Discover H&H Editors’ Biggest Design Horror Stories!
While they’re known for styling gorgeous interiors and picture-perfect photo shoots, even the design editors at H&H have had a few decorating mishaps. Here, they share some of their personal horror stories — and the practical lessons you can take away from them.
“Once the paint dried, I realized that without any natural light, the color was just wrong… and honestly a little depressing! After all that work, I ended up repainting the room a crisp white, which created a fresher, cleaner look. The lesson? It’s always important to paint a tester wall — even if you think you love a particular shade. This is especially true for bathrooms, which are already tricky to paint with all their built-in fixtures.”
“Years ago, I bought a chair I loved because it was on sale. I didn’t really have a spot for it, but because it was such a good deal, I figured I would somehow make it work. I’ve carted that chair from apartment to apartment and I’m still trying to make it work. Better advice would be: buy what you love and what you need.”
“I found that it really locked me into a single look, and I like to be able to change things up every now and then (especially when I come across a great find or bargain) and have pieces from different styles live together. In hindsight, I should’ve gone for a treatment that was a bit less bossy.”
“This really pigeonholed the layout, and was such a missed opportunity! We ended up making the best of it, but when it comes to communication, contactors, designers and homeowners should always make an effort to get on the same page at each stage of a reno.”
“Not great! I’ve seen handcrafted tile mounted beautifully in other places, so — like many things — it was really all about finding the right guy for the job.”
“Every day I kick myself that we didn’t get our floors refinished when we first moved into our house. Back then, my husband and I told ourselves that fixing the floors — which weren’t the right color, but were in good shape — was one of those things we’d do down the line. Fast forward 10 years, and add in busy jobs and family life, and there’s just no way we could’ve made this happen… at least not without moving out for a few weeks. I should’ve listened to my gut and done the work up front. Never again!”
“While it looked OK all fluffed up and styled, the second anyone sat on it, it was a mess. Plus, it was just plain uncomfortable, since it lacked shape and back support. The moral of the story is that there are things to DIY and things to save up for. When it comes to large furniture, go for investment over instant gratification.”
“Since almost every wall in my place is made of a different material, I’ve sometimes just reverted to screwing things in wherever I can — or even using adhesive strips. One night I woke up at 3AM to the sound of a beautiful mirror crashing to the floor. Lesson learned: Wall plugs are important — use them!”