HOUSE: Newburgh

Kitchen planning. For real this time.

1. “Triangles” wallpaper by Lisa Congdon for Hygge & West.
As I mentioned recently, I am dying to use Lisa’s new wallpaper in the kitchen. I’m planning to cover the top half of the wall opposite the sink and stove, where there’s little risk of it being damaged by food or water.

2. SMEG refigerator.
Everyone in my life is sick of hearing me talk about this refrigerator, but that’s just too bad. The refrigerator we bought for our kitchen 7 years ago is way too big for two people, and it’s way too big for our kitchen. There weren’t as many readily-available small fridges on the market back then, and I’m pretty sure SMEG wasn’t even selling these guys in the US yet. Anyway, even though I’ve been coveting them for a while, I hadn’t seen one in person until the West Elm Market (definitely worth a trip if you’re in Brooklyn!) opened across the street from my apartment last month. Since then, I’ve been in to pet the display models regularly. I’m sure the employees think I’m a pervert. Yes, it’s an expensive refrigerator. No, we don’t need a new refrigerator. I’m thinking we could donate the one we have to Habitat, and then…I don’t know what “and then.” (And then I sell my spleen on the black market? And then find 200,000 pennies under the sofa cushions?)

3. Tolix-esque Marais Stool
We really need to have a place for people to sit in the kitchen. As much as I’m not a fan of the whole “kitchen as a hangout zone” thing, I have not been successful in trying to keep my house guests out while I cook. So, seats. I’ll move the butcherblock island to the center of the room so they have some where to rest their wine glasses, too. Kind of bummned to see that the genuine Tolix Marais stools no longer come in yellow. Does anyone have experience with these replicas?

4. Sagaform Herb Pot.
I’ve completely given up trying to grow herbs in my garden (because trouble has a cute face and is named Haggis), but this thing will work nicely inside. I can keep it on the windowsill, and it’s big enough to grow basil, parsley and mint, the three fresh herbs I need most often. Also, it’s cute. Not as cute as a groundhog, but cute.

5. Vipp Trash Bin.
Consider this a “far off in the future” plan, like maybe for when Evan and I are retired? In 30 years I’ll go and re-read this post and try to justify it then.

6. IKEA UDDEN kitchen units.
Sadly, these freestanding kitchen units have been discontinued in IKEA’s North American market. We bought two of them 7 years ago for less than $200 each, and they’ve been really great. I love having a stainless steel work surface! We bought them thinking they’d be a “temporary” (HA! HA! HA!) solution until we had the expertise to install a permanent/fitted kitchen, but they’ve worked out so well that there’s no reason to replace them. I have thought about maybe having plywood cut to replace the drawer fronts, but I’m not sure. I guess I’ll see if the room feels like it needs more wood in it when everything else is done.

7. Subway tile with black grout.
We used inexpensive, standard white subway tile in the downstairs bathroom ($100 total!), and it looks great. Because we have freestanding cabinets and a lot of exposed wall area, we want to tile all the way from the backsplash area down to the the baseboard molding—around the entire perimeter of the room. That’s a lot of tiling. My plan is to teach Daniel how to tile and then “supervise” (a.k.a. drink iced coffee) while he practices on my kitchen walls.

8. Caravaggio pendant lamps.
A while back, Victoria wound up with one of these lamps on her hands and no use for it, and knowing that I’ve had my eye on it for ages, she very generously asked if I might be able to use it in my house. How could I say no?! I’ll need to fork out for a second one, but I think a pair of these over the island will look great. Or maybe just one is fine? We’ll still need to do something in the way of general lighting for the perimeter of the room though—track lighting, maybe, now that IKEA has brought back the lovely and affordable SANDA series.

9. Karlsson Big Flip clock.
OK, the bad reviews for this clock on Amazon are killing me. It’s been on my wishlist from afar for a while now, and after seeing it in person over the weekend I can’t stop thinking about how great it would look in the kitchen. Maybe all three of the people who left reviews are just lying? Hah. Ugh. There’s one hanging in a store near our apartment—I’ll start keeping an eye on it to see if it has the right date. I really want it to work!

