One of the most common tips when selecting design elements for your new home or remodeling project is to choose ‘timeless’ finishes. While excellent advice for the longevity of your investment, it can at times feel boring and you may choose a few ways to add interest.
Decorating trends are good to keep track of, though nowadays they come and go so fast you almost can’t go wrong (as long as you pick what you love). Not to mention trends move in and out at different times depending on what part of the country you live.
However, sometimes what looks beautiful is not very practical. Unfortunately, it can take living with the finished product to realize you have made a big mistake. Even the most logically-minded person can’t fully understand how something will function until they are living with it daily.
Learn from people who have been there already! Before making an investment in remodeling an area of your home, or building something new, ask someone that has the ‘thing’ you are thinking of adding!
Maybe what they have to say won’t discourage you. But it’s worth walking in with your eyes open and knowing what you are signing up for!
Here are a few kitchen design lessons I have learned about or lived to experience. This isn’t to say these are ‘mistakes’ per se. Just know that there are pros & cons to every design decision and it helps to be informed.
The problem: clean-ability. These can look beautiful and fit your design style, but it can be hard to scrub the inevitable splatter from boiling pots & pans!
If you choose to go this route, consider a dark grout color for the mosaic or find a really good sealer to apply to the rock.
They look beautiful, but anything on them gets dusty fast! The typical accessories to display are your pitchers, vases and dishes. You will need to clean everything before using it for food.
Especially if the open shelves are near the stove - grease AND dust gets on them - a horrible combo! And don’t even think about displaying cookbooks here - they will get ruined! (Another common mistake to note: Keep your spices in the dark - putting them on display makes them easy to access, but exposure to constant light will ruin them too.)
Closed cabinets stay clean. If you want the best of both worlds, use some cabinets with a glass front. You can see the decor, but it’s protected. Of course, then you have the glass to clean - but one piece of glass is better than having to clean all of the individual smaller items behind it.
If you are ready to accept the dusting maintenance required, then a few open shelves can work, as long as they are positioned far away from the stovetop.
Another trend that is worth mentioning while we are on the topic of grease that never comes off! Elaborate lanterns and chandeliers over (and around) the kitchen island can become problematic if a stove is nearby.
You know that thin layer of oily dust that settles on your vent hood? It‘s even more of a headache to clean around swirling iron scrolls, glass globes or small intricate crystals that are hanging at an inconvenient height to reach.
I know, this is a controversial one. Many homeowners that cook frequently LOVE their pot fillers. If that’s you, wonderful, skip this part.
If you don’t know what they are - it is a swing-arm faucet above your stovetop to fill pots with water, as shown below. No more carrying heavy pots of water to the stove. BUT, you still have to carry boiling water to the sink to drain, so carrying cold water to the stove seems like a small issue.
The down side of pot-fillers? There is no drain! If it leaks, there’s nowhere safe to send the water. And if you don’t use it for a while, the water can get rusty with no easy way to clear the pipes.
It’s also one more thing to have to clean behind the stove, that interrupts the beautiful clean lines of your backsplash.
Don’t forget, when choosing your expensive design elements (like wood floors, bathroom tile, kitchen countertops etc.), try to stick to timeless selections. Decorating trends change and date your home quickly if you move in the next 10 years.
The cost to tear out and replace all of your floors or cabinets can be prohibitive. It’s not just the material & labor, it’s the disruption remodeling causes and other unforeseen domino-effect issues they can create.
photos taken while touring Southgate builder model home in Frisco, Tx; designer unknown.
Create your bold and unusual design statements with your decor and paint colors. Those can be changed easily, quickly and more often. Not to mention, furniture & decor can be re-sold later when your design style changes.
-The Decorating Coach-
Not confident in your decorating skills? If you are interested in learning professional decorating strategies to use when designing your own home, we can help with that! Click here to learn more about our online coaching and decorating advice.
Get the latest design tips & strategies delivered to your inbox every month.
(Yes, they are FREE & we keep your privacy.)