It Really Is Okay To Change Your Mind. I Promise!

Last Updated on October 6, 2017 by Kristi Linauer

I hadn’t planned on posting today since I didn’t get my entryway grasscloth wall finished yesterday. It’s not a big project at all, but I was kind of lazy yesterday and just couldn’t find the motivation to get it done.

But this morning, I was updating my 2017 Master List of Home Goals post (I’ve tried to keep that up to date, so if you’re curious about how I’m doing on this year’s goals, check it out!), and I came across the picture of my kitchen at the beginning of this year. Do you remember my kitchen at the beginning of this year? It looked like this…


And my immediate thought when I came across that picture was, “Thank goodness I didn’t force myself to stick with those colors! How drab!”

When I chose those colors for my kitchen, I didn’t think they’d be drab at all. In my mind, dark blue and light gray (that looks like a really light khaki to me) was a classic combo that would look terrific in my kitchen and give me an easy color to decorate around in the adjoining rooms. I mean, as far as jumping off points go, it doesn’t get much easier than dark blue! But it just didn’t work out in reality like it did in my mind. Even if I had held off until I got my countertops refinished a brighter white, and got my bone-colored grout all Grout Renewed so that it was bright white, I still don’t think the blue and gray would have done it for me.

And of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with navy blue and gray. Again, it’s classic. It’s beautiful. But it’s just not me. And I had to actually see it in person in order to realize it.

It was a pain to change it, especially since I had already repainted an entire wall of cabinets and had spent $120 on paint. I certainly could have forced myself to just live with it, and convinced myself that wasting that time and wasting that $120 would be irresponsible.

But boy, and I glad I gave myself permission to change my mind! Because now, I have a kitchen that puts a smile on my face every single time I enter the room. I have a kitchen that suits me, and finally feels like more than just a decorated room, but actually feels like my home.

teal kitchen - back left corner of wall of cabinets

Obviously, teal isn’t for everyone. And lots of people would compare those two kitchens and find the blue and gray combo more appealing. But the point is that decorating and designing our homes is a journey, and it’s a very personal journey for each of us. There’s no “one size fits all” option out there. And with so many options, we’re not always going to get it right the first time.

And when you don’t get it right the first time (or the second, or the third), it’s okay to change your mind and keep on trying until you get it right. Yes, you’ll probably catch some flak for it, just as I have over the last couple of years. But don’t let that stop you! Don’t let others’ opinions stop you from trying out different things until you get exactly what you want. Be bold. Be brave. Take a chance.

Let your actual limitations be the only limitations that factor into your decision (e.g., financial resources). Other people’s opinions, as well as your own self-imposed guilt for changing your mind, are not actual limitations that should even be taken into consideration. And that self-imposed guilt is very often much stronger than the fear of what others will say. So just try it out once — let the guilt go. Give yourself permission to change your mind. Give yourself permission to count that $120 you spent on the project that didn’t turn out as you had hoped not as “waste” but as “learning experience.”

I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me when I get comments from people who say things like, “Kristi, I love your projects, but what I love about your blog the most is that I feel like you’ve shown me that it’s okay to change my mind, and it’s okay to redo a project, even if that project turned out fine, but it just wasn’t quite what I had in mind.”

Yes, I give you permission to change your mind. I give you permission to experiment with different ideas and try out new things until you land on that one idea/color/pattern/etc. that makes you smile. I give you permission to count that money you spent on that failed project not as “waste” but as “a learning experience.”

Now grant yourself that permission, and get busy turning your house into the home you’ve been dreaming about. 🙂

