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Lessons learned from being my own interior designer. After designing my own kitchen from scratch, there are just a few things I wish I would have done differently.

European Farmhouse Kitchen Design | Reveal Tour

I just revealed our new European Farmhouse kitchen.  If you’ve had a chance to see that post, you’ll probably catch on to how much I love it! 


You might enjoy my video on this post too!

European Farmhouse Kitchen Design | Reveal Tour

After living in our renovated RV for 6 months and bouncing around between Airbnb’s while we built this new pole barn home ourselves – it feels wonderful to have a space designed and finished.  Especially a space like the kitchen that gets used and loved frequently throughout the day.

But I have to tell you, this is the first kitchen I have ever designed from scratch.  I honestly felt a bit out of my element and unsure of what I was doing with these 4 walls as I was trying to visualize something from nothing and budget what we could do. 

Now that it is all finished, there are just a few things I regret or wish I would have done differently, and I thought you might find it interesting and helpful to hear about what those things are – should you ever have the chance to design a kitchen yourself.

How to Design a Kitchen - the DIY way!

I’m excited to tell you this post topic is a collaboration with a few of my dearest YouTube and Blogger friends.  I gotta say, I think their kitchens are all incredibly beautiful, It will be so interesting to hear what kitchen design regrets they have! Please find the links to their post at the bottom of this post.

If you would like a place to view all our videos, here is a link to our YouTube playlist where you can find all our kitchen regrets videos.  I hope you’ll check them out!


As for my first kitchen design regret, I knew it the minute my husband installed them that I had made a mistake.

The windows.  Now, I don’t regret this row of light filled windows for one minute, but I do regret the style I choose. 

European Farmhouse Kitchen Design | Reveal Tour

It was one of those choices I was rushed into at the shop, I didn’t really know what I liked so I just said to go with the windows with the top grid only and we added a top transom window to lengthen it out.

In truth, the top grid lines bother me throughout the whole house.  I wish I would have just left all the windows clear and just made one long single window instead of adding that top transom window. 

cafe curtains for a farmhouse country kitchen

I think it would have looked more seamless, and not obstructed my gorgeous mountain view. We had a budget for windows, but even those small decisions would have kept us within that budget – if not even saved some money and I would have liked it better.


It’s one thing to regret the paint color on your walls, but another to regret the paint color on your cabinets – those are a lot harder to repaint.  You’ll see how we have a 2 toned cabinet color.

How-to: Lime Paint Plaster Walls

The lowers are white, and the tall cabinets and the cabinets around the range are a soft blue/gray. The blue is a lovely color, and exactly what I was going for. 

I absolutely love it right now, but I have a sneaking suspicion I am going to wish I had gone with a more neutral color, like the greige that is on the trim and doors. I really think I am going to tire of the blue. 

European Farmhouse Kitchen Design | Reveal Tour

That’s why I often play it safe with neutral colors for the foundation of the house, and use bolder accent colors in my decor – so I can switch it up easily when I tire of a color. Like I said, I like it fine now, but don’t be surprised if you see me repainting these cabinets in a few years.  And please, do not tell my husband I said this.  


Speaking of the cabinets – there is one other thing we regret, and it has to do with buying them and not making them ourselves.  We bought IKEA kitchen cabinet bases, and then had some custom fronts made for them to get our own unique look.

European Farmhouse Kitchen Design | Reveal Tour

I love the durable beaded fronts around this busy sink area.  They look great and wipe up super easy, and I know we couldn’t have made those ourselves.

But as soon as we received these simple flat panel custom fronts, we knew we had made a costly mistake.  They were simply a flat piece of particle board with holes drilled for the hardware.

New Pole Barn Home Build, tour.

We planned on painting them ourselves, so that is really all they were. We could have saved THOUSANDS by just making these ourselves.  In fact, we had held off ordering a few pieces, like for the fridge panels, because we didn’t know the final size, and we ended up just making them ourselves and they look exactly like the custom built ones.

panel ready refrigerator.

