm clock, you no longer have to worry if your parent or loved one is not answering you or if they are simply asleep.
The population of Americans ages 65 and up is steadily increasing. Be there for your loved one if they need you. Include adding another, functional room in your ideas for remodeling your living room.
Do A Deep Clean
Once again, balance is important. If the prospect of converting your living room into a bedroom with its own kitchenette is a bit much for you, there are simple and relatively easy things you can do to completely makeover your living room instead. One of those things is a thorough, deep cleaning. To thoroughly clean your living room:
- Rent a carpet shampooer or hire carpet cleaning professionals. Vacuuming carpets is certainly an improvement, but it can only do so much. If you have a lot of company — and especially if you have kids or pets — rent a carpet shampooer or bring in professional carpet cleaners. This will lift out dirt and particles stuck deep inside your carpet, making it look new.
- Call in pest exterminators. Pests can take quite a toll on the comfort and cleanliness of our living spaces. Get your living room back by hiring an exterminator. Whether you have rodents, ants, or termites, they will be able to safely and effectively resolve the problem.
- Dust ceiling fans and wipe down walls, baseboards, and light fixtures. Admit it. Even when you invite guests over, very few of us wipe down the baseboards and break out a step ladder to start dusting the ceiling fans. While this certainly isn’t required on a day-to-day or even weekly basis, it makes a big difference if you commit to a more thorough dusting and cleaning at least once every few months.
Install Safety Features
Another strategy is to implement ideas for remodeling the living room that will make your living room safer and possibly even save you money.
For example, did you know that you can get insurance breaks for fire sprinkler system installation? Installing a fire prevention sprinkler system will protect your family in the event of a fire. In the meantime, you will save on your insurance.
Look for other opportunities to make your living room safer. Purchase anti-slip rug pads for any area rugs. That will prevent you and your family members from slipping or from tripping over edges or corners of rugs that may otherwise pile up.
If you notice any wobbly ceiling fans, purchase a fan balancing kit to get it back on track. Do not let wobbly fans go. The wobble indicates a problem and, with enough time, the fan will fall
Restore Your Furniture (Or Buy New Furniture!)
Other great ideas for remodeling your living room hone in on your furniture. By simply swapping out your current furniture or breathing new life into current furniture, you can completely change the look of your living room.
See if it is possible to reupholster old couches, love seats, and armchairs. Look into oriental rug restoration for an area rug that was once stylish, but now is a bit tired and worn. Paint cabinets or consoles or stain them to make them look new.
If furnishings cannot be salvaged, purchasing new furniture is always an option.
Install a New Feature
For the best results when remodeling your living room, keep it simple. Start with a single, striking feature, and go from there.
For example, installing modern contemporary fireplaces can completely transform the aesthetics of your living room. It can take your living room from stuffy and drab to chic and sophisticated.
Focus on one, prominent feature and assess your needs and further design ideas from there.
Remodeling your living room can make an incredible impact on your home. Decide what way you would like to go. Do you want to keep it simple? Do you want your remodel to be practical or do you want to completely overhaul your space? Use the answers to these questions and the list above to get started remodeling your living room today.