Living Room Makeover

Making usable space of your formal living areas

It’s called a “living room,” but ironically most living rooms are barely lived in. If you’re thinking of a living room makeover, make it one that will take a barely used space and create an area your family can really use. 

Originally, formal living rooms were spaces for entertaining special guests. Formal living rooms were off-limits to the family most of the time. But as the way we live at home is changing, so is the modern living room.

Today, life has become much more casual. But homes are still designed with formal living areas and casual spaces as well. That leaves you with a wasted space that can cost a fortune to decorate, with very little return on that investment. There are an endless number of ways to use this room that would increase its value to your family -- and your home’s value overall. living room decorating ideas

Interiors expert Elaine Williamson of Elaine Williamson Designs says your living room makeover options depend on where it’s located in your home. “If you walk directly into the living room from the front door, the formal living room would be well suited to convert into a library or a reading den. In addition to reclaiming the functionality of the room, you would have a place to store your family’s books that tend to accumulate and clutter shelves all over the house,” says Williamson.

“You might also consider turning it into a music lounge, where family members and guests might go to listen to, and play, music. In each of these situations, the room’s aesthetic and functionality would still be suitable for its prominent location in the house, while also increasing its utility.”

Another popular idea for a living room makeover is to use the larger living room space, which often has a majestic fireplace and windows, as the formal dining room. You can decorate with a larger and more elegant table and other appropriate furnishings. The smaller formal dining space can then be used as a reading den or sitting room where you can still have coffee or tea with special visitors. This smaller dining space can also be converted into a functional home office, especially if it’s located off the kitchen. This would be a great place for homework and school projects as well.

The more tucked away your living room is, the more options you have. “It can be transformed into a media or theater room, which has become incredibly popular, a billiard room and bar, a children’s play room or even an exercise or craft room,” says Williamson. A good room to convert to a home theater would be a living room with doors and very few windows. If your house has an open floor plan, you can easily add doors and use heavy window coverings to block out the light.

Today, a “living room” is what a homeowner makes of it. The days of formal living in your own home and wasted square footage are gone. Whichever option you choose, you will no doubt rejoice in your reclaimed living space!