10. Reclaimed wood shelving.
It definitely doesn’t make sense to have these shelves shipped to me from California, but I wanted to link to Etsy seller Blake Avenue anyway because the design of the brackets is so simple and beautiful. In addition to realizing we don’t need a large refrigerator, we’ve also come to see that we don’t need upper cabinets because the pantry holds everything—so more open shelving is in order. I love IKEA’s GRUNDTAL shelves, but they’re not good for small jars and bottles. I need to look into local resources for reclaimed wood and brackets. There’s a lot of that kind of stuff in upstate New York, so I’m sure we’ll be able to find what we need. The current shelves can be moved to our basement, where they’ll be perfect for storing paint and gardening supplies.

11. Embossed wallpaper.
I’ve been wanting to use this pressed tin-style wallpaper painted black since I saw it in a sneak peek of the Brinsons’ kitchen on Design*Sponge. We have a giant, inoperational, curvy hearth smack dab in the middle of the longest wall in the kitchen, and I think using something like this on it might be the best solution. We’ve struggled to come up with a way to frame out the hearth so that it would be tile-able, but because of the depth of the curve above the stove I’m not sure if that’s possible. I’d just need to figure out where the wallpaper would end and the tile would begin. That hearth is kind of my nemesis and it adds nothing to the room, but I am extremely hesitant to strip out any of the original details of our house. The hearth stays. I do want to incorporate this wallpaper somehow, somewhere—I love the contrasts between it, the graphic triangle wallpaper and the smooth white tiles.

Here’s the kitchen as it looks right now, more or less. Can I tell you how DESPERATE I am to have a tiled backsplash? Wiping food spatters off of a painted wall was OK for the first year or two, but now things are just looking nasty. I’m also really sick of that pale blue paint, which would be lovely in another kind of room but is just depressing and sad in the kitchen. Overall, this should be a pretty straightforward renovation. All of the hard work (plumbing, electric, plastering) is already done, so it’s really just cosmetic. I know once I get going it’ll all take shape at a good pace. Getting started is the hard part.

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  • Reply Paige @ LPD November 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I’m in the middle of redoing my kitchen as well! I just purchased a summit fridge. While they’re not as “retro cute” as the smeg, they’re still pretty awesome. Here’s the link to their small fridges, plus they’re about 600 dollars less than the smegs.

    Can’t wait to see what you do though!

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Yeah, I’ve looked at those! Definitely cute…and a great size and price. If (and it’s a big if) we do get a new fridge, though, it’s going to be EXACTLY the one that we want. We don’t have any reason to replace the one that we have (which is really quite nice-looking) other than for totally cosmetic reasons. Also, something I didn’t mention in the post is that we would like to have a fridge that’s designed to be freestanding as opposed to being surrounded by by cabinetry. Since it’ll just be sitting by itself against the wall with nothing on either side, it needs to look good from all angles (except the back, obviously!). The SMEG is one of the few refrigerators that fits the bill…

  • Reply Laura November 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

    That is the stuff dreams are made of.

  • Reply jeannete November 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

    anna, would this be uptown kitchen or the downtown one?
    i too am a slave of the vipp trash can. oh well.

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

      By uptown/downtown do you mean house or apartment? This plan is for our house in Newburgh (Hudson Valley). Our apartment is in Brooklyn. Fortunately it came with a very nice little kitchen, but even if it didn’t we would never do a renovation this extensive in a rental. Painting walls and replacing knobs is one thing—buying a fancy refrigerator and installing a metric ton of tile is another. 😉

  • Reply Sherry November 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Beautiful! I have had my eyes on the same clock for my office but also put off buying it because of the reviews. I keep hoping they’ll update or fix it or something or be completely satisfied it will work before I buy it. I have the same issues with the SMEG. They look amazing but I have read nothing but poor reviews from places that sold them (like sears), and my friend from Prague has one and she ended up getting ride of it (leaked). So I am apprehensive. Plus I would like one with a separate freezer and I have not seen that model sold in the US.

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Oh, that’s too bad! I have a couple of friends with SMEGs and they haven’t had any trouble at all…I wonder what’s going on. I haven’t read the Sears reviews (I don’t think they sell it anymore—wonder if they were stocking a buggy model?), but last night I was looking at these and they seem mostly good? And yeah, I’m pretty sure the separate freezer model isn’t in the US yet. Fine for us because we never have more than a bottle of vodka and a package of veggie burgers in our freezer, but it is definitely TINY.

  • Reply kelley November 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I don’t have those specific stools but I bought these knock offs in white

    I was a bit skeptical considering how inexpensive they were but I’ve had them for a couple years now & they’re in CONSTANT use and have held up wonderfully

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      That’s really good to know, Kelley, thank you!!

