Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

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

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 This is especially the case with homes that haven’t been touched up in awhile, feature outdated paint color, or simple hues that might be unappealing to others.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 Also, if you have any outdated or ugly light fixtures, she strongly urges switching them out for a more aesthetically pleasing, contemporary style.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.

Editors' Recommendations

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…
The best green paint colors for a soothing, sophisticated home
Recommendations for warm and cool green tones to add to your space
Green wall color with plant nearby

Green is a color we’re seeing everywhere in home design. Named Color of the Year for 2022 by many of the most prominent names in the paint industry, green is a trendy hue that you can expect to see in many interior designs in the foreseeable future. Green has an incredible way of adding a sense of vibrance and authenticity to your space. So, if you’re a homeowner in need of a soothing and sophisticated shade, then green might be just what you’ve been looking for.

This color can help you invite a renewed sense of vitality and energy to a space, making it perfect for homeowners looking to change up their existing palette. While green was trending in home design as 2022's "it" color, it has become a popular staple even as we venture into the coming years. So, it's safe to assume that this wonderful shade will likely add a timeless and natural look to any space. If you're eager to incorporate green into your design scheme, here are some of the best green paint colors to inspire your next renovation.

Read more
What couch material should you get? We have the answer
Have pets? This is the couch for you
Leather couch

If you're in the market for a new couch or sofa, one of the biggest considerations beyond the size and shape is the couch fabric. Deciding on how you plan to use the couch and who you plan to let on it (for example, pets and kids) can help determine which material you choose. If it's a sofa for a living room and one the whole family will use daily, you need couch material that's durable and will hold up over time. If it's one in an office or formal living room, you can be a bit more relaxed about the fabric.

Beyond the frame and springs, there are many fabric choices available when it comes to buying a couch. Here are a few things to watch out for and consider before making your big purchase. They can make the difference between a couch that stands the test of time and one that needs to be replaced after a couple of years.

Read more
6 easy ways to update your home for under $500
Update your home with these inexpensive, easy projects
Couple painting white walls

When most homeowners think of renovations, they think of time-consuming projects that always run over budget. And often, they’re right. But updating your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Tearing down cabinets and installing brand-new hardwood floors aren’t the only ways to up your home design game.

With a bit of planning and elbow grease, you can refresh your space with inexpensive home remodeling projects that will have a considerable impact. Here are six DIY home projects that you can easily complete for less than $500.

Read more