June 01, 2015

Kitchen upgrade before & afters!

One way to tell you've turned the corner into boring adult married life is when you get super excited to upgrade to ALL! NEW! APPLIANCES! IN! YOUR! KITCHEENNNNN!!! 

I know, because we did this on Friday. And lo, it was super exciting.

Our old appliances were... fine. Old. Ugly. Mostly functional, but still indeed technically functional so I was having a hard time justifying the expenditure. But for example, our dishwasher: in addition to not actually cleaning all that well, the unit was tilted backwards. This meant that when you opened the door, it didn't lie flat, which meant that the bottom rack would repeatedly slide back into the unit with a dish-shaking thud every time you stopped holding onto it - say, while you were putting the first set of dishes away. Pull rack out. Grab some bowls. Straighten up to put bowls in cabinet. THUD/CRASH. Pull rack back out. Repeat. 

So you know, not the end of the world. But irritating. 

Our stove was actually actively terrible: whatever temperature it THOUGHT it was producing was hilariously far off from the temperature ACTUALLY produced, which made cooking dinner an exciting game of "guess how long it will take to cook this protein through so that you don't get food poisoning, while also not completely overcooking it into a rubbery dry mess." (Spoiler: not actually exciting. Actually very crappy.)

Our microwave, which I had already gleefully removed before remembering to take some "before" pictures, was also perfectly functional, but even uglier than the other ugly black pieces: at some point before we moved there, something had apparently exploded/splattered inside the unit and permanently seared a large brown stain across the bulk of the front window. Very sexy. 

HOWEVER. I had been dragging my feet on actually researching replacement appliances, because in addition to the "eh, they technically work! mostly!" argument, we had a practical issue: our countertops are fairly new, installed by Chris when he first moved in (replacing some truly special FOREST GREEN peeling laminate counters). However, since the slabs were cut to exactly our kitchen dimensions, some of the openings around the appliances were non-standard. Most ovens, for example, are listed as 30" wide. Our counter gap is 29.65". And it's not one of those things where "close enough!" works: you can't just cram an oven into a space that's (an infuriating) 1/8" too small. We researched some options (custom-sized range? shave down the edges of our counters?) but all choices spiraled out of control in both cost and complexity fairly instantly, and I found myself requiring an immediate lie-down and topic change every time Chris brought it up. I'm a useful spouse. Eventually though, we measured each counter gap down to the 16th of an inch, then brought that list and a tape measure to Home Depot, where I proceeded to physically measure every range they had to figure out which ones would actually fit in our space. There were like 2 that worked, which narrowed down our options pretty quickly. And once we decided on the range, we ended up liking the matching appliances, so before long we had a complete Whirlpool set.

So! Here is a before, with a hole where the microwave was, and everything from the cabinets above the microwave strewn across the countertops:

...And the after!!!

::googly heart eyes::

Stupid tilty dishwasher before & after:

Range + microwave hole close up:

Look how big the oven window is! Also how shiny!

Full view with cats (sadly lacking from the after picture):

One small tweak that Chris's brother suggested, which is SUCH A GOOD IDEA, was replacing the old ugly knobs on every door & drawer while we were at it. We went from scratched and stained white porcelain knobs with brassy gold rims to sleek nickel finish knobs that match the new appliances. HEART.

The change we both love the  most so far, however, has been the fridge. It was another tough-to-research option, because we both really wanted a double door fridge BUT the space we had was both too narrow and too shallow for a lot of them. But miraculously, there was one random 33" wide model in the same line & finish as everything else we'd already picked.

::heavenly chorus sings::
We just got the microwave installed yesterday thanks to our super amazing and wonderful friend Goz to whom we now owe a giant debt, because HAHA NOT AS EASY as the Home Depot guy suggested it would be to install - I honestly think hooking up the dishwasher would probably have been more straight forward - but Goz is brilliant and fixed everything that went wrong and we love him one million. So while I have yet to use the microwave, or the dishwasher, or the stove... I HAVE used the range. And did you know it's only supposed to take, like, ONE MINUTE to boil water in a kettle for tea?! I legitimately did not. I thought it was supposed to take 5-10 minutes because that is how long it took for me to boil two cups of water on the old range. I am positively GIDDY WITH EXCITEMENT to try and boil a pot of water for pasta next to see how long that will take. I'm guessing under 30 minutes! LIVING THE DREAM, folks. Living the dream.


  1. It's beautiful! Enjoy being domestic! Even doing dishes will be fun for a while!

  2. It looks great!

  3. We just got a similar fridge and a new microwave and I cannot tell you how many times I've just STOOD THERE LOOKING AT THEM because SHINY! and CLEAN! and ALL THE SPACE IN THE WORLD TO KEEP COLD THINGS!


    1. I keep getting startled and thinking "omg! the fridge/microwave/dishwasher is open!" because now that they're so shiny, they REFLECT light instead of absorbing it. <3 the shiny.

  4. I love it!!!

    Chris had green countertops?? I'm guessing original owners/builders thought it would go with the forrest green carpet?? Oy

    1. YES. EXACTLY. Green countertops + green carpet + green marble around the fireplace. So special.

  5. YAY omg I was basically squealing with excitement the whole time I read this post because LOOKIT LOOKIT LOOKIT SO SHINY AND NICE AND FUNCTIONAL YAY! Am boring adult like you, am totally fine with that. (Our new windows are being installed TOMORROW and YAY NEW WINDOWS PANT PANT PANT I don't even CARE what 20-year-old me would think of current me because NEW WINDOWS YAY.)

    1. YAAAAASSSS new windows are SUPER DUPER EXCITING! I am excited FOR you and they are not even going in my house!

  6. Looks great! Better functioning appliances would have me super excited as well!