You can really easily make a flat panel yourself, and I’m going to show you how when we begin to install some inside a closet we are finishing.  Oh the money we could have saved! Those kinds of things eat us alive – but that tends to be the do-it-yourself mentality.


Sometimes I regret that the kitchen table doesn’t have more character.  It looks a bit too . . . well . . . new.

European Farmhouse Kitchen Design | Reveal Tour

I have this thing for old farmhouse tables and I think there is a table out there that could bring in a bit more of a wow factor than this one.  I mentioned in my reveal how we just adapted a rolling worktable we had previously built, and cut down the legs to make it work as a dining table.

We really needed to use what we had rather than spend any more money, and this totally worked!  The hubs built benches, I thrifted a couple of chairs and made slipcovers for them, and this super wide quartz top table is extremely family friendly.

french country chair slipcover

I probably will never change it because it functions so well, and still looks pretty – but I’ll always envision that chippy, raw wood gorgeous authentic farmhouse table in my dreams.  And the chairs work – I definitely felt this space needed more linen, but I’ll probably keep my eye out for some lovely linen parson chairs at some point.


I regret to inform you, that it has been 4 months since we moved in and I still haven’t organized the inside of these drawers and cupboards – at least at the time of writing this post. 

Kitchen Design Regrets

We moved in with all the kitchen belongings we had in our RV life (which was few) and the rest of our items were still in storage.

Kitchen Design Regrets

We’ve slowly moved boxes in and left them stacked in the pantry, but it is high time I start unboxing and put this kitchen together – now that I have a lovely finished space. 

Kitchen Design Regrets

I suppose all the DIY’s and business of life have left that on the low priority list, but I am anxious to put it all together and FEEL like I have a finished kitchen.

Let me know if this is something you would like to see me do and share how I organize the kitchen space.  I’m pretty excited to get to that.


Well, there you have it!  5 Kitchen regrets – but my list of what I love is much much longer. 

Would you share in the comments below something you regret about your kitchen?  I think this is a conversation that could be helpful to many people as they design or rethink their kitchen space.

I hope you’ll watch as I design the rest of our home.  We only have 10 spaces left to finish and a complete mess of a yard. I’m sure there will be way more regrets along the way, but that’s just part of the do-it-yourself fun.


You’ll get to hear from my sweet friend Lisa from Farmhouse on Boone.  I love the Victorian Farmhouse style in her just recently finished remodeled kitchen.  Her kitchen has so much charm and still functions amazingly well for a busy family of 8.

Chloe from Boxwood Avenue is also sharing her kitchen regrets today – in fact – this fun topic was her idea!  I’ve always been smitten with her white concrete countertops, french range and overall sophisticated cattle ranch life and style.

Julie Blanner is also sharing kitchen regrets!  I think her kitchen wins the award for being the most soothing kitchen.  I adore all the creamy white tones, warm metals, cohesive aesthetics, and minimalist simplicity.  

Finally, we get to hear from Sarah, from She Holds Dearly.  I have loved watching her breath life and beauty into every corner of her 1906 farmhouse.  She has served its roots well and I’m excited to hear her talk about her kitchen. 


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  1. Hi! My kitchen regrets: I like my kitchen a lot… but should have put more thought into lighting. I just let our builder do what he does.
    One + thought: kitchen cabinets that are painted sort of a light khaki color have been great.. they are sort of smudge-colored. (unless you eat a lot of cranberries etc. ) But… we live in a dusty place, and the little moldings on the doors do collect dust, which gets packed into the corners when you go over it with a damp paper towel. Then it seems to be no longer dust, more of a geological layer. I’d go for simpler smooth cabinet fronts if I were to ever do a kitchen again.

    Also – we sprung (sprang?) for dark soapstone counters. I like them, but they do contribute to a darkish look to the room. I might do the island top in something more light-reflecting.
    I like your windows, just so you know! Your very sweet simple curtains soften the room up. Lovely kitchen. You will organize storage a bit at a time, when you have a rainy day or are stuck on a long boring phone call that doesn’t demand a lot of attention!

