Anyone who has built, designed or created anything in their lives will understand the beauty and the quandary of retrospect. Looking back on a completed job can leave you noticing the things that didn’t work out, or the choices that were contentious. Often there are things that I wish had turned out differently, or designs that had to be changed which I wish could have worked out. I never reflect on a finished project with regret, but I from time to time I do regret other aspects of the process.
I have always seen regret in terms of how Michael Curtiz described it “The only things you regret are the things you don’t do.” And that is how I often look back on projects. When planning and executing a big project like building your forever home, there are numerous decisions and issues that have to be solved. Many are out of your control and more are unexpected, and these can change plans, designs and dreams. Many times an idea of mine has to be altered through practical necessity and building restraints. I can deal with these changes, I have been involved in a number of these projects now and can move past them quite easily. You have to be adaptable when building anything, and I am getting better and better at that.
However, I still have regrets.
These regrets aren’t of the design plans that were thwarted by various stumbling blocks, they are regrets of the design ideas that I didn’t share. Sometimes an idea can seem too far-fetched, too incredible that you keep them within to save face or ridicule from others around you. This doesn’t happen too often for me, and the ideas that I do share are often supported by those around me, but I do regret not sharing some of my ideas or for disregarding them too early.
The creative process is full of error and oversights that is the journey of so many great ideas. Nothing can be planned in such depth that it can account for every variable, the beauty in creating is that the end result is not always what you planned. Therefore, there is no need to worry about what ‘crazy’ ideas you may have, maybe that will be
the one idea that leads you down a completely different path, one unexplored and unappreciated.
When looking at my home now after so many years of planning, designing, redesigning and so on, I don’t regret the choices I made. I don’t regret the addition of some ‘controversial chandeliers’ or some ‘stark wallpaper choices’, I actually regret not taking risky choices like this more often. These decor picks display a piece of my family and me, they offer an insight into our world and whether that brings ridicule or not, it really doesn’t matter. We all need to be brave enough to say what we think, to break the mould and to put ourselves in risky situations (as long as it doesn’t potentially harm or hurt another being) because if we don’t, they will be the things we regret when we reflect on a project, or our life as a whole.