Saturday, January 2, 2010

Costly mistakes?



HOLYHUDSON recently posted this comment:


Will you think hard and see if you have anything to add to my latest post?
http://holyhudson.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-biggest-design-or-renovation-mistake.html

I want to gather helpful, funny stories from as many bloggers as possible. I feel like you think long and hard about your decisions (and have a pretty enviable budget) so you may have avoided any royal f'ups. But maybe you have something to contribute?



This is a great question. Honestly, the biggest way we avoided costly mistakes was by not doing anything major for the first 4 years we lived in the house. This is my first house and I didn't know anything about remodeling or even, say, patching plaster. So we did nothing. It was very frustrating not being able to make big changes, but I am so glad we just lived with the house as it was for a while while I figured out what I really wanted. During this time, I saved a good chunk of money. This helped later on when it was time to update the kitchen. This way, I didn't have to cut corners on things I wanted to splurge on like the counter and the faucet.

KITCHEN MISTAKES
But I did make other mistakes. Lots of them. We didn't figure out under-cabinet lighting before we started the project and we still don't have them. I did ask the contractor to wire for it, but that part is left unfinished. Amateur move on my part. Not paying enough attention to lighting at the start of the project was my biggest mistake. So now, when people at work talk about doing their kitchens, I tell them 2 things: (1) figure out your lighting first and (2) splurge on your faucet if you having something special in mind (you will be touching it ALL the time, so buy exactly the one you want once you've saved for it).


COLOR MISTAKES
The other mistake I have made (or currently am making, really) is not making a color plan for the whole house at one time. I am not great with color and I've made several mistakes already. I should have sucked it up and hired someone to help with that early on. But, it's kind of a catch 22, because 5 years ago, hiring a color expert or designer was not in the cards and now it's possible. So, you know, maybe ask a friend with good design sense to help you figure it out if hiring someone is not an option at the moment.


GO SLOWLY
The other mistake I would have made if I'd had the money to do it back then would have been decorating the place all at once. I am certain I would be regretting furniture purchases made five years ago if budget hadn't kept me from making them at the time. My taste is kind of settling in. I am more sure of the things I like, less excited about trends, and more interested in buying things I will have for a very long time.


This is a great topic, so thanks for throwing the question out there.

What mistakes have you made? Any advice to give a new homeowner? Post them to comments below or post them on HOLYHUDSON.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

It always helps to have a vision. Remember is doesn't have to be written in stone, but it does give you some reference points. You don't even have to have an architect for this. There are professionals who consult on space planning who can walk into a house and see possibilities which require often only modest changes to achieve big impact. Don't worry to early about color. Allow your fabrics, lighting and furniture dictate what the rooms call for. If the only mistake you ever make is wall color, you will be way ahead of the design game. It sounds like you have been wise to save first, design later. It is less frustrating that way. On faucets - remember when choosing a "live" finish, that finish will change with use, i.e., oil rubbed bronze, aged copper, etc. It's best to stay with the tried and true. Post some pictures of your project. It really may not be too late to install puck lighting under the cabinets. It all depends on your layout. Good Luck

Alison said...

Hey Decorno, Happy New Year! I'll share a costly mistake I didn't make: you know how every girl has gay friends, but there's a main gay who sits on top of the mountain? My main gay died in his sleep Christmas eve with no warning. Here's the mistake I never made--I told him I loved him constantly for 24 years. I knew you would understand. I've renovated a few places--measure everything several times, keep doing the math on your budget, run everything by your main gay, AND HOLD HIM TIGHT!!!

Anonymous said...

eBay mistakes.

Biggest problem: Not measuring before I bought. Especially a problem with smaller items, like lamps, accessories, little sculptures and what-have-you, etc.

My basement is FULL of oversized crap.

DesignAddict said...

