Ok. Maybe “regret” is a big word. There’s not much in our home that I regret. Most of the things we’ve purchased and renovated, I love. But, as hard as it is to admit, there are a few design and decor decisions I would have made differently knowing what I know today. Don’t get me wrong, these 10 things don’t make me lose sleep at night, and they are definitely First World problems. But, perhaps this article will make you reconsider a few things when deciding on your future home renovations and decor.
1. Clear glass lighting
Clear glass lights brighten up a space, are subtle, and don’t take up too much visual space. However, they collect a lot of dust, mark easily, and are hard to clean.
Opt for frosted glass instead! That’s what we did a third time around when we purchased our dining room chandelier from Multi Lighting in Ottawa.
2. Black grout
Black tiles paired with black grout offer a sophisticated and modern look. When renovating our guest bathroom a few years ago, we selected a black hexagon floor tile. I wanted an all-black look, so we decided to go with charcoal grout.
However, I didn’t realize at the time that black grout doesn’t stay black for very long. As soon as we started using the washroom, part of the grout became much lighter, which makes the floor look dirty in my opinion (I’m a bit of a neat freak though, so “dirty” is maybe a strong word). Reality is, black grout fades, especially when it is near water and on the floor. Do you know of any tricks to keep black grout dark?
3. Black tiles with no texture
Speaking of those black hexagon tiles in our guest bathroom...Before stating the bad and the ugly, it's important to mention that I still think these tiles are beautiful and of great quality. Nevertheless, like black grout, they are hard to keep clean and easily show footprints.
Fortunately, we don’t have this issue with the other black floor tiles in our home because of their veining, texture, and antiqued surface. Lesson to be learned here: if you are thinking of choosing a black tile for your floor, perhaps look for one with texture or veining, like our Magistra Serenissima tiles purchased at Eurotile in Ottawa.
4. Velvet furniture
I love the luxurious and sophisticated look of velvet furniture; however, I’ve come to notice that it is not the best option when you are a cat owner. Velvet furniture attracts cat hair and dust, it’s hard to clean and it marks easily. I am constantly vacuuming our bedroom velvet bench. If you are a cat lover like I am, perhaps microfiber or nylon are better options.
5. Jute rugs
Jute rugs are made of dried plant fibers, often left in their original tan shade, adding a natural element and texture to a room. However, this texture makes it hard to vacuum and keep clean. Spot cleaners aren’t recommended for cleaning jute, as these may stain or discolor the rug's natural tones. Again, if you are a pet owner, perhaps a polyester rug is a better idea. I’ve come to love Loloi rugs. Check them out on Wayfair; especially the Chris loves Julia line.
6. Rug pads
I went through a few rug pads before finding one that works. I purchased these two from Wayfair and Amazon. Don’t bother. They do not keep the rug in place. Instead, go with a Mohawk Home Felt and Latex Non Slip Rug Pad from Amazon. It is slip-resistant with a rubber side for gripping hard surfaces and it also adds a soft cushion for an extra-plush feel.
7. Straight tension curtain rod
I purchased an adjustable straight tension shower curtain rod from Wayfair for our guest bath. In my experience, tension curtain rods don’t seem to hold up. And there's nothing like taking a shower and having the shower curtain collapse on you as you are soaking wet and trying to get a grip on the situation...Avoid this dilemma and opt for a fixed shower rod instead.
8. Colonial baseboards and trim
One of our first renovations in our home was our basement. We decided to install colonial baseboards and trim because we wanted to match the rest of our home. Now that we’ve renovated the upstairs and added modern-looking West End baseboards and trim from Classic Wood Mouldings in Ottawa, the colonial baseboards look out of place. We should have thought of the future, instead of sticking with what was there.
9. Not replacing the bath when renovating our guest bathroom
I thought renovating our guest bath would be a pretty simple renovation since we were “only” replacing the shower and floor tile. I wanted it to be a budget-friendly renovation, so we decided not to replace the bath. I regret it. In the end, it was a bigger renovation than I had anticipated since we had to replace the Schluter Systems Kerdi-Board Panel and modify the plumbing to accommodate the new shower head. Since we went with a modern-looking floor and wall tile, the old bath looks out of place. We should have saved up a bit more and changed the bath at the same time.
10. This cat
Kidding! We love Boo. But when choosing furniture, it’s hard to find cat-friendly fabrics that won’t attract hair or invite them to scratch. We love our Family Haze sofas from Article; the cats do not scratch the fabric at all, compared to this Mariette Clermont couch (by the way, if you’ve never checked out Mariette Clermont in Montreal, it is so worth it!).
Also, if you don’t want a big cat tree in your living room, I highly suggest the PetFushion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge. Hank and Boo love it! And we can hide it behind the sofa. It does make a bit of a mess, but at least they aren’t scratching our sofas so everyone is happy!