Home Upgrades That Nobody Actually Ever Uses

Home Upgrades That Nobody Actually Ever Uses

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Dabney Frake
May 20, 2016

Buying or renovating a home isn’t just about actual walls and floors — it’s also an imaginary process in which we project ourselves in different spaces, visualizing what our lives might look like, and the people we could be, if only we lived there. No surprise that people get swept up in the process, becoming enamored with certain features that initially sound and look great. Do they get used and make them worth it? Here are five somewhat luxury level upgrades that cost a pretty penny, and don’t necessarily hold their resale value.

The Kitchen Desk: These little nooks are like clutter collectors and junk magnets, versus an actual space to sit and get work done in an actual chair with a computer. If I had a choice of where to sit, it wouldn’t be in the kitchen staring at a wall that’s two feet in front of my face. I, for one, would much rather use that area for more storage cabinets and work at the dining room table instead.

(Image credit: Alysha Findley)

Home Gym: These are the poster children of good intentions. I don’t blame anyone for thinking they are a great thing to have at home, no ma’am. They signify no trips to the gym in the middle of winter, the end to endless months of membership fees, and not having to associate with other sweaty bodies while you are doing your own physical thing. But, with rare exception, their use tapers off and, by the time you are motivated to use them again, the technology has changed so much that your machines are dinosaurs. My mom’s NordicTrack agrees with everything I am saying right now.

(Image credit: Academy Tiles)

Wet Bar: Given the prevalence of open floor plans, it seems like overkill to add another sink area when the kitchen is so close by (unless of course you live in a ginormous house). If it’s in the basement, it makes a little bit more sense maybe but, once again, how often would it get used? Have people actually entertained in basements since the 70s? If I had a wet bar in a finished basement, I think the ice in the ice maker would taste nasty from sitting around too long, and I’d only use the sink to water plants (if I actually watered my plants).

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Double Ovens: Chances are good that both your ovens only get a workout around holidays, then sit idle the rest of the year. Unless you cook for a large family regularly, entertain a lot, or are a recipe tester, then it’s probably not worth the extra expense, or the amount of space they take up.

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Whirlpool Baths: I see the wisdom of tubs for bathing the kiddos, but fancy bathtubs for big humans seem over the top. In the case of whirlpool or jacuzzi baths, they are expensive, take a long time to fill, don’t accommodate bubbles (wrong, so so wrong), and are super noisy when they are on— none of which sounds relaxing or conducive to sexy times, if that’s what you’re up to. I’ve also heard the jets are hard to keep clear of gunk and hair. Which, yuck.

Re-edited from a post originally published 5.23.15-NT

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