Back to the kitchen with its final update for a while.
At the start of the New Year I shared my list original list of desired updates (with a few additions) and crossed off all the progress I had already made.
- Kitchen Updates:
Cover hideous floor with sticky floor tiles
– Upgrade refrigerator to stainless steel
Upgrade builder grade sink
– Add garbage disposal – 2015!
– Add backsplash
– Update countertop – 2015?? (I really hope!)
Paint cabinets (Rustoleum Kit?)
Install microwave/vent over stove
– Remove/cover-up popcorn ceiling
Change out cabinet hardware
Update overhead light fixture– I’d like to “re-update” this one already – 2015!
– Add under cabinet lighting
– Add floating shelf above stove – 2015!
– Open up kitchen to living room by removing partial wall.
– Decorate blue wall (add artwork/shelves)
The second item on this list (upgrade refrigerator to stainless steel) had been part of our kitchen improvement intentions ever since move-in day when we learned that the building was organizing a discounted group purchase for energy efficient fridges.
We moved into the apartment in February of 2013…I didn’t see a building email about this project until about April 2014 (I’ve since learned that this is to be expected when dealing with our building – but it DID happen so I can’t complain too much!).
When I did finally see the paperwork involving pricing and options, I realized that there was a very real possibility that this discount wasn’t going to happen if we didn’t get enough interested tenants to sign up.
In the mean time I painted my cabinets navy and white, and all of a sudden that white fridge wasn’t looking too bad.
The fridge was still an eyesore while I was sharing my photos of my kitchen paint job with friends at auditions the following weeks. Remember this?
One of my friends gently mentioned that she can’t stand having “stuff” on the front of her fridge. It stresses her out and makes the kitchen look messy even when it’s clean. *Lightbulb* This had never crossed my mind! I was still trying to cover up my ugly fridge with as many magnets and distractions as possible, when maybe I should have been keeping it clear!
By the time I got the vent hood installed over the stove, my fridge had quite a different thing going:
In fact, I really didn’t mind the white fridge when it was cleaned up! It actually blended quite well with the cabinets!
I told my husband that I was alright foregoing the stainless steel if he was…and he was not. I think he really liked the idea of having “All Stainless Steel Appliances” – and who was I to question him?!
Sadly, our options were a little more restricted than I’d imagined. I was hoping to get a fancy french door fridge with a bottom drawer, but our lovely little cabinets were not conducive to that design.
We had plenty of width for a wider fridge, but we didn’t have the height.
I very seriously considered taking out our cabinet above the fridge and replacing it with a smaller one. (The one of benefit of having stock cabinets, is their standard sizing). After all, I knew I could paint it to match! In the end, I had trouble finding doors that matched perfectly – and when I really started to think about it, we used every bit of the storage above the fridge…but the inside of our fridge is usually pretty empty.
So I settled down about having to get the dopey version, and looked into the options that the building sent us a little more closely.
OPTION 1: GE 28 in. 16.5 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
Source: Home Depot
OPTION 2: Frigidaire 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
Source: Home Depot
It was a very easy decision in my opinion!
I’m picking the larger, prettier one! (That’s the Frigidaire).
I loved that its handles were also stainless steel, and that it was not as deep as our current fridge which would make our kitchen feel a little bigger (I hoped!).
Then, just to be SURE, I did some measuring to make sure these fridges would fit in our space. I looked at the height measurement to the top of the fridge box (not the hinge) because our cabinets that restrict its height only come half way toward the front of the fridge.
The GE is 64.25 inches tall. The Frigidaire is 65.375 inches tall. That’s a difference of 1.125 inches.
Wouldn’t you know it…my hardly level floors dealt me an evil blow.
The right side of the cabinet to floor measured 66 inches, and the left side measured 65 inches. MEANING…the pretty fridge was .375 inches too tall to fit beneath my cabinets because of a sloping floor.
I. Was. Furious.
The other fridge was not cute! (Whining ensues…)
Eventually I gave up, and added our unit to the list for the ugly stainless fridge. (Still pouting…)
When we finally got word that the discount was going to happen, I was getting ready to leave for a dance contract in Alabama and we didn’t have time to get the fridge ordered and delivered before I left town. Since our building only makes deliveries Monday-Thursday 9-4pm (so convenient for people with 9-5 jobs) there was no way I was going to ask my husband to miss work to wait around for a fridge delivery.
I placed the official order from Alabama and crossed my fingers that they would wait to deliver it until I was back in NYC in August.
By the time I got a confirmation email from the appliance store, it turned out that the fridge we wanted was DISCONTINUED! Now, you’d think this would be a “pull your hair out” kind of moment, but miraculously he sent me a link to the new version (exactly the same height…THANK GOD!) and boy was it CUTE!!
GE 15.5 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refigerator
Source: Home Depot
I didn’t even care that it was half a cubic foot smaller or that it stuck out half and inch more. I loved its shiny handles and its grey toned fridge box! Hooray! (Who knew you could get this excited by a fridge? Not me. I was THRILLED!)
Fast forward to August (to which they happily delayed my delivery) and my fridge is on its way up in the elevator!!
The delivery guy managed to remove the old fridge, place the new fridge, tear off the blue protective plastic, attach one handle, and lose the hardware for the other handle in about 5 minutes.
I mentioned to him that my fridge looked kinda slanted…he said it looked fine and headed out.
What do you think?
When I started loading it, the bottles on the bottom shelf rolled to the right with impressive speed. This was ridiculous! There had to be something I could do!! Why are these things never easy?!!
I checked out the instructions and saw that the ONLY physical adjustments I could make were to the front feet of the fridge. They didn’t help nearly enough to make up for the 1 inch difference between left and right sides of the fridge.
Then, I just got desperate.
I picked up the cardboard he left behind in his haste, and miraculously found the missing hardware I needed for my freezer handle! Woo hoo!
Then I folded up the cardboard on top of itself (for as much height as possible) lifted, shoved, and managed to level the fridge off to a decent degree.
It still leans away from the wall a bit, but it’s not nearly as noticeable as the first photo.
So, just to clarify…it’s been about 5 months, and YES we are still living with folded up cardboard beneath our fridge. What? It works!
And we lived happily ever after.