    • BMAC. November 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      I just thought I would weigh in, as well. I have four of these and they rock. Got them on Overstock and they were a bargain.

    • Alexis December 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Yes the Tolix stools do come in yellow and about 200 more colors…all original Tolix from Antiquaire

      And they are MUCH sturdier than the knockoiffs!

  • Reply Simone November 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I’m with you on almost all of this. That fridge is expensive on your side of the ocean though!!!
    I once saw a special edition covered with matte black rubber. Not sure I would get black though.
    Anyhow, I came here to see if I saw the recipe for roasted broccoli here or somewhere else….
    Have a wonderful day!!!

    • Simone November 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      P.S. Just had an epiphany: you could use the Grundtal “brackets” (for lack of knowing another name) and use that for the reclaimed wood shelving. Attach it to the sides with the holes for the bars and make the top of the wood flush with the top of the brackets (I don’t know if that makes sense to you?). I saw the Udden series at Ikea just 3 weeks ago, it’s great.

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      I’d be concerned about the integrity of the brackets supporting something quite a bit heavier than the (hollow) rods they’re intended to be attached to. We’ll most likely be using very heavy, thick pieces of wood that will require being bolted into wall studs at several points along the span. The GRUNDTALs will find a good home somewhere else…

  • Reply Taryn November 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I hope you give us a review of the Smeg refrigerator once you get it, because I too have read nothing but bad reviews. I love the way they look and I am pretty positive that no other fridge would fit the look of my kitchen. It’s just the bad reviews have made me unsure if it would be worth it. It also would be hard going from a fridge that has a water/ice dispenser to one that has none no matter how ugly it is. Sigh

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      I’ll ask my friends for their updated opinions, too! Where are you reading bad reviews? I’ve only looked at these and they’re mostly very positive.

  • Reply Anke November 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Anna,
    the FLAP clock from Habitat (not quite sure if you have Habitat in the States) is similar. I’ve had mine for about two (three?) years now and it works just fine. For some people it’s a bit noisy when it changes from AM to PM. 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Oh wow! Thanks, Anke, that looks like a really good alternative and it’s almost as big as the Karlsson version. How deep would you say it is? The description says 1cm, but I’m sure that can’t be right!!

      We don’t have Habitat here, but I’m sure a friend could pick one up for me. 🙂

    • Anke November 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      I think it’s about 10 cm deep, I can tell you exactly when I get home tomorrow. 🙂

      I had my eye on the Vipp too, but it’s just sooo expensive, so we opted for a Wesco Baseboy instead:
      Great quality, couldn’t be happier!

      As for herbs: I planted rosemary, basil, thyme and cilantro into the biggest BIGARRA from IKEA…in spring. They are all still alive! Guess they just have enough room to thrive in there…

    • Anna @ D16 November 21, 2012 at 12:35 am

      Oh, that’s OK, you don’t have to measure it! I just wanted to make sure the 1cm indication on the Habitat site was wrong—I guess someone dropped a 0. 😉

      I love the Baseboy trash cans, but unfortunately I think we can only get the sort of dull aluminum color in the US!

  • Reply Vivian Doan November 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I love your idea board!! Wish I were as visionary as you…

  • Reply sarah November 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I’ve got the small version of this clock, the one with place names at the top not the date ( from Habitat in the uK) I haven’t seen the reviews on Amazon but mine is great. I wanted a clock like this for ages and it looks fab. All the flaps move when the should etc. It does a little test power up at 11.20 I guess its waking up the batteries or something its not very loud though.

    One thing I would say is when you wind the clock on take out date and day batteries, as I think it says in the instructions. I think it uses the clock to know when to move the day on and if you wind it forward it thinks it’s the next day.

    Go for it!

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Sarah, Anke just mentioned the same clock from Habitat! I wonder if it’s the same manufacturer. Are you able to look and see if it’s made by Karlsson?

      Sometimes online reviews are so skewed with things like this. People tend to take the time to write a review when they’re displeased…let so when they’re happy!

  • Reply Fiona November 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Aaaagghh. Agh. Aghh. It’s so lovely, all of it, I have so much kitchen pain.

