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Thoughtful Planning Makes a Living Room More Enjoyable

Property Brothers’ offer tips for affordable changes


Jonathan Scott: We're Drew and Jonathan Scott from Property Brothers.

[Jonathan Scott, Property Brother; Drew Scott, Property Brother]

And we have also brought in our property parents, Joanne, Jim, they're the experts.

[Joanne Scott, Mom; Jim Scott, Dad]

They're going to stand in for you guys.

We want to show you a few things you can do around the house to make it your forever home.

[Property Brothers (And Their Mom and Dad) Design Your Forever Home]

[Living Room]

Drew Scott: I like the fact that it's a good sized living room.

If we were renovating this house, I would actually level out the ground here.

You don't need to have that sunken living room if it's going to be a trip hazard for you.

[Eliminate tripping hazards like steps and uneven floors.]

Jonathan Scott: If we clean up the ceilings, get an abundance of light in here, it would feel nice and spacious.

[A skylight makes a room feel bigger by filling it up with light.]

Drew Scott: There's an element in your living room that I know you really love, when you're sitting down, playing cards, or reading a book...

Jim Scott: Fireplace.

Drew Scott: The fireplace.

Don't always just think function.

It's important to think how you like to enjoy a space, as well.

And if you like a fireplace, then put in a fireplace.

Electric units nowadays, you have ones that look like a gas fireplace,

[Gas or electric fireplaces are safer, cleaner, and less hassle than wood-burning.]

easy to install, and it gives you that ambiance.

Have a look at that shag carpet.

I'm pretty sure that's trapping a whole lot of things that will make you sneeze.

So if you're someone with allergies, like myself, I think it's a great thing to make sure you have surfaces that are solid surface.

[Use solid surface flooring and rugs to alleviate allergies.]

You could put some area rugs in, but something that's easier to clean.

Thanks so much for hanging out with us.

I hope we've inspired you to make your house your forever home.

Jonathan Scott: I'm going to take some measurements because I would love to renovate this place.

En español | Living rooms aren’t just for “company.” With inviting sitting areas and thoughtful updates, a den or family room becomes the go-to spot for conversation, crosswording and just chilling. “In a place where you’re sitting down and playing cards, you don’t always focus on function, but it’s important to think how you can best enjoy the space,” Jonathan says.

One tip: Consider modern twists on classic décor touches. If you like a fireplace, electric units look like gas or wood burners, but are safer and better for the environment and your health if you have respiratory problems. “Insurance tends to be cheaper, too, when you’re not burning wood,” Drew says. Likewise, if you suffer from allergies, think about replacing old carpeting — particularly vintage shag — with area rugs. Some newer rugs are made to be thrown in the washing machine. And if you have one of those ’70s-flashback sunken living rooms, it might be time to un-sink it. Says Jonathan: “It’s going to become a tripping hazard, so level it out.” While you’re at it, you might want to clean up those cottage cheese or swirled ceilings you haven’t refreshed since the Ford administration.

As you age, it’s important to free up space for a large turning radius in case a wheelchair ever comes into play. Remove smaller end tables and any tripping hazard, such as speakers or TV cables. (So much can be done wirelessly these days.) Try to keep bookcases under five feet for easier access and to prevent objects from falling. Finally, brighten the space naturally for ambience and energy savings by switching out old-school draperies with translucent shades that let the sun shine on your retirement.

Ideas for Creating Your Forever Home