5 Regrets (And What I Wouldn't Change) About Our Home Renovation

Starting a home renovation can be really overwhelming... especially if it's your first one! Almost four years ago, Brian and I moved here to east central Illinois and started on the renovation of our first home together. I've said it before on this blog but I really mean it when I say that as a couple, if you can survive a home renovation, you can survive anything! LOL There were a lot of ups and downs, and by that I mostly mean downs during our roller coaster ride of renovations. Basically anything that went wrong did, but in the end it was all worth it and looking at it all 4 years later I wanted to share with you what I regret about our choices as well as what I am so glad we did so that maybe you can take these into consideration during your own home renovation. So lets begin with the regrets. There aren't many but these are one's that I think about the most!


Home Reno Regrets:

  1. Textured Walls. This is probably the biggest regret I have about our home renovation. While this wasn't my choice and was already done before we moved to the house, I really hate the textured walls. While they are good for concealing any flaws in the drywall like scratches or small dings, it's really scratchy and when I am walking down the stairs with my full laundry basket and my bare elbow brushes up against it, it really hurts! Lol Not to mention forget about wallpaper or any sort of wall decals... Thanks to the uneven surface I can't add any cool feature walls and that bums me out because wallpaper is making a huge comeback in interior design right now. Now, you may love textured walls and hate wallpaper and if that's the case, texture away! But I will always prefer smooth over textured walls.

  2. Super Dark Hardwood Floors. This is more of a love-hate. We went with a mocha color for our hardwood on the first floor and I really do love the color but it shows EVERYTHING. Any spec of food or dust and any rainy day paw print from Harley is instantly visible and for a neat freak like me, it's not a pretty combo. Had I known before just how unforgiving dark hardwood really is, I might have chosen a lighter wood for our home.

  3. Playing It Safe. This is another big one for me. I did not trust my gut at all times and instead chose to go the safe route and not take some design chances that I think would've really paid off. For instance when choosing bathroom floor tile I had mentioned a herringbone pattern and the sales rep had advised against it. I think it would've looked really pretty and I regret not trusting my own judgement. Instead I ended up with a generic tile that while yes it's pretty, it could've really brought the space to the next level. So always trust your gut because you know what you like best!

  4. Brown Granite. The brown granite I chose for our kitchen is beautiful I love it and I think it's classic. However lately with the rise of the white kitchen, I really wish I would've chosen a white quartz instead. Originally the plan was to choose a white quartz from Menards however they would've made us do the measuring ourselves which we were not taking a chance on. I had a very specific look in mind and of course could not find anything exactly similar anywhere else. So what did I do? I played it safe and went against my gut and chose the safe brown. Again, I love my kitchen and think it's beautiful but I still don't know why I went against what I originally wanted. I think it's because this was such a big investment and I knew the brown would for sure look great. Lesson learned for next time!

  5. Exterior Outlets. We really do not have a lot of exterior outlets and this is really frustrating at Christmas time when we hang lights. We have to run a couple extension cords to get everything plugged in and until the snow falls, it looks pretty ugly. This will definitely be something we fix in the future.

So there are some of my regrets. These really aren't major, but if I could do it all over again I would change these 5 things about my home. But now lets look at the positives. I want to share with you some of the best things we did during our renovation that I would recommend for yours as well! 

Things I LOVE from our Reno: 

  1. White Fireplace. This is an easy fix that changed the whole feel of the room! The exterior of our house is a rusty brick and the fireplace smack dab in the middle of our family room was the same color brick. When we moved in I knew the first thing we had to do was paint the brick. It only took me about 4 hours of labor to get it painted but it really was worth every minute! It made the room feel so much more open and modern and I have zero regrets about painting it.

  2. Mantel Wall Outlet. This is something I had seen on Pinterest before the renovations started and I knew it was something I needed. An outlet right next to the mantel is so helpful at Christmas when I add lighted garland. Instead of having the cord hanging down to the side it's neatly plugged in next to the fireplace and no one even notices it's there. Trust me if you can do an outlet there, you won't regret it!

  3. Appliance "Garage". Having the appliance garage is really great for keeping our counters free of clutter. We like to keep our coffee pot in there and well as the coffee and extra mugs. It's easily accessible but out of sight which is a win-win to me!

  4. Carpet Color and Quality. Originally when I was looking at carpet I had chosen a very similar shade to what we have now except it was lighter. I am really glad we didn't go with the lighter because it would've showed more dirt and with a dog, I REALLY didn't want that. So I am happy we chose a slightly darker oatmeal specked color and we also went with a higher quality carpet. While it was pricier, it's so incredibly soft and we always get compliments on it from our guests.

  5. Farmhouse Sink. I loveee our farmhouse sink. I always knew I wanted an undermount sink but I wasn't sure if we would do the open farmhouse sink or one with a divider. I am really glad we chose the open farmhouse sink. It's great for washing large pots and pans.

  6. No Galley Kitchen. This was a huge one that I am so glad I stood my ground on. Originally when we got the plans for the kitchen I was told it had to be a galley kitchen and there was nothing they could do about it. Seeing as I've watched countless hours of HGTV shows I knew there was always something that could be done to get what you wanted. So I said that the wall between the kitchen and dining room had to come down to create one large kitchen and it was probably the best thing we could've done during the whole renovation.

  7. Tear Out Old Landscaping. At first Brian was hesitant about tearing out old bushes that the previous owners had planted because he knew how expensive it is to landscape in the first place. But since our house was vacant for a while they had become so over grown and wild that it wasn't worth it to me to try and salvage them. Most of the bushes looked like they were on their last limb and I figured we could choose what we liked and start clean so out they went! Again, no regrets on that one!

  8. New Trim. Another plan I knew I wanted to do when we moved in was paint the oak trim white. Originally we had tried to salvage all the trim so that we could paint it and it just wasn't looking as clean as we had envisioned so we scrapped that idea and bought all new pre-painted trim instead and I think it was a great investment that in the long run saved us from some headaches.

  9. Laundry On First Floor. Originally our washer and dryer was in the basement and we really didn't have a spot for it upstairs due to the current layout so we decided to move to to the first floor. Originally our powder room was a full bath which we really didn't need to so we decided to reduce the size so it only fits a single stall shower and extend the coat closet to make a large laundry closet instead. Yes it would've been nice to have the laundry on the second floor but this is one less flight of stairs I'll have to trek up and down so I am happy with it!

  10. Staircase Paint Job. Another paint project that made a huge impact was the staircase. I chose a darker paint for the railing and white spindles. It really made the space look more modern and open compared to the previous oak color. It took over 24 hours of painting (spindles took the most time) but it was so worth it!


Whew! So there you have it! I know this was a long post so if you made it this far I appreciate you sticking it out! Hopefully you found this post helpful and it gave you some ideas of what to do or what not to do when you tackle your home renovations in the future. So I'd love to know, do you have any home reno regrets or things you did to your home you couldn't imagine living without now? Sound off in the comments below!