51 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2019 10:03 AM by thaxterlane RSS

    Owner designer failures

    feibus CommunityAmbassador

      Just got back from vacation and stayed in a nice place (won't say where, or who, don't want to embarrass anyone), but it had a MAJOR designer fail... they had this for the master bath:

      Capture.PNG

      Looks nice, right?  Glass top sink, waterfall faucet... you can see yourself falling in love with it?  Looks great in pictures!

       

      But when you use it in a place that has high sediment in the water, the glass sink perpetually looks filthy with white water spots.  And just try to brush your teeth with a waterfall faucet and no cup.  No focused stream to clean off your brush after using it.

       

      A designer fail we did in our own places was go a little cheap and buy "pleather" sofas.  They look fine until they get a little nick or someone rubs off the top layer... and when they start to fall apart, they do it in a hurry by shedding its top layer and have to be replaced with little warning.  What a fire drill getting the first one replaced from a distance while our guests are horrified at our "sofa dandruff"....

       

      So... help our wannabe owner/designers out: what designer fails have you discovered either traveling or in your own vacation home?

        • Re: Owner designer failures
          u0999 Premier Contributor

          perennial design faux pas in my market: green Formica counters (if you must do Formica, why not neutral color),

          Kitchen is well equipped with everything you need, dining table seating for 6.

           

           

          green/red/blue shaggy carpets (gross and impractical) , popcorn ceilings (I do not think that is stylish anyplace let alone in log cabins) and wallpaper borders...

           

          Game Room w/65" Flat screen, Billiards, & wall of windows; pool table now red.

          any my personal all time anti-favorite - fake ivy on top of kitchen cabinets . Who ever thought it was attractive? Knowing how badly most cleaners in our area clean, I can bet anyone $5 that fake ivy is just filthy dist catcher. Add to that mismatched appliances, and you got yourself a winner of design fails.

          • Re: Owner designer failures
            calicalling Active Contributor

            We just looked at a 5 bed/4.5 bath home listed for 2.2 million. For that price, I'd expect perfection.

             

            4 bedrooms had en-suite baths. One bedroom was adjacent to the guest/ half bath -- with 0 access to a shower or tub. I guess guests in that room will need to birdbath in the sink, wear lots of deodorant, and dry shampoo during their stay.

            • Re: Owner designer failures
              bobbie32 Premier Contributor

              The key to good design is to stay aways from trends like vessel sinks.  Trends usually die unless they are practical, like smooth surface kitchen counter tops.  I bet the use of subway tiles dies too. Colors  can be trendy as well, as we know from the days of harvest gold appliances.  Now everything is trending toward stainless steel or knock-offs of stainless, so we will see if those survive.  The trend is also hard surfaced floors and I get that, but in so many cases the home is so cold if area rugs are not used. They can also be too slick and if an older person falls, well, who knows what will happen?  The jury is still out on the benefit of composite decking. There are so many law suits relative to the use of Trex, so only time will tell. 

               

              We just rented a vacation home that supposedly was just completely renovated and there were so many design flaws. One of the biggest mistakes was that you had to use a step stool to get something off the top shelf in the kitchen cabinets.  The cabinets were mounted 6” above norm.  Then there was the floor grill for the forced air system in the middle of the bathroom rather than being close to a wall. They obviously combined two rooms to enlarge the bathroom, but did not do it properly or completely.  Then there was a pool table, but on one end of the table you had to use a short pool cue or you might break the window behind if you used the longer ones.  Then they had a real fireplace, but you could not use it with real wood, since sparks could damage the composite flooring. I could go on and on about the design flaws found in the home.  But since both my husband and I are architects, we might see more than most.  As the saying goes…form follows function. Something must function, or why bother?  Just because something looks good does not make it right. 

                • Re: Owner designer failures
                  feibus CommunityAmbassador

                  My worry with stainless appliances is the same issue we have here at our (real) home: kid fingerprints.  Not totally convinced it's a "designer fail", but might be one.

