The Beloved Kitchen Cabinet Trend I Wish I Had Never Tried (It Stresses Me Out Every Single Day)

published Apr 24, 2024
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Credit: Eric Ressler

The sentiment that the kitchen is the heart of the home is especially true for me because, as a recipe developer, the kitchen is where I work and feed my family. For six years, I cooked in a small, poorly designed space with a range that barely worked and grimy original cabinets — and the time spent in that kitchen reinforced my belief that you don’t have to have a gorgeous kitchen to make delicious food. But when the opportunity finally arose to renovate my kitchen three years ago, I considered every inch, appliance, and finish. I absolutely love the results of my kitchen remodel, but as with any major project, there is one thing I wish I could do over: painting my cabinets a dark navy

Credit: Patty Catalano

The majority of the cabinets in my kitchen are a light gray hue, and they’ve held up beautifully. They wipe clean from the grease, drips, and spills that ultimately come along with daily cooking. And despite opening and closing the doors and drawers dozens of times each day, there are no visible dents, dings, or chips in the finish.

Credit: Patty Catalano

The same cannot be said of the navy blue cabinets on my kitchen island. The island is where I prepare breakfast for two elementary school-age kids sitting across from me on barstools. It’s where I test all of the recipes I write for The Kitchn, and where I slice frozen pizzas and scoop bowls of ice cream when I am tired of being in said kitchen. The navy island cabinets are used constantly and with zero consideration of gentleness. And as a result, it’s painfully obvious to any visitor which drawers get the most use.

Credit: Patty Catalano

I first noticed the paint chipping away from the edge of our pull-out trash drawer. Once I saw that imperfection, I began noticing other chips elsewhere all around the island, including the knife drawer and the bottom corners where the vacuum hits and shoes tap. What made the chipping even more obvious on the island was the contrast between the dark navy blue finish and the lighter wood underneath.  

To correct it, I’ll need to color-match paint for touch-ups and invest in a protective guard for at least one of the drawers. But, of course, since it’s just an eyesore and doesn’t actually impede the function of my cabinets, making those repairs has yet to make it off of my ever-growing to-do list. I do still love the idea of darker cabinets as an island accent, but I wish I had realized that this choice would require way more maintenance and upkeep than I ever had time for.

Do you regret any part of your kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!