You see, our current 12-year old, side-by-side refrigerator never really worked in the space (a kludgy layout we inherited with the house) for several reasons: (1) The right hand door couldn’t be opened all the way since it hit the nearby counter, (2) the fridge itself stuck out just enough that the drawer in the corner could not be opened more than 3 inches, and (3) items in the fridge would FREEZE if placed too close to the freezer side. Efficient, no? 😉
Both hubby and I are avid cooks despite our kitchen being on the small side (old home circa 1929). Over the years we’ve done our best with minor renovations to improve overall functionality and efficiency. However, one area remained a major item of frustration and with nothing left to change, it clearly was time to take it on.
So off we went looking for a new refrigerator and when we realized a better-designed model, in the size and depth required to fit the space DID NOT exist, my husband says the words every wife longs to hear: ‘Why don’t we knock out the cabinets so you can get the fridge you want? And, while we’re at it, why not reconfigure the pantry as well?’ Damn, I LOVE that man! 🙂
He’s known for years I’ve been coveting refrigerators made by Liebherr (a German company), ever since I learned of their green technology and amazing efficiency. The thought that I could actually have one in my kitchen, well, that was almost too much to comprehend! Little did I know, the PERFECT Liebherr model was patiently waiting for us to discover it on the floor of our local appliance showroom. To be fair, Jim spotted her first and came up to me with his ‘Stop looking, I found the fridge’ devilish grin.
I thought,‘Yeah, surrre ya did, honey,’ as I followed him through the aisles. Gotta hand it to that boy, when he’s right, he’s RIGHT! There she stood…a 48″ wide beauty in stainless steel, complete with wine refrigerator, freezer and more fridge space than you can imagine. Drool…the salesman chuckled as I hugged the fridge. I’m not kidding. Right there, in that showroom, for all to see, I hugged the fridge. I’m a fridge hugger!
However, before we could take the plunge, we needed to consult with a contractor to make sure it would (a) fit in the space and (b) work with what we ultimately wanted to do. So, we met with the contractor, explained the design of the space, held our breath, crossed our fingers and expected to hear ‘Nope. Can’t do it’ but, instead got, ‘Go buy yourselves a fridge’. Seriously?! Woo hoo! 🙂
Wait, it gets better. We were able to purchase the floor model, on tax free weekend, for a song! Things were lookin’ good! Signed the contract at the beginning of September but with vacations and schedules, work would not begin until the end of October.
The following slideshow of images (31 in all) is just a taste of the project from start to finish.
Please Note: Unfortunately, I cannot control how quickly the images advance. HOWEVER, if you hover your mouse over the slideshow area, a set of controls will display allowing you to STOP the auto advancement of the images. Then, you can use the forward and back arrows to scroll through the images at your leisure.
Long story short, a whole lotta work spanning 8 weeks with various contractors (seven subs total) and city inspectors (3 in all), plus long days, design changes, on-the-fly planning, dirty fingernails, many trips to Home Depot, Lowes as well as the local hardware store, lumberyard, and TWO paint stores, endless material searches, hours of demolition, sanding, measuring, cutting, nailing, priming, painting, tiling, grouting, caulking, cleaning and organizing! Whew! 🙂
When all is said and done, the blood, sweat and tears were SO WELL worth it!