Living Room Luxury: Remodel Techniques for an Older Home

Older homes have a lot of charm on their own and are an environmentally conscience choice for home buyers because no new industrial waste products are being disposed of to get the basic shell. The drawback is, older homes can be a little dated inside. The living room is the central hub of family activity. It can be the site of parties and holiday gatherings, or a simple place to relax in the evening. It is also one of the first rooms you will want to spruce up in your remodeling efforts.

Size Problems

A small living room doesn't have to be a limitation. If your living room is next to the kitchen or dining room, consider removing walls to create a more open floor plan. Consult an architectural engineer first, since the walls may be load-bearing. Even without open concept design, there are a few things you can do to make the room more inviting. Enlarge doorways as much as possible without compromising structural integrity, or install larger windows for the illusion of space.

Fatigued Flooring

Many older homes come with wall to wall carpeting. Especially in fixer-upper homes, carpet tends to be worn, and sometimes even smelly. Rip it out and go for something a bit more manageable and ascetically pleasing. Hardwood or laminate floating floors go in easily, but you need to have a level surface to work with first. Wood floors give warmth to your living room design, and they provide a place to use area rugs. Area rugs help define a sitting area and offer the opportunity for a splash of color or unique texture.

Ceiling Woes

Popcorn ceilings were once a current trend, and are the most common ceiling found in older homes. Ceilings today take a number of new finishes. They look great with smooth painted drywall and bead board is a classic ceiling texture for a country finished room. Paint it white or give it a touch of coordinating color.

Hitting the Walls

Modern wall treatments can be varied and interesting. If your house happens to have gorgeous wood paneling, don't be afraid to embrace the past. To make it lighter and brighter, try cutting it down to make wainscoting. This should also give you enough extra to replace any damaged pieces. Add drywall to the top and nice molding to cover the seam. Touch up with a fresh coat of paint in a color that works with your design ideas. You can also remove old wall coverings and replace with fresh drywall if necessary, and paint will completely refresh the look of the room.

Finally Furnished

Your couch is the cornerstone of your living room décor. It should be a good, solid piece in a durable fabric or leather, and its style will influence the decorating style of the rest of the room. An L-shaped couch balances well with smaller chairs, while a regular size, three cushion couch coordinates well with a love seat and one or two armchairs. Match if you must, but coordinating colors and tone on tone can give more character to your room. Tables help pull in the space, and provide useful surfaces for everything from school work to party snacks. Check out Persimmon Lane or similar site for more ideas.

The living room in older homes doesn't have to be limiting. You can extend it into other rooms by widening doors or taking down walls. Ceiling, floor, and wall finishes can refresh the look of a dated room, and paint works wonders all by itself. Furnishings and area rugs define your living room space and provide a warm, comfortable area for family and friends. Use all these tips to your advantage and take an old room into the modern age.


Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons


About BrookeChaplan

"Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening."


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