                  • Re: Owner designer failures
                    u0999 Premier Contributor

                    well... stainless been around about 15 years, so I would say it , so far, has survived quite well. I would say other variations of stainless such as 'black stainless" or "granite" may be the trends that will die off because, unlike regular stainless, they can have brand specific color.  Same for hard surface floors - they are nothing new.. of course it is all relative, carpets been out since the late 90s and they are usually cheapo builder alternative to hardwood. I am all for area rugs that can be easily cleaned or replaced if needed. However wall to wall carpets are gross and dust collectors, they are bad idea in most homes, and even worse idea in the vacation rentals. I can only guess what lurks in those fibers.

                    there was a local restaurant where I live that had some sort of carpet/carpet tile  on the floor. while I understand the intent ( make floor non slippery), it just looked bad. people drop pieces of food, spill drinks etc. Not a good thought. There are hard surfaces that are both non slippery and much more sanitary.

                    • Re: Owner designer failures
                      susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

                      I have to use a step stool to reach the back of top shelves of cabinets in my kitchen. The height of bottom of cabinet and counter is dictated by fire code regs.

                        • Re: Owner designer failures
                          bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                          I have to use a step-stool to get to the top shelf on my own cabinets which are very tall (3 shelves high).  But the cabinets at this rental were only 2 shelves high, and one could only get to the bottom shelf unless you used the step stool provided by the owner.  Instead of the normal +/- 18 inches between the counter top and the cabinet above, this rental had 24 inches between the countertop and cabinet.  They had used pre-owned cabinets and did not think about the height. 

                        • Re: Owner designer failures
                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                          By the time vessels go out of style, I will update the baths anyway . I do have vessels in my 4 bd (because that is how the countertops were done by previous owner - long story) and I had to stick with existing holes drilled for vessels as at the time, I did not have $$$ to replace very long vanity tops.  00L0L_bKikrIcZkOL_1200x900.jpg

                          I do have couple of vessels in  my new one - we had made a custom sized dual vanity to fit a specific bathroom footprint. the drop in sinks would not have fit as they have a "lip" around them. vessels have smaller "footprint". In my defense, i have normal (non-waterfall) faucets

                            • Re: Owner designer failures
                              thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                              I renovated my kitchen and 3 baths and found it far less costly to work within the limits of the current rooms; the minor adjustments we decided on in place of complete reworks of the spaces - requiring some plumbing work, primarily - added thousands of dollars to the project(s).  Unless one has a limitless renovation budget there are going to be some design elements which may appear odd to guests, but are there because the owner opted to purchase quality labor, fixtures, etc.  I'm certain my choices would not be to everyone's liking; but I am pleased with the results (it's my vacation home, not "just" a rental property).  Our projects emphasized quality first, ease of cleaning and maintenance next, and finally . . . . style.   I've stayed in many rentals which have a design issue - or a few  . . . From my perspective, I'm renting the property for a week, perhaps two, and I am not annoyed by the type of sink, the countertop, or the ceiling materials.  I do dislike carpeting, but would not eliminate a property from consideration for a week's stay due to the the flooring . . .

                               

                              Comfort and cleanliness are my primary concerns - for my own property and those I rent.  Design, not so much.

                          • Re: Owner designer failures
                            scowol Active Contributor

                            While I don't have fake ivy gracing my cabinets, geese with bonnets wallpaper, shag carpeting, cabinets that are "too high," popcorn ceilings, imprecisely located pool table, or a vessel glass sink with a waterfall faucet (quelle horreur!!!!), etc., I'm sure I must have something "wrong."  But thankfully I have 100% five-star reviews (so far!).   Anyhow, I have stayed in VRs that, had I owned, would be designed/decorated drastically different.  But then I remember the magnet I have up in my rentals to remind folks this is just a vacation rental for a few days--not their permanent home.  So I try not look for things "wrong" or be judgy.  Instead I try to appreciate the differences and make sure the memories we took home were of a great time--even if the pool table was a few inches too close to the window. 

