There’s always something. A finish you wish you had spoken up about, a fine material that just isn’t standing up to the test of time (or children or animals) or (and probably most often) lack of thought-out storage.
Whatever it may be, when we embark on these renovation and interior projects there is often one element you end up regretting. Present day hindsight would be my superpower if I had a choice.
With that in mind, I thought I would share my regrets with you from my current house which we refurbed, refitted, gutted and extended from some damp, cat wee infested walls and rafters.
- Our flooring. Firstly, choosing a dark wood floor when you have a white haired dog is sheer lunacy but I did it anyway. Secondly, it marks. We went for an Amtico to try and avoid the marking and scratching of real wood but it’s not worked for us. Even the hoover marks it. So once you have hoovered the white hairs up and then washed away the lines left by the hoover (and the water, and the dogs paws, and any bare feet.. the list goes on), it looks beautiful for all of 10 minutes.
- A utility. I am sure we could have fitted one in but the husband wanted a full view from the front door to the garden, the utility would have taken this away. I would have happily swapped but he won the argument (you have to give in sometimes) and now I feel much like our kitchen is also a washroom/catchall. Having space to be messy and space to keep tidy is key I feel, especially for open plan living. Otherwise you may as well live in a studio, stick the bed and a bath in for good measure. Maybe that’s a tad dramatic but I’m currently staring at a laundry pile in front of my computer on the kitchen island that’s not going anywhere any time soon…..
- The garden. It’s turned out ok but I wish I had put more cohesive thought into it from the start. I wish I had made a proper plan and stuck to it regardless of budget running thin towards the end of the project, especially with such big glass doors looking out onto it. What I am happy about however, is that I invested in some key mature plants which brought it together faster. I went a bit off piste though and again, wasn’t thinking so much about the big picture and more about individual elements I just ‘wanted’ – I blame that on it being the first garden of our own and getting a tad over excited. Still, this is fine as our next project is re-doing the patio and having a little shift about with plants. Now I know what grows well, where, and how fast things grow I can save money and avoid ‘mis-haps’ (plant murders).
The take away I think, is not to lament too much over a missed opportunity or an ‘If only I had…’. Firstly, just because you’ve finished a project it doesn’t mean the door is closed. You can revisit rooms/areas as much as you want and sometimes (as we are always told) it’s the mistakes that get you to the perfect solution. In design, we are constantly moving things around, trying things elsewhere, adding and subtracting. Don’t feel that you have to keep it just because it was the first idea you committed to, things always look and feel different once they are in place and or being lived in. It’s ok to change your mind. In fact, I would say it can be necessary.