The One Project I Regret Doing Over

If you’ve been reading my blog for long at all, you know that I’m never afraid of redoing a project that I’ve finished (or almost finished) if I decide it didn’t quite turn out how I had envisioned it in my mind. It doesn’t matter if I’m halfway through, 90% of the way through, or if it’s been done for a year. If I’m not completely happy with it, I have no problem redoing it as long as my budget allows.

I did my entire kitchen remodel

And after living with it for about three years, I decided that the color and some of the details (like the corbels) just weren’t quite right, so I made some changes.

I know if I polled my long time readers, the do-over that most of you miss the most would be the birds and branches mural on the entryway wall (at least, that the project that gets the most mentions in comments).

I really did love the direction of that entryway, and that mural was a very fun project to do. But in the end, I’m glad I redid it.

My current entryway is much more “me” than any of the other iterations. (Yes, I know it’s too busy for some, but it’s mine. And I love it. 😊 But it is getting a small update, which I almost finished yesterday, but will need just a couple more hours to finish up today.)

And I just have to shake my head and laugh when I look back at the first version of my living room. I still can’t figure out who the heck I was decorating for, but it doesn’t seem like I was decorating this room for myself.

living room with all big projects finished - 6

My current living room is like a breath of fresh air (at least for me) compared to that first one, and compared to all of the interim iterations.

If I were to list and show pictures of everything I’ve done and then redone in my house, this would probably end up being the longest blog post I’ve ever written. But the bottom line is that I don’t regret any of those do-overs…

With the exception of one.

There is one project that I worked hard on, finished, and absolutely loved. And then I convinced myself that it needed to be ripped out and redone. Can you guess which project I’m talking about?

It’s the pony walls and columns that I built to separate the music room from the entryway/living room area.

Do you remember those pony walls and columns? I was so proud of how those turned out.

And what makes it so much worse is that I ended up ripping out these pony walls and columns because I decided to add picture frame molding to the entryway and living room walls, and for some reason which I can’t remember now, I couldn’t get the trim to play nicely with the pony walls. And I was determined to have that trim on the living room walls, so the pony walls had to go.

The sad thing is that the picture frame molding ended up looking WAY too busy in a room with so many doors and windows (that wall detail is always better in rooms that have more uninterrupted wall space), so I ended up ripping out the picture frame molding in the entryway and living room. In the end, I ended up ripping out those pony walls and columns for no good reason at all.

I think about that often, and it’s the one do-over that I actually do regret. I wish I could have seen the pony walls and columns in a finished room, but I ripped them out and redid them long before any of these rooms were ever completely finished. I’d love to see how they look with the current finished room, but all I can do is imagine. Honestly, I think they’d look beautiful in the current rooms.

It’s not that I don’t like what I currently have. I do like it.

The frustration is that I loved what I originally built, and the entire reason for ripping it out and changing it ended up being something that I didn’t like in the end. So after all was said and done, this change was completely unnecessary. Today, if I had the opportunity to choose one or the other and have my favorite of the two without having to spend any time or money to have it, I’d choose the pony walls and columns.

It’s always frustrating to have a regret, especially one that costs time and money. But with all of the things I’ve redone in this house, I think having only one regret is a pretty good average. 😀

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 11:11 am

    Miss the bird wall too.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 11:11 am

    I was just remembering when you finished the living room the first time…and how dark & depressing it felt. It was definately not you…and your rooms are so fun & fresh now. It’s so awesome when you can just be yourself & decorate for you….and the colours & things you love.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 11:26 am

    I also miss the birds but I know decorating sometimes comes down to personal choices.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 11:38 am

    I like both the pony walls and the glass windows. The pony walls did look like they could have been original to the house, which was a nice architectural detail.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 11:43 am

