The Fails

by megan
Published: Last Updated on

The problem with running a home decor blog is the assumption of success. Everyone posts their ridiculously beautiful homes that seem to have been flawlessly executed (also, where is your clutter? WHERE? I can’t be the only one with mail left on the kitchen table. I want answers, damn it.)

Let me tell you, I have failed at attempts to work on things I’ve seen on Pinterest or ideas I’ve had in my head to get the decor look I wanted. OH, how I have failed. I’ve never posted them because…well…they’re fails. But someone at Haven once told me that I should talk about them because it would take the pressure off others to feel like everything must be perfect.

I’ll update these will full posts later on so you can see what I did, what went wrong, and what I’d fix (spoiler: I wouldn’t fix most of it, I just ended up moving on)

Home Decor Fail List

The succulent wall

So, we’ve got this wall right next to the side door (which is our main entrance). It was just this big ass blue wall with a giant splotchy patch (Steve’s first attempt at patching a wall that we thought was drywall but is actually plaster) where the former residents’ security system was installed. It was obnoxious to look at every day, and I loved the idea of having a plant wall there, so I built a shallow shadow box, added soil and chicken wire, then stuck my succulents in.


The project worked well, I think, but the sustainability of this was suspect to begin with. First off, I wanted the plants to be able to grow and spread, so I didn’t stick them all together in tight arrangements. So…when I would go to spritz them with water, flurries of soil would get dislodged (cactus and succulent soil is notoriously loose, so this was a disaster from the get-go) and sprinkle down onto our shoes. This lasted for about 2 months before I gave it up and moved the succulents into their own pots.

The copper door handles

Our downstairs has a lot of bold colors: the walls in the living room are a gorgeous wine/raspberry, the trim is bright white, and the doors, which were originally white (and featured SUPER FUN crayon and marker that seemed to be baked on in) are a rich glossy black. Originally the door knobs were round brass knobs that matched the brass-colored hinges, and I just hated them, but I was stuck in a color hole: I had no intention of taking the doors off of the hinges (no thank you, please), so I needed to find a color that would work better and would involve my beloved lever handles. I tried a few colors with spray paint: oil-rubbed bronze, bright copper, and dark copper, and in the end, the bright copper won. I spray-painted brass lever handles from Schlage and installed them.

The problems started almost immediately: To make sure I got ALL of the pieces, I ended up taking the levers apart and spray paint individual parts. Somehow I re-assembled one of the handles incorrectly, which resulted in the basement door lever occasionally coming apart in your hand. So, you know, a nice little “basement poltergeists are now behind you while you are trapped in your dark basement” feel every time that happened.

Look, I’m now 35, but I will readily admit there are times that I still bolt up my basement stairs in terror. So imagine the feeling of bolting up the staircase and having the handle come off. I should’ve checked my heart rate on my Fitbit once in a while to see what that spike looked like.

Also, no surprise to anyone, the spray paint would wear off, resulting in a copper/brass/patina look that is something you just LOVE to see on a bathroom door handle. Who feels sanitary? Anyone? Bueller?

I finally replaced them with oil-rubbed bronze levers this past week and am enjoying the slightly hidden look they have against the black doors.

The number sign outside

Both Steve and I don’t see this as a failure on our part but on the oblivious people who attempt to locate our home. The original numbers on our house were pretty rough, but I found a cute idea to create a number sign with a box on Pinterest. The box I didn’t build but ended up finding one at Goodwill for $1, to which I slapped a piece of fencing on, stained a dark wood color, added fake hydrangeas and screwed on silver numbers. The result is a lovely accessory to the front of our home, and I was really proud of it.


Except there are times (maybe a dozen or so in 2 years) when someone will walk into our driveway with a confused look on their face. They weren’t able to figure out the street number of our house. HELLO, IT’S RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE. THE DARK PIECE OF WOOD WITH SILVER NUMBERS AGAINST A WHITE TRIM. PEOPLE, COME ON.

It hasn’t happened often, but enough that it seems to be a problem for some, and the stubborn part of me feels “sorry, not sorry” about it, but I might begrudgingly need to paint it white.

Again, I’ll update this post later with links to individual posts about these fails that detail the steps I took to build and where I fucked up, but I hope this post helps out someone who feels overwhelmed and covered in wood glue. Home decor bloggers aren’t perfect (or at least, I am definitely not), and we fail at projects. Don’t be intimidated into not trying a project! If it’s a success, you are a BALLER. If it’s a fuck up, as we used to say in BK: eh, whaddyagonnado.

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