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10 common renovation mistakes

As an experienced Interior designer, there are some renovation mistakes I see time and time again. Despite having great ideas and good intentions, the homeowners have ended up with a space that doesn’t work or meet their needs, costing them time, money and energy.

The good news is, you can learn from them! I’ve put together this list of the ten most common renovation mistakes I’ve come across, so you know what not to do! Avoid these errors and you’ll be on the way to nailing your next renovation project.

  1. Not having an overarching game plan – Specific ideas and flashes of inspiration are great, but you need to have a broader vision and refer back to it constantly, so you end up with a cohesive, functional space.
  2. The space isn’t fit for purpose – Carpet in a bathroom, cold, hard tiles in a kid’s play area – it’s a recipe for disaster! You’re renovating a living, breathing home, not a display centre, so functionality is key.
  3. Trying to squeeze too much in – You have to be realistic about your space, because your home isn’t a TARDIS! What do you need to fit in, what would you like to include, and what can you live without? Less is more, just ask Marie Kondo!
  4. Sticking too closely to the latest trends – As Yves Saint Laurent famously said, “fashion fades, style is eternal”. Copying current must-have styles to a tee is a sure-fire way to end up with an outdated space in record time. Instead, go for on-trend accessories with a timeless base, so you can swap these out when styles evolve.
  5. Always taking the cheapest option – There’s an old-fashioned saying which goes along the lines of “the poor man pays twice”. It essentially means that when you choose the cheapest variety of something – a fridge, paint, even a t-shirt – you’ll need to replace it sooner, so it won’t turn out to be a bargain overall. Sure, if you can get a great deal on a quality-brand product, snap it up, but be wary of budget options that seem too good to be true.
  6. Not hiring and Architect or Designer from the start – Having an experience Designer or Architect on your side can help you avoid all of these mistakes from the get-go, which will save you money and hassle later.
  7. Not asking the right questions – How much will it cost? What could go wrong? How long will it take? Contractors and tradespeople don’t always volunteer this information, so it’s important that you ask. Check with friends and family to see what issues they encountered when they renovated, so you can make a list of common questions.
  8. Spending or scrimping on the wrong stuff – Renovating isn’t just about sticking to a budget, it’s also about making difficult decisions and prioritising your spending. Splashing cash on changes that add value can be a smart investment, while selecting some cheaper options can help you save your pennies, but you need to understand which is which.
  9. Having an unrealistic budget – Yes, it’s important to set a budget you can afford, but it’s equally important to be realistic with how much your project will cost, from the outset. Sometimes it’s better to lay out more cash up front, saving future hassles when you attempt to add or remove elements of the design. If you really can’t afford to budge on price, you may need to look at scaling back your plans.
  10. Sacrificing functionality for form – Of course you want you finished project to look great, but you also have to live in it, and even the most beautiful space will quickly become a nightmare if your family can’t function in it. It’s possible to create amazing spaces that still serve their purpose, with the right planning and design.
Ultimately, the only sure-fire way to avoid these common renovation mistakes is to engage the services of an experienced Designer, who can guide you through the entire process. With more than a decade of experience, Studio Gestalt can help! Get in touch with us today for a chat or to arrange a quote.


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