    I do like your new sofa and the living room as a whole, but I have to say I really liked the before living room as well….very cozy and inviting. I might have added patterned upholstery to the 2 chairs by the FP and maybe a new chandelier, but the feel of the room was wonderful. I hope you and Matt are still able to get out and about some even with the hot weather.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    The bird mural and pony wall was a favorite of mine.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    I think I began following you around the time of the fireplace you built. Along the way I’ve screamed to my iPad, “ NO!! WHY IS SHE DOING THAT?? “ I still remember your kitchen floor…how many times was that redone?😂 But 9.5/10 times your instincts are spot on. And like you said, you have to live with it. I don’t have your time, or talent and now I’m on a fixed income so there’s that; If I do a project it’s gotta be right the first time. I admire your tenacity. I envy your talent.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Len Carver
    June 14, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    The two things I was most upset about that you changed were the bid mural and I cried when you took out the pony walls. But I of course thought not my house Kristi will do what is right for her. Your home is lovely and I have enjoyed seeing how you transform an ugly room into one of beauty.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    I personally feel the pony walls were extremely traditional, and what you have now is much more beautiful and suitable for the style of your home.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 14, 2022 at 4:54 pm

      I agree with you, Michele. I like what she has now.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        June 15, 2022 at 1:34 am

        I agree with both of you—the glass panes are unexpected and the white amid so much color is just lovely! Maybe because I have a thing against pony walls—they seem unnecessary. The whole house is perfect!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    I don’t remember seeing the entryway with the mural before, but I would have guessed it’s newer than your current design. I love its brightness and airiness, both of which I associate with your style today, and I also like that it seems to hint at your new bathroom mural. I’m split 50/50 on the ponywalls-w-columns vs. French doors. They’re both lovely, and they both provide a sense of light and openness, which is great in a transitional space. I don’t think I would have been ABLE to take down the ponywalls and columns — I would have felt too personally invested in them. Your ability to enthusiastically keep re-doing till what’s in front of you matches what’s in your head is a rare gift indeed.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chelle Ellis
    June 14, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    The original living room seems way too mumsy for you now that I’ve been reading you for.. a decade, I think? It’s so bright, beautiful and full of color now.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    I agree with you about the pony walls. I loved them, and your decision to change them has been my biggest regret as well. But I was impressed with your new walls. It takes a lot of courage to redo anything you worked so hard to create and that turned out so well. I was surprised that removing them was your reaction to how busy the living room looked with the trim. I didn’t realize that. Love your blog and hope you and Matt can enjoy the summer trips out and about!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    I think the redo on the living room is definitely the best! Really is your style… the pony wall were great but the glass is nice too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Holly C
    June 14, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    Aw. So sorry you have regrets. I do remember the pony walls and was thrilled you went into such detail with creating them. I loved them too. Made the house look really vintage and elegant. Although the sidelights are also beautiful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    I agree

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 14, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    I LOVED those Pony Walls, too. They are one of the things that brought me to your blog. Please don’t ever take down the post about them – some day I am going to put up some Pony Walls myself and your instructions and methods are perfect!

    Love, love your blog!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    June 14, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    Count me as one who was sad about the bird mural. It was so lovely and lively! But I think the pony walls, while I liked them, didn’t suit your home style as well as what you’ve replaced them with. But I have long ago realized that you have learned to be true to your asthetic, and if it means totally starting over, you are the one that has to live there! Can’t wait to see what your entryway has become!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maria Bingham
    June 16, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Beautiful! I love all you have done to your house. It is your canvas with which you have used to show us and teach us a lot. I hope you continue to share your talent as long as possible.
    And, if you need another house to update/design when you finish all of your plans, you can visit me in the Pacific Northwest anytime!
    Maria B.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 17, 2022 at 11:13 am

    I think the pony walls and columns are a testament to your vision, courage, and ability to change your mind. I look at them and am amazed that you built them from scratch…woohee! I totally adore the bird mural and often wonder if I would be brave enough to attempt something like that. You give the world confidence, Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 18, 2022 at 7:24 am

    I loved the pony walls. I also love the current paned glass windows, maybe more. I don’t think it’s possible to not have some regrets and that’s okay. Love your creativity and your blog.