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First-Time Homebuyers Reveal Their Biggest Regrets Decorating Their New House

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First-time homebuyers who finally succeed in closing the deal have every right to be excited. Next comes the fun part: moving in and decorating your new digs.

Yet watch out! In this giddy rush, first-time homeowners tend to go overboard and make a bunch of rookie mistakes spiffing up their space.

This doesn’t just mean your home will look less than perfect. It means that you might end up wasting tons of time—and cash—when you have to repaint that garish accent wall or toss the furniture you bought to start fresh.

To help point you to the pitfalls, we got first-time homeowners to ‘fess up on the biggest decor regrets that haunted them after they moved in. Hear their stories, and heed this advice, so these mishaps don’t happen under your own roof, too.

1. Painting walls in too many bright colors

Photo by Smith & Vansant Architects PC 

“My wife and I were both so excited to be in our own place that we just started painting the walls, without any hesitation,” one Chicago homeowner, Andre Kazimierski, recalls.

They found it exhilarating to pick any rainbow color that took their fancy, but the result was a hot mess.

“We had a yellow room here, a black room there, and a pink one with hand-painted flowers,” he says, “and it became overwhelming and not very fun to look at.”

A word to the wise: Before slapping any old shade on your walls, think about color schemes and the theme you’re trying to achieve, rather than applying paint willy-nilly.

2. Misjudging drawer details

Photo by Built By Newkirk

“When we did a kitchen remodel in our first house, we planned the layout of the drawers very poorly,” reports Brian Donovan of Austin, TX.

The result? Two drawers were at a right angle to each other, which meant they could barely be opened. The fix for this homeowner was classic MacGyver.

“We had to improvise with the hardware on one side, so we could have two fully functioning drawers,” he says.

But even then, let’s get real: The joys of a new home will quickly fade as you struggle to wedge your hand into a drawer for a spatula every time you’re frying eggs.

3. Making a dark space darker

Photo by Michael Abrams Interiors

Lots of bathrooms lack light, with a single window or no windows at all. If that’s the case for your loo, don’t opt for dark paint, the way Jerry Yamaguchi did. The San Diego homeowner had a bathroom with a tiny window. After he chose a dark color for the room, it felt even more dank and depressing.

“When you get ready in your bathroom mirror, you want to be able to see yourself clearly, but that wasn’t possible in my bathroom,” he explains.

He repainted it white a month later.

4. Going the DIY route

Photo by Lucy McLintic 

Like so many first-time homeowners, Lacy Reason of San Diego was excited to try her hand at putting up open shelves.

“We leveled the shelves from the floor,” she says, then noticed that “they were off with the ceiling, from the house settling.”

The results were shelves that looked crooked—proof that even the simplest of DIY projects can go off the rails unless you’re a professional who knows what you’re doing.

On her next home improvement project, Reason says she would “just pay someone else to do it.”

5. Not considering cleanup and maintenance

Photo by David Heide Design Studio 

“I cut some financial corners and installed a granite countertop that was relatively cheap,” admits David Angotti of Gatlinburg, TN.

Unfortunately, this discount piece proved to be porous and soft, which meant that any spill that was left to linger became difficult to clean up.

“I had to apply sealant way more frequently than one should have to,” he says. “So when I finally redid the kitchen, years later, I made sure to do better research and invest in a high-quality material.”

6. Not painting a small area first, to see how it looks

Photo by Mell Lawrence Architects 

After moving in, James Green was certain he wanted a red kitchen in his Calabasas, CA, home. While red sounded exciting in theory, once it was up on the walls, he realized—too late—that it was too much.

“It ended up looking like drying blood,” Green admits. “It took us at least four coats of primer to cover up the red when we finally decided to change it.”

A word to the wise—always paint a small area first, since paint colors will look vastly different based on the amount of light and the texture of the walls.

As Green explains it, “In California, we have textured walls in most houses, and it makes picking paint colors somewhat problematic, since the shade looks slightly different from the way it would on flat drywall.”

7. Cheaping out on furniture

Photo by Kara Mosher

Deciding to keep your old furniture when you move into the new home is certainly a budget-friendly option. But Ravi Parikh of Austin, TX, held on to too much of his furniture from his former rentals, and the results simply didn’t cut it.

“I kept all the stuff I had from my time in apartments, like thrifted bar stools, a fridge from 1999, and a table from Ikea,” he says. “And then I continued to buy items based on price, rather than longevity.”

In the end, he acknowledged he’d made a big mistake.

“I soon realized that when you’re in a house, you want things to feel stable and secure,” he says, “so I’ve recently begun purchasing furniture that will last. And the difference is major.”

The post First-Time Homebuyers Reveal Their Biggest Regrets Decorating Their New House appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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