I have a list, (shameful, but true):
1. not researching finishes for lifestyle compatability. I brought polished nickel fixtures for my new bathroom. The spots, darkening, etc. are now driving me kind of crazy. I have several more years before I can justify replacing them, so we make do. My husband JUST forgave me since they were driving him bat-crazy.
2. multiple flooring in the family room: my family room has had vinyl peel and stick tiles (I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry...I would tell you why, but really, there is not GOOD reason so why bother speaking of it), carpet and now, finally, hardwood floors. I wanted hardwood floors all along, but went with these temporary solutions. Money, time and effort wasted.
3. Not thinking about the entire house before making any permanent decisions. I would love to expand my family room, but that would require ripping out those hardwood floors...if I had given that some thought, maybe I would not be kicking myself right now thinking my family room is too small and there is nothing I can do about it, especially since I have already remodeled the sun porch that I would be expanding into for the family room space.

My advice: don't do what I did, at least with the examples above. Now, I have done some things really right, but you didn't ask about the triumphs.

Amy said...

This is such a good question! I have to say, I'm glad I started reading design blogs so long before we moved into this house - it's really helped me make decisions over the past few months.

My kitchen is in DIRE need of a gut renovation but I'm kind of glad we don't have the money right now. I think it's the one room in the house you really have to put a lot of thought into and live in before doing anything drastic. So that's what I'll be pondering over the next year or so.

I knew exactly what I wanted as far as dark floors, woodwork painted white. So that's what we're concentrating on for a while. Wall colors I kind of have an idea. But any new furniture purchases might have to wait awhile!

us said...

Loving you like mad right now.
Thanks for posting this. Your thoughtful answer was crazy-helpful. Just the idea of a full house color plan is really overwhelming to me. But I can get down with the concept in a vibey kind of way - like asking, how do I want to feel overall in my home? I personally know that I want to feel peace and calm (whereas lots of my friends want to be stimulated or inspired). So that helps me know to keep it all in the grey or greigey family. Honestly I could be happy with every wall a different shade of grey - there are so many. But sitting down with an artist friend and laying out a color plan is a great idea, and probably a fun way to spend a cold afternoon.
Thanks again!

boops said...

i'm too afraid to even start to tell you the truth. i tend to like a variety of styles and can never seem to make up my mind and settle on anything. i've purchased furniture and accessories that i would later re-sell or give away because of my decorating ADD. i'm starting to annoy myself.

Shelley said...

MY mistakes-?- I chose the wrong area rugs for my master bedroom because I was
in a hurry. I should have given myself more time. I also I wish I had considered these concealed cabinets:
http://www.concealedcabinet.com/
Medicine cabinets with NO mirror - you can use your own art. I wish I'd put these in every bathroom
and also one in my garage entry hall for keys!
Like you say Decorno, I say to new home owners to go slowly and not rush out
and buy a lot of things at once. Live in your new space for awhile and get the "feel" of it.

I also say unless you are really good with color get help. I HAD HELP WITH MY COLORS. I MET WITH A 'COLOR CONSULTANT' AND SHE HELPED ME. TOGETHER WE CHOSE 8 COLORS FOR MY NEW HOME. WE DID THIS IN AN HOUR AND A HALF. BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT. I KNEW COLOR IS HUGE AND MAKES SUCH A DIFFERENCE. SHE WAS VERY REASONABLE AND SHE HELPED ME SELECT COLORS I LIKED AND THAT GO TOGETHER WELL. SHE TOOK ALL THE FEAR OUT OF CHOOSING COLOR AND MADE IT FUN.
-Shelley in San Diego

Tried and True said...

