Back in 2010 when we were remodeling our kitchen, Kyle asked if we should consider getting a bigger refrigerator. At the time, I’m sure I rolled my eyes and told him that our 4 year-old fridge was perfectly fine and super energy-efficient and took up so little space at only 24″ wide.
So that was that.
Fast forward 3 years and we now have a new, “I told you so” refrigerator. Ok, so the old one (a Vestfrost/Summit model that we sold quickly on Craigslist) was still working fine but it was starting to get cramped. Turns out, when you have a kiddo and work from home, you eat at home a lot more. Gone are the days of swinging by a coffee shop on the way to work or grabbing a sandwich at the deli around the corner. In other words, I eventually caved. So we went to our local appliance store (Albert Lee Appliance) to scope out what was available. We were specifically looking for counter-depth options that were 30″ wide and surprisingly, there wasn’t a lot to choose from. But it didn’t matter – in our hearts I think we knew which fridge we coveted more than any other.
Yes, we are architects and yes, we got the Liebherr [insert cliché here]. Or, as I like to say (with dramatic flair), Leeeebeeeerrrr.
But first, let’s back up to early September when our kitchen looked like this. Yeah. (By the way, all of the process photos were taken with my iPhone. Sorry about that.)
Getting the actual fridge and installing it was the least of our problems. First we had to tackle expanding the existing opening by 6″, which meant trimming the base board and metal ledge and detaching the pantry and sliding it down 6″. Naturally, there was an outlet that needed moving too.
…and then there was drywall patching (not pictured) and filling in cork tiles. Oh, and the new fridge has an ice maker(!!) so there was that water line that needed to be installed too.
Yes, the cork has obviously faded (that’s a whole other blog post).
I know Bailey, I know. The only saving grace in this whole ordeal is that back in 2010 Kyle had had the forethought to install the fir plywood panels in a way that would make a future expansion feasible. The panels that run along the top of the cabinets are actually one long panel to the left of the fridge and one short panel over the fridge and pantry. Therefore, only the small panel had to be replaced (the vertical panel remained attached to the side of the pantry). Bonus – we even had an extra sheet of fir plywood in the shop.
After the new piece of plywood was finished and installed (Kyle did a biscuited connection to the existing horizontal panel and then a glued connection where it sits on the vertical panel), it was time for a new piece of edgebanding.
Edgebanding is basically a thin veneer of wood with an adhesive on the backside that is applied using the heat of an iron.
It’s purpose? To cover things like this:
The banding went on easily, thank goodness.
After it had set, Kyle used a chisel to trim the excess off the top.
A little sanding, a coat of finish (yet to happen) and we’ll be done.
I didn’t have the patience to wait for the coat of finish (this project has stretched out long enough as it is!), so here you go. Looks like it was always there, right?
The handles, the handles!
Kyle used his metal cutting chop saw to trim the ledge. Six inches of fridge for six inches of art seemed like a good trade.
The inside is smartly designed too. I love that we can put gallon size containers in the door. (Also, don’t judge us on all of the beverages – we had friends over for fish tacos last weekend.) 🙂
Oh, hello big beautiful produce drawer.
The freezer is pretty straight-forward. There isn’t a ton of room, but we have a chest freezer in our basement for surplus or big items. Also, ice maker! This is the first time we’ve had one since we moved to Seattle! Will this inspire a renewed love for cocktails? Only time will tell.
The integral hinges have a soft-close (and self-closing) feature which is oh so gratifying.
It was a splurge, but we’re in love. Refrigerator love. (Kyle says “love” is a strong word to use when speaking about a refrigerator but I’m keeping it in.)