  • Reply sara November 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I don’t know how to get one in the US, but when I was in France you could get Tolix in any color of the rainbow, they literally had like 100 different options to pick from and then the shops would custom order them for you (I have a set of 4 in this great bright green). This was only 4 years ago, so its possible that they still do make them in all of these colors, and that its just a matter of what bigger shops in the States choose to order?

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      I’m not sure, Sara. DWR is the biggest retailer of Tolix products in the US, and according to them the yellow was just a limited edition. I’m assuming they mean limited in what they will stock for how long. Unfortunately because of VAT and shipping it would be very expensive to have a pair sent to the US from France. As far as I can tell, there isn’t any distributor in the US selling the yellow color anymore.

    • sara November 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      I have no clue at all if these guys are legit, but they seem to offer something closer to the selection of colors I remember

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Oh, cool! Looks like they’re doing the finishing themselves? Amazing selection of colors!

    • sara November 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

      I would be interested to know if they do it themselves, it might be that they are ordering directly from Tolix who offers all those colors. The RAL color numbers ring a bell as far as what I was looking through when I had to pick the color in France.

      I didn’t know they made kids furniture, some of the little tables are quite cute.

  • Reply Michelle November 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    While you drool over the Vipp trash can, I’m jealous that you managed to snag an OXO trash can (if I spy correctly). I first saw them when we were a plane ride away from home, and never saw one near my house. Fast forward to now and we are in a new house, where that would be a great size and shape for us but they don’t sell them anymore (well I found one in red – but no).

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      Michelle, it is indeed an OXO! We bought it almost 7 years ago thinking it was a well-made, nicely-designed alternative to the Vipp. For the first couple of years it was great, but now the top doesn’t always align right when it’s closing, which is annoying. It also doesn’t stay open when you want it to anymore…also annoying! Sadly a couple of plastic pieces inside seem to have broken off, and of course there’s no way to repair it. Is it a horrible disaster? No. Was it worth $100? I’m not so sure. After seeing how well the Vipp in our bathroom has held up, I’m regretting that we didn’t just save up to buy one for the kitchen as well. I don’t like to have to replace things like trash cans and toasters every 10 years.

      Looks-wise, I do think the OXO is at the top of the heap as far as trash cans go. At least it has that going for it. Too bad they seem to have discontinued the white!

    • Simone November 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      You could try to find a Fab-Lab and see if you could get the broken parts printed by them. (O yes the future is here already). Of course you could also try to pursuade Evan if he might build you guys one although I don’t know if you really need one (sorry that was a bit of a joke). But once you wrap your head around it it is fantastic and really environment friendly in a way.

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      I like the idea of replacing the broken parts, but I don’t know if it’s worth investing more money in something that is bound to have more broken part in the future. I think we’re probably better off putting the current trash can to use elsewhere in the house if we do eventually buy a new one. The problems with the lid wouldn’t bother me outside of the kitchen—it would be perfect to have in the laundry area, for example.

    • Michelle November 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      What a bummer regarding the durability of the OXO can (pet peeve: inability to buy small replacement parts). And thank you, that lessens my regret a bit – we are on year 8 or 9 of a lower-end Simple Human can and it is still going strong, though dented from the last move; functional just not as pretty, of course not nearly as ugly as some trash cans either. I do wish they had more enameled colored options though.

  • Reply Moorea Seal November 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Ooh I love it all. Right now my boyfriend and I are living in a teeny tiny rented apartment. The only way I could freshen up the cramped little kitchen was to cover the ugly stained off white cabinets with black chalkboard contact paper. Getting some contrast in there helped to at least make it feel a little more organized and fresh. Oh to one day have a kitchen of my own to paint or wallpaper or rip apart as I so choose.
    xo Moorea

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Chalkboard contact paper! I’m probably the last person to find out that such a thing even exists. How cool!

  • Reply @byebyebirdieuk November 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    totally in love with the white subway tile and black grout idea! have been pondering a back splash for a while now and this would work so well in our kitchen.

    in defense of the SMEG, we’ve had ours for about 4 years now and i love it. it’s lovely smooth sleek lines look good from every angle! we have this black fridge/freezer combo and would recommend it in a heart beat …


  • Reply Natalie / Half Asleep Studio November 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Ahh, want it all! I’m re-doing our kitchen as well (forest green walls… florescent lighting… AHHH!) and finding that all of the things I really want would cost about as much as a year of college tuition. Fortunately there’s a lot you can DIY, but not when it comes to a fridge.

