The living room is where we spend a lot of relaxation time, so when renovating you really want to make sure it's a room you will enjoy spending time in. We take you through what you need to consider before beginning your renovation.
Will the new living area be a dedicated or multipurpose space?
Will it be a separate room or part of a larger open-plan living area?
Determine the exact dimensions of the area. Note the positions of doors, windows, staircases, decks and skylights. These will affect the ambience of the room; the amount of natural light; the need for heating and cooling and the best positions for furniture, home entertainment systems and lights.
Will you be removing walls, raising the ceiling, incorporating an open verandah or adding a deck or mezzanine to open up the space?
Will you be adding or resizing doors, windows, skylights or staircases? Or will you be installing built-in shelving or lighting systems?
If you are incorporating any imported or custom-built furnishings or fittings, order them well ahead of installation.
Consider how the 'time out' for renovation will affect your daily life. Try and plan around the disruption, particularly if your home has only one designated living area and major structural work is to be undertaken.
Can I do it myself?
Many of the steps required to create a new living area can be done without expert help, with the exception of complex structural work. Sanding and finishing floors, constructing and installing basic shelving and storage, helping to construct a deck and painting walls and surfaces is well within the scope of the skilled DIYer. However, a pro will almost certainly do a faster, better job, and raw materials, for someone with no trade discount, can be costly.
Sourcing and installing furniture and window treatments is a pleasurable task for anyone with design flair and some initial advice from a decorator or interior designer.
State-of-the-art home theatres, media centres, integrated home security and smart lighting systems are generally installed by specialists.
Plan ahead and consult professional designers and tradespeople to avoid these common oversights in living room design:
Planning your new living area without considering crucial basics such as traffic or usage patterns, light sources, functionality or the need for adequate storage, shelving and power outlets.
Buying furnishings without a defined decorating style to unify them, resulting in a look that doesn't hang together.
Failing to accurately measure the space, then finding your furnishings don't fit.
Failing to allow for the sweep of doors (and cabinet doors) when planning your layout.
Failing to trial paint samples under different lighting conditions, then painting the space two shades too dark.
Underestimating the time and money required to complete structural additions or alterations.