Interior designers reveal five biggest home renovation regrets

I’m an interior design expert – here are the top five regrets homeowners have after renovating their properties

  • America’s property market has frozen to a halt thanks to soaring mortgage rates 
  • Experts say now might be the best time to focus on renovating your property 
  • Here speaks to interior designers about the biggest home renovation regrets owners have 

As mortgage rates shoot up and house prices refuse to budge, the property market has reached an effective stalemate. 

It is little wonder then that experts are predicting a DIY boom, with homeowners plunging their money into a renovation project rather than attempting to move. 

The global home improvement market was valued at $342 billion in 2022 and is expected to balloon to $575.5 billion by the end of 2030, according to FactMR. 

But owners have to be cautious about where they spend their money. A recent study by home services website Angi laid bare how drastically returns on investment can vary between projects. 

And interior designers explain that expensive renovations can bring with them heavy regrets. spoke to two experts about the biggest renovation regrets they have seen among owners.

Texan interior designer Nikki Watson, who runs The Design Quad, warns that open shelving has become increasingly trendy over the years 

Open Shelves 

Texan interior designer Nikki Watson, who runs The Design Quad, says open shelving – cabinet space without doors – has become increasingly trendy over the years. But she warns owners are realizing they are impractical for day-to-day living.

Watson told ‘A cool trend that is still valuable in the vacation rental space so you don’t have to hunt down the cookware or drinking glasses, but not as popular for living.

‘When homeowners remodeled with open shelving keeping up with trends they quickly realized they reduced their real storage options. 

‘Keeping dishes cleaned, neat and dusted was a task. So this was a quick regret.’

Interior designer Ben Gold said owners often regretted including kitchen islands that are too big for the space

Oversized kitchen islands 

Philadelphia interior designer Ben Gold, founder of Recommended Home Buyers, told that owners tended to regret kitchen renovations that focus on aesthetic rather than functionality. This included by fitting oversized kitchen islands.

He said: ‘Many homeowners opt for grand kitchen islands that look stunning but can hinder the flow and functionality of the space. 

‘They often regret not considering how the island’s size affects movement and convenience during daily activities.’

Watson said dark – even black – flooring was trendy but often difficult to clean  

Interior designer Nikki Watson, founder of The Design Quad, has laid out the biggest mistakes homeowners make

Dark flooring  

Watson says dark flooring also affects the practicality of maintaining a home.

She said: ‘When I was a flooring sales rep 10 years ago dark floors were the number one request from homeowners and this was because of the current trend. Some people would even ask for black floors. 

‘As they lived with these floors they discovered that this was a huge mistake. Every speck of dust, dirt, pet hair, or foot prints can be seen on these floors and especially when the sun shines inside. 

‘We are going back to lighter colored flooring these days and for good reason.’

A Japanese shower room is a bathroom where the shower and bathtub are combined into one glass enclosed room. But experts say they are hard to clean

Japanese shower room 

A Japanese shower room is a bathroom where the shower and bathtub are combined into one glass enclosed room. Watson says such designs are becoming increasingly popular – but cautioned they can also be impractical.

She said: ‘I have recently heard complaints about keeping this space clean. Cleaning behind the tub has proven to be hard and if you are taking a shower the entire room’s glass is covered with spots. 

‘I think these rooms are beautiful and I hope a better cleaning solution is found.’

Solar systems are made using photovoltaic (PV) panels which convert sunlight into electrical energy 

Figures show it would take homeowners around 11 years to pay off the cost of a $20,000 solar panel system

Ignoring energy efficiency 

Gold again says that homeowners tend to regret not thinking more about the functionality of their properties – especially when it comes to heating.

He said: ‘With a growing focus on sustainability, many homeowners regret not incorporating energy-efficient features into their renovations. 

‘Failing to invest in energy-efficient appliances and practices can lead to higher utility bills and environmental concerns.’

The White House is putting pressure on households to boost their energy efficiency. 

By 2035, President Joe Biden wants 40 percent of the nation’s electricity to be solar-powered and half of new car sales to be electric.

Boosting efficiency can add value to a property and shave money off your bills.

For example, Kraig Edelman, CEO of Illinois electrical firm Edelman, estimated solar panels save households around $1,200 a year in bills. Meanwhile property portal Zillow estimates homes with them fitted sell for an average of $15,000 more than those without. 

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