  • Reply Staci @ My Friend Staci November 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, so polar opposite from what I would have chosen (i love mixing wood tones and steer clear of harsh black and white) but I am SUPER into this kitchen plan right now. I cannot wait to see how your progress goes!

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      I don’t see any of this as “harsh” at all…? To me it’s all very colorful and happy and warm! There’s so much wood in my kitchen and all over my house already, so I like to give everything a little room to breathe. If it needs more wood after everything is tiled and painted, I’ll see about replacing the cabinet fronts with plywood.

  • Reply Alison November 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Have you seen the yellow hee stool by hay? My dream bar stool for my similarly neutral kitchen. They do other fabulous bright colours and yes they are quite comfortable too. Just a pity about the price tag.

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      I have, yes! I like the chair version, but I’m not crazy about the little low back on the high stool. Probably for the best since Hay stuff tends to be $$$$ 😉

  • Reply kelly November 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    anna – we also purchased the tolix replicas from and i have to say they have been great. they were not in vintage shape – which is what i would have preferred, but the shiny finish makes them feel very modern. we get compliments on them all the time and they are study yet light weight. they are packaged so well from overstock and the price was pretty unbelievable.

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks, Kelly! And yeah, of course I’d also prefer vintage but what can you do. 😉 A friend told me she has the Industry West ones and that they’ve been great as well, so it definitely looks like there are some good alternatives to the real thing out there.

  • Reply Fritz November 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Smeg Fridge …LOL

    I guess you never watched Red Dwarf

  • Reply tamera November 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    NEWBURGH TILING WORKSHOP. I am so there. 😉

  • Reply Karen @sugarspicelivin November 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    LOVE your kitchen inspiration.

    Just wanted to add that we have a Smeg 36 inch range and oven- and it is amazing!! Got it off of ebay for a fantastic price. Just sayin.

    Can’t wait to see the final deal! I soooo want white subway tile with black grout- yum!!

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      Ugh, I’ve been eyeballing the range as well!! It’s gorgeous. I love my current range, though…I really have nothing to complain about. 😉

  • Reply Melissa November 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    must. have. that. wallpaper.


  • Reply Laura November 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Great ideas! I love the wallpaper/painted wallpaper/tile combo. Have you tried searching the “materials” section of your local craigslist for shelving? There are lots of people selling finished black walnut slabs with live edges, for example, in my area (RI) and at reasonable prices. Can I also put in a vote for keeping the upper cabinets? Your house is large, and probably not usually occupied by only two people. I think for resale, designing around one set of uppers might be a good idea, besides the fact that they look good. Couldn’t you do open shelving on the wall opposite the sink/stove, in addition to above the sink? Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      We don’t care at all about resale value. If we did, we never would’ve bought a house in Newburgh. 😉 The past 7 years of renovation have been about what we like and how we live our lives, not some imaginary future resident. This is all for the long haul.

      We don’t plan to sell our house, but even if we did, the concept of “resale value” is pretty much meaningless here. Having a roof and functioning mechanicals is about the extent of it.

  • Reply Alison November 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I love the way this is all coming together, and the yellow stool is just about the best.

    I’m glad you posted about the the Brinson’s home sneak peek, I hadn’t seen it and I love the look of the black wallpaper/pressed tin. I’m gonna have to remember that, I might just be the bit of inspiration my kitchen needs.

    I don’t know if this is exactly what you are looking for but Twemco makes a lot of cool flip clocks in similar style to the Karrlson clock.

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Those are very cool, thanks!!

  • Reply Nancy November 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I am not a “design-y” person but I will be pinning a few of these things… I could never come up with this stuff myself. Thank you! 🙂

    As for the reclaimed wood, I am not sure what thickness you want but my sister bought reclaimed wood shelves for her kitchen, at Brooklyn Flea. They are not superthick, and are more distressed than the ones you’ve shown here.

  • Reply Sherri November 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I have that exact flip wall clock in my kitchen, I’ve had it for we’ll over a year and it works perfectly! I wasn’t aware of the bad reviews. Lara from Piewacket in so in love with her teal SMEG, it’s really beautiful. They had one in my room at the ACE hotel, I’m so in love with it. I’d say for those times when you are really smitten for something you me in your life, why not make it something that makes you smile.

    • Sherri November 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Lets chalk up typos to typing on an iPad, shall we?

