OT- Regrets, I have a few. Do you?

sixtyohnoJuly 1, 2014

In my first apartment, way back in the middle of the last century, I had a Milo Baughman bedroom set and table and chairs. Ten years later we were all tired of our teak and oiled walnut trendy stuff. We wanted old oak, gothic looking and Victorian. We wanted fancy iron beds and mauve walls, and wood that had been underwater for 100 years, and barn siding. So I sold my bedroom and dining furniture and began my stupid phase. I'm way past that now and I can't believe I was ever so stupid and that I tried to be trendy. I am afraid to google images of Milo Baughman furniture. If I see my set it would break my heart. I do like everything I have now. My house pleases me, but my regrets keep perking up especially when I see all the MCM photos.
Has anyone else done a dumb thing? Did you get over it?

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Items that stand the test of time will usually work in a number of style environments. Don't beat yourself up over the Milo Baughman stuff. Someone is stirring the pot to raise the value on the items in this market.

Milo did not have a classic touch and many of the details on furniture, that was manufactured by Thayer Coggin, were very heavy handed and are worthless, as evidenced by these two chairs. No one is rushing to make reproductions of his furniture like they do for Jean Michel Frank, Mies Van der Rohe, Saarinen, or Breuer.

It is important to not follow trends because they date your home and simply don't last. Our resale shops are awash in Tuscan furniture that even the Tuscans would find ridiculous.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:55PM
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You did the correct thing for you at the time.

Would you have been happier living with something you didn't like for decades? If you want to change decor again, why not?

My biggest regret is not taking over the mortgage on my father's lake cabin. That $60.00 a month seemed like too much back in the late 1960s.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:55PM
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The only piece of furniture I've ever regretted buying is a little Louis XV style settee. If fit perfectly in my last house and is extremely comfortable, but it doesn't have a home in this house and I wish I had purchased a more versatile style.

I have no regrets about furniture that I've given away over the years as I usually have replaced it with a similar piece, just better quality. Overall, my style of eclectic traditional hasn't ever changed, so I never had the kind of complete overhaul of my decor that you describe.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:56PM
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If I don't talk about them, they didn't happen.....they didn't happen....they didn't...

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 2:04PM
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I sold a beautiful little quartersawn oak mission style table that I refinished myself. That was about 30 years ago and I still get a little twinge when I think about it.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 2:26PM
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My house had an adorable mailbox next to the front door that had a little door on the front. For some weird reason, I wanted a basket for my mail, so I gave away the metal one. Quicly grew weary of the basket and bought a run of the mill mailbox with a duck on it. Wish I'd saved the first one.

When my mother cleaned out my great aunts house I turned down nearly everything because it seemed old fashioned. Instead I bought lower quality modern junk (now replaced). Wish I;d had the sense to recognize quality back then.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:31PM
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tntc (too numerous to count).

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:35PM
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How about "Hindsight is 20-20" ?

On the one hand, you would be right to regret the loss of the Milo Baughman furniture, if you had a warehouse to store things during the long period where it was just dated furniture.

Not all Milo Baughman furniture is created equal, and I will be the bearer of bad news. Some of the MB stuff is quite nice, quite collectible, and is actually being reproduced now by Thayer Coggin, in slightly different finishes. The T-back (Trends II from the early 1970s) can go for $2000-4000 a pop up to (price upon request).

The good news, in a way, is that I got mine for $99 and $199 respectively, a few years apart, because no one was that interested in them yet. I liked them because I liked them in the LR on "The Jeffersons" when I was in grade school, and I always liked them. Good news for me, because I could sell them at great profit (which I won't). Good news for you, because when you got rid of yours, you weren't making a grievous error, you were getting rid of outdated old furniture.

Maybe by the time I would consider selling them they will be worthless again, They're not exactly American First Period furniture.

And of course the "stupid phase" stuff you got rid of will come around again too. It could be worse. You could have gotten rid of a Paul Evans Studio credenza of the sort currently going *at auction* for a quarter million. (Meaning retail would hit twice that, possibly)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 5:22PM
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larecoltante Z6b NoVa

I love your posts, Pal. Well informed, clearly written, good advice, always interesting.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 9:58PM
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Holly- Kay

I agree with you Larecoltante. Pal is so well informed.

