My Kitchen Appliances Have Died. Now what?

Okay, it’s not all of the appliances, but the refrigerator is on life-support.

Here’s what happened.

Three days ago, I loaded up the dishwasher and turned it on… I was puttering around, cleaning the rest up when I smelled the distinct odor of electrical burning.

No, I am just imagining this, surely.

Clearly, I was in the denial stage of the 5 stages of grief– denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance.

Denial was a tough one. I tried changing the settings. Left the room for a few. Tip-toeing back in, the same smell was now joined with a tinge of smoke filling the entire kitchen. Just bloody great… I turned the damned thing off. Opened up the window;  put the fan on, going now what?

Of course, it was 2:00 AM and now ready to collapse exhausted tired I stood there a little shell-shocked.

“I can’t do it,” I said to whoever might be listening even if it was only God and my dearly departed who come to visit whenever summoned.

And by that who are just tuning in, I mean the kitchen remodel we were discussing a few weeks ago.

All I could see was months and months of pain, having to move out, more pain, exhaustion and for what?

My super came over the next day and said that to fix the dishwasher would be several hundred dollars.

I see… well, isn’t that just bloodytastic!

In addition—

There are other reasons for having a change of heart and here is why.

My website. Yes, this one. It’s five-years-old. Sure, it’s been upgraded and repaired, but my theme is going to be obsolete one day. zzzzz… I know… It’s a long boring story. Let is suffice that the old girl needs an over-haul.

For those of you, who’ve never been through this process… It’s like having the clean the fridge and the oven after Thanksgiving dinner while walking on hot coals at the same time.

Just that one project alone is going to be a tax on the system. It’s a delicate operation too. And yes, of course, I’ll have help with it. Can I just turn the entire thing over to someone? Not at this point.

Okay, plan B.

Plan B would be a facelift. We discussed it. The basic layout is fine, (except for the fridge) but I could just reface the entire thing.

Another problem which I’m not 100% sure about but am 95% sure about is that the existing floor in the kitchen and bathroom were built over another finished floor. And I say this because the saddle on the wood floor side is built up to be a full inch and one half.

A normal ceramic floor would be 1/2″-1″ in thickness, so there is almost definitely something underneath.

This would make a big unholy mess that I don’t think I have the strength to deal with.

And I don’t hate the floor.


But here’s the problem.


It’s the opening for the fridge.

It is exactly 28 inches.

That eliminates about 99.999% of all refrigerators.

And it absolutely has to be a panel-ready fridge. I know that y’all have stainless steel and except for Nancy Keyes’ fabulous kitchen, I’m not usually a fan. Sorry, but I do not want a big silver box in my kitchen. It will depress me hugely.

I did find a panel-ready Bosch but it’s only 22 inches. I dunno. I don’t need more than that, but not sure.


But then, a few days later, feeling more energetic, decided, what the hay. I’ll design the kitchen.


And here we are.

It is 7:20 on Wednesday.


I have designed a new kitchen to house my new kitchen appliances.


I’m a little tired. I think I’ll go home now…

Fine. I feel like sewer sludge and this might be a lame design and these drawings are rough.

Nothing ever gets solved the first go-around; it’s a process I always tell my clients.


The layout is not vastly different, but in elevation, it is quite different. As you can see, it is indeed a trapezoid. I know… pretty crazy!

It’s hard to tell, but that block on the lower right is not available to me. Unfortunately.


In the back is an L-shaped banquette with storage.


For the sink elevation, I have long had an idea that it would be cool to have two dramatic glass fronted cabinets flanking the sink.


Remember Sophie Burke’s gorgeous kitchen!?

There needs to be an 18″ dishwasher, but I don’t think a one-bedroom apartment needs a full-sized dishwasher. I could keep the 24″, but then the sink would have to be off-center.


There is still a bump out, but it is symmetrical. That makes a lot more sense to me and is a better design, I think.

I would probably tile the area between the two cabinets up to the ceiling. Another option would be antique mirror which would add a lot of light and look really sparkly at night. And then I would put in glass shelves.

We’ll be needing to hire a cleaning lady. haha


For the range wall, left to right. In the back, there is an appliance garage for the nuker. aka: microwave. Something like the one above, but it would be turned 90 degrees. I think that would work.

Then, the cabinets. Pretty self-explanatory, what’s going on. I like the symmetry better than what I have now.

For the range itself. Well…


Would it be too greedy asking for a La Canache? Who cares? haha. Oh man, I have been drooling over this one ever since I saw it on Faithmd (Jennifer’s) instagram. She has either a 36″ or a 48″. Not sure. Jennifer’s a doctor and quite the home-maker. And uses the hashtag #faithsroost. Her kitchen is one of the most charming I’ve ever seen!


I also love this range from Blue Star.

Here’s the cool thing.

You can customize your range in any one of about 250 colors. Oh my! And you can change the knob color and trim color. I like this combo with the white.

Here are a few other colors.



Isn’t this fun? Oh, and Bluestar ranges and other kitchen appliances are  made in Pennsylvania.

Please everyone click on the link so that I can show them how much my readers want me to have this range!

(I forgot to mention, but have come back after posting that I found Bluestar on Modenus which is a fabulous resource for everything having to do with kitchens.)

I am suddenly feeling a lot more energetic, just at the thought. Like, happy and crying all at the same time!

Since I’ve gotten rid of the nuker over the range, now I can have a pretty hood.

I want something clad in wood and fairly simple like this one.