                             

                             

                             

                            Capture.PNG

                              • Re: Owner designer failures
                                bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                                I totally agree.  Unfortunately when you are in the design profession you tend to notice more and do take note.  As for the house we recently rented we were evaluating the owner since she is a realtor and we are looking for a realtor in the town where we rented.  We realized that she was not detailed oriented so know the fit would not be right for us.  So it was a good learning experience and well worth renting so we could evaluate this particular realtor.

                                 

                                We also have 100% 5-star reviews.  That said, we don't participate in the review game so have never written a bad review nor a good review.  So we keep our opinions to ourselves, except sharing on forums or the like.  But we are getting out of the short term rental business, but will still rent directly when we can as a traveler.  It usually works well for us. Frankly I hate the review game.  Unless people are happy and find everything to their liking, pickiness takes over. People that normally would not be judgmental turn into highly opinionated people and try to find negative things no matter how little they may be.  Of course for many, it is a way to possibly trigger a refund.  It is the world we live in today...sad, very sad...

                                • Re: Owner designer failures
                                  ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                  scowol, I have that magnet too.  It was posted on here once, and when I saw it available online I made sure to get one.  It's on my fridge at the VR.  On the SIDE of the fridge of course, since nothing sticks to the Stainless Steel front! 

                                   

                                  If ours WASN'T a VR and was instead our home it would be decorated totally differently.  Ours is decorated with simplicity in mind.  Easy for our housekeepers to clean, easy for our guests to not move stuff/break stuff or be tempted to take anything home.  You want to steal that box of 10 different games?  It literally cost me 12$ at Target.  You think that 4 foot long picture of the sailboat on the Atlantic Ocean would look great above YOUR couch?  My husband took the photo, and it cost me 25$ to have it made.   Neither of those things have walked, but if they do, it's no hardship to replace them.

                                   

                                  But NO goose wallpaper... gotta draw the line somewhere!!

                                    • Re: Owner designer failures
                                      gcroz57 New Member

                                      Your simplistic approach is best and the easiest to deal with as a vacation rental homeowner we.have tried all the most wonderful ideas and trends to no avail. We learned early on it just doesn't matter the price we have paid for some decorating ideas. If you keep it spotless airy and light and at least in this decade renters will appreciate your efforts much more and show respect. A property well cared for and clean demands respect. Some,peoples idea of clean can be challenging but keep it clean and you will most likely get the respect your property deserves. I pity the owners that have to rely on a service and live 1000's of miles away from their VR. But everyone makes their choices and deals with it accordingly.

                                  • Re: Owner designer failures
                                    ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                                    Our personal design failure.....power flush toilets in three bathrooms..

                                     

                                    Even though a six year old could operate the tank top push button (as demonstrated by our nephew), we received call after call about the "toilets not working" because the person would lightly push the button -- tank releases air but does not flush toilet -- and when they push it harder the second time nothing happens because the tank bladder is still refilling. 

                                     

                                    Solution:  Replace the $500.00 toilets (installed less than 3 months) with $100.00 hardware store toilets.  No more phone calls.

                                      • Re: Owner designer failures
                                        feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                        Wow!  Good to know, thank you for sharing that!  I would never have guessed that something that simple would still fail with typical users.

                                        • Re: Owner designer failures
                                          moosebigd Active Contributor

                                          Just goes to show you that newer ideas and "advanced" technology are not always better.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here to say that I do not prefer stainless steel appliances and all white kitchens.  I like white appliances and natural wood cabinets... easier to keep and look clean.  And why has formica gotten such a bad rap?  It is a lot less expensive and serves its purpose.  I don't mind my top-mount sink.  I like carpets in my living areas and bedrooms... I don't see dust bunnies rolling around like tumbleweed.  And wallpaper can add a warm touch, as well as cover a multitude of blemishes.  Olive green is my favorite color.  I can't afford to change things out every 5 or 10 years just because designers have inflicted their tastes into our homes.  And if you think I'm going to rip out the original subway tile in our bathroom (our home is almost 100 years old) when someone says subway tile is passe... think again!  If a home's design is generally functional, well-maintained and clean... that's good enough for me.