I have a few regrets in decorating but nothing major. I have never gone for trendy even when I was young. I have always loved antiques and traditional, classic styles. The only difference between then and now is that I can finally afford to decorate with what I love.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 10:08PM
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The only regrets I ever have are about not spending enough time with loved ones. Grandparents who pass away, nieces and nephews who grow up fast, beloved pets who pass away. Furniture can always be replaced, but our time we can't get back.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 10:41PM
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Tinan, you nailed it.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 10:53PM
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I honestly can't think of any - and this certainly isn't bragging. We just never had the opportunity! No one in our family had anything worth passing down. When DH and I married we were still paying grad school tuition and didn't have any money to spend.

One of my friends turned down her great aunt's George Nakashima walnut dining room table and chairs because she couldn't envision it in her apartment and she didn't want to rent a truck and drive 2 hours to Doylestown, PA to pick it up. This was back in the 70's, she was only 25 and it was a few years before she realized what she had done.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:38AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, I'm still sorry I never kept the pic of my dad in the navy. It was one of those very long narrow pics they used to do back then, black and white of his whole class...each face about the size of a lentil. I have the perfect spot for it now...but we were cleaning out over 50 years of stuff and we were just inundated. You make your best guesses of what you think you want to keep, and you're not always going to guess correctly. So it goes.

I was a child when they were cleaning out and selling my grandmother's place...I had no idea what happened to all her furnishings, but I wish Mom had kept her old rocker...I loved that thing. But it still exists in my memory.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:47AM
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We have a Scandinavian modern dining table, chairs and sideboard - teak - that we bought in the mid-70s.

A number of the thin legs, one chair back and one chair arm have broken and been repaired. They look good on a casual glance but on close inspection one can see the repairs that have been made. The table top has gotten some damage from around 40 years of use and it's veneer so I don't know if we will be able to restore it.

Looking at images on-line, a lot of the Milo Baughman furniture has veneer also and some had similar spindly legs though some had chunky. If you had kept it, it might be showing its age too much now too if you had kept it.

I wish I could find something new similar to what we have but with a solid wood top.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 3:19PM
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I regret not spitting on my grandfather's grave when I had the chance..

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Here is the Paul Evans cabinet that just went for $219,750 (hammer price + buyer's premium). It's not a fluke, another went for $207K in the same auction. For years these went for about $40-50K and I thought that was outrageously high.

If it makes you feel any better, the Milo Baughman gets equivocal results--all over the place, pricewise--and some of the prices seem to have peaked. If you want to revisit history, you may be able to find what you once lost at not too high a price.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 16:44

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:36PM
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We redid our house 4 years ago. I have white kitchen cabinets which I actually love and will never have anything else but I regret not throwing in some permanent colour either through the backsplash or the counter which I have always done in the past. Shoulda stuck to my guns against the KD and DH.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:45PM
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I have to weigh my regrets at getting rid of a few pieces that may have been better kept, with the delight and freedom I am feeling now after getting rid of a lot of 'stuff'. I've never hoarded but even so, there was extra furniture, boxes of stuff. Now I've pared down and I feel good about doing that.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:03PM
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I regret not having had more children. I regret not having rejoiced every single minute I was able to spend with my late DH. I regret not taking woodshop in high school (as if).

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:04PM
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Pal- my furniture was by Directional. I just did a quick look. I found one nightstand for $749. I had the whole 5 piece set. I didn't look anymore.
You are right. Hindsight is 20 20.

Linelle- Your DH must have been a wonderful man.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:37PM
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I'll keep this decorating related.

About 6 years ago I got rid of an old metal and wood school desk that I used during my school years while living at home. (Got rid of two that day actually - my sister had an identical one she no longer wanted.) For some reason, when I moved out, I didn't feel like bothering to store it in the attic. I figured I'd just buy a new desk later in life when we had children. Of course I can still do that, but I totally kick myself because it was such a great desk. I took it to our local thrift store and both sold before I got them out of my car. I'll never forget how excited that lady looked! She could barely keep it together, lol. I suppose I do get some joy out of knowing it went to a good home. I often wonder who ends up with my castaways.

The other thing is we should have put the refrigerator on the end of the cabinet run. That will be fixed later in life.

I wish I would have handled the above items differently, but it's not something I dwell on. What's done is done.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:42PM
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I do and they are all too painful to even think about. I feel scarred and should probably consider therapy lol!

One of them was when I first met DH and he had one of those awful arced silver floor lamps w/ the big silver light in his bedroom - you know - the kind that I coveted 2yrs later. I told him it had to go - his room looked like a porn set w/ it.

