With all of us cooking and baking and assembling big, sloppy sandwiches at a previously unimagined rate, we’re spending a lot more time in our kitchens lately. And while you might be halfway to perfecting the braid on your challah or the puff pastry on your pot pie, you might also notice imperfections begin to creep into the corners of your vision. The uptick in hours hovering over the stove or prepping veggies on the countertop has perhaps alerted you to certain flaws in your kitchen setup. Does your oven have annoying hotspots? Has your fridge door’s water dispenser been broken since the Reagan administration? Or maybe you’ve noticed something that would require more than a basic repair to fix. Maybe it’s the whole layout of the room, or its ugly tile, or the fact that there’s not enough space to store your snacks.
I was pretty excited about my current kitchen when I moved in, and I still have no major complaints about it—except one, which I only discovered after we unpacked everything. The cabinet doors are installed too close together. What does this mean? Well, if you have one cupboard open and want to open the one next to it, the two adjacent doors will run into each other with a sickening cracking sound, either forcing one of them shut or putting enough pressure on the hinges to snap one of the doors. It’s such a mind-blowingly specific problem that I feel crazy even trying to explain it. But the most insidious kitchen flaws are all like this. They make us feel like conspiracy theorists in our own homes.
If you could only change one thing about your kitchen—whether it’s something actually fixable or more of a pie-in-the-sky daydream—what would it be?