Renovating the living and dining rooms can be fun!

Renovating the living, dining or family room in a home is one of the most enjoyable renovations that can be done with minimum disruption to your daily lives. It is also the area that is showcased the most when guests visit.

There many areas that needs to be considered before getting to the stage of actually making your dreams and ideas into reality. Some of these areas include: crown moulding, baseboards, floor, paint, windows, trims and lighting. Depending on the level of detail, this type of renovation will typically take a week to complete. For the room being renovated you need to consider how the space would be used. The placement of the entertainment area will dictate where the wall connections would need to be re-wired. Updating to pot lights may require re-wiring and may need a change in the ceiling design.

When redecorating the living space it should not be limited to the existing design. Please consult with our team to find out more about possibilities that you were not aware existed. In recent projects our teams have removed multiple walls to create a more open concept. These walls are commonly replaced with load bearing overhead beams and possibly pillars. Such changes need to be carefully planned and the City would confirm the beam and pillar sizes. The use of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) provides the ability to span longer distances with these beams.

Crown mouldings add the perfect touch. It is used to create an elegant flair to any room. It caps the area between the ceiling and the wall and provides a smooth transition between the two. Crown moulding can be very ornate and detailed or modern and sleek. The design and layout of the room would generally dictate the style chosen. The ceiling height and decor in the room are also important considerations when deciding on the crown moulding. For higher ceilings and a classier look more ornate, wider mouldings with lots of details can be used. To achieve a more modern look, use sleek, wider mouldings with less details. In smaller rooms use crown mouldings that are not as wide, so that it does not dominate the area.

Baseboards are used to cover the space between the wall and floor. When selecting baseboards the size, style and design of the room should be considered. If there are crown mouldings and trims, the baseboards should be the same style to create a look of harmony. When renovating a room with lower ceiling, six inches should be the maximum height of the baseboards, anything higher would overwhelm the room. Higher ceilings provide more versatility; however, using shorter baseboards adds no value to your design.

There are three main types of baseboards: plastic, wood and wood composite. Plastic is used for flexibility and durability; it is better to work with if the room is circular. Wood gives a nice traditional finish and is better for staining to retain wood colours, but may split easily and provide problems with maintenance. Wood composite is easier to work with and has a more uniform composition that makes it more durable.

Budget, design and style of the rooms dictate the type of flooring to be used. A few popular choices for floor finishes are hardwood, laminate, carpet or tile. Hardwood is most popular for any room and it adds the most resale value to the home. It is easy to clean and can be refinished for a new look after some use. An alternative to hardwood is laminate flooring which is also a cheaper option. This type of flooring comes with its own benefits, such as durability and not easily scratched. Vegetable oil can remove scratches on laminate floors quite easily.

There are a variety of styles from which to choose. Some tend to mimic both tile and hardwood and it is sometimes difficult to notice the difference! Water can damage both hardwood and laminate. With hardwood you may be able to refinish it depending on the damage but with laminate it is ruined.

Carpet is another option for these rooms, it is soft and warm and also helps reduce sound in the room. The downside is that it holds the most dust even with regular vacuuming. It is not recommended for those with allergies.There have been advancements in the design and durability of carpets. However, carpet would still stain more easily than laminate and hardwood. To keep carpets looking clean and fresh it is recommended to steam clean occasionally.

Traditionally, tiles are mainly used in kitchens and bathrooms; recently we have seen a lot more dining rooms being tiled due to the high chances of spillage. Using tiles also has disadvantages, they can be cold and floor heating can be expensive to add . It is also easier to break and more difficult to repair the floor when this happens.

Paint really brings the design style to life!!! Generally, you would want to visualize and picture the decor and emotional feel of the room before selecting the paint color. If it’s a small area being painted, to keep it warm and cozy, it’s best to select darker colours. Darker walls tend to look better with either white or cream furnishings. To open up the space, select lighter colors for a more airy feeling. Neutral colours provide more flexibility for a variety of furnishing types to jazz up the room.

There are two types of paint to consider - water based and oil based. It is generally recommended that water based paints are used when painting the home interior. Water based paints have less odor when being used and are easier to clean up after use. They also look better over time and do not peel as much as oil based paints. For the living, dining or family rooms, low-luster, satin or eggshell finishes are more commonly used. They provide a lovely sheen and with the correct lighting can make the room feel very warm and inviting. They are also much easier to clean!

There are many different types of windows that can be selected for these rooms. The most common in the living or dining room is the Bay window. This is popular because it protrudes outwards and provides the look and feel of more space on the inside of the room. There are also other types of windows to consider such as the slider window. These are used in a more modern setting. Picture windows add light but are usually stationary, these can be used in more cottage type homes or for a more open view.

Awning windows allow air to circulate and can be used under stationary ones. Awning windows make a good choice for those who like to keep the window open when it rains. The glass slopes downwards so the room will not get wet. There are also double-hung windows, which features two movable panels to allow a better air flow. These can also tilt for easier cleaning. Casement windows hinge on one side and open with a crank. These provide excellent air circulation because they open fully. They also seal better than most other types to prevent air leakage and reduce external noises.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects when renovating a room. It should not be an afterthought but a well planned layout. Natural lighting from your windows or doors should be maximized. Use mirrors opposite the windows to reflect natural light, also use light curtain materials, such as muslin or lace. Lights for living, dining or family room should work in conjunction with paint colours. If darker colours are selected remember they absorb light, therefore the lighting in the room will always be mellow. If lighter colours are selected they reflect light, so the room will always be a bit brighter.

If using one area for office work or homework, brighter lights should be considered. If the room will be used more for television or entertaining, softer lights could be used. Also, take into consideration the age group, as seniors will require brighter lighting for reading. There are three types of lighting to consider: ambient, task and accent lighting. Ambient lighting can be accomplished by using lamps or chandeliers; it creates a mellower mood by reflecting light off the ceiling. Task lighting is for more focused work, it could be a table lamp or a desk lamp. Accent lighting is used to highlight different features in a room such as paintings, sculptures or bookcases.

Take a look at our Design pages to get better ideas for your Living and Dining room renovation. New ideas would be added to our site periodically, so if you do not see what you are looking for please return at a later date for more options.

Our project managers can provide advice on creating your perfect room based on your needs!!!