While it still isn't totally my style today I still kick myself.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Decorating related, not really. I have made mistakes but I did learn from them and they have helped me become wiser. I still make mistakes but I try not to focus on them as I will always be learning and changing. Few things are permanent if I really want change. I'll find a way.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:55AM
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Decorating regrets? Oh yes . . . but most of them I've chalked up to the process of maturing decorating-wise as I evolved. The one I still regret to this day, though, is not including a landscaping budget into our original loan when we had this place built. We thought we had the cash in the bank to pay for it when the house was done . . . BUT life happened. My wonderful but unexpected pregnancy with DD right after we moved in, major health complications, DD being born 2 months prematurely and then 2 months in NIC unit wiped out those reserve funds quickly. It took years after to get the outside semi- finished!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:21AM
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sixtyohno, thanks. He was a good guy, not perfect. I'm grateful for our years together.

Design related? Oh, let me count the ways. :) Most recent one was repainting my bathroom the same color it was before the remodel. It's my go-to color, but I brought more gray into the space and now I think the paint is too creamy for it. But they painted first, which made sense. I shall live with it for a while and see what happens. I'm not fond of painting ceilings. Of course, I had the ceiling painted the same color as the walls. :(

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 10:36AM
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I don't really have any. The decisions I made with furniture that doesn't work out anymore were made when I lived in a house less than half the size I'm in now. The style was a bit conservative but at the time I didn't really know or understand what's "me" yet and I've gotten 10 almost 10 years out of it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 11:12AM
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About 2 years ago, DH got his first "big boy" job and was moving about an hour away. We were newly engaged, but I overestimated my influence in choosing furniture at that stage. While shopping with his parents at an antique store, I found a gorgeous, solid cherry wide plank farm table for only $100! DH is cheap and wasn't mentally prepared to make a purchase that day. I was a student with no money. I wanted it so bad, but didn't want to seem like a spoiled brat in front of his parents. So I let it go.
Three days later, he went to an estate sale with his parents. He came back with a old round oak table plus 2 leaves with a stained and yellowed top and 6 matching chairs... for $500!! His dad said it would last forever... blah, blah, practical man talk. But I didn't want THAT to last forever. I cried and cried.
Seems so silly now to have gotten so upset, but there is definitely still a twinge of regret there for that beautiful farm table. I will say that DH definitely learned an early lesson about marriage and having a wife :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 4:12PM
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I compensated for putting a pair of teak Danish modern candlesticks from my parents' dining room (all colonial revival) in the box going to the Hospital Resale Shop by buying myself vintage teak Danish modern candlesticks of my own. I now have about seventy.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Plenty. Less is more of course, but the less has to either be high quality or go with the flow. Pinterest looks like an angel but is really a devil. Always, always choose the basics of quality such as hardwood, porcelain tile and stainless steel. Trendy is for accents, never a whole room. That is what I have learned.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 4:35PM
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Like linelle, I have a deceased ex who I feel blessed to have had in my life, but didn't realize while he was alive. On the plus side of the relationship, our family remained intact, and we kept a friendship thruout our breakup as well the remainder of his life. He stayed with me and I cared for him until the end, something I would never change since he had voiced years earlier he didn't want to be alone when the end came.

My past decorating I regret not bidding on a vintage(not antique!)9 piece French bedroom set, at a mere $925 bid. I would have broken the set up using various pieces in different rooms. My second regret is another vintage bedroom set, 9 piece and French, but in an original ivory paint~I could have had it for $1300, well worth it.

My present disappointment is I've been in my 'new' house 6 years, and haven't done the many things I had planned on doing. I'm vowing to myself that starting in the fall, I'll be bringing many of those plans to fruition. I've been traveling too much to start this summer!!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 6:03PM
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I'm still living with /using furniture from my MILs house. She died in the late 70s at 73 or so. most of her stuff came from her mother and MILs houses. It's old. and I love it. never have been one for new stuff.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 4:55AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Can't say that I do. This is my mantra.

Here is a link that might be useful: No regrets

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 9:30AM
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cyn427 - I LOVE that! One of my favorite things ever is listening to Edith Piaf at high volume and singing along. Both that song, and La Mer, are huge favorites.

Regrets... are mostly about wishing I had done more for my mother in her last years. That, and the shower with the two million small mosaic tiles and acres of grout....

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 9:11PM
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