Author Topic: What to do with a formal living room?  (Read 680 times)

callison15

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What to do with a formal living room?
« on: October 05, 2017, 08:51:02 AM »
We're currently doing some renovating to our house and aren't really sure what to do with the formal living room.  My house is a 2 story square house.  The downstairs is divided into 4 rooms.  The left side has the dining room and kitchen, the right side has a den and a formal living room.  And there is a staircase and half bath in the middle.  Which option do you think adds more value to the house?  Option 1 is to take the wall down between the den and living room and open the space up.  I would need two columns as it's a load bearing wall, but I have a contractor in mind and he's already looked at the space.

Option 2 is to turn that living room into the 5th bedroom.  It has a closet so if I added doors to the entry way it could be classified as a bedroom.  I would add french doors with curtains or blinds over them for privacy.  Both options have their plusses.  Option 1 would create that open concept that everyone (myself included) seems to like.  But Option 2 would give a bedroom on the main floor, and a 5th bedroom.  It also wouldn't cost anything as I would add the french doors myself.  It wouldn't quite be as large as the master bedroom, but it would become the second largest bedroom.

What do you think?  We're not planning on moving anytime soon, but we're renovating now and want to go ahead and make a decision.  Which option do you think adds the most value?

Thanks in advance!

patchyfacialhair

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Re: What to do with a formal living room?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 10:54:30 AM »
It really depends on the type of people in your area, but I'd open it up. Big rooms are usually more impressive to most buyers. It sounds like it shouldn't cost too much.

Unless...you could also make that half bath on the main level at least a 3/4 bath...basically adding a small shower stall. In that case...do that, and put a 5th bedroom where the formal living room is...boom, you now have main level living, which is usually a pro for an aging buyer or a buyer looking for a "forever" home.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: What to do with a formal living room?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 11:00:09 AM »
For me, too, both options (open living area; mainfloor bedroom) are attractive. But, I would go with mainfloor bedroom and possibly expanded bathroom. I'm actively looking, and am fed up with all the places that stuff all the bedrooms on a top floor, with wasted space on the main.

Could a local realtor tell you what's more sought after in your area? (In my HCOLA, an extra bedroom -especially one away from the others- is a big boon, for those who want to rent out space while preserving owner rights.)

Lmoot

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Re: What to do with a formal living room?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 08:52:15 PM »
Couldn't you do both? Take some of the formal to make a small bedroom and expand the bathroom to include a shower or bath, and take the rest and add it to the den. A large open room for a house with even 4 bedrooms is a plus. If you add a 5th, would all presumably  5 people and a few extra, fit in the den? Number of bedrooms can add value, but only if the rest of the house can comfortably support that many.

MommyCake

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Re: What to do with a formal living room?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 03:27:07 AM »
I would go with the extra bedroom.  That way a new buyer can use the space however they like... many people like to have an extra room dedicated for office space, workout room, etc.  It's also probably the least expensive option, as the rooms are already divided - and a new buyer can always open up the space and renovate if they choose. 

callison15

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Re: What to do with a formal living room?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 04:47:47 AM »
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Unless...you could also make that half bath on the main level at least a 3/4 bath...basically adding a small shower stall. In that case...do that

Yeah, and that is a viable option.  The half bath has a really large closet that I think would make a perfect stand up shower.  It's also next to the wall that contains the plumbing going to an upstairs bathroom.  I would lose some storage, but I don't think it's a big deal as I would still have some under the sink. 

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Could a local realtor tell you what's more sought after in your area? (In my HCOLA, an extra bedroom -especially one away from the others- is a big boon, for those who want to rent out space while preserving owner rights.)

I haven't found one that I trust yet.  Even the realtor I worked with to buy the house doesn't really know what she's talking about.  I asked her the same question, and she said neither adds value as it doesn't add to the square feet and overall size of the house.  She said the addition of an additional bedroom which increases the sqft would add value...I didn't feel like arguing with her.

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Couldn't you do both? Take some of the formal to make a small bedroom

I don't see how I could given the layout.  I risk either losing the closet or having a really wonky layout. 

Thanks for the replies, seems like it's an easy option.  I'll take out the closet in the half bath and put in a shower, and add french doors to make that a bedroom.  Lmoot does make a good point, and I do think 5 people easily fit into the den.  We routinely have 4 adults and 2 kids in the room, and I've had quite a few more in there at once.  Thanks all, appreciate the advice!

MayDay

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Re: What to do with a formal living room?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 08:25:02 AM »
I'd do french doors and make it a bedroom or office or still a living room or or or.

Once it is open, you can't do any of that things. Just because you put french doors on doesn't mean you are committed to it being a bedroom.
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