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  1. Towey
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:26 am

    Do you have enough space for a sufficient number of refrigerator drawers to meet your needs? Assuming you are OK with the freezer in the basement (what do you do for ice for beverages in this arrangement?).


    • Ross
      October 25, 2017 @ 11:36 am

      That is what I will be doing in my 1894 kitchen.

      Just a HUGE island with everything tucked below it, including refrigerator drawers and ice maker.


  2. Sharyl Murphy
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:29 am


    I bought the cheapest panel ready fridge I could find (there is one made by Kitchen Aid) and I still regret it to this day. The freaking $8000 fridge is the only way to go. Tell self to swallow hard and suck it up on this one!
    Sharyl (Sage Farm Antiques) Murphy


    • Nicole
      November 3, 2017 @ 5:30 am

      I bought that one as well when in sticker-shock over panel fridges but I think it is fine, I am curious to know what you don’t like about it? I live in France for most of the year and, here, you can by panel ready fridges at IKEA for dirt cheap (granted, they are not what I would call high end appliances but they do the job) so I expected that a bit of googling would turn up something similar in the US- obviously, I was deluded. This baffles me. For any other house renovation item, I have 10x the choice in the States vs Europe EXCEPT for panel refrigerators. A mystery…


    • Connie
      January 16, 2018 @ 7:57 pm

      Nicole, & Victoria,
      I just bought the same refrigerator and now I am in trouble with it sticking out even though it is counter depth ! Do you have a pic of yours? I’m trying to figure out what to do!


      • Connie
        January 16, 2018 @ 7:58 pm

        How do you post a picture?


        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          January 17, 2018 @ 8:34 am

          Hey Connie… if it’s the Kitchen Aid w/ French doors that I am thinking of? I think it is designed to not be quite flush… if I recall, that fridge specifies that it must protrude 3″ to allow the doors to open?

          The difference is in the hinges; the super expensive ones have a hinge that allows the door to pivot inside its own space, rather than needing the space where the countertop would otherwise be… if you figure out a solution, LET ME KNOW!?! Good luck!!!!


  3. Dianne Averill
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:30 am

    Having just purchased a new fridge (after, oh, about four months of looking at every model made on the planet) I feel your pain. Our issue was height. Not that anyone actually uses the cabinets above the fridge except to store the wedding gift ice bucket and the extra lettuce spinner, but taking them down would leave a funny hole in the layout. So we bought what would fit and met the other requirements as best as possible. Namely, French doors (because the big dog is always on the floor in the kitchen at mealtime and I couldn’t possibly make her get up every time I wanted to open the fridge), the ability to accept magnets on the door (I know, how gauche) and ice. And you know what? We are happy and the large box has been assimilated. Life goes on.


  4. Nancy Bonham
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:33 am

    Paul must be a very patient person. He sounds a lot like my husband. And the photos look achingly familiar. We have been through this twice. I got “icky” feelings while renovating: sketched the kitchen, took photos from every angle and scrutinized, visited home improvement centers and haunted their kitchen departments, drew it on graph paper and cut out little miniature fridges, cabinets, etc. and arranged and rearranged them, collected a stack of Kitchens and Baths magazines as high as my knee. Hiding the refrigerator was SO costly. After obsessing over it for months to the point of even considering PAINTING the fridge to disguise it; we bought a generic sidebyside, and I am almost (after 7 years) over it. I wish you much luck with this, and am looking forward to the solution you come up with.


  5. Ross
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:33 am

    still life: *woman faces existential void.*

    This made me burst out laughing.

    Enjoyed all the other words, too.

    However…now I can never again go into my kitchen as I must, obviously, avoid the horror of being offended by my who-knew-this-was-an-aesthetic-insult refrigerator.


  6. Kate Sparks
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:37 am

    I hate asking this, but did you consider fridge drawers instead?


  7. Laurie
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:45 am

    Hi, Victoria,

    The fridge issue is a complex one. We struggled for a month (that’s all the angst I could allow myself!) In our 1930’s house with a 9×9 kitchen, we elected to place a two drawer under counter fridge, thus avoiding putting the big, hulking box of a thing in the breakfast room. We have a chest freezer in the basement and while it takes some coordinating of leftovers and keeps me from stocking up on fridge items, it does work for us, (DISCLAIMER!) a couple with no kids. Ours is an Electrolux model that we bought at Sears and it has worked great. Stainless steel, very quiet, two deep drawers. I first saw the idea in a historic home with such strict restoration standards that they could not make space for a full size fridge to be added. Just another consideration for you.


