How to Add Value in Living Rooms & Dining Rooms

Living rooms and dining rooms are just that – they’re where we live and where we dine. Generally speaking there’s not much to them (other than the decorative elements). The only real requirement is that they be big enough to accommodate the number of people who will be using them. That said, there are a few ways to add value to living rooms and dining rooms in order to increase the value of your home.


Houses used to be a lot more compartmentalized than they are now. Rooms used to be designated for specific functions and they were separated as such. But lifestyles have changed and today’s homes reflect that. Eat-in kitchens are common, as are open concept kitchen/living areas, and combined living/dining spaces. If your home has this type of layout there isn’t much you can do to increase the value, but if you live in an older home, opening up the main floor to accommodate an open concept kitchen, dining and living space is a great way to improve the value of your home (depending on the complexity of the renovation of course).


The number one phrase that pops up in North American real estate listings is “hardwood flooring throughout”. While there are a lot of great options for flooring, and what you choose will ultimately be determined by your budget and lifestyle, hardwood flooring is usually a good bet for adding value to your home. Just keep in mind that given its susceptibility to moisture and humidity, real hardwood should only be used at or above grade, and in climates without drastic changes in humidity from season to season.



Lighting is an important element in any room, and while it may not need to be quite as thought out as in a kitchen or bathroom, you still want to give it the proper importance.

  • Most dining rooms look best with an overhead pendant or chandelier hanging over the table. If the room isn’t too big this will suffice, but you can also consider wall sconces, or even table lamps if you have a serving table or buffet to put them on.
  • Living rooms generally benefit from a variety of different light sources. While ceiling lights (pot lights and overhead fixtures) are common they’re not necessarily a must. You can still get a great amount of light from table lamps, floor lamps and sconces. Just be sure that they’re placed evenly throughout the room and at different levels.
  • Natural light is still a fantastic way to light a main floor living space so the more windows you’ve got the better.
  • If there’s one thing to remember it’s that you should always install dimmers on all your overhead lights (and all your other lights for that matter). It’s the best way for controlling the amount of light in a given area and it can instantly change the mood and character of a room.

Architectural Details

A quick way to give living rooms and dining rooms a high-end look without spending much money is through faux wall panels, applied moulding and coffered ceilings. While traditional carpenter-fashioned wainscoting can cost a lot of money, the DIY version will give you a similar look at a fraction of the cost.


The living and dining rooms probably aren’t the first rooms you think of when you think about hardware, but chances are pretty good that you have a few switch plates and doorknobs somewhere in there. It’s important that you don’t overlook these things as shabby or dated hardware will make the rest of the room look that way. Make sure any hardware in the room is up-to-date and stylish.


Fireplaces are an interesting subject because most people assume they’ll add value, but that’s not necessarily the case.  While fireplaces are great design features and they can certainly offer some great benefits, they don’t usually add value to your home other than aesthetically and in the personal enjoyment they may bring you. That said, updating an existing fireplace that’s looking old and dated is a great way to add value.


Photos courtesy of Buyers Bootcamp, Moving the McGillivrays & Income Property 


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