The 9 Best Kitchen Appliance and Refrigerator Makeovers!

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

It’s really funny. Well, not funny haha.

 

But last Sunday’s post talking about my kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers and choices turned out to be one of my favorite posts ever, even though I feared the opposite.

 

You see, what happened is that there was a mix-up about what day I was going to see Alvin Ailey (who were absolutely fabulous BTW). I was told that it was Sunday, but it wasn’t Sunday, it was the Saturday matinee.

This gave me a lot less time than normal to create the post and in my mind, I feared that it wasn’t going to be up to snuff. But clearly, the time it takes to produce is not necessarily an indication of a post’s value.

Good lesson for me.

But where the value lies, in this post, is mainly in the dozens of fabulous comments I got from you guys about kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers.

And it also helped me from making a pretty whopping mistake! I’ll get to that in a sec.

 

So, what I thought would be great would be to do a round-up of your ideas and expand on some of them with links to sources, to have them all in one handy spot. And also discuss some of the pros and cons of each method.

A lot of us want alternatives to stainless steel and/or our appliances are old and we can’t afford to get new. Or it comes in white, but it’s the wrong white. Or we don’t want to see a big drink of solid anything.

Lots of issues.

I’ve decided not to get into HIDING the fridge because I think that needs its own separate post.

But before we get into the kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers, a word or 50 about stainless steel.

 

As we’ve been drilled ad nauseum, the general buying public desperately wants, needs, covets stainless steel appliances.

 

yawn.

Although, based on what I hear, that just isn’t true!

But, since we tend to doubt ourselves, it means that we’re out there buying stainless steel appliances even though we don’t really want them. Or at least not all of them.

But, in some kitchens, stainless does look great.

Gray kitchens, primarily. Or kitchens with a good amount of gray in them.

 

Another myth.

 

All of the appliances need to match each other.

Match is not a word in our vocabulary except in rare instances. ;]

Appliances need to coordinate, not necessarily be exact clones of each other.

 

After all, the appliances have three completely different functions.

 

  • Preserve
  • Cook
  • Wash

 

Why are we expecting an appliance which reaches temps of 500 degrees (Fahrenheit) to look the same as an appliance which reaches freezing temps? And then another which throws detergent all over the dishes to get them clean?

 

Other considerations

 

  • Budget. That’s a big one.
  • Permanence. Do you own your place? If so how long are you planning on staying?
  • And finally kitchen size and configuration.

 

All of these are important considerations when deciding the best method. And I can’t do that for you because all of the parts need to hum along together. But maybe you’ll get some ideas that will get you as excited about these new options as I am.

 

Here are the possibilities when considering our kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers

 

 

Painting an appliance is an obvious choice, but proper preparation and paint for the type of surface and desired effect are very important.

  • Is it a DIY project? Well, it depends on how proficient you are and the process. But in most cases, it is best to spray the fridge.

If it’s done at an auto body shop, of course, the fridge needs to go there. I would use one that I am familiar with who you know will do a good job or get references. And be prepared to spend a bit of $ to have it go back and forth.

  • But… if your fridge works fine but is aesthetically a total train-wreck and money is really tight, you can paint it yourself.

 

Here are some examples where the homeowners painted their fridge with good results. The links will take you to the exact post where you can read more about their process.

 

Young House Love

This is the before. They painted it a white closer to the cabinets. And you can see that it’s a big deal. It is not easy to paint kitchen appliances. This couple is very hands-on and I bet if they had to do it over again would have tried one of the upcoming options over this one. You can see the finished product by clicking on the link.

Little Green Notebook

This is a very cool kitchen! I love the black fridge in this setting. However, I’m a little confused by the order of things as I see a streaky mess when she’s putting on the handle. (please click on the link to see the process and what I’m talking about) And I can’t follow how she got that handle to stay put.  I guess that it’s one of those things that one has to be there. You cannot drill into the fridge door! She doesn’t, but just so you know.

She used chalk paint in the end and it’s supposed to be matte, but I see a sheen. Not saying it’s bad. I love it! I would’ve preferred the smaller black handles on the cabinets so that the fridge handles look more special, but that’s just a little nit-picky thing. Really fabulous kitchen!!!

