This will help you avoid renovation and decor regrets – and deal with when it happens


Confession: I’ve wanted a chaise longue all my life. Chalk it up Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda in “The Lady Eve” on a cuddle. A chaise longue always seemed like a very comfortable place to sit for an adult. It also has a chic French name.

At some point I bought a chaise longue … which took up too much space in my living room and blocked an entrance. In the end, Chaise longue means “long chair”. And yes, this chair was really long, as was the lingering sting of my buyer’s remorse.

Unfortunately, when faced with a big design decision, those regrets will show up at some point. This will avoid disappointment and will help you navigate through the state if you already have it.

Why does the buyer repent?

The reason the buyer’s remorse is pretty simple: people tend to get upset when the reality of a design decision doesn’t match their dreams.

Buyer’s remorse will usually surface when making big decisions on the fly. For example, repainting a room can lead to massive regrets if the cute pink color you chose in the gradient look like a gauche neon once it’s on four walls.

“You may love a color in a store or online, but the color will look different in your surroundings and in natural lighting,” explains Amanda M. Amato-Scotto, CEO and Principal Designer at AMA Designs & Interiors in Wallington, NJ. “So for color, always make a test sample on a poster box and hang it on your wall. Live with the paint for a few days and check the sample at different times of the day. “

When it comes to furniture – especially large furniture like a sofa – people are often disappointed with the size of their home, says Amato-Scotto.

Amato-Scotto recommends spatial planning before committing to new furniture. For example, tape the furniture on the floor with painter’s tape. And when you can clean up boxes, stack them at the level of the new part for a 3D effect.

You can also find your furniture in an app such as Plan your room. (Ditto to see how that Paint color looks on your walls.)

Take baby steps

Never rush to do a home renovation as it increases the chance of feeling remorseful. And don’t tackle an extensive renovation project right away, but tackle it in individual parts. Not only is it more practical, but it can also reduce possible repentance.

“It’s much easier to start a renovation with just a small step or two than it is to be fully committed from the start and buy everything for a big renovation,” says Sean Hayes, General Manager of the kitchen and bathroom brand

Too many choices are another cause of buyer’s remorse.

“Research shows that you are generally less satisfied with your final decision when you are surrounded by an abundance of options than if you had been given fewer options in the first place,” she says Psychology today.

“When it comes to decision-making, three is the perfect number of options,” says Colin Haentjens, Interior designer with the Knobs Company.

Don’t expect perfection

Most people spend a lot of money on a remodel and expect perfection.

“But that’s seldom possible in construction,” says Paul Dashevsky, Co-founder of GreatBuildz, a free service in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties that connects homeowners with contractors.

Most older homes tend to settle in over time. This means that walls, ceilings, and floors that were once perfectly square may have shifted slightly. A renovation that looks great from 1.5 m away – such as a shiplap accent wall – can look imperfect on closer inspection if the wall is no longer plumb.

And remember that the first thing you can do when doing a renovation is to check for subtle flaws. But you may find that after a few months you don’t even notice them.

Make peace with your decision

Psychology today says regret is a “negative cognitive or emotional state in which we blame ourselves for a bad outcome”.

Instead of blaming yourself, act: sell a piece of furniture you hate or get a slipcover. You can also repaint or add wall hangings and mirrors to change the feel of a room color.

“What I can suggest is to change the way you think,” says Stacy Lewis, Interior designer at Eternity Modern. “I believe this will be the most practical route to recovery. Try to find out the good things with the accomplished styles or designs and give them a new meaning. I think Reno repentance is all about not appreciating what has already been done. In addition, living styles and designs always depend on how the owner appreciates and recognizes them. “

Bottom line: it’s okay if your original design vision doesn’t match the outcome.

“With almost every project you have [risk buying] paint the wrong item or color, ”says Esther Dormer, a Pittsburgh-based interior designer. But “Design should be fun, so be playful with it. Sometimes the whole room works if you add something adventurous. “


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