Tempting, but proceed with caution.


Maybe you've spent the weekend catching up on Fixer Upper, bulking up Pinterest boards with ideas for your next big home project. But before you break out the sledgehammer and safety goggles, make sure it's one you won't regret a few years (or months) down the road…

After all, Southerners are known to have a knack for timeless style and smart design (hello, sleeping porches!). So is your dream project a passing trend or permanent solution? If the ‘80s and ‘90s (and dare we say, the McMansions of the early aughts) taught us anything, it's to resist the trends and spend your money where it will last.

So what's the riskiest move when it comes to gambling with post-renovation regret? Pools are certainly high-risk, as the upkeep can start to eat into the time you actually get to spend enjoying it. As are renovations that consolidate extra bedrooms into the master bathroom or closet. It sure is nice, but what about the resale value when a young family comes looking for multiple bedrooms? Or open cabinets—in style? Definitely. Totally functional? Sometimes.

But the most tempting and yet most risky? Custom cabinetry and super-specific built-ins for items like printers, coffee makers, or TVs. It's easy to get lost down the rabbit hole on Instagram or Pinterest of perfectly organized pantries, home offices, craft rooms, and libraries, but technology evolves fast, and trends are moving even faster. For example, think about the evolution of televisions in just, say 15 years. We're willing to be the TV you were watching in 2003 is nowhere near as thin as the device propped up in your family room now. Let's say you built a cabinet specifically for that device—chances are, you'd already have to change it to fit a new TV. Nobody has that kind of time. When renovating, it's more important than ever to design for timelessness.

Tell us: have you ever renovated and regretted? (How about that idea for a home makeover show?) What trends do you think are leading down the road of no renovation return? Get more before-and-after ideas from Southern Living here.