 

Whatever you do, please, please do not paint your textured fridge a super shiny black.

 


Eegads!!! Frat party horror show!

 

All things being equal, it is probably always the best move to do something that can be easily changed. And that leaves any kind of paint off the table.

 

And if it’s the range door that’s needing to change, of course, it has to be able to withstand heat.

I found a video and it’s pretty interesting.

At the beginning, he says that it’s “easy.”

Ha!

After watching the video, I’ve concluded that it’s anything BUT easy. However, it’s a crappy green stove that’s probably at least 40 years old. And it does look a LOT better. But it’s not easy to do this.

 

Leaving the range aside for a time, a very attractive option for the refrigerator makeover is to use some sort of wallpaper.

 

But can we say that this is a DIY job?

I think it depends. If you are the skilled, coordinated, patient type, then perhaps.

If you’re like me who is ten thumbs, impatient, easily frustrated, then I would have a pro do it.

These days there are zillions of self-sticking wallpaper which are also easier to get off if you decide you want to change the pattern/color or restore it to its original for some reason.

OR, you could have a paper hanger come and apply any wallpaper.

Can it still be removable? Not sure about that, but speak with your wallpaper guy or gal. There might be some options. I did see something with cornstarch I think. But can’t recommend it since I don’t know anything about it.

 

I found numerous refrigerators that have been enhanced with wallpaper. Some great and some not-so-great.

 

First of all, I would wallpaper the fridge ONLY (with a pattern) and none of the other appliances or it’s going to look a little precious.

 

Here are some ideas and sources for cool wallpaper to cover the fridge.

 

Country Living Rustic kitchen with wallpaper wrapped around the refrigerator - photo Max Kim Beevia Country Living

I do believe that water dispenser is smiling! :]

 

But sorry, I do not know the source of the wallpaper.

 

Another view of the entire area. Very smart-looking kitchen and I think the wallpaper suits it perfectly.

 

Above is a darling small kitchen from the blog from Hygge and West.

 

My only issue is the cabinets. I long for them to be a whiter color, similar to the walls which looks like Decorator’s White, perhaps. Another option, would be to add a tinted glaze to the paper.

In any case, if doing paper, please be sure that it’s wipeable, preferably scrubbable wallpaper. If not, then what you can do is send it to a place like Custom Laminations and they will put a plastic coating (ask for matte lamination) on it for you. The paper will be a bit stiffer, but also better protected. You can do this with fabric too. But it needs to be a flat fabric.

 

And the side of the fridge should either be papered or painted. But otherwise, love this charming little kitchen.

This is from the website of Hygge & West. They have an incredibly charming collection of gorgeous wallpapers and self-sticking wallpaper tiles

The tiles are only 24″ x 24″ so maybe not the best because there would be a lot of seams, OR maybe easier to work with if doing it oneself.

But here are some of my favorite normal wallpapers from Hygge & West, many of which also come in the 24 x 24 self-stick tiles.

I like this one for the fridge from Young House Love. It complements the blue walls nicely. And I think that it suits their style.

Hygge-and-West-LeClair-Decor-Otomi-Pewter-wall-paper-tiles-bedroom

Otomi – Pewter paper done by LeClair Decor.

 

A lovely subtle pattern

Andanza silver

 

Andanza Blush

 

Most of these come in other color-ways as does this soft shell-pink lovely.

 

I know someone who’s going to flip for this paper. And so have I!

 

This one is fun and sophisticated. I could see it in a city apartment, perhaps.

 

Here is a sampling of a few that I love from Anthropologie. Please click on the images to go to the product page.

 

 

Another option that is one that is my favorite for kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers are vinyl coverings that they use on cars and signs.

 

 

kitchen appliances clad in vinyl from a Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

Elsie from a Beautiful Mess also had the fridge clad in this vinyl material that is for cars and signs, primarily. It even can go on the outside of a building. You can read more about it on her blog and see a pic of how fabulous the fridge looks.

This one has me terribly excited for many reasons.

