I Made This Mistake When Renovating My Home — and Have Regretted It Since

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If we’re going to make mistakes, the least they can do is make us smarter.


Key points

  • Everyone makes financial mistakes. It’s how we learn.
  • We rarely know what’s just around the corner — bad or good.
  • While I couldn’t have predicted the housing bubble bursting, I wish I’d been more cautious with how I spent money on my home at that time.

2007 was a pretty horrid year for home buyers across the U.S. Many of us — particularly those of us who’d never lost money when selling a house — assumed that anything we put into a home would come back to us at some point.

Call it naïve or overly optimistic, but the idea of a housing bubble never entered my mind. I left reporting for a few years to write novels and honestly, I must have had my head in the sand.

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Get Inspired: A Dreamy Fort Lauderdale Summer Home

Photo by Michael P.H. Clifford

The first room is an open kitchen connected to the dining area. It features natural materials and a pop of blue to give a coastal feel. The white beam ceiling adds dimension and some drama.

Photo by Michael P.H. Clifford

Another look at the kitchen. It features soft blue cabinetry around the island and wood paneling around the range. Arnold chose to recess the cabinet doors for a cleaner look.

Photo by Michael P.H. Clifford

The green dining room features a wallpaper mural. A common decor trend you will see in this home is dramatic pendant lights. The dining room light is by Stephen Antonson.

Photo by Michael P.H. Clifford

The breakfast nook off the kitchen is a custom linen-covered banquette. The chairs are from RW Guild.

Photo by Michael P.H. Clifford

The grand entryway features a limewashed cypress ceiling and hand-applied plaster to create

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