OK, Decorno, I have to address this, but it may not make it to your blog...
Alison, sorry to hear about your main gay, but really, do you have any idea how pejorative that is?
There is a reverse prejudice going on here that is just as evil as someone who hates the gays.
Gays are people, stop all this "Love the Gays" bullshit, because it is completely dehumanizing. Gays are not cute little puppies. They are people who are have sex with their own sex. Nothing magical there.
I know gays that have the shittiest taste ever, homes are awful, couldn't dress themselves if their life depended on it. Fifty-year old men wearing fucking Abercrombie tank tops.
Anyone old enough to recognize it will see this "Love your Gay" thing is nothing more than a retread of the episode of "Maude" where she hires Florida to be her maid. Gays are the blacks of the seventies, and all the hip sophisticated white chicks want you to know that they just LOOOOOOVE them. How could they possibly decorate without them?
Stop.

Cote de Texas said...

my biggest mistake is not buying the sofa in that picture - it's gorgeous.

decorno - will we ever get to see your kitchen? I don't remember seeing the final pictures - am I wrong? it seems like the last ones I saw were from when you were almost through. I would love to see how it all turned out. and on that note - will you ever show pictures from Italy? just curious.


Joni

Anonymous said...

Art - purchased several 'machine painted' repros based on color for the kitchen / breakfast room. It gave off a MidWest Greek family restaurant vibe. Plastic ivy over the doors would have fit so well (cream soup / wilty salad / heavily breaded entrée / and jello for dessert).

Kitchen chairs - I purchased six sleigh chairs from an online office supply. They were very expensive and very cheap. They also added to that restaurant vibe.

Bathroom renovation - I paid extra for great materials, but I did the work myself. It looks like shit. The shower stall tile color is not uniform because I didn't know to match production codes. The tin ceiling tiles I installed as a border now look like they've been licked by a dog - at least they match my faucet and every other metal surface in the room. I chose vinyl for the floor because I hate cold floors. This bathroom is the warmest room in the house. I could have gone with tile.

Back stairway - My first project was to install a 'carpenter stair' (a semi-circular stair that accommodates odd rise/run) to replace some oddball steps from the kitchen to the back door / basement. My dad can barely fit his fat feet on these stairs plus the area gets zero heat. I should have built out and installed a real stairway.

Upstairs - I installed laminate flooring over scary pink confetti vinyl (asbestos?) tile. It's been four years and this shit is not holding up - chips. I should have paid for real wood flooring and installation.

Vinyl windows - I bought the place with half vinyl windows and half aluminum windows. I upgraded all the drafty old ones. Now I have to fiddle with each one to make it stay open or closed. Using newspaper to clean them leaves smudges all over that white plastic crap. I miss old wood windows with real storms!

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the "don't do everything at once" advice. Professionally designed rooms typcically look more put together because they were planned "at once." Paint colors, finishes and furniture were selected to all work cohesively instead of adding one thing at time over a period of time. Of course there are exceptions where this organic approach looks great but you have to have the skills to make this work. Pre-planning a room or a whole house can end up saving so much time and money and give you a better result. The key here is to not rush it and put the time into coming up with the best design before you spend any money!

Brigitte said...

Tried and True - Seconded. Alison's comment was incredibly offensive (unintentionally, I'm sure).

But onto the discussion. My biggest mistake was doing the exact opposite of what Decorno suggests. I painted my entire condo before I even moved in. Lovely pallet, not at all suited to my home. Now, three years later, I've repainted virtually every room, and finally don't regret my decision to buy the place.

Anonymous said...

marble sink vanity - stains suck on there. i wouldn't even mind it as a kitchen island top (a wine glass stain can just make it look more lived-in), but makeup etc. stains on the vanity aren't so pretty...

AppleTree said...

Husband: Are you sure you want to move the cable jack to this wall?

Me: I'm sure.

Husband: Are you sure this entertainment center is not too big?

Me: I'm sure

Husband: You won't want to move it back to the other wall later?

Me: Nope. Promise, this will make the whole room better.

2 weeks later...

Me:It is hard to watch the tv over there, it is not as cozy.

Husband: Don't even start with me

Me: what would it take to move it back?

Husband: a year of (unbloggable)

Me:this is good.

Anonymous said...