 

  • they can withstand high temps
  • flexible
  • relatively easy to apply
  • removable
  • and one of the most compelling reasons is that they can be ordered in any Pantone color there is! So, you aren’t limited to a certain set of colors.

This source has the coverings that can be ordered in any color. They might be wholesale; but there’s a number to call for more info.

To recap.

 

If all of the appliances are stainless steel and you only want accents of stainless, I would do vinyl on the door only. And most likely vinyl for the dishwasher. The fridge could be vinyl or a cool wallpaper.

Paint, I would generally reserve for really old appliances. Have a reputable pro do it outside the home.

You do not want to spray inside your home, unless you can create a little sealed off spray area and please always wear a mask!

 

Update on my appliances.

 

I canceled the range and microwave, because at this time, I’m not sure, but I’m seriously considering an induction range.

 

For the fridge,

 

Oh my.

I would so do this mermaid wallpaper from Hygge & West. (yes, I know that’s horrible English, but I need to fit the part.)

 

Here’s my fridge again, from Haier.

 

And below are two mock-up possibilities for getting rid of the stainless steel.

 

refrigerator makeovers with wallpaper

 

The Mermaid Fridge using Hygge & West wallpaper (and a little paint)

 

refrigerator makeovers with vinyl skins and overlays

This version would use a vinyl skin and then a custom Overlay from Overlays. The handles at the bottom are faux and glued on. But the bottom needed something. The overlays are really wider than drawn and are white like the fridge. And they are about a 1/4″ thick.

I love them both. Can I have two fridges? haha

Which one do you like best?

BTW, yes, I would need to cover up the temperature thingy. I don’t need a temperature thingy.

Who knew that kitchen appliances could be so complex?

(note at 1:20 AM Wednesday. I welcome your kind comments, But if you have the urge to bash me over the head with insulting words, please refrain. My heart thanks you.)

xo,

 

 

PS: If you’re looking for ideas for Christmas/Hanukkah decor and gift guides, please don’t forget to check out the Holiday shops. New items are being added every day!

 

  • Bridgette - December 8, 2017 - 4:43 PM

    We recently got a similar Haier fridge and it’s awesome! I’m sure you’ll enjoy yours too. We just bought a house and then the fridge died, which sparked a whole kitchen makeover in shades of gray and white! We also replaced the half dead dishwasher with a new stainless one, but are keeping our black and white stove. I love that mermaid wallpaper, and I’m loving your blog! Glad I stumbled across it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 9, 2017 - 12:03 AM

      Hi Bridgette,

      Unfortunately, I had to cancel the fridge too. And that is because I don’t have an open top and if something malfunctions, it would be my problem. But thanks for your sharing and kind words!ReplyCancel

      • Bridgette - December 9, 2017 - 9:10 AM

        Oh shoot! What a bummer. My husband had to cut into the upper cabinet for make room for our fridge but we just took the doors off and did open shelving right there. Turned out ok, but it was work! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Lalagigi - December 8, 2017 - 7:35 AM

    Induction is the way to go. We’ve had our Viking range for many years and I still love it! Speed of heating and ease of cleaning make it heads above gas. I did have to purchase all new cookware, but it was not a big deal. I love that my cast iron works on it.ReplyCancel

  • GL - December 7, 2017 - 4:16 PM

    Dear Laurel, I would like to second the idea of a separate oven and hob. I note that your oven door doesn’t get hot, but for me this would be a problem, as mine does. I have Gaggenau appliances for the cooking, a 1981-bought oven and a half mounted in a white-painted brick column with drawers below for tins and moulds and suchlike, and a much newer induction hob with a cunning system which combines a magnetic knob with touch controls. Induction is electric gas: instant control, very fast heating (and no flames licking up the sides of the pan when you really put the heat on high), and no residual heat from the cooking zones. I think it’s worth putting lots of cash (relatively, nothing on the scale of La Cornue or similar) for appliances which will really last. The oven has had two repairs over the past 35 years, and I can still get all the spare parts.
    I also think that it’s worth putting serious cash into the pans: they cook better. I had to replace almost everything when we switched to induction, and went to a hotel supplier for Demeyere pans, which have a lifetime guarantee. I couldn’t lift their sauteuse, so that’s a Cristel, and frankly it isn’t as good, despite Cristel’s excellent reputation. But I don’t know if either of these sells in the USA. (By the way, I wouldn’t touch Le Creuset, which is what I used to have — but perhaps they’ve improved since the 1970s!)
    You will gather from this that I’m a frequent and enthusiastic cook — so perhaps these ideas are over the top for you and many readers …ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2017 - 4:37 PM

      Hi GL,

      That all sounds wonderful, but I live in an old building where a deluxe kitchen has a 400 buck GE range and oak builder’s cabinetry and maybe some hideous granite. And I live in an upscale area!

