Think Twice About These 8 Not-So-Practical Design Ideas
We apologise for all the inconvenience caused
For all those times we told you to ‘try’ that new fad taking over Pinterest. Or countless blogs about insane renovation ideas (and how to pull it off in your space). Well, trends are interesting and all, but we get it - renovating a home that you’re planning to live in for years doesn’t work that way.
While that doesn’t mean we won’t cover cool interior ideas again (they are a good source of inspiration, after all) it’s always smart to stay objective! That’s why you might want to think twice about getting these 8 features - they may look trendy on paper, but the reality of it often isn’t as pretty (or practical) as they seem.
1. Custom Made Built-Ins
Interior Designer: Imago Dei 3
Customizing built-ins to fit in specific items or appliances may seem like a smart, space-saving idea, but they aren’t practical. For one - things change over time! What used to fit the dimensions of your printer or sound bar might not fit the new replacement, or anything else. So, don’t make these spaces as obsolete as the items they are built to place over time.
Interior Designer: Starry Homestead
Solution: Instead of tying yourself down with something fixed, consider movable, modular elements that allow you to adjust to fit different items. Think rolling carts or pegboards!
Interior Designer: Asolidplan
2. Totally Decked-Out Kids' Bedrooms
Interior Designer: Zenith Arc
Which kid doesn’t love a room that feels almost like a playground? Whether it’s having a slide-down bunk bed, rock climbing walls or even an insane ball pit area, it’d be nice to live in it – if only for a day or two. Truth is, kids grow up really fast, and before you know it – they’d probably grow (physically and mentally) out of these spaces.
Solution: Avoid doing too many fixed built ins that they can easily outgrow in a couple of years and go for loose furnishings. Decorate your children’s rooms with easily changeable elements like paint, decals and artwork.
Interior Designer: Lemonfridge Studio
3. Fancy Tile Overload
Interior Designer: Weiken.com
So many tiles; so little time (and space). Granted, today’s tile offerings come in all sorts of eye-catching designs, colours and layouts that it can seem impossible to stick to one, but are you ready to commit to all that visual overload? And don’t say yes just because it looks gorgeous on Pinterest.
Solution: Tiles aren’t the easiest to replace, so invest in the right designs by finding a little balance. Pair up a simple neutral tile with a patterned one of your choice; if you’re playing with layouts (like herringbone), keep it consistent throughout a space.
Interior Designer: Habit
4. White Everything
Interior Designer: MMJ Design Loft
You’d have to give it to the homeowners who stuck through with an all-white palette. While bright and spacious-looking, white can be an unforgiving colour if you’re not particular about maintenance and upkeep. Think yellowing walls and countertops from age, grout stains, obvious scratches and the like.
Solution: Go for off-whites like pastels, greys or greige. Alternatively, match whites with finishes like pale woods or cement screed for some visual dimension – and to keep things from looking too ‘clinical’.
Interior Designer: Weiken.com
5. Elaborate, Odd-Shaped Shelving
Interior Designer: Absolook Interior Design
Yes, they are absolutely show-stopping upon first glance, but when it comes to functionality? Maybe not. Odd, slanted angles don’t make the best surfaces for propping items, and random knick-knacks gathered over time can cause the feature to look messy than pretty.
Solution: When it comes to practical storage solutions, linear shapes perpendicular to the ground are best and won’t go wrong in the long run.
Interior Designer: akiHAUS
6. Glass Encased Bathrooms
Interior Designer: Aart Boxx Interior
Inspired by boutique hotel rooms with their sleek, risqué-looking exposed bathrooms? Sure, it’s perfectly fine if you’re doing it the privacy of your master bathroom, but don't overlook the cleaning and maintenance side of things! With all the splashing going about in this wet area, get ready for tons of wiping to avoid unsightly water stains from forming.
Solution: Good to have, but not necessary – stick to having an enclosed bathroom area if you’re not keen on housework. Otherwise, rather than going full-on exposed, consider opting for a full glass door instead which still delivers a sense of openness.
7. Character-Themed Spaces
Interior Designer: Fifth Avenue Interior
There’s no shame in being a fan of something, but there’s a huge difference between paying homage and creating a space straight out of Disneyland (or Universal Studios). Unless you’re sure your entire family are full-on fans of Iron Man, Hello Kitty or Spongebob and that your love for these characters span beyond decades (because you’re probably going to stay in it for some time) – proceed with caution.
Solution: Tone things down a notch by adding subtle elements (rather than full on themes) in your home. It could be a figurine feature stand, or featuring some artwork to achieve the effect.
Interior Designer: Schemacraft
8. Suspended Anything
Interior Designer: Edge Interior
More than just a standout feature, suspended tables, swings and chairs are also feats of engineering that can unfortunately cause serious anxiety. Why? Gravity. Even if it is secured properly, you’ll always have to be careful not to put too much weight or effort on it – or risk having it coming off the ceilings. And remember - once it’s there, you can’t move it.
Interior Designer: Authors Interior & Styling
Solution: Suspended elements are better off for lighter items like your pendant lamps. Save yourself the tip-toeing and peeling ceilings with something that’s sturdier and movable on the ground.
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