HI

I don't think enough people really imagine a decision before implementing it. So often we think thinking is imagining or we remember an image of something we really want, used in another context.. but to really take a moment to shut your eyes and imagine the outcome can be very valuable.

David said...

I haven't made any errors yet, but we've only been here since october, and we're concentrating now on systems. I'm thrilled that we're close to having the fuse boxes replaced with breaker boxes, which is both tragic and hilarious.

What I have learned is that it's good to live in a space before you do anything to it. At only 2 months we've already learned that some of the ideas we had when we moved in aren't optimal, and better solutions are in the works.

Anonymous said...

Tried and True--have to agree. (Except for the "just as evil as someone who hates the gays" part. It's patronizing, not "evil").

But I'm sure Alison meant no offense, and I'm sorry she lost a dear friend.

Back to the topic: Biggest mistake in this house: Not refinishing the floors before I moved in. It's really the only way to do it: when the house is completely empty, and no one is living in it.

Anonymous said...

"Professionally designed rooms typcically look more put together because they were planned 'at once.' "

True, but that's a kind of "put together" that not everyone wants. It can look synthetic.

Penelope Bianchi said...

OH what a good question. IT IS THE ONLY QUESTION!

I have been a professional (as opposed to the various and sundry other kind..and that is not an insult)

My first thing I tell prospective clients is......"Mistakes are costly!" My design fee is "costly; also! However.....you will save a lot of money in the long run".

I charge a "design fee" up front!

It ranges from $10,000.00 to $200,000.00.

It is payable up front. (I have been in business for 40 years.....)

It pays to hire a professional. One will save you money. You won't pick the wrong thing and have to replace 3 times.

I haven't read these comments about "costly mistakes" but I have kind of an idea about them. I have been hearing about them my entire career! And correcting them!

It even makes me sad to be putting the 3rd floor down in a space.....because the client thought the guy at the floor surface store knew! (I am sure some do! )
Mistakes are very, very costly

It makes me really sad to go to a new client's house....and hear that.......story. And SEE that it is all wrong.....and they know it........and have to tell them why.

the end of my story!

Penelope

ps: ebay mistake anonymous: put that stuff on ebay and sell it again! get it the hell out of your basement! way too depressing! You can hire someone if you don't want to do it yourself........get it out of there! It will hold you back!

FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

Hey, Decorno, I recently wrote about going slowly when decorating as well. It really is the best advice and I'm trying my best to heed it in my new place. It's tempting to run out and just get/do everything at once but I've learned that it really pays to take your time. Happy new year to you!

madaboutchairs said...

I was persuaded to stain the floors dark before we moved in. The apartment has pretty high ceilings and the walls are some shade of off-white, so I thought it would be ok. A mistake, because I couldn't visualize it, and it makes the space look darker now. I didn't think about the amount of natural light needed to off-set the dark floors.

People come in and compliment the floors but I am not able to get used to them at all. I remember having some doubts about the dark stain, but my husband was so much in favor that I didn't say much. Should have gone with my instincts.

Now it's too much trouble to re-do it. I have no rugs so maybe that's why the floor color hits me afresh, every time I walk into the apartment. It's trivial but it has never stopped bothering me.

Decorno said...

Hi Joni - I never showed final pictures of the kitchen because it's not totally done, honestly. We plan to put in a small built-in seating area in the nook, but we got another dog and that area is now theirs, really. So, I'm kinda in limbo on that part.

As for Italy, I may post some photos in the next weeks. I didn't take spectacular photos, so you might be underwhelmed. :) But with the weather so lousy in Seattle it might be a good time to go down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

Costly mistake, Cote de Texas?

You should have included your Christmas post. It was just plain ugly!