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Glad to hear some positive votes for the SMEG and the clock!! Kind of like getting a second or third opinion from a different doctor…I have to keep asking until I get the answers I want. 😉

      (Hey, did you go to Purchase?)

  • Reply Sherri November 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Oh, also wanted to add that my clock is the KARLSSON version. Works great, have never had an issue.

  • Reply Chris November 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Just saw shelves similar to that tonight in the West Elm catalog. Maybe closer than CA?

    • Anna @ D16 November 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Yeah, I saw those! They’re very nice, but they’re from India—even farther away. I think if I’m going to be buying a bunch of really heavy reclaimed wood I should get it locally. We may not be able to get locally-made appliances or tile, but wood is something we have plenty of in upstate New York. 🙂

      (I had to the delete the link because it was super-long and breaking the comments column, sorry!)

  • Reply Francis November 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I am also a proud owner of the Karlsson Big Flip

    I got mine imported from a British store about 2 years ago. I love it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it . I haven’t even had to change the batteries since I got it. It’s perfectly accurate. It’s a little noisy when it changes at midnight, because there are separate motors changing the time, date and day. About 35 minutes before that happens it makes a minor mechanical noise, in preparation for the midnight changes. Aside from that it’s quiet. The midnight noise is definitely not bad enough to be a deal breaker. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it. They aren’t that common over here. If someone else buys it before you, you know you’ll regret it.

    • Anna @ D16 November 21, 2012 at 12:23 am

      Haha, I don’t care if everyone in the world gets one before me! I like what I like, whether something is popular or obscure doesn’t change that. 😉

      Thanks for the firsthand review. I don’t know what’s up with the ones on Amazon, because everyone who’s commented here and on Twitter says theirs work perfectly! The noise factor doesn’t concern me—I’m sure the dogs will bark at it at first, but they’ll live.

    • Francis November 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

      I just meant get it before someone else nabs that one in that store near you, or else you might miss your opportunity. They are hard to come by over here. Having said that — check your email.

    • Anna @ D16 November 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Gotcha—on both counts. THANK YOU!

  • Reply Johanna - Apartment 1302 November 21, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I think the plywood-fronts would be absolutely gorgeouuuuussss!

  • Reply Dusa November 21, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Charcoal grey Smeg? Swoon!

    • Anna @ D16 November 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

      It’s actually black, but still swooning! 🙂

  • Reply Tommy November 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I don’t know how soon you’re buying that Smeg, but West Elm just sent out a “save 25% on purchases over $1,000” email. $1,500 is still expensive, but it ain’t $2,000!

    And no, I do not work for West Elm. I teach 5th grade math. I can’t afford one, so I need you to get it. *silent single tear*

    • Anna @ D16 November 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Oh, really?! I probably deleted that email without even reading it. Time to check my trash!! (Thanks for the tip!!)

  • Reply Cher@Newburgh Restoration November 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I say wait awhile. When the craze dies down they might drop a little in price. West Elm always has sales too. They might have a flash sale and cut the price one or two hundred. Every little bit helps.

    • Anna @ D16 November 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Hmmm, I’m not so sure about that. SMEG fridges have been available in this country for several years now, and the price is $2000 at every retailer. (West Elm is having a sale right now, though!) I think a large part of the reason the price is so high is that there ISN’T a “craze” of people buying them. The market for tiny, old-fashioned refrigerators is very, very small in this country. Aside from pictures on blogs, do you know ANY Americans who have one?

  • Reply Pauline November 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I would like to chime in about the clock. I have the Habitat version and have had no problems. I think the bad reviews are probably due to the people not understanding how to get the thing going in the first place. My version has 3 sets of batteries : one for the clock bit, one for the date and a third for day and to get all 3 in unison at the beginning did take a while. You have to make sure that you have it at midnight not midday or the day doesn’t turn over to the next day when you want it. Then there is a special thing to do inleap years too, which was fun this year ! Just needs a bit of patience really.

    Its true that it a bit noisy at midnight, but you have to suffer for your art no ?

    Love the SMEG fridge true but would need to destroy my little Paris kitchen to get that in. . .which I will hopefully do one day.

