Whenever I do a Q&A, I always get asked “Do you have any design regrets in your house?” And I always struggle to think of an answer. Overall, despite making some renovation mistakes along the way, I’m really happy with the choices I’ve made because I think most of them work well for the house we’re currently in.
Funny enough, many of the choices are not ones I would make in our next house but not because I don’t like them, but because I purposely chose different items and styles so that I could save some of my favorite design elements for 1) a house we’d be in longer and 2) a house that better fit them, style wise.
But, there are a few elements and process choices I made that I’d go back and reconsider now that I’ve lived with them for awhile. None of them are in a “WOW I HATE THIS!” category, but they are things I’d consider changing if I had an unlimited budget. And I thought it would be fun to share those today! Here we go…
Our Black Fence
To be fair (to myself), we only did a black fence because it was the easiest, cheapest and most durable option. When we re-did our backyard, we had to replace part of our fence and in order to match the old and new we had two options: paint it or stain it dark. Painting would require a lot more labor and be less durable, so staining felt like the best option.
I knew that picking a dark wood stain would be stressful and age in a way I wouldn’t like, so a black stain was our only option. And while I LOVE how the plants pop on it, it’s just too dark for me and I kinda wish we had painted it a light color and just dealt with inevitable touch ups later on!
Wallpaper Near A Kid’s Toilet
LOL. Need I say more? None of you were gonna warn me about this, huh!? I love the tiger wallpaper we chose (it’s no longer available, sadly!) but… now that we’ve potty trained our little dude it’s, well, less than ideal. On top of that, we were in a rush and didn’t bother to level out and smooth the wall it’s on so it’s a bit wonky in general due to our lack of attention to detail there!
I’m not 100% yet but will likely be swapping it and painting the wall blue to play off the tile. I’d love to do a limewash treatment to give it some depth and texture but I imagine that won’t be very wipeable either???? Let me know if you have experience with that!?
Waiting To Decorate Our Most Lived In Room
Why did we wait to do our living room, the room we spend 99% of our time in, last? I don’t know. I think everything else was in more dire need, either it needed renovating or it needed furniture, and with our living room we had furniture from our last place and we just made it work. Except none of the furniture fit properly and for a good 2 (3?) years, you basically walked right into the back of a couch when you opened our door!
It was so awkward when we had people over because we’d have to shuffle them around the couch and I always disliked that the first impression of the house (even for just us, when arriving home) was something that didn’t fit or flow very well. Next time, I’ll be putting my effort into the rooms we spend the most time in FIRST!
Not Committing To A Room’s Purpose
Our second bedroom is one of the largest rooms in our home, and even though we’ve lived here nearly four years… it is STILL not a functional room. We’ve spent so much time changing and debating what this room will be (first it was going to be our room, then a guest room/office, then a nursery, and now a craft room) that we ended up wasting some of the most valuable (and sun-filled!) real estate in our home.
I wish we had just committed to what it needed to be right at that moment and didn’t hesitate anticipating what it might need to be some day. Lesson learned!
(The photo above is when we staged it for my Kip & Co collection launch. Look at that amazing natural light! GAH!)
White Walls That Are… “Too White”
We went with a bright white for our walls, but as my style has evolved a bit, I wish we went a touch warmer. We tested several (as you always should! ESPECIALLY with whites!) and at the time loved the bright white look.
I recently painted a desk in Dunn Edwards’ French White and LOVED the warmth of it. But this was a great learning experience and definitely something I’ll consider when we paint our next home since I still really love a white wall!
Decomposed Granite in Our Backyard
My brother told us not to do this, but we really wanted something to break up all of the turf in the backyard. Well, turns out he was right! I love that I can walk on our patio and turf with no shoes on but the DG is NOT pleasant to walk on with no shoes, and it also looks gross 99% of the time due to weeds popping up and the mass amount of trees dropping stuff on it. I think we’re just too lazy for it… LOL!
I also bought a fire pit without reading any reviews and it barely works… so, read those reviews folks! Sometimes they ARE helpful so this feels a bit like wasted space for our family.
I still love the way that area breaks up the yard, but it’s definitely something we will leave out of future yard plans.
Photos by Jeff Mindell
Do you have any design regrets in your home? What are they?
Now, would you like to see some of my biggest home designs wins?