Jackie

Shelley said...

oh i agree with the first poster that you have to have a general plan. a 'vision'. and it can be adjusted as you go along - but you need to know where you are heading. When I read Decorno's Jan 10th '09 post about design renovation and home
bibles we were 3 months away from finishing up the building of our new home.
i was actually doing what Decorno said to do and had been since we began rebuilding after the
0ct 2007 fire. to read her suggestions confirmed that I was on the right track-!

the fire victim recovery center organized many meetings for us [ fire victims ] and
at one get together --last Feb. -- an interior designer spoke about "how to be
your own interior designer ".

This designer gave us a handout called "creating a concept for your home" .
She had some good suggestions and I did not disagree with anything she said to do because she basically
was giving us a 'method' to implement in doing your own interiors and
I was pleased to discover that I actually had followed her method without
knowing much about interior design planning. She told us you probably know more than you
think you do. She said to do what Decorno had written on her blog-- and what I was doing--get a binder and tear out
magazine pictures. THE DESIGNER SAID YOU WANT TO DEVELOP AN OVERALL DECORATING CONCEPT BASED ON COLOR, THEME & FURNISHINGS SO THAT YOUR HOME IS COHESIVE AND UNITED FROM ONE ROOM TO THE OTHER.
She said print out photos from blogs & websites
and tear the pages from magazines....photos of rooms you love.
Put these pictures in plastic sleeves in the binder and when you have the resources, go to you binder
to look at the style/colors/feel of these for inspiration. Keep photos of things you DO NOT like in a special section.
To help remind you what you do not like.
Make a copy of your floor plan and keep it in the binder. Make a special sleeve for paint color chips. Visit paint stores
and select paint chips of colors you feel "drawn" to. You are training your eyes! The designer said that this
is how you go about creating your own personal "concept page". The pictures of rooms with color schemes
and furnishings you like have to be reflected upon and sifted through over time until
you have settled on a group of images that seem to have the same style--your favorite style and/or colors.
She said stick with this 'concept' as it will be vital for assisting you with creating a look that is fluid throughout
your house. This is important because we all have a variety of likes and
dislikes, even designers - but not all of our likes
will work together in one room --or even one house. i'm thinking most people reading here already know this.

I HAD HELP WITH MY COLORS. I HAD A CONSULTATION WITH A GREAT 'COLOR CONSULTANT' and that was a wonderful thing.

someone posted that not enough people really imagine a decision before implementing it because we think thinking is imagining or we remember
an image of something we really want, used in another context.. and i agree it is so important to really take a moment to shut your eyes and imagine the outcome...i agree..very well said!

Anonymous said...

That is great advice, Alison.

Susan said...

I've made plenty of mistakes in the over 35 years I've been a homeowner. Most of all, I would advise to take your time and know how you want to use a particular space.

Look at many magazine photos/blogs and save your favorite images --and plan your space based on what you love.

Cynthia said...

Go slowly, go slowly, go slowly!! The one room in my house that I hate is the one that I rushed to finish because my parents were visiting a few months after we moved in. (I'd also never decorated a house before.)
I went with everything that "went together",to make it easy and picked things that were too trendy. 3 years later I'm slowly undoing the damage. Slowly! Thoughtfully!

I spent a year planning a kitchen renovation and it came out great.
Lesson learned.

Color consultant = money well spent. It did create a cohesive palette and I'm so glad I did.

Anonymous said...

I second madaboutchairs.

I had very dark wood floors in my previous house and never liked them. People would say "Oooh, dramatic!" but they didn't have to live with them. The darkness was oppressive and gloomy. Plus they showed every speck of dust.

With the right architecture and light and furniture they'd probably work, but I don't know what that magic combo is, and unless you're sure, keep your wood stain in the light-to-medium range.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, who cares?

Penelope Bianchi said...

Hi! Interesting post! Fascinating!

Again, I get so confused with these Anonymous......please number or something yourselves. Some are so, so knowledgeable and helpful.......and then there is the terrorist.....(the one who torpedoed Cote de Texas) SHAME ON him/her!
(mean....shallow....and not constructive , in my opinion)

my advice to most people; If you aren't a decorator......find one and HIRE him or her. They will save you all the expensive mistakes.....and will make your house heaven!