                                          • Re: Owner designer failures
                                            planthealth Active Contributor

                                            Great. We are buying a VR with one of these toilets in it, our first experience with this type. Guess I will modify our welcome book, maybe the dreaded note near the toilet, too, drives my husband crazy but HMMMMM, cut down on some the phone calls!

                                            Thanks for the warning.

                                            • Re: Owner designer failures
                                              thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                                              We just installed "dual top button" toilets in our three baths and haven't had any problems (ourselves or feedback from our guests).  We chose a Kohler model - we've always had good experiences with Kohler products - with simple lines for ease of cleaning.  And, we especially wanted toilets which conserve water.  This model also happened to be on sale for approx $300 at a local big box store.  I don't know if our toilets work in the same manner as yours, but we're happy with the top button flush and overall operation.  Here's the model:  https://www.us.kohler.com/us/persuade-circ-comfort-height-two-piece-elongated-dual-flush-toilet-w-top-mount-actuator-and…  I don't think people should give up on this newer, water conserving technology.

                                                • Re: Owner designer failures
                                                  gcroz57 New Member

                                                  Water efficiency hmmmmm? So the Kohler are efficient only when used as a single button flush 1gallon per flush. The dual button flush is actually a water waster not a water saver 1.8 gallons per flush. Home Depot standard toilets at $79 are a single lever flush and only use 1 gallon per flush. Wow a super water saver toilet without even being advertised as such. $79 EACH X3 =$237 VS $900 I know which way I'm going. Plus I'm super planet friendly unlike the golf course we live on and many many others in the area that water 24/7/365 Apparently there is not much of a water issue to worry  about. Screenshot_2019-01-07-11-50-53.png

                                                    • Re: Owner designer failures
                                                      ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                                      Well, it's like this... most uses are 1 button flushes.  That is a water saver.  That #2 button may seem like a waste, but we have a 1/2 button toilet at home and I can tell you, without getting too personal, that a double flush event is a rarity with that toilet, vs the toilet I have in the half bath that pretty much ALWAYS requires a #2 mid flush, so there's that. 

                                                       

                                                      And, my guess is that that golf course you are referring to is using reclaimed water. 

                                                       

                                                      ** I have no idea why the above is suddenly in bold... my toilet business wasn't really so important that I needed to bold face it for you all, but unfortunately I cannot figure out how to turn it off...

                                                        • Re: Owner designer failures
                                                          feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                                          TMI !!  And in the thread page, you can get to the HTML editor to remove unwanted weird font choices.

                                                           

                                                          And maybe this is drifting a bit away from the actual topic.

                                                            • Re: Owner designer failures
                                                              gcroz57 New Member

                                                              It may be drifting away but the original topic discusses Owner Foo---Paws...lol...  Buying expensive toilets probably is not necessary for the water saving ability when standard toilets do the exactly the same chore... On a helpful note similar subject but good for all owners having the same trouble as your half bath. Just for a little advise check your water tank level it may be set too low and may not even be using a full 1 gallon flush hence the need for that 2nd half flush.  Also some toilet models only have a 1 1/4 " "throat".  That will not cut it.. Trouble will certainly be brewing.

                                                               

                                                              PS no there are no Golf courses here that use recycled water.It comes straight from the aquifer. West Central Florida

                                                              • Re: Owner designer failures
                                                                gcroz57 New Member

                                                                When you create a message at the top left of the screen there is a big Bold B... Click it turn it  either bold on or off. Either way you can use the tools on the upper left or use your keyboard control + B button or Control + I Button or Control + U button. They do the same thing.

                                                              • Re: Owner designer failures
                                                                moosebigd Active Contributor

                                                                Yes, I think these potty pointers have strayed off topic...  but, ohst8er, after reading your post, I had the best laugh that I've had in a long time!  Thanks!

                                                              • Re: Owner designer failures
                                                                thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                                                                We are very pleased with the function, quality, styling, and water saving features of all of our kohler fixtures.  We've used kohler products for many years and they function as described.  We once installed a glacier bay fixture - at a fantastically low price - in a home we were renting long term and found it inferior . . . to each consumer their own . . .