10 Mistakes You Make While Planning a New Home | homify

10 Mistakes You Make While Planning a New Home

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
Cubus Projekt GmbH Modern living room
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Today's ideabook explores the important topic of errors and mishaps in interior design, home construction, and the overall decision-making the determines the outcome of these two aspects of a home. When a certain decision goes awry in the building or designing of a new home, it results in a space that's less than ideal – and because of this, many homeowners are still on their way to creating the perfect home. This ideabook points out ten of these biggest mistakes so that you can hopefully avoid them, getting the space you've dreamed of the first time around. These guidelines will help save time, money, and headache later on by providing ways to think about the construction and design of your new home from a perspective that you (perhaps) haven't considered yet.

Let's face it: no one likes to make mistakes. Many choose to ignore their mishaps, denying that they ever happened. However, by bringing these common errors into the spotlight, you'll enjoy a chance to reevaluate what stage you're at in setting up your new home, and in doing so, you might catch a major blunder before it happens. 

1. Looking for excuses and justifications

Buying, planning for, and designing a new home is a really big deal. It's the largest purchase that most people make in their life. That said, you should get what you want! Don't fall into the trap of creating excuses and justifications for building a home that's not everything you wanted. There's always a way to get the features you've always dreamed of, and with the collaboration of a professional architectrooferinterior designer (etc), it can be easy to put your ideas to paper and find the right materials for creating your dream home.

It's all too common to opt for something you don't really like simply because it fits your budget. Probably the most common constraint in building a new home is the cost associated with it. However, by looking at the bigger picture you can manage to get around this apparent roadblock by thinking of ways to save in other areas, or changing your work life over time in order to bring in a higher salary. 

Likewise, people limit their dreams by telling themselves that certain features of a home are out of style, no difficult to maintain, unsuitable for their climate, not good for a family with kids, and a dozen other justifications for disallowing what they really want. If you're finding excuses and justifications like these, don't stop short at these apparent roadblocks! Use them as opportunities to think creatively about your new space and to re-imagine the new lifestyle you'll have. Wishing for floor-to-ceiling windows like this home, but thinking they're too hard to clean? An extendable mop will have you feeling otherwise. Often there are many simple and straightforward solutions to the desires that get weighed down by excuses. Use these solutions! 

2. You're not thinking big (enough)!

This point is not about building a bigger sized home. Thinking big is all about taking a step back from the project that examining your lifestyle, location, and long-term plans. Thinking big is all about exploring the unusual options and cutting-edge solutions that you've never considered before, and looking to other parts of the world for innovative ways to build, design, and overcome problems. Thinking you can't build a second story because of downtown zoning regulations? Think bigger: just look to the many architects around the world you've build bright and beautiful subterranean homes (see this ideabook for a stunning example of half-subterranean home).

Doubting whether or not you can afford a certain location or a certain design? Think bigger: have you considered moving abroad to a spot where the materials and land are a fraction of the price. Thinking big is not ways the most intuitive thing to do, and the things you come up with could be major disruptors to your current lifestyle and worldview – and your future self might thank you for it later on!

3. Putting the living room on a throne

A living room is an in-your-face kind of spot – it's no wonder that many people pay way too much attention to the design of their living room, often at the expense of the other rooms. It's just sad to walk into a beautiful, spacious, and relaxing living room, only to shimmy down the hall to a cramped, dark, and inconvenient kitchen. Don't waste the opportunity to design a complex and thoughtful bathroomkitchenbedroom, closet, and more, simply because you're too fixated on your amazing living room! Each part of your house should be given its 10 seconds of fame, creating a balanced home that's interesting and well-designed throughout. 

4. Choosing furniture without thinking about design

Cheap, shoddy furniture bought to fill a momentary need or to correct a shortcoming in the home's design will quickly become more of a hassle than a convenience. For example, plastic drawer sliders will soon break, and they'll leave you wrenching your creaking kitchen drawers for years to come! A quick, inexpensive office chair has all sorts of brittle parts that can tear and break, while a well-designed wooden number like the one pictured here will last a lifetime. Cheap solutions like these are not the type of solutions you should be looking for in the design of a new home – it's one thing to cut corners on building a treehouse, but for a real house, buy high quality things that feature good, durable design.

5. Being timid

Amazonia Light Wallpaper Witch and Watchman Walls & flooringWallpaper
Witch and Watchman

Amazonia Light Wallpaper

Witch and Watchman

Yes, this wallpaper features exotic birds perching on large fern fronds – what of it? This home's design is wacky and exotic, and it's certainly full of personality! Don't be timid – while dark colours like the ones in this wallpaper can cramp an already dark or small room, if you're working with a space that has a good amount of light, feel free to opt for bold patterns in deep, rich colours! For smaller rooms, don't fool yourself into thinking that your only options are cream or white – smaller rooms can be given metallic details, wide windows, large mirrors, and other design features that will make a big statement. Don't be timid with your decor!

6. Forgetting what lies beyond

Descender Fronts installed at an Events Venue homify Event venues

Descender Fronts installed at an Events Venue


Your natural landscape is just as much a part of your home as the landscape under your own roof! Your visual relationship with the outdoors is an important facet of the design of your home – draw attention to the beauty of your surroundings by making sure windows are distraction- and clutter-free, and uses materials inside that reflect the natural setting of your home, whether it's adobe pots for a desert dwelling, or polished floors (like this example) to reflect the placid lake nearby.

7. Not thinking about the extras

Extras are in quotation marks because extras are not really extra at all: your office, garage, patio, closet, and laundry room are not extras! Any number of these rooms might be an integral part of your lifestyle – don't include them in your plans as an afterthought!

8. Sticking with well-known solutions

While it's a good rule of thumb to go with a professionals advice, it's also a good rule of thumb to get advice from several different professionals. Don't stick with the advice that already fits your worldview – in recent years, people may have found a new solution that works even better. This modern apartment here houses a family on just 400 square feet – they've used just about every imaginative solution in book in order to achieve this feat, including the clever placement of this stylish partition wall to create the illusion of a separate space for living and dining.

9. Believing that simplicity = impoverished

Simplicity is always in style – lack of frills, bows, whistles, and clutter is usually a good thing! Choosing to NOT fill a room with stuff doesn't mean that your space will look impoverished and sparse. More likely, it will look like this stylish space where every detail is designed to count! Less is usually more – when in doubt, opt for the simplest solution, and you'll never regret it (but be aware that simple is not synonymous with easy or cheap!).

Has this got the decoration wheels turning? Have a look at this ideabook that'll help you find the right decor style for your personality.

10. Engaging in sporadic, unplanned shopping

 Yes, it's fun. But it will also bring ruin to the balance and flow of your space! Spontaneous episodes of unplanned shopping will leave you with 12 mismatching throw pillows that you don't know what to do with, an extra bedside lamp that you don't need, and a cool framed picture for your bathroom that clashes with the walls in an almost-matching-but-not-quite-there kind of way. Plan your shopping trips in a careful, thoughtful way: find inspiration for the style you want, plan out specifically what items you're looking for and what their size dimensions should be, and bring an material example with you (pillowcase, etc) so that you have some colour to match with as you search for the right piece. 

What do you think of these common mistakes? Share your thoughts below.
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