Moving right along....loved Shelley's post. Our house burned down in Pasadena in 1982........quite a trauma. However; it was an individual house fire. I took an entire year off my decorating and rebuilt it! Our insurance was great.......and it was a very positive experience! (not the fire.....the rebuilding!)

Our three daughters learned a lot!!

I now live in Santa Barbara.....and we have had two devastating fires in the past year. I am going to find out how I can help those who lost their houses in the way she described! I am embarrassed I didn't think of it myself!

The "anonymous" who suggest the "vision" is 100% right in my view!!

wonderful blog!

I would request the torpedoes be silenced.....but I don't have a blog....so I don't get to be bossy!

Penelope Bianchi said...

OH Lordy! I have to say a few more things.......(I could never make it on Twitter!)

anonymous jan 2nd at 6:31 or something......

BRILLIANT! THE FUNNIEST thing I have ever read.....and I have been in this biz for 40 years!

YOU NEED TO START A REALITY SHOW!

You are much funnier......(I don't watch...but I do read about them)

You will be the very best one!

Hilarious!

Penelope

John said...

Decorno you hit it on the head...live in the space first! See how you use it, save your money up and then proceed. Most of us can pull together a room that looks decent enough to get us through.
Thankfully the only bad decision I regretted was painting a bedroom "you'll never get laid in here" blue(I don't know what the fuck I was thinking.) I saved myself money by mixing it to grey and repainting. I still have nightmares about that color.

Anonymous said...

Penelope wrote:

"If you aren't a decorator......find one and HIRE him or her"

Here's the question: how do you find one? I haven't a clue. My biggest fear is contacting a decorator who is way out of my league. As in, "No, I'm sorry, I don't work in dumpy little houses like yours".

I'd love to see a post on this.

Anonymous said...

John wins best comment.

Shelley said...

perhaps in this economy, many designers are happy to work on "little" houses--?--
i think maybe the best way is you have to know someone whose home interiors you love and ask them for their designer's name. or ask around at your local high end furniture places--??-- and if you find one that way, ask the designer to show you her "portfolio" [??].

the designer at our fire victim meeting gave us a 5 page handout called "creating a concept for your home" and she said the pictures on the first
page were of a home she thought was very "nice" and maybe from
a design standpoint it was, but it was way too severe and modern for me...and I know designers are supposed to
give you the design YOU want and love but it doesn't always work out that way. 15 years ago i called a designer
to help me with redoing the master bedroom - in the house that burned. a real estate lady
we knew and liked recommended her. i had never seen any of her work however and i
ended up spending a lot of money for a room i did not like. but we lived with it! so if you get
a recommendation, always ask to see photos of their work.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that the Anon who posted on CDT is the same Anon who gave you the good advice about having a vision? Perhaps, the lack of vision in some of CDT's posts give rise to some of the response. I don't know who the terrorists are you referred to, but I do recall seeing two of CDT's nephews referred to as such by none other than Joni Webb on her own website. Get your facts straight before posting.

Anonymous said...

The Anon post of 3:15 is in response to Penelope Bianchi of 11:03. Sorry for the possible confusion.

Anonymous said...

White slipcovered custom sectional sofa. I love the look in magazines. The whole sisal rugs, white slipcovers, natural, serene ... and it looks beautiful in LA where I live with all the sun, but not with barefoot children and dogs. I could just kill the editors of country living magazine for seducing me with all those beautiful photos ....

bonheur du jour said...

While building my new house, time came to choose the fixtures & finishes, and I chose wall to wall carpeting, even though I had a whole slew of indoor pets (at the time it was 4 dogs and a cat). The carpets were nice, for a couple years. My bedroom had pure white carpet, which was lovely, and I still miss it.

