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July 19, 2024

Susy Scantlebury

Functional Home Features

The Biggest Design Mistake I Ever Made


There are two things that define a good design: It’s functional, and it’s flexible. If either of those things is missing, the design will fail. But designing for flexibility isn’t just about making sure a space can be used for multiple purposes; it’s also about ensuring that the space suits people who might not have been considered when the design was first created. That’s why I learned my biggest lesson from designing my own backyard.

Not allowing for flexibility

The biggest design mistake I ever made was not allowing for flexibility in my outdoor spaces.

I don’t mean that the space should be able to change shape (although that is a nice bonus), but rather that it should be adaptable to different activities and uses, like parties or barbecues, yoga classes or meditation sessions, games with kids and even just hanging out with friends on the weekend.

The best way to create this kind of flexibility is by designing with intentionality: knowing what you want your outdoor space to do before you start building it will save you time and money later on when making changes isn’t an option anymore because all those materials have been used up!

Not accounting for real-world use

You should be designing for the real-world use of your space.

  • Design for how and when it’s used: Is it a formal dining room, or does everyone eat at their own desks? Do you have a lot of guests coming over on weekends and holidays, or are they more likely to visit during the week?
  • Design for how people change over time: You might want one type of furniture now, but what about later on down the road when children come along? Or maybe after some time has passed since graduation day and those college roommates have moved on in life (and out). A lot can happen in just five years–and even more after that!

Overthinking floor plan design

The biggest mistake I ever made was overthinking my floor plan design.

When you’re designing a home, the process of creating a floor plan can be very overwhelming and time consuming. You want your home to be functional, beautiful and comfortable–but also something that you’ll love living in for decades to come. This is why many designers find themselves spending endless hours poring over architectural plans before they’ve even gotten started on the actual design elements (such as paint colors).

However, when it comes down to it: there’s no need for this kind of overthinking! A good designer will work with you on creating an amazing space without getting bogged down by details like how many square feet each room should have or where exactly all your furniture should go (and trust me–sometimes those decisions aren’t easy!). Instead of stressing out about these details early on in the process; focus instead on what matters most: style & function!

A flexible, functional design is the key to a good outdoor space

A flexible, functional design is the key to a good outdoor space. If you have an idea of what you want in your mind and then try to force it into reality, you’ll be disappointed with the results.

A well-thought-out design allows for change and adaptation over time. It’s okay if things don’t go exactly as planned; flexibility will allow you to adjust as needed without having wasted time or money on something that doesn’t work out the way it was intended originally. A flexible design also means that no matter what changes come along–weather, seasons, family members or guests–you’ll still be able to use your outdoor space effectively!


I know that this is a hard lesson to learn, but it’s one that will make your life easier in the long run. If you can learn to let go of your preconceived ideas about what your outdoor space should look like and focus on making it functional instead, then you’ll have less stress later on when things don’t work out exactly as planned. A flexible design with plenty of options for customization will allow you to adapt each part of your backyard according to what works best for each family member or group of friends who comes over.