      My kitchen is only 90 sq feet including the eating area. Quite small.

      In addition, there’s no way to say this without sounding self-aggrandizing, but I need to have anything super-high-end sponsored. My blog is currently being read by 2.5 million people a year, so that is something that is attractive to some brands.

      And yes, I cook very little now. It used to be quite different. Long story. ReplyCancel

  • Amy Ohrtman - December 7, 2017 - 12:50 PM

    I’ve been checking out the GE cafe induction range with double ovens. It has pretty nice looking handles. Its stainless steel though.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2017 - 4:24 PM

      Hi Amy,

      Yes, most ranges are stainless and actually, that one I don’t mind as much being stainless. In my ideal world, one would not see the fridge at all!ReplyCancel

  • Emilie - December 7, 2017 - 3:16 AM

    Hi Laurel! You’ve just given me permission to wallpaper my fridge! Thanks! Also, that first wallpapered fridge with the large scale white floral on the brown paper is a discontinued product from anthropology. I keep wishing that they would bring it back!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 7, 2017 - 12:50 PM

      Hi Emilie,

      That’s great! Please send a pic when it’s done if you like.ReplyCancel

  • Arla - December 6, 2017 - 5:28 PM

    I have had induction in three different houses over the last 20+ years. I wouldn’t have anything else! You will need to make sure your cookware is compatible though. I like the overlay idea for your fridge. I have a Sharp microwave drawer in my lower counter and love that I can push a button or just tug on the handle to open and check food at that level. Then push a button or even better bump the door with my hip and it closes by itself!

    Good luck with your kitchen!ReplyCancel

    • Dee - December 7, 2017 - 7:29 PM

      Laurel, I agree with Arla. We just did a kitchen update to our midwestern home. I have not had an induction cooktop before. I decided to give it a try and I love it! It is more like cooking with gas than electric. Very easy to maintain temp while cooking. We have grandchildren so it was very important to me that it would not burn them. I went with Bosch after reading independent reviews. I did not research induction stoves so can’t comment on that. We did Cashmere Carrara quartz countertops and they are drop dead gorgeous! Our house was built in 1999 and has beautiful cherry custom cabinets. The white quartz looks fabulous with the cherry cabinets. Once the herringbone Carrara marble backsplash is up we will be ready to paint. I love all your posts about colors. I think I will paint the kitchen walls BM Balboa Mist. I believe one post said it was great with cherry cabinetry. Thanks for all your wonderful posts. I am a BIG fan.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 7:16 PM

      Hi Arla,

      I would LOVE a microwave drawer, but alas that’s not possible at this point. They are terrific!ReplyCancel

  • Sherpa - December 6, 2017 - 4:39 PM

    I worked as as a scientist developing vinyl films at one of the top companies. Someone is going to be very unhappy 12 months after any vinyl is applied to an oven that gets hot. Vinyl cannot be used in a heated to oven temperatures and it was really irresponsible for the custom shop to state 900 degrees. Vinyl film is highly plasticized and formulated (to make softer and formable) and heat ages the composition at a MUCH advanced rate. Cracking, off-gassing, removability issues (adhesive ages also) will be a nightmare let alone not safe. Vinyl is perfectly ok on refrigerator and appliances that do not get hot. PLEASE DON’T USE on ovens. Heat ages polymers, changes the durability, properties and migration of components.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 7:15 PM

      Hi Sherpa,

      Very good points and well-taken. My current oven does not get at all hot on the outside. Not even warm. And this stuff is meant to go on cars which do get quite hot. But of course, anyone trying this out should do their own research and decide whether it’s the right thing for them or not. ReplyCancel

  • Emily Sandelin - December 6, 2017 - 1:48 PM

    I didn’t like the Mermaid paper at first but now it’s really grown on me. Why not have some fun? How does it work with the other colors in your home, hallway, kitchen?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 7:12 PM

      Hi Emily,

      It IS fun! Oh, I don’t know if it works or not. But one reason I like it is because one doesn’t notice at first that they are mermaids. It just likes a damask of sorts.

