Sunday, January 24, 2021

Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid Part I

Not to start off the new year with a negative note talking about design mistakes, but as we are building yet another house, aka, our dream house, I felt the need to share and document them so history doesn't repeat itself at our Hilltop House. Also, I wouldn't necessarily call these "mistakes" because, did they and do they still look eye-pleasing? Yes. But were they practical or could they stand the test of time? Not really.

Looking back at the design choices I've made over the years, "redundant" and "trendy" are the two words often popped up. A question I often ask myself today when making design choices is, would I really enjoy it or do I simply like the idea of it? 

Picture below: my home dining room after many iterations

I will probably turn this into a series as ideas come to me over time. This post is the 

Part I: Bathroom Edition

1. Choose larger shower tiles to minimize grout lines

What didn't work for us: small tiles (worse yet mosaic) with too many grout lines, white or lighter-coloured grout. 

Why: over time water sat in grout lines, mold grew and scum accumulated. It was a cleaning nightmare waiting to happen. 

What works: large tiles to minimize grout lines, darker grout to hide scum.

2. Single-handle sink faucet

What didn't work: two-handle faucets. They look more luxurious but so much harder to keep clean. Cost of ownership is also higher because if one of the two mixing valves breaks, you will have to replace the entire faucet. We all know a two-handle set costs a lot more.  

What works: single-handle faucet. I like the minimalist and clean look of this Hansgrohe 32082001 single-hole faucet. Thankfully our Hilltop House builder also uses Hansgrohe as their plumbing standard. 

3. A separate closet for the toilet

What didn't work: when we renovated our master bathroom in the current house, we had every opportunity to carve out a corner as a toilet closet. I didn't know any better so instead, we left toilet where the builder built it which is right in the centre of our bathroom. It's so unsightly. 

What works: if your floor plan would allow it and if you have the space, create a separate room/closet with a door for the toilet. Otherwise a half-wall frosted glass partition would work too. Trust me, your bathroom would look so much more well-thought-out. 

Picture below: our Hilltop House master bathroom plan. Thankfully our builder already created a separate room for the toilet. The floor plan however is nowhere near perfect. For example, you will notice there's little to no wall space near the shower stall for us to install a wall towel warmer unit. We will also change that makeup table into a bank of drawers for more storage. And I still don't understand why we would need a double entrance doors into the ensuite. I would opt for a single door but a longer vanity in a heart beat. Given our vanity is already 12-foot long, I guess I will leave the double doors alone. 

I will be back to write about other design mistakes to avoid. 

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