  8. Sue
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:48 am

    Although I have no solutions for the lack-of-symmetry situation, I will say I totally shared your attraction to panel-ready refrigerators and are-you-kidding-me reaction to their price. Although I won’t say ours was cheap, we did get a rather huge discount by checking with the local you-must-be-stupid-rich-to-shop-here specialty appliance store, which had a paneled double door refrigerator as a display model. By putting down a modest deposit and waiting 3 months for them to do their seasonal display switch, we got the refrigerator for way less than list. Then the folks who made our inordinately expensive cabinets were able to clad it with panels that matched the cabinets. I speak to it sweetly every day, secretly praying that I die before it does, because the complications entailed with its replacement are too horrible to contemplate.


  9. Brenda
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:53 am

    I completely understand your paralysis. But I am just wondering how you guys are functioning without a kitchen? Where are you preparing food? It has been a looooong time to live without a kitchen!


  10. Nikki
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:54 am

    Oh appliance shopping, how fun! *twitch twitch*
    Currently in the same boat of required remodel (dishwasher explosion due to rusted pipes + glued-down carpet (whyyy???) = ridiculous sticky mess of a floor… and broken plumbing). I don’t like the look of appliances either… current idea is to get a very sharp-edged boxy fridge and then wrap in black vinyl and maybe frame it, make it into a chalkboard-looking dry erase board. Now to convince everyone else it would be amazing…

    Good luck to you!


  11. Charlotte Des Fleurs
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:54 am

    At one house I put my fridge in the garage right next to the door that opened to the kitchen. A little inconvenient, but it made my kitchen look 1000% better.

    Hubby and I are remodeling our kitchen as well. We just bought a floor-model, slightly scratched, panel ready, 36″, counter-depth, French-door Kitchen Aid. Retail is over $5,000 PLUS the cost of panels. We paid $1,000 and are making the panels ourselves from recycled French Armoire doors. So far, we LOVE it! There are 2 of us and there is plenty of room for everything we use in a week. We don’t stock up on many frozen things but if we wanted to, we would just get a freezer to put in the garage. When we have a party or visitors, we simply turn on our little dorm fridge in the garage and store extra things in there.

    Our great grand parents did not have ginormous fridges. In fact, many of them did not have fridges at all. Unless you are a serial entertainer, who needs a big fridge?


    • Karyn
      October 25, 2017 @ 4:55 pm

      Hi Charlotte! Can we see photos of your magnificent creation?


      • Charlotte Des Fleurs
        November 4, 2017 @ 11:53 am

        Hi Karyn, We just returned from a house-hunting expedition in southwest France. Our heads are jam packed with new ideas. A few days ago we had a structural engineer out to visit to get the go-ahead to rip out the ceiling in our kitchen and family room. (I started last night!) We are raising the roof, paneling the ceiling and adding hefty wooden beams. Therefore, we are holding off on paneling the fridge. Don’t want it to be damaged during the demo.
        I think VEB and I have the same crazy remodeling genes because I, too, can function with a half demo’d kitchen because I can already see the “after”.


    • Laura
      October 26, 2017 @ 7:15 am

      You didn’t mention how you got a 5K fridge for 1K – did it involve sexual favors?


      • Charlotte Des Fleurs
        November 4, 2017 @ 11:56 am

        Hi Laura, I tried to reply to this last night. Sorry, no special favors involved. As I am nearly 70. However, I think the seller was trying to put as fast one on us because he told us to wait 48 hours before turning it on. We discovered that it did not work at all! Fortunately, I had contacted the manufacturer BEFORE giving the seller our money. The unit was still under warranty. So, a factory-trained tech came out and made the corrections. It works perfectly and the repairs were free!


        • Charlotte Des Fleurs
          November 14, 2017 @ 10:33 pm

          TO KARYN and LAUREN: UPDATE MY KITCHEN: It is now officially a wreck! The entire ceiling is out, half the cabinets are out AND I just found a La Cornue Albertine range for a steal (another Floor model that has only been used once at an Appliance Show). It’s just what I have been looking for – Gloss Black with chrome and brass trim. So, had to buy the range! Electricians have been ripping holes in my walls to put in more outlets, a special outlet for the range because it is European and NEEDS a special circuit, an outlet for the special hood that the special range requires and on and on. My panel-ready fridge is doing its duty as a fridge but is somewhat naked at the moment. Don’t know how to post photos or would show Karyn the armoire panels she asked to see.

          Smiles from Charlotte


    • C
      January 16, 2018 @ 7:39 pm

      I just bought the same refrigerator you have and am struggling with it sticking out ! My cabinets will be creamy with black countertops the fridge panels will match the cabinets but the sides of the fridge are black! So with a cream front and black side, I’m so worried it will look terrible! Help! Do you have pictures of yours?