I thought wall to wall carpets were a luxury because I'd always lived in old houses with wood floors & they were cold. Live and learn...

Madame Sunday said...

I once heard that a project is usually twice your original budget and thrice the timeline - unfortunately that tends to be true without proper planning and budgeting. I agree with Decorno - live in it awhile and save your money and come up with a plan. If you can do it all at once - great. Most people can only afford one room/project at a time in which case design until completion in that one area!! That way you can have one finished sanctuary where you can go and shut the door to the rest of your renovation nightmare, have a cocktail and pat yourself on the back for what an awesome job you did. It'll be a much needed morale booster for the rest of your projects.

Penelope Bianchi said...

OH Lordy!

I just beg you anonymouses......anonymii" to get together and number yourselves. some of you are hateful! some are constructive!

sure am glad I don't have a blog. It takes courage!
I use all of mine in my business!

Shelley!

my suggestion is to find a decorator by referrals...See someone's house you like....talk to friends....and even the internet is a great way to see someone's work before you hire!

I think there are lots of young decorators......(or assistants of decorators) who would love to take small jobs in this economy!

what I love about these design blogs is there is so much to learn!

What I don't love is the sniper mentality. I hope it will be edited out! Nothing constructive there!

Just mean.

ps Penelope is my real name. you anonymous people need to number or name yourselves. Or....I can just vacate the blog! Bye!!

Anonymous said...

"Or....I can just vacate the blog! Bye!!"

Yeah, I don't see this happening, frankly.

Erika said...

The couple of posts about mistakes of too-dark floors are making me think I should have gone with my gut too! I love the sun-drenched, bleached-out wood floor look. I took the advice of my designer and went with dark brown. Like others, everyone comments on how beautiful they are, but I think it does make the place look darker than it should. No re-doing now.

Erika said...

Did want to add that the same designer helped me pick out colors for the whole house. We were doing a gut job so we picked out all the colors at once, including paint for cabinetry. That part of the job turned out amazing.

MoreSkinnyDays said...

I have solid dark walnut floors and a white Labrador--I love them both--and buy Swiffer refills en masse! Every who comes to the house comments on the beautiful dog and beautiful floors.

I wouldn't say my design mistakes have been costly, but for awhile I kept buying awful, wobbly, wrought iron occasion tables and, wine, CD, and magazine racks.

M said...

Buying all my furniture at once and not waiting for truly unique eBay/flea market/craigslist finds.

Does anyone know where that pillow (picasso like) from the picture can be found?
I found it in the KOPELSON-DUNHAM HOME on the peter dunham website but it doesn't seem to be one of their products. Any help much appreciated

Halcyon House said...

First...great post HolyHundson/Decorno. One of the best ways to learn are from mistakes made (hopefully someone else's, not your own).

I know I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said, but I guess I wanted to reiterate some of the great points made.

Anon 1:35 (and others)...you are so right. One of the most important things I learned in design school was developing a strong concept (i.e., vision). Second, when given the opportunity never-ever-ever compromise on lighting. Measure, measure, measure...and then measure again. Take your time, be patient, and save your money for something that you love (not something someone else loves), instead of something that'll do.

My biggest mistake...hummm...probably misreading a measurement for a window treatment for a client. Luckily, it was a small window and I always order extra fabric, because you never know.

Oh, my other one...letting (;-)) my husband have an opinion on color...it is the bane of my existence.

hoechstetterinteriors said...

The single biggest mistake was putting in Formica flooring (just another brand like Pergo, only it was a lot nicer at the time). This stuff is so slippery that both my last elderly dog, my new puppy, and I have all just about killed ourselves on it repeatedly.

The idea was to have a floor that would hold up better to my dog's too-long nails, to not have to refinish the whole thing if one part did get damaged, and to be able to match the color if part had to be replaces. Alas, a) it didn't work out that way anyways, and b) the slipperiness factor has outweighed any benefit.