For the most part I think we did a pretty good job of making timeless decisions for our home but there are a few things that I’d change if I could go back in time. Don’t we all have those thoughts at one time or another?
The first regret, and my biggest one: our tub tile. Fortunately this wasn’t an expensive mistake. When I saw that Young House Love did gorgeous penny tile for the kitchen backsplash in their last house I thought we could add in a slightly trendy element into our home because usually I choose the safe and classic option. And now I regret it… I tried to be trendy but I like classics in my home. Even more than the trendiness of them I HATE all the grout. The grout is so much more difficult to get clean than the tile and there are a few small spots that I can’t get this brown film off no matter what I clean it with (any suggestions? I’ve done Bar Keeper’s Best Friend and my favorite mold / mildew cleaner).
Our current bath was AJ’s second tiling experience and he wanted to do sheets of tile so we got the penny tile at Overstock for pennies (no pun intended). I initially wanted subway tile but they only came in individual tiles then… and now, in time for our flip, they are now sold in sheets at Home Depot… it makes the job so much easier for the tiler. Below is the photo of the flip’s tub done with Oyster Gray grout, I love that simple and classic combo.
My next regret was our stairway. We purchased an old set of exterior balusters from a local antique haunt and AJ completely reworked them to fit on our stairway. We’d never do that again. It was a pain for AJ and now they are a very frustrating to clean because we never completely stripped them of the old paint… if you’ve ever attempted to clean something that is new paint over chippy paint you get it… there are all sorts of spots for dust and dirt to collect.
Regret three includes two things in our kitchen. First, our marble counters. I had to have them. Ohhhh did I have to have them. Even with people warning me.
I don’t think I’d do them again. They are gorgeous and I adore the combo of the marble counters and white cabinets. It is clean and classic… but they are high maintenance.
We have water rings everywhere even when we try to be careful about wiping them up. When we bought the counters there were no good substitutes out there. Now, as I’m researching counters for the new house I’ve discovered some quartz that is incredibly similar to the marble with zero maintenance. We paid $90 / square foot for the marble and the quartz I just discovered and loved is $72… not cheap but a better deal for practically zero maintenance.
My second kitchen regret is not completely framing in the fridge. I unfortunately didn’t know enough to tell the cabinet designer that we wanted a tall piece for the fridge that was fridge depth not counter depth so that the black side of the fridge doesn’t poke out (a bigger board would be much cheaper than a counter depth refrigerator). Is it a big deal, no, but the kitchen would look a lot more custom if it was completely built in and it wouldn’t have cost us much more money.
Regret Four: Not tackling the outside of our house sooner. It was a little depressing to drive up to this sad exterior when we had a very clear picture of what we wanted it to look like:
We didn’t have the money to do it any sooner because we made the kitchen and bathroom bigger priorities but it was incredible how much more we liked our home, and felt a real sense of pride and ownership toward it once we added our front porch.
I wish we’d tackled the carpet in the kids’ rooms sooner. It’s amazing how much more finished our upstairs looks without painted, and scratched, linoleum floors. We didn’t do anything for their floors until we knew we were going to leave because we had plans for a possible addition and we didn’t want to spend money laying a carpet we’d just rip up… but now I wish we’d laid it because the carpets only cost us $350.
I love going back to process our regrets, and the things that we’ve absolutely loved about our home… especially before moving and figuring out priorities for the new house. What are your biggest regrets from your home? Or what are your best decisions?