There was a time when a nice boy and a girl obsessed with decor bought a fixer-upper together. They were determined to gut the kitchen thereby giving the girl an opportunity to have her dream kitchen. After years of living in small rentals and gazing with jealousy at photos in home magazines they would get a chance to have their dream payoff. There was no reason for that kitchen to turn out any other way but perfect.

But, something went wrong and the girl wound up learning plenty of lessons that she took to heart and has a kitchen now for which he is very grateful. It’s just that it doesn’t exactly look the way she originally intended for it to. This upsets her every now and again. Why don’t we learn from her mistakes?

We ended up with cream-colored, solid maple Thomasville brand cabinets. We got them at Home Depot. We also got a rubbed, bronze sink faucet and cabinet hardware. We finished it off with a crystal quartz style counter with slate backsplash. It’s not exactly ugly and it is certainly functional but it’s nothing like what I dreamed I would create. That’s why I’m so mad at myself. Here is where it all went wrong.

First of all, I designed the kitchen way before the days of Pinterest. I spent many hours blissfully thumbing through the pages of design magazines. I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted white cabinets and dark floors with everything smothered in a gorgeous Carrera marble.

We shopped everywhere when we went cabinet shopping. We went to big box stores and tiny boutiques. We even went to weird warehouses in the worst parts of town. There was a designer at one place that wandered the showroom helping customers choose the finishes for their cabinets. I told her I wanted dark wood floors and white cabinets and she said, You don’t want white cabinets. They’ll be too stark against your floors. Choose cream.

I figured she knew better than I did what I would really need because she was a professional designer. So, after that I stayed away from white and looked for cream. But, I did want white cabinets. I put too much emphasis on what a designer told me to like and ignored my gut instincts. I figured I have to be wrong if the designer is telling me the opposite of what I want.

Introducing Big Mistake #1: Trusting someone else. I should’ve known my style and trusted what it was that I wanted.

Introducing Big Mistake #2: This happened when we picked out the cream cabinets that we planned to install. We picked them out at Home Depot and from the display there we selected a pearl finish because it looks so nice on display under the fluorescent lights at Home Depot.

Never do this! Take a sample door home and inspect it under the lighting in your kitchen. Make sure it is exactly the color you want. After six agonizing weeks waiting for the cabinets to finally arrive I nearly cried when I saw them in my house. The only thing that I was truly happy about was my Miracle DIY Shelves. They are so handy and make life in the kitchen wonderful. You can check them out here.