      • Karyn
        May 22, 2018 @ 9:19 pm

        We just bought the panel ready KitchenAid French door frig. It will have black edges showing, but we’re okay with that. It seemed the best (affordable) way to not have a big piece of stainless steel staring at us. I’ve chosen cabinet & frig handles which will have black accents in hopes of blending in the black on the frig.


  12. Peggy
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:56 am

    I think refrigerators should go in the pantry. But then you have to have a pantry big enough for the refrigerator.
    Also, I want to add that I also follow you on Instagram and you have inspired me to plant dahlias next year. Your photos of your flowers are beautiful.


    • Ryan
      October 27, 2017 @ 5:22 pm

      Pantry, that’s what I was thinking. The big kitchen addition looks large enough to build a butlers pantry that could house the fridge. Daniel @ Manhattan Nest hosted quite the debate on fridge in pantry of old house kitchen on his blog last year. Many people were against it. I’m for it but my fridge lives in the basement so even more inconvenient. I also don’t have a shower because i don’t want to ruin the layout of my single 1920s bathroom. I will rearrange my life if necessary to avoid ruining my home with modern conveniences.


  13. Toni
    October 25, 2017 @ 11:59 am

    I feel like I’m nearing the end of a movie and hanging on a cliff to see what happens! Thanks a lot!%$@#😜


  14. Stashy
    October 25, 2017 @ 12:16 pm

    I know it’s not your first plan but this (or a similar) DIY option would at least be dressier than standard/off the shelf option with no adaptations.


    • Patricia
      October 25, 2017 @ 2:23 pm

      I loved this. But you must love black fridges to work. Can correctly sized cabinet doors be glued/ Velcro-ed to the box of ugliness? Or covered in mirror mosaics to resemble a box shaped disco ball? Or gift wrapped with giant red bows? Or painted to look like a Victorian mansion?

      In other words, turn that giant box into something you’ll love… decoupage Don Draper to the front.


    • Colleen Mitchell
      October 25, 2017 @ 2:55 pm

      Came here to say that Stashy. Jenny did a great job!


  15. Jeanne Holbrook
    October 25, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

    You are in my head ….I have done all the same or similar research and I still have a standard refridgerator… so frustrating.


  16. NevadaNy
    October 25, 2017 @ 12:24 pm

    Fridges ARE ugly. I live in a cabin in Nevada. What I did was cover the front of my new plain basic white fridge in old desert weathered wood boards. Then I screwed in beautiful old iron handles made by my Blacksmith great-grandfather.
    Then I hammered in some small nails and hung a wood framed old photo of my great -grandmother riding her horse on the front of the fridge. Love it. Everyone loves it.
    Your fridge is a creative opportunity.
    Maybe you can find a local craftsman to make you some custom fancy doors?


    • Cindy
      October 25, 2017 @ 1:08 pm

      OMG can we see a photo?


      • Karan
        October 25, 2017 @ 2:43 pm

        I’m with you on that one Cindy!!! NevadaNY, would love to see your refrigerator!


    • Maryanne
      October 25, 2017 @ 3:03 pm

      What? Please show a picture!! How did you attach the first layer of boards? This is the most fascinating thing I have heard of in a while!! VEB could totally do something like this!


    • Shannon
      October 26, 2017 @ 6:24 pm

      Wowed! Please share pic & instructions…


  17. JeanFB
    October 25, 2017 @ 12:43 pm

    I feel your pain. There are some great suggestions in the comments section, but somehow I’m feeling maybe the fact that you are moving where your fridge goes is making way for GFTs along that wall???? Can’t wait to see! Good luck to you.


  18. Katie Howard
    October 25, 2017 @ 1:07 pm

    You should obviously just turn all of your drawers into refrigerator drawers and get that think Out. Of. Sight.

    Sure, no tall things are allowed and freezer items have to go in the basement but beauty is pain so it is what it is. You also could just buy a cheap fridge and put that in the basement also. Besides, we all know the only important refridgerated items live in the wine cooler.


  19. Lena Baitman
    October 25, 2017 @ 1:09 pm

    Personally, I have 2 fridge rules:
    1) Never stainless steel (which leaves me with white)
    2) New wall decal every couple if months. Right now I have matte gold stripes all over my boring ugly cheapshit fridge, and it looks, hmmm… daring.


  20. Chania Allen
    October 25, 2017 @ 1:12 pm

    Why don’t you put in a Smeg fridge in a fabulous color. They look fabulous.


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