      I once had pillows that were a damask, a bronze and green color and it had whippets worked into the pattern! Henceforth, they called it whippet damask! haha. Loved those pillows!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth - December 6, 2017 - 12:50 PM

    OMG thank you for upping the fabulousness quotient of the vinyl with the overlays. I might (when I finally get to the real kitchen redo) be able to save that black (hole) fridge I recently because I had to replace the old one. The raves on induction are now upping my budget, however. Thanks? I guess? 😉
    Your reply to Claudia slays me.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 7:09 PM

      Thank you again for sharing it with us, Ruth! Sorry about the Induction expense. If it was a few years ago, I’d be making do with what I have. No choice.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Lane - December 6, 2017 - 11:39 AM

    I vote for the wallpaper! It’s so unique and beautiful. Please show us a step by step on how to do it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 7:04 PM

      Hi Jennifer,

      Believe me, if I do wallpaper on anything, I’m hiring a pro, but I could still take some pics while he’s working.ReplyCancel

  • Ann Chapman - December 6, 2017 - 11:19 AM

    One comment on induction versus gas stove — if you lose power frequently you will be unable to use the burners or the oven with induction.

    Also, in your research, if you are planning on getting a model with touchpad programming instead of knobs, research brands carefully. I have a Jenna gas burner/electric stove with touchpad which is faulty–I can no longer use the top two rows of numbers to program oven temperature. Next time I’m going with knob controls.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 7:03 PM

      Hi Ann,

      That is an excellent, excellent point. In fact, where I used to live for 22 years in northern Westchester County, we lost power ALL the time! Like maybe 5 times a year. And yep, they entire home was electric. In fact, after hurricane Sandy, we had no heat, no lights and no way to even make a cup of coffee or boil water. Just roast some marshmallows in the fireplace!

      However, where I am in lower Westchester, have not lost power once in five years. knock wood!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - December 6, 2017 - 10:52 AM

    Definitely the overlays. Classic & elegant. Nice knowing I am not the only one not into the stainless steel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:59 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      I think that a lot of people think that they’re supposed to like it and therefore, that is what they get. But in actuality, they don’t like it so much. The alternatives are not that great either. But stainless does look great in some kitchens. Just depends.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - December 6, 2017 - 10:45 AM

    I, too, vote for the overlays. I adore wallpaper — all wallpaper — but can never make up my mind. My thought is that you will love the look of the wallpaper best but may change over time. From the style of your home, I think the overlays will suit you forever. Maybe frame that gorgeous wallpaper as artwork or use on the inside of your most used cabinets so you smile every time you see it… ?? Just a thought. Also, so glad you’re addressing the stainless thing… Absolutely hate it from an aesthetic as well as practical point of view.. I’m getting ready to renovate a ranch on a limited budget and I love these ideas. I have always been a fan of the Sub-zero’s with their panel options but don’t need the $8000 fridge. It’s nice to have these new companies like Overlays…ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Pfefferkorn - December 6, 2017 - 9:36 AM

    I love the fridge in the image from Country Living, and the vinyl overlay on the stove from A Beautiful Mess. I vote for the mermaid wallpaper!! — I would be afraid that the overlay may look too much like ersatz cabinetry if it is sandwiched by other kitchen cabinets. Kind of like wood-look tile that runs into real hardwood.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:55 PM

      That’s a good point Stephanie. Well, the overlays is not happening as drawn because I’m not doing that fridge. We’ll have to see, but it was fun to explore possibilities, in any case.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie S - December 6, 2017 - 9:19 AM

    Laurel,
    I know that many people don’t like stainless steel and the appliance manufactures would LOVE to have something new to sell us, but no matter what they (the manufactures) come up with it doesn’t catch on. There was copper and ice white and now there is ‘black stainless’ I’m not sure what will replace it.

