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5 living room remodel ideas that pay off

When it comes to remodeling your home, not every investment is going to pay off — especially when it comes time to sell your home. Shelton Wilder, luxury realtor in Los Angeles and CEO of Shelton Wilder Group, explains that investing money in the wrong living room remodel projects is a common theme.

“Not sure what will add value to your home or what will give you a negative return? Many people spend a fortune doing extensive renovations and then when it comes time to sell, are shocked that they don’t pay off,” Wilder told 21Oak. However, she points out that there are certain renovations that do. Here are some renovation ideas that she has seen her clients implement and get a huge return on their investment:

living room remodel

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A fresh coat of paint

A little investment in paint can make the biggest difference and can have a huge return on value, according to Wilder.

“The No. 1 thing is paint,” she maintains. This is especially the case with homes that haven’t been touched up in awhile, feature outdated paint color, or simple hues that might be unappealing to others.

If you are going to repaint your home, Wilder suggests sticking to a universal (non) color: White. “This will help make the space bigger and brighten up the room,” she says. “My favorite white paint is White Picket Fence by Dunn-Edwards for a nice bright white.”

Hardwood floors

Another no-brainer living room remodel investment is flooring. “Get rid of any carpeting and replace it with a nice hardwood floor,” she suggests. As for color, she advises shying away from dark wood and sticking to something on the lighter side, “preferably a light wood such as a French White Oak,” she says. “All of my clients are asking for white oak right now.” Houzz lists several images with white oak flooring.

Update your lighting

We have already covered flooring and walls, so now it is time to look up! As the saying goes, “let there be light” — especially if your living space is on the darker side.

“Light it up!” suggests Wilder. “Add recessed lighting to brighten up the room to make it seem as big as possible.”

If you already have recessed lighting and the cans are starting to yellow, you can inexpensively replace them, which will make a huge difference. Also, if you have any outdated or ugly light fixtures, she strongly urges switching them out for a more aesthetically pleasing, contemporary style. Luckily, there are lots of gorgeous fixtures at every budget.

smart home

Get smart!

Smart homes are all the rage these days, and Wilder maintains that “getting techy” will seriously up the appeal of your home. “Invest in smart technology such as the Nest system, surround sound speakers, and even chic motorized window coverings,” she says. “Smart home technology will elevate the home, making it feel like a modern, luxury property.”

Interior design or staging

According to Wilder, staging will give you the biggest return on value when it comes time to sell your home. “Just recently, we were able to get our client an extra $128k in profit after staging.”

Even if you aren’t ready to sell, investing some money in a professional designer can really make a difference — and you don’t even have to whip out a tool kit. If hiring a designer isn’t in your budget, check out virtual interior design companies like Modsy and Havenly. For a seriously affordable price, you can work with a designer who will take various factors into consideration — including your style, the measurements of your space, lightning, etc. — and not only come up with the perfect floor plan, but pick out the furniture, lighting, floor coverings, and accessories.

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Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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