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Thank you – it’s so good to hear that even a decorator sometimes doesn’t get it quite right the first, or maybe second time 🙂 Why do we think it’s some sort of failure when we choose to redo something? Sharing not just all of the wonderful success stories, but some of the not-so-successful stories as well, is refreshing and empowering. Now, I’m off to paint some cabinets:)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Yes, thank you!! I have been feeling soooo guilty for the curtains I bought in October but just couldn’t love them, even though they are beautiful! I finally bought some I feel are more me. Love your blog!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I love the teal so much that I had blanked the blue & gray from my memory! Looking back at it now, it looked so meh. No personality. I’m totally in love with the teal & if you ever change it, just know that Texas is within driving distance for me! 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Hope Williams
    June 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Funny thing this life we have…. It truly is the journey that must be enjoyed. And all the trials and errors that brings. For in the end, no one gets out alive anyway.
    Change is a great thing, it leads us to a better understanding of ourselves and each other!
    My hat is tipped to you again for a great post!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I do love that about you, if it doesn’t seem right or you don’t like it, you go ahead and change it. Sometimes the thought of something and the actual look of something can be very different. That said, I am soooo glad that you changed the kitchen color. I never felt that the blue and gray went well in there. Everything you have now done is absolutely beautiful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you, Kristi! Well stated message and happily received! My colorphobic self is actually considering your teal mix for my lower cabs!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    If you don’t experiment, you will never discover what you like and don’t like. I for one, love the teal. My home has changed over the years as I get tired of previous decor and redo it. The local BM paint store knows me well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve benefited by more than one of your “learning experiences” Kristi. After seeing your blue and gray cabinets I copied the look for my living room accent wall and fireplace. Gentlemen’s Gray and Revere Pewter might not be “you”, but they’re definitely “me”!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Definitely about staying true to yourself too. I love teal, but even if I didn’t the gray and blue was wrong for the light in your kitchen. It just looked dingy. But they are lovely colors together. It’s as much about the light in your home as anything. Sometimes a really great color looks awful because of what bends the light on the way in the window, or the lack of windows.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Whew, for a second there I thought you’d gone back and repainted your upper cabinets. The old colors looked nice but like you, the teal puts a smile on my face. I totally agree that the only limitations to changing your mind should be financial or similar. You shouldn’t live with things you don’t like in your home because it’s your one and only real sanctuary.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    June 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I have a Pinterest category titled “It’s just paint, Man!” where I place my favorite colors I find. I have, over my 42+ years of owning a home, picked out my fair share of wrongs! I once wanted our front door to be a moody grayed plum, and went back and forth to the paint store six times to have the tint altered. They finally told me it would be black if I added any more to it, so I used it. Three coats of paint…..and we all hated it! (remember the California Raisins? there ya go.) So, I went safe with a sage -y green, three MORE coats, and just lived with that. It was not my happy color I wanted, but it pleased the majority ( and my neighbors!) but every time I went thru that door I was sad. It was just not me! I have many more flubbed tales, but my mantra now is “It’s JUST PAINT, man!”
    I’m glad you found your color! It feeds the soul!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kathleen Conery
      June 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      I love that… “It’s just paint, man!”. That’s a good pithy motto to decorate (live) by.
      So what color did you end up with? I want to paint my front door so bad…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Picked my porcelain tile then, 8×48 inch tile sample in hand, went to select grey cabinets. NOTHING “went” with the tile, nothing. Tried all the “ivories”…another NO. Pulled an UGLY color door (look up SW “Urban Bronze”) and it was freaking perfect. (Really, it’s an ugly color…kinda brown / grey / olive.) Countertops are Bianco Antico. My kitchen is beautiful BUT, not at all the vision I started out with. Conclusion; select the ONE material you MUST HAVE (tile, granite, cabinets) and build from there.
    If you (or Dear Hubby) have Kristi’s amazing abilities you can disregard my advice.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 14, 2017 at 12:08 am

      I just looked up urban bronze. I bet your kitchen is gorgeous! The color is very nice!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Phyllis E
      June 15, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      CHIFLIPPER, I think this is awesome advice and rings true to my experience!! (Do you flip houses in Chicago, by any chance, guessing from your user name?) So what did you do? Did you paint your cabinets Urban Bronze?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        June 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm

        Phyllis…I flipped two in Chicago before moving to Phoenix. Arizona is far more “laid back” when it comes to inspections etc. Not to worry, I never put “lipstick on a pig”, the flips were done top-to-bottom; windows, plumbing, wiring. My cabinets are maple Thomasville in “Forest Floor” (Home Depot) which is really close to SW Urbane Bronze. I wanted the factory finish. I have NO uppers, the bases are all drawers.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Wow, thank you for this post, uncanny timing- I really needed it today! I’m going batty wanting to get my living room more finished and layering in more personality. I just need to jump into it instead of trying to get everything “right” on the first try. Thanks for this reminder. And love your teal and that you found your color happy place!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carole Prisk
    June 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    That’s well and good for a cracker jack do it yourselfer like you. Your talent and stamina are awesome, but for those of us who are hiring it out, mistakes are costly and may have to be lived with.😥

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Kristi, I have loved every iteration of your kitchen, and actually liked the gray uppers and dark blue lowers, as I thought with the lighting in place and the counters finished, it’d be classic and gorgeous. You really do have impeccable taste. But you’re right, the teal kitchen is beautiful and happy, and so “you,” so it’s perfect! It puts a smile on my face, too, every time I see it.

    Changing one’s mind is not the end of the world and should be embraced, because we truly don’t know how a design idea is going to look or feel until it’s actually in place. That said, I agree with what someone upthread said, hiring that out gets really expensive, and some (like me) just don’t have the physical stamina or finances to be able to change major stuff like a kitchen, so must deal with the anxiety of trying to get it perfect from the start. That’s the kind of thing that makes it really difficult to even begin!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathleen Rupp
    June 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I like your post! Very true! A home is a continuerous project! so what if a room gets done, redone and done again! Tastes are always changing. That is what makes it fun!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim May
    June 13, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    I like how you change your mind and go in a different direction. I redid my kitchen table in an agave color. Then painted my house in various shades of that color. That was last year. Now I want smokey blue which I have always liked. My husband says no way. Think I will have him read your article. Thanks for sharing.😄

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marie W
    June 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I love that you changed it to make yourself happy, but weren’t the cabinet’s originally green? I loved that green. It was so unique! The teal is great too. I’m glad that you’re happy

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you. I really do like most everything you do and the fact that you do it to make yourself and Matt happy is what is most important. I recently went to my first ‘painting party’ with a group of co-workers. I was afraid to go because painting is NOT my strong suit. My co-workers assured me that it was okay and I would be fine because the lady who makes the signs stencils everything for you so you just paint. I went and we had a lot of fun and my sign turned out pretty well. After a few days of looking at it I felt like the word ‘sunshine’ didn’t show up on the background enough. I purchased a paint pen in a sunny yellow and outlined the word sunshine and I LOVE IT! Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to change or improve something because I like it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you! One of the things I appreciate about your blog is that you are not afraid to re-do something that you are not satisfied with. Although, I did find that kitchen re-do painful, it does look great and I’m glad you’re happier with it now.