    I like it because I like a bit of an industrial look.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:54 PM

      Hi Maggie,

      For me, the biggest problem is the fridge. But I’m not that fond of any color in a big solid block. I think that manufacturers should let people choose from a variety of finishes/colors in interchangeable panels for the fridge. That would be fun. Maybe not as easy for them to figure out how to do that, but better for us.ReplyCancel

  • Cookie Kimball - December 6, 2017 - 8:50 AM

    Laurel,

    The overlay is genius. My takeaway from this post is the display for platters on the side of the fridge. I am definitely doing this.

    CookieReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:51 PM

      Yes, in the email. Originally, I was going to include some storage/hiding solutions as well, but then it was too much, so I put that one image in the note for subscribers. I love that idea too!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Lopez - December 6, 2017 - 8:40 AM

    What a great solution! The vinyl looks fantastic and you can even cover the stove when you order another.

    I’m not quite sure how the wallpaper would work but have you considered having your favorite printed on the vinyl? The overlays could also work as pre-printed on the vinyl. This would make them more durable and seamless.

    I agree with the others that you would love an induction stovetop. Aside for the slight inconvenience of some limits to cookware I’ve really enjoyed mine for the past 8 years. The top is easy to clean as things can’t “burn” into the heat source and you can safely put or store things on top as they can’t activate the burners-so safe! As many have mentioned cooking is much more precise and you can boil a pot of water in a couple of minutes.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:50 PM

      Well, everything has gotten switched around, so it’s onto plan B. But, that’s the nature of things. The induction range sounds fabulous. I had no idea that so many people have them!ReplyCancel

  • Tsippi - December 6, 2017 - 7:55 AM

    Hi Laurel. Thank you for this and your last post. I’m closing on an apartment next week and appreciate the affirmation that I am not crazy for wanting white appliances.

    I think you’re smart to go with induction. I once rented a small house with a tiny galley kitchen and a $10,000 gas stove. My first week there, I almost caught my hair on fire walking by while I was boiling water! You really need a little space with those powerful burners. Also, I’ve learned to research how hot the oven doors get. Narrow kitchens and hot oven doors are a dangerous combo.

    I have a Wolff induction now and have come to love it, though there is a learning curve and you probably will have to replace some of your pots and pans. It was a nice excuse to buy some beautiful Le Creuset! I wanted to continue using my aluminum coffee pot, so I bought a round disk that heats up on induction and works like an old fashioned stove top heating element.

    Thanks again for your timely posts, and congratulations on your new purchases!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:49 PM

      Hi Tsippi,

      Thanks for all of the info. Obviously, kitchen appliances are not my forte. I rarely had any input with my clients as they all seemed to prefer to work on that on their own which was fine with me. And I’ve only bought one cheap dishwasher and cheap fridge for our old home. Of course, I know what I like, when I see it. But that too is difficult.

      And there’s more to the story. I had to cancel the order for the fridge too. Didn’t read the manual. Shame on me! But at least I did before it was a problem. But my upper cabinet is a big problem for this particular fridge. I even called Haier. No good, they said. So back to the drawing board. I’m really liking the Blomberg fridges.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel S. - December 6, 2017 - 6:58 AM

    Laurel, I just had to comment to tell you how much this helped me! We are renovating an old house and wanted to brighten the place up, so we chose similar tiles as Elsie with marble-look floors and white subway on the wall. Truth is, I’ve been panicking at all the hard, white surfaces and I lie awake at night wondering if we made a big mistake and if the kitchen will seem cold and harsh. But, I can see now that once the furniture is in and we add some colors, plants, and softer textures, it can still have the homey-but-fresh look that I had imagined many months ago. Thank you so much and have a great day.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - December 6, 2017 - 6:51 AM

    Hello Laurel, I am worried about the paint/overlay/wallpaper options that they would not wear well. Even if supposedly removable it might be very difficult after a few years–how many nightmare stories are there from house restorers about removing old wallpaper? I also would not want to cover the temperature gauge–I am sure that I could get used to that gadget very quickly.

