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Small remodel regrets in a home renovation: double sinks and a single oven.

Custom Residential, Interior Design

Small Remodel Regrets in a Home Renovation

When you are planning to remodel your kitchen, do you want a single or double oven? A one-basin sink or a double-basin? Now, think again. And, remodel regrets aren't limited to the kitchen, here are some remodel regrets from an architect’s own home renovation.

April 9, 2020

Even architects make design choices in their own home remodels they later regret.

This is a really surreal time to be writing a blog post. My family is fortunate to all be healthy and Board & Vellum was already set up to have the entire office work remotely, so we have all been able to continue working in an amazingly seamless way. I am working from home in the same space where I founded the company a little over nine years ago. It has given me some time to think about all that has happened in the past nine years and feel pride in the company I’ve helped build with the amazing people who work here.

More importantly for this blog post, though, it has given me time to focus on the little things about my house that drive me nuts. Let me be clear, in a time of crisis, the little things really don’t matter and this post is written tongue-in-cheek. However, it is also a human truth that no matter what happens, we can still focus on things that really don’t mean a damn thing. So, in the interest of appealing to the human truth in all of us, here are some random observations currently annoying me about my house. I imagine all of you are doing the same and thinking about ways in which you can improve your living situation. Focusing on the future is a great way to stay sane in a trying time!

Home Design Choices I Regret

Yellow paint in the finished attic.

Paint is one of those things that is easy to change and can be far more “of the moment”. That said, I wonder what sort of “moment” I was having when I decided to paint my attic office yellow. (And let’s be clear, it is less of an office and more of a dumping ground for boxes of toys at this point, but still.) Maybe I thought yellow paint would feel sunny and bright? I really don’t know, but every single moment I’m working up there, I have to stop myself from ordering some white paint and pulling out all of the furniture.

A double sink in the kitchen.

I hate my double sink. Like, I have lost sleep over it. When we remodeled, I had never lived with a large sink before, and was confident that a double sink would start some lifestyle change where I had a soapy side filled with water and would easily clean dishes with the regulation of a restaurant kitchen. I’m not that person. I should have just put in a giant single basin, especially since the larger and deeper side of my double sink means a garbage disposal can’t fit under it. So the giant basin where all the dirty dishes go and would naturally collect all the food scraps, can’t handle the food scraps. Think about this carefully when you’re selecting a sink.

Seattle Box Remodel – Board & Vellum – Kitchen with floating shelves.
Single or Double?

In my personal experience after our remodel, I’d now go with single basin sink and double ovens.

One oven, not two.

I wish I had a second oven. I debated this long and hard when we planned out our kitchen, and was sure that a large single oven was going to be fine. Especially in these times when my favorite pastime is, “What carb will I cook next?” a giant oven takes a long time to heat up, wastes energy, and means I can’t easily bake or roast two separate things at two separate temperatures.

Not replacing a toilet with a round bowl for an elongated one.

When we finished our basement we re-used an existing toilet that was installed in our house just prior to us moving in. It was in a good shape and it seemed a silly waste of carbon to throw it out. Unfortunately, it is not an elongated toilet bowl and really, all toilet bowls for adults should be elongated.

Low ceiling height in the attic.

This one has nothing to do with a decision I made, but I’d love to go back in time and ask the builder of this house why they kept the attic ceiling height so low. The homes adjacent to us all have attics with actual habitable space up there. If we had one more foot of ceiling height, the whole space would be far more usable. We still love what we have, but just like every Seattle basement with ceiling heights barely under seven feet, I have to wonder, why?


A house is almost like a living thing and never really should stay static for too long. I know that one day we’ll do another remodel of some sort and I’ll get to address the little things that drive me nuts. In the meantime, though, they’re amusing distractions that even architects deal with in their own houses. Homeowners, you’re not alone.

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