  2. I sympathize with the top grids Cami. After spending many, many hours designing windows to be just right, it is funny to me that we ended up buying windows that someone ordered but did not pay for from a custom window business. We were able to get brand new triple pane windows for an incredible price (because they were just sitting in the back of the shop) but the top grids do interfere with our beautiful view of the Rockies. I feel a little embarrassed that it bothers me so thanks for sharing- I feel like someone else understands.

  3. I’m not sure I understand your comments about the windows. I understand about the window grids but in regards to the transom windows are you saying you wish you purchased taller windows or one very wide transom to go above all the windows?

  4. There was always something I always wanted to change but just leaving with it, thanks for sharing your plans 🙂

  5. I made my own removable backsplash and I love it. I change it when I need some new color or get tired of it. I used art work from one of the children at one time. It’s easier to clean, and to clean the space around the splash.

  6. I think everyone has a few regrets after building a house. Things you didn’t anticipate or something you had pictured in your mind, Ididn’t quite translate the same into the builders mind. I am not sure what you mean though about your cabinets. I know you bought the bases from Ikea, and then you said the fronts were custom made, but..if they were custom, why are they not solid wood? Is particle board what you wanted? (Doesn’t sound like it Or what you were expecting?) . Did the cabinet maker not do what they were supposed to do and cheaped out? As someone else mentioned, I agree. It is more Scandinavian style than modern farmhouse. (Which I think was maybe what you were hoping for?) Now, you just go from here and work with what you got, I guess, and it will still be lovely!

  7. I’m 63 and have never been fortunate to redo a kitchen; we have always “made do.” That said while my current residence has the absolute worst kitchen I have ever had, I do love the ONE update we did do-the windows. I have a lovely backyard with a huge deck and pool and trees and lots of plants that bloom. I love that I can look out the windows as I do dishes or prep food and see this sight and hear the birds and see the deer and fox along with squirrels and chipmunks running amuck. But when we first bought this old Sears house, the windows had the small panes that I was always ducking and peeping around, are now gone. I have two huge windows with nothing to distract from the beautiful backyard. Even DH who was against replacing windows is happy with them. I’m sorry you are regretting your window choices. You have to be brave to try new things; all is not lost-you learned something which is priceless.

  8. Hi Cami,
    Thank you for posting this, it is great to hear that I am not the only one to feel a little disappointed in some of my decisions.
    I tried to link through to the other blogs because I am interested in their stories as well, but apart from the last link, it just takes me straight to their home page and honestly trying to find the story is impossible because there is so much on their sites.
    Are you able to have the links go directly to the post?
    Many thanks and kind regards

  9. Everone has regrets. It’s nice of you to share yours. I have seen some DIY versions of adding trim around the edges of the cabinet fronts. If you want shaker style or even some quarter round inside a few inches for a different look and then antiquing around it so it looks old. It would be fun to see you do that to add more character to the cabinets so they dont look so modern.

  10. My biggest regret is my backsplash – I wanted beadboard which I got but when we went to buy it, instead of getting wood, we got the cheaper partial board version. Even with sealing and painting it, it has not held up to the moisture around the sink. We are going to have to pull it off and redo it. I do love the look of it though.

    1. That is good to know! I was considering the cheaper bead board for the wall around my tub. Thanks!

  11. I’m so sorry you have kitchen regrets, but…… I’m so glad you posted your kitchen regrets. I thought I was the only one and always feel ashamed of myself for focusing on what isn’t perfect (in my mind) in my kitchen and in the whole house actually. This was my first time building and there are things I just didn’t see coming. I’ll never build again but if I knew then what I know now…… Oh well. First world problems, right?

    1. I would call your kitchen style Scandinavian– I love it. It is sleek, simple, and elegant. The only regret I had when we built was putting hand made stone tile on the counter tops. I put tile counter tops in all my bathrooms too! I hate grout and advise against tile except for floors. Fortunately,after 20 years, we changed the kitchen counters to granite and I love it! You have wonderful style and your home is coming along so nicely. I enjoy following along with you through your journey.