    I have an induction heating plate, but found that some pots work with it better than others. Luckily we have rice cookers here which count as an extra burner (stoves are two burner affairs, with no oven, so no matter what you get, you will still be ahead of us!).
    –JimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:42 PM

      Hi Jim,

      For me, it’s not a big issue. It’s just moi. But I hear you. The vinyl and removable wallpaper are removable, even after years and it’s also a relatively small area, not an entire room.ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - December 6, 2017 - 6:32 AM

    I very much prefer the overlays for your fridge, but now that I read all the comments, I’m not sure how that would work if you covered your touch panel.
    What about paint and then a fabulous stencil? You can get the look you want AND work around that stupid control panel. How about cheetah, or a beautiful chinoiserie panel?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 12:59 PM

      Hi Kristen,

      Yes, you are right. In fact, I need to call Haier because I have an even bigger problem with the cabinet that is a looming above.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy R - December 6, 2017 - 1:03 AM

    Apparently from all this discussion of how to cover a fridge, my grandmother was very ahead of her time back in 1970. She had an apartment where the fridge was visible from the living room and disliked the color (can’t remember if it was avocado green or harvest gold) and she covered it with Contact paper!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 1:06 AM

      I bet it was cute! And yes, we had those colors in our little kitchen when my Mom and I moved to Madison, WI in 1971. So bad!ReplyCancel

  • Susie - December 6, 2017 - 12:21 AM

    I like the overlay fridge version best, because it is more “classic”, but the beauty of the wallpaper is that it could be changed if you tire of it (I assume). I had an induction range that i really loved, but it broke frequently (GE). I’m back on gas again, and I love it. However, if it’s a choice between run-of-the-mill electric and induction, choose induction.
    Are you sure you don’t need the temperature thingy? It seems like it may be important to know if your refrigerator isn’t refrigerating.
    Glad you’re having fun with your kitchen redo,
    SusieReplyCancel

  • B Healthy - December 5, 2017 - 11:49 PM

    I missed the original post so please delete/edit this comment if it’s redundant.

    I switched to induction 7 years ago and I LOVE it. My first cooktop was a Miele and it was exceptional. My current cooktop is a Thermadore Freedom and, while I love the zoneless-ness, I don’t like the Thermadore controls. If Meile made a zoneless model I would buy it in an instant.

    If you have room, I would separate the cooktop and the oven. I’ll never go back to using a range. And, instead of a microwave, I would get a convection microwave so you’ll have two ovens when you need them.

    Love your ideas for hiding stainless! Personally, I hate stainless – it’s so hard to keep clean. In our kitchen we covered it with panels that match the cabinetry. It’s what you would call boring, or matchy-atchy, but I was going for maximum storage with minimum maintenance and panels works wonderfully for me. I adore my kitchen. I’m an avid cook with a huge collection of cookware and ingredients and my kitchen holds, and hides, it all!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 12:35 AM

      Hi B Healthy,

      No, not redundant at all. It’s a small kitchen and it’s just me- 99% of the time. I used to have a family. Life is a lot different now.

      I love panels to hide the fridge. I would definitely do that if I was starting from scratch.

      But, I also think it’s fun to think outside the (ice) box. haha. couldn’t resist!ReplyCancel

      • Kris - December 6, 2017 - 9:38 AM

        Laurel you should consider a wolf tabletop oven it can be installed in the wall. It can do everything a big oven does in less space. I use it everyday perfect for couples or singles. I’m sure other brands have one but this wolf version is built solid and heats up fast.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 6:57 PM

          Well, that might be possible if I were totally redoing the kitchen and I might be, but for now, I need to stick with the layout I have and besides, I still need a cook top. But, it does sound pretty wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - December 5, 2017 - 11:36 PM

    Yay! frame a big piece of mermaid paper and overlay frig. That paper is adorable. I detest stainless steel and have since 1995 when I bought a SS wall oven. High school kids over and a few pizzas later, I’m thinking WTF??? Seriously hate that stuff. Except SS countertop. That might be nice.
    Think about this.
    Pale pink vinyl wrap on frig would be lovely, Pearl handles…..ReplyCancel

  • Maryanne - December 5, 2017 - 11:33 PM

    Did you see Alvin Ailey at the Joyce Theater? My son works in the box office!

