No, it’s not what you’re all thinking!
Everyone has words that they hate, according to my Facebook feed moist seems to be a particularly popular one at the moment, but the word I really dislike is compromise*!
Over time, it’s something I’ve had to learn to live with while renovating our home but making compromises is never something that comes easily to me.
Let’s face it, who would choose a hallway that looks like this if they didn’t have to?
It starts from the very first moment when you’re house hunting and continues through almost every renovation and decoration aspect and even through to selling your home at the end!
The financial aspect is obviously a huge part of compromising but that’s definitely not the only reason that you sometimes have to adjust your plans.
These are just some of the areas where we’ve had to compromise.
PVC instead of timber windows.
I’m still not sure about I feel about this one. We would have loved traditional timber windows but there was just no way we could have justified spending thousands of pounds on gorgeous timber windows when we still had so many other projects to do in the rest of the house. For the first winter in our home, we had almost no heating and tried to warm our living room with dozens of tea lights!
Choosing uPVC windows also allowed to spend more on the stained glass with we had made from scratch and then encapsulated.
This is something I feel really strongly about. I would have liked a different design for our extension but it wouldn’t have passed through planning. I find the whole planning process too rigid. Sticking to rules doesn’t necessarily help achieve the best solution – not only for individual houses but for the area as a whole, too.
I don’t believe in making things look old and think that the new should compliment the original design.
In case you’re wondering our extension would have been the same size and shape but it would have been clad in Shou Sugi Ban (which is charred black timber) with hidden drainage and gutters. Basically, it would have been a crisp, clear and contemporary box that would have complemented the old. It would have been gorgeous. Sadly it wasn’t to be as all materials had to exactly match the ones used on the existing house.
This isn’t something we compromised on when we bought our first house and I honestly think it’s the last thing you should compromise on. It’s really the only thing you can’t change but having said that we have had to make a compromise (it almost hurts even when I type the word) on the location of our new apartment.
The area is great but it is just off a very, very busy main road. We’ve chosen to live in a large city so figured that there will always be inevitable noise but this also means that we’re able to afford a larger apartment on a higher up floor.
For the first 3 years after purchasing our house in Manchester we didn’t do any travelling. Our decisions were always “Do we tackle a home improvement project?” or “Do we go on holiday?”. Needless to say, the home improvement project always won.
I would love a kitchen island in our new home but I’m not sure that it’ll fit. I can’t magically make the room wider and will have to see what the best solution is for our space. (You can read about how we’re planning to change the kitchen in our new apartment here.) There might also be structural constraints where you can’t remove something you’d like or end up with a huge steel beam like we did between our kitchen and dining room.
Often we see dream homes and interiors in magazines or on Pinterest and would love to replicate something similar in our own homes. It just isn’t always possible and you could end up with a solution that isn’t quite right for your space. It’s all about working with what you have and considering what your space is like – even if that means you can’t have the wine fridge you’ve always dreamed of or there’s just not enough space for an island in your kitchen.
There’s really no easy way to deal with compromise, especially if like me you like things perfect but I’ve learned that it is possible. Setting your priorities before you start out on any project is the key to success. Not only does it help you make compromises in areas that aren’t as important to you it also helps you stay focussed throughout the whole home improvement process.
I also try to think of compromise as a good thing. After all, if I wasn’t compromising in some way I probably wouldn’t be able to do, improve or afford whatever it is I’m trying to achieve at all.
Have you had to make compromises on your home? Have you made a compromise you’ve regretted? How do you set your priorities and do you find it easy to stick to them? Do you have a word you hate (keep it clean!)?
*It’s not really the word itself just the meaning of it that I dislike.