The biggest problem with being able to do whatever you want with a project is that you sometimes have way too many choices.
Doing a project for someone else, either as a commission or just a request, you’re restricted by what they want and expect with the finished piece. In other words, while you can certainly make suggestions you don’t really have to decide anything. That’s already been done for you.
Doing something for yourself frees you from pretty much all restrictions: It’s your project, so you can do anything you want. As freeing as that can be, however, it’s not always a blessing. Sometimes having unlimited choices is more of a curse. With my shop cabinets done, I had to decide what kind of hardware I wanted for knobs and pulls. That may seem simple – look at some and pick the ones I like best – but then I had to start weighing in with the myriad factors influencing my decision.
Knobs, or pulls, or a mix? What material for both – wood, metal, ceramic? What color? What finish? What will wear better with the kind of use I’m going to put it to? Which choice will be better for resale whenever I move out of this space? Do I even want knobs on the cabinet doors, or would finger notches be better? Where to mount them – center, or closer to one side or the other? For the drawers, center or closer to the top? And on, and on, and on…
Sure I had a good idea of what I wanted the overall look to be, and I ultimately (after several weeks of wavering) made a choice that satisfies most of the things I had to consider.
Still, it would have been easier if someone else just told me what to do.