For every great home improvement idea there are several bad ones, lurking in the corners next to vinyl siding and Dutch doors. But, of course, bad home improvement is not an objective term: one man’s bad home improvement idea is another man’s great home improvement idea. Still, there are some ideas that most people will agree should never see the light of day, and definitely never be let inside the house.
Too Much of Anything: Floral patterns, pirate themes, farm scenery. Too much of anything – regardless of what it entails – is just flat out too much. If your house is decorated in floral pattern from attic to basement, it’s time to uproot some of your ornamentation. If your house is saturated with pirate themes, it’s fair to say you’ve gone overboard. If your house is adorned with nothing but farm scenery, you might consider plowing a new path. Instead of decorating your entire house in one theme, try limiting your theme to one room, and letting the rest of the house have a little variety.
Painting with Outrageous Colors: Maybe you’re young and in love with self expression, maybe you’re older and looking for something to set you apart. Whatever you are, painting with outrageous colors is a way to paint yourself remorseful. It may seem like a great idea to paint the inside of your house neon orange and the outside a not-at-all-subtle hot pink, but in the long run you will likely regret this. You may be forced by a covenant controlled community to repaint, or forced to repaint by your realtor when you attempt to sell. You may even be forced to repaint by your inner being, an inner being tired of feeling constantly trapped inside a Grateful Dead song.
Going for a Futuristic Look: Maybe you have a crazy looking chair sitting in your living room or perhaps you’ve trimmed the evergreen in your front yard to resemble something from 2060, whatever you’ve done to make your home look futuristic, stop right now and live in the present. For whichever reason, as there seems to be a lot of reasons to choose from, the “futuristic look” was one that never really took off. Maybe this is partly because it looks kind of silly or partly due to the fact that it’s hard to decorate for 2060 while living in 2007, but the main reason has to be that our conception of the “future” seems to be entirely off base. If we were to go mainly by our conceptions, by 2000 we would have all bought flying cars and taken family vacations to the moon.
Putting in a Pool (when you won’t use it): Putting in a pool isn’t always a bad idea: if you will actually use one then there is no reason not to have one. However, for many people the concept of a pool is more appealing than the pool itself. Pools are a lot of work: they require maintenance and they kill the lawn. For this reason, having a pool and not using it is futile. If you will only use a pool on occasion, don’t install one: just get a pass to the local recreation center. And, if you live in an area not conducive to year round swimming, such as Wisconsin or Colorado, replace your swimming pool dreams with something else, such as a hot tub.
High Maintenance Landscaping: There is landscaping, and then there is high maintenance landscaping. High maintenance landscaping – a lawn filled with trimmed trees, shrubs, and an assortment of flowers – may look particularly nice, and cause your neighbors to grow green with envy of your green thumb, but this kind of landscaping takes quite a bit of time, time you might not always have. Instead of going overboard and making your lawn parallel some botanic garden, keep your lawn nice with simple means. Landscape with flowers and shrubs that don’t require a lot of attention and stay away from landscaping with the kinds of flowers and shrubs who think they are all that and a bag of wood chips.