Oy! I am SO sorry it’s taken me as long as it has to get this post up! I got the photos ready last Wednesday, and then spent five days trying to sit down to write without something else coming up. My attention span has been absolutely shot lately, and I swear that’s in part because I—like everyone else, apparently—am losing track of time and days. I didn’t think that was going to happen to me because I’ve been working from home for several years now, but I underestimated the impact all of the other schedule/routine/stress changes going on would have on me.
ANYWAY. Let’s get back to the kitchen renovation!
Remember this end of the room? This is how it looked in early 2018, before we’d done anything to the kitchen. This space was essentially wasted; probably used once upon a time for a Hoosier-style cabinet or a tiny kitchen table. Although I briefly toyed with the idea of building out a small pantry in that corner, but it really made so much more sense to move the refrigerator over there, and then add additional cabinets/counter space where the fridge used to be.
I wish I could say that I was totally fine with the refrigerator that came with the house, and for a while, I tried really hard to convince myself that I was. But the more work we did on the rest of the kitchen, the more out-of-place it looked. It also seemed HUGE and bulky, even though it was short.
So…the entire time we were working on the kitchen, I was casually researching refrigerators on the side. It would not have made sense to try to build out cabinetry to surround the fridge in a kitchen like this, so I was determined to find a refrigerator with a small footprint, finished sides (meaning the side material/color/texture is the same as the front, and is intended to be exposed), and no visible hinge mechanism. I’m as amazed by the lack of refrigerators with finished sides now as I was in 2013 when I discovered a SMEG was one of the few options.
I also have all of the same issue I always have with not wanting any logos, digital displays, or water dispensers on a refrigerator, which of course makes finding one that checks off most of the boxes (and still comes in at a reasonable price point) all the more difficult.
As soon as I came across the Summit FFBF281W, I was sold. It checked off EVERY box! It’s counter-depth (29″ with the handle), and only 27″ wide. It still clocks in at almost 12 cu.ft for the fridge and 5cu.ft for the freezer, though, thanks to the 75″ height. And the sides are finished! I love that the handles are so simple, too. No logos, no frills. Just right!
AK agreed, and we ordered it right away from Home Depot.
A full WEEK before the tracking info showed it was supposed to arrive (and with no advance phone call from the delivery service), a huge truck pulled up in front of the house. I was home alone. A massive snowstorm was just beginning. The delivery company was only allowed to bring the refrigerator to the porch. Of course.
As usual, Geninne came to my rescue! She deployed her lovely husband and son (who are currently building a whole house together) to help, and they quickly and quietly carried the refrigerator (and the GIANT box it was packed in) off of the snowy porch and into my living room. PHEW.
(Oh! And! I found someone on NextDoor to come and pick up the old refrigerator the next day. He’d just lost his job the day after his own fridge died, so the timing was perfect for both of us. Habitat for Humanity won’t take appliances that are more than a decade old, and while the power company does offer a rebate for recycling “inefficient” older appliances, I would much much much rather have given it to an actual person who needed it right away. Win/win.)
Hello, refrigerator! Hello, defunct heating vents I need to drywall over! Hello, empty space next to the refrigerator that’s just the right size for some shallow pantry shelving!
That sliver of wood door that’s visible on the left is the door to the garage, and it stays open 95% of the time—so any shelving had to both clear it completely and allow room to pass through without worrying about bumping into anything. Fine, because what I really wanted to build here was shallow, wall-mounted shelving for pantry goods.
Hello, wood! I bought inexpensive 1×8″ pine boards, figured out how much space I needed between shelves to accommodate my jars and stuff, drew up a plan, and cut everything to size. In this photo, nothing is assembled yet—it’s all just standing up on end on the floor.
The construction is really simple. I drilled pilot holes, then countersunk screws at the corners and for each shelf. I didn’t bother making the shelves adjustable. My advance planning is just that good (remind me I said that in a few years when I’m wishing I could move a shelf). The screw holes got patched, the whole thing got sanded, and then I did a test-hanging on the wall.
You can only see one of them in this picture, but the whole shelving unit is mounted on two cleats that are screwed into studs. The frame of the unit “hugs” the cleats, which bear the weight. A few screws through the top and and lower shelf into the cleats keeps the unit from falling off. It’s simple stuff! If you need a shelving unit like this, you can absolutely do it yourself. (Wall-mounted bookshelves, anyone?)
Hello, paint! A coat of primer and a couple of coats of black paint (I’m pretty sure I used semigloss Rust-Oleum), and it was ready for its permanent installation! After hanging, I patched over the screw holes in the cleats, then painted the cleats white to match the walls. It is REALLY secure. Four screws are going directly into studs, and the others are well-anchored.
Hello, jars! I took this photo before I loaded the whole thing up with stuff, but you get the idea. It’s a WHOLE BUNCH of extra storage. This house doesn’t have an actual pantry, so these shelves are a huge bonus. I’m really happy with how they came out! Scroll up to the top photo—doesn’t this end of the kitchen look a million times cozier and ten million times more functional now?? I love it.
Unless I’m forgetting something, the next kitchen post is THE BIG REVEAL! All of the projects are done!! Wheeeeeee! I’m even going to put down my iPhone and use an actual camera to take photos. Should I make a video, too??
In the mean time…
✚ It’s time to meet the kitchen!
✚ Kitchen planning!
✚ Kitchen cabinets: Prep + painting.
✚ Painting and stenciling the kitchen floor.
✚ Kitchen countertop demolition.
✚ Painting the kitchen’s steel casement window.
✚ Let’s add some cabinets!
✚ Building cabinet cubbies for extra storage.
✚ It’s time for the kitchen to get some countertops!
✚ Installing a stacked bond subway tile backplash.