Here are a couple more.

I’m not sure if I prefer the range hood to come straight down, or angled. Which do you like better?

There are also more hoods like these in the DeVOL kitchen posts here, here and here.

Well, it’s late so I better hit the presses.

We can talk more later.


150 Responses

  1. Hi Again Laurel,

    After thinking….put those wall cabinets right on that counter flanking sink.

    It is a beautiful look and you should do it.

  2. The oven is scrumptous. Go for It.

    I am doing polished nickel faucet…made up my ever changing mind. Going to paint round wooden knobs to match the cabinets. I love that look.

    I’m replacing ugly sliding glass door with french door. And I’ll have an angled hood cover my exhaust.

    If I had gas to cook with I would get that yummy oven

  3. Laurel, I would not put tall cabinets next to your sink unless you never cook or do dishes. I can’t imagine not putting dishes next to the sink before I do my dishes or putting a dish drainer next to the sink on one side.

    1. Hi Meg,

      I appreciate your trying to help, but no worries. I’m good. This has come up before and I don’t expect you to have read the other comments, but I live ALONE and there is plenty, plenty of room betweent the cabinets. And there’s nearly three feet of counter space.

      I do not use a dish drainer. Hate them.

  4. Hi Laurel
    Maureen here. Again Check Fisher/Paykal for built in panel ready fridge.

    Exhaust hoods: I like angled better…

    Should I get brass faucet for my white Kitchen like Dévol
    Or polished nickel???? It’s my budget Ikea kitchen trying to look like Devol

    Love your kitchen design…..Love cupboards to counter but challenging flanking sink

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Oh, I don’t know if I can advise you on nickel vs. natural brass. Both are lovely, but it depends on what else is going on and what you in your heart of hearts love the most.

      Thanks for the fridge info.

  5. Hi, I am in the kitchen design mood and feel your pain.
    My first change was to replace my smallish fridge with a 30″ with a bottom freezer. I have just 30″ and a 30″ is just under that. But my house was build in 1932 and my 30″ kitchen door way is not quite square. My handy man had to remove the casing to get the fridge into the kitchen.
    The look of it in the dining room just did not work for me😊.

    1. Hi Jane,

      haha! Welcome to my world!!! Or at least a part of what it was. I always say, “yous dos whats yous haves tos dos.” and if it means removing a door, the door casing– going in through an upstairs window, you do it.

      One time, I was helping clients, oh about 10 years ago with their little basement music/playroom. Like my kids, theirs were also musicians.

      But they also needed to have a place for guests to sleep, so we did a lovely sleep sofa. I chose a classic contemporary style in a soft red fabric. Quite lovely for their little music-playroom.

      The clients were some of the most chill I’ve ever had and this was a time when I NEVER saw the wife. And I was also doing their BEDROOM! hahahaha! I spend many hours alone (well, over time) with the hubs in their BEDROOM!


      Believe me, it might as well have been my brother.

      Well, one day he casually asked me if it would be any issue getting the sofa into the basement. I looked at the interior stairwell and said, “yes, that way clearly won’t work.”

      but this was an older home and there was also an exterior staircase. I took a look at it and said, “that’s fine. no problem.”

      Wrong. It WAS a problem. The sofa would not make it through the stairs and into the basement.

      It’s a horrible thing when you get “the call.”

      Well, the delivery guys were super sweet and recommended that I call this company who takes furniture apart and puts it back together when it’s in its rightful place.

      They do this all the time in Manhattan and probably other cities where buildings weren’t designed to accommodate a very normal-sized sofa.

      So, I did. I paid 400 bucks and of course, a second delivery fee. But it was a lot better than hemorrhaging out four times that much!

  6. Having shopped for a fridge recently, I would say to check the depth carefully if you have a small space. Most fridges were simply too deep for what I needed. The fridge is unlikely to be flush with the cabinets because the doors will need room at the hinge to open (unless the panel-ready has some magical properties, haven’t studied one). By the time I put together the features, space and budget, I ended up with stainless steel, but it actually works well in a 50’s industrial kitchen look (fortunately).

    I don’t think the recirculating hood vents work very well, but it’s better than none. Grease and smell everywhere… Yuck. The hood vent doesn’t need to be bigger than the stove to work well, because the fan will pull the air though. If you look at them, you will see that the filter area doesn’t cover the whole stove in depth either (although the more the better of course). The big problem with hood vents is noise! If you don’t want to have your kitchen sound like an airplane has taken off, prepare to shell out money. If the hood vent controls would be exposed, also take a look if they have fancy screens or blue lights that never shut off. I compromised on the noise to get push button control, because that would have driven me ballistic. Note that whatever downdraft ranges I saw were very noisy also. The hood vent also has to be higher above a gas range than an electric one (and that goes if there is a microwave there as well).

    Can you tell how many details I knew about toilets after I had to buy two? 😉

    1. Hi Luiza,

      Thanks for the info.

      Everything will be checked, scrutinized and checked some more. That’s what I do. I am a real interior designer, not just a blogger writing about interior design.

      but I am also hoping to have much if not all of this sponsored; except for labor, of course, which in and of itself will be costly.

    1. Hi Libby,

      Yes, I did see that line too. The classic is very similar. I know this sounds nuts but I prefer the handle on the Blue Star. I mean, can I say I selected a range because of the handle? haha!

        1. Hi Libby,

          Ahh, yes, the unmistakable look of Madcap Cottage.

          And a mismatched yellow fