brown wooden round table with chairs

The living room is often the central gathering place of the house. At parties, people gravitate around the kitchen. Bathrooms get lots of traffic. Bedrooms are more intimate and personal. But the living room is where everyone feels comfortable and at home most of the time.

If you’re interested in making this gathering location even more welcoming, comfortable, or attractive, you’ll be ready to make some improvements. But since many living room improvements are expensive, difficult, and of debatable value, it’s hard to know which living room improvements are best to take on.

What are some of the best living room improvements you can make? And how can you decide whether to implement new upgrades in the future?

The Best Living Room Improvements You Won’t Regret

These are some of the living room improvements you’re least likely to regret:

  1. A fireplace (and mantel). A fireplace and/or a fireplace mantel could be exactly what you need to breathe new life into a tired or uninspiring living room. If you don’t have a fireplace already, this is your opportunity to get the soft, cozy crackling of a live fire – and a way to make your living room warmer in the dead of winter. If you have a fireplace that isn’t functional, a fireplace insert could give you the functionality you need. And, of course, a fireplace mantel is the perfect place to display your favorite photos, pieces of art, and collectibles.
  2. Comfortable seating. Next, splurge on comfortable seating. Too often, people choose sofas, chairs, and other pieces of furniture based on how they look or based on how much they cost. But it’s often worth sacrificing a bit of extra money and making some aesthetic compromises if it means giving more people more comfortable ways to sit. If you have a couch that people sink into, you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.
  3. Throw pillows. Throw pillows may seem like a superficial and unnecessary addition, but you might be surprised to find how many uses they actually have. The right combination of soft, accenting throw pillows can bring your room together and make your couch or loveseat much more inviting.
  4. Greenery. Our homes are artificial, but we are natural creatures. If you want to make your living room feel more alive, boost the mood of everyone living in your house, and potentially even increase your indoor air quality, add some live indoor plants. They do require a bit of upkeep, but it shouldn’t take much time or money to sustain them.
  5. Floating shelves. Add some floating shelves around your living room to give yourself more room for artistic, creative, or personal displays. These floating shelves have a slim, minimalistic profile, and they’re relatively easy to install, but they could give you the flexibility you need to customize your living room how you’ve always dreamed.
  6. Paint. Paint is worth mentioning in part because it’s both inexpensive and accessible to most homeowners. Repainting the entire living room and adding a few accents is perfectly affordable for most people and approachable as a DIY job. Despite this, a fresh coat of paint can completely change the dynamic of the space for the better.
  7. An area rug. An area rug can be a beautiful artistic piece to add to your living room, filling space without taking it over. There’s a lot of flexibility in how you can utilize area rugs, but there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. For example, it’s acceptable to place the rug under furniture, but you’ll need to take careful measurements to ensure the rug fits the space correctly.
  8. Original artwork. Finally, consider getting some original artwork. The type of art you buy should be perfectly suited to your personal tastes, so be patient as you evaluate options – and place a bid whenever you find something that jumps out to you.

Key Questions to Answer in Future Upgrades

When you’re thinking about future upgrades and improvements to your living room, answer the following questions:

  • Can I afford this? Think about whether you can afford this on your current budget. There’s nothing wrong with stretching your budget for long-term upgrades that might benefit you for years, but you still need to make decisions that are financially sound.
  • How will this make me feel? Don’t purchase something based on how it looks or based on what other people think about it. Purchase things based on how they make you feel. How is this going to change your perception of the living room?
  • How long will this impact the environment? Is this a temporary change or a permanent one? How long will this upgrade continue providing value to you and your family?
  • What is the monetary value impact? Some permanent changes to your living room will measurably increase the value of your house. Some assets you can purchase add to your net worth and are perfectly portable. The more monetary value you see associated with an upgrade, the more you should consider it.

Not every improvement to your living room is going to make sense for your budget, your aesthetic preferences, or your functional needs as a family. However, the core upgrades in this list are likely to positively benefit you in ways that far exceed their costs and effort requirements. Always do your due diligence before making home improvements, and keep pushing to increase the value of your home.