    • Anna @ D16 November 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks, Pauline! Seems like everyone other than those Amazon reviewers hasn’t had any trouble, so I’m blaming user error. Hopefully I’m smart enough to set it properly, hahaha. 😉

  • Reply Sian November 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Hey Anna, I’m another Brit who has the Habitat version of the clock and we absolutely LOVE it! Yes it’s noisy but you get used to that. And it’s a bit of hassle to get it set up and you have to manually change the date but totally worth it in my opinion. My aunt has the Smeg fridge and loves it. I would’ve got one myself but too small for us.

    Great planning ideas!

  • Reply mona November 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    That is going to be such a slick looking kitchen – your choices are perfect! The SMAG is “en vogue” again but it looks timeless so I’m sure you will enjoy it for many years. I can’t wait to see the end result!

  • Reply jja November 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    “g? Hah. Ugh. There’s one hanging in a store near our apartment—I’ll start keeping an eye on it to see if it has the right date.”


    Great wish list, almost the same as mine.

  • Reply Tiffanie November 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Excellent picks. Always wanting that stool (I have a “stool fetish”, how gross), will add to our collection when we get a bigger place someday!

    Do you have any ideas about great swag (or non-hardwired) pendant lights? I once asked Nicole from Making It Lovely, as she was doing a whole series on light fixtures, but she said she was coming up short. Any suggestions? We have several pendants made from lampshades over a bulb, but we’d love something hat was a little less prone to grease collection and more suited for a kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving, Anna!

  • Reply Victoria Smith November 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    oooh, love it all. i’m glad the caravaggio is coming in handy and included in the scheme. looks good! as does lisa’s wallpaper. 🙂

  • Reply kris November 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Anna!
    I love the board, especially the SMEG. I have this vipp bin in black in my kitchen, and I have to say, I absolutely am NOT pleased with it. The mouth of the trash can is way to small to actively work as our kitchen trash can. I keep trying to convince myself that I am happy with this vipp bin, but really I often have to take out an extra liner to get rid of some big amount of onion butts, bones, cores, and what have you. Granted our kitchen trash can is the workhorse for the entire apartment, and we use it to dispose of mailings and pretty much about everything except for bathroom trash, and I really think this trash can here isn’t working for us. 🙁

    • Anna @ D16 November 27, 2012 at 12:27 am

      That’s interesting, Kris. I never really thought about the size of the opening before, which sounds crazy of me now that you’ve mentioned it! I’ll have to keep an eye on how much I tend to throw away at once in the kitchen. We don’t produce a whole lot of trash, but it’s definitely something worth thinking about before making such a huge purchase. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Reply Anna November 29, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I know what you mean about the fridge….. I feel your pain! Organs, my soul, I’d sell whatever for one of those! Didn’t know it came in charcoal grey (this now makes the situation a million times worse of course!).
    Love all these ideas!

    • Anna @ D16 November 29, 2012 at 8:02 am

      It’s black, actually, the photo just makes it look lighter than it is!

  • Reply AnnaK November 30, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I never new it was a Karlsson until you mentioned it. I have a reproduction of the same clock I brought home from asia (approx. $140US). If it wasn’t a pain to bring home, I would have bought another one in all black for a different room. It has the same issues as what everyone says. The first time I heard the changing of the mechanical flip freaked me out for a sec because it happens when you least expect it but then I got use to it. I love it!!

  • Reply Joe December 8, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Thanks for the shout out on the shelves, Anna! Just an FYI, we have a few items that we bulk shipped to my friend’s apartment near 8th and Bedford for local pick up. I believe there may be a few of these shelves left. We sell an awful lot in NY and have chosen not to manufacture there yet because the cost of space and production, materials is so much lower here in LA, that even after shipping and buying carbon offsets, it is still a much lower cost than producing in NY. Hopefully one day we will be big enough to open an east coast production!


  • Reply Susan Brinson December 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Thanks for the mention of our kitchen! I have to say, the wall paper has held up great for 3 years. I think painting it with high gloss outdoor paint has helped hide a lot of kitchen sins.

    Have fun!

  • Reply Paula March 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    So beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering what model is your gas range and if you are happy with it?

    • Anna @ D16 March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Paula, the range is a Siemens, which I don’t think is available in this country anymore (we bought it more than 7 years ago). Bosch is made by the same company, though, so they may have something similar. And yes, I’ve been very happy with it!

  • Reply Cat June 28, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Hi, We were looking at buying the Udden Kitchen for the house we are buying but my partner is concerned that the stainless steel will scratch badly. How have you found this? Thanks

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