    Thanks for telling me I don’t have to have stainless appliances. They are a requirement in my area in the ‘burbs. We just bought a house and it has new (white) appliances that I can’t justify replacing. I love the wallpaper idea, though, for the massive fridge. Not a fan of the mermaids but I LOVE the LeClair Decor one.ReplyCancel

  • sandra - December 5, 2017 - 10:16 PM

    I vote for the Overlay.
    Definitely go for the induction…
    Perhaps new cookware is in your future?
    Good Luck…
    p.s. is the temperature display affected if you cover it?
    seems to be linked to the interior…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 12:24 AM

      Hi Sandra,

      I doubt that it’s affected if it’s covered. Not sure why it’s necessary either.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Smithson - December 5, 2017 - 10:01 PM

    I love love love the overlays. I want a new fridge now. That looks amazing and elegant just like your apartment.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 12:23 AM

      Thank you Karen!ReplyCancel

      • Gloria - December 6, 2017 - 2:09 AM

        Laurel, Like Karen, I prefer overlays, too…(and simpler faux handles).ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 2:23 AM

          Thank you Gloria. Actually, I’m just reading the manual now. (typical.) Those are not just readings on the outside, they are touch controls. So cannot cover them up. Bummer.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - December 5, 2017 - 9:59 PM

    What super clever and super attractive ways of being creative with what might ordinarily be a boring, generic looking appliance. You hit the ball out of the park with this one, Laurel!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Kemp - December 5, 2017 - 9:57 PM

    Laurel,

    Finally someone to tell me it is OK to not want stainless! Thank you!. I am exhausted by it all.

    The wallpaper idea on the refrigerator is one great idea. Who doesn’t like wallpaper.

    And your refrigerator, the mermaids of course. Unexpected and fun!

    P. S. Thanks for the photos of your England trip. It felt like I could jump through the computer and sit in a comfy chair and read a novel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 6, 2017 - 12:22 AM

      Thanks so much! And Happy to relieve the burden of trying to escape the stainless police. :] ReplyCancel

  • Marty Jackson - December 5, 2017 - 9:46 PM

    Yes, to the induction range. Really! I had a Bosch – it was infinitely adjustable. The slowest simmer I have ever seen and water boiled very quickly. My husband wanted me to switch to induction 20 years ago, but I wasn’t familiar with it. Took me about 2 weeks to get used to it and I was hooked! Very little lingering heat from the cooktop. In your tiny kitchen, you will be ever so happy with induction!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - December 5, 2017 - 9:40 PM

    We’ve just remodeled our kitchen, and switched to induction. Loving it!
    Enjoying your articles. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Marguerite - December 5, 2017 - 9:32 PM

    I would def. pick the Overlay . Its classic and you won’t get tired of it. The pattern is too “different” from the rest of the elevation and would “stick out” making the kitchen appear smaller. If you love the wallpaper then just take a small part of it and frame it as an art piece for the wall….ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 5, 2017 - 9:39 PM

      That’s a good idea Marguerite! I have so many wallpaper samples. I’ve had the idea to make an art wall out of them.ReplyCancel

  • Bea - December 5, 2017 - 9:28 PM

    Hey Laurel, this is a great round up of ideas. And yes absolutely get yourself an induction range, they give cooking anything such finesse, while being ridiculously easy to control! We spent a lot, but plan to take it with us when we move. All the best from England (your favourite place 😉)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 5, 2017 - 9:36 PM

      Thanks so much Bea! I saw Ben’s blog today and it’s looking a little nippy over there. It hasn’t been verrry cold here yet. In fact, it’s raining. I’d be happy to never see another snowflake for the rest of my life!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia Joyce - December 5, 2017 - 9:25 PM

    I vote for the Overlay by Overlays. Classic and sophisticated and elegant. You’ll never tire of its beauty.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 5, 2017 - 9:35 PM

      You’re right. I won’t tire of the overlays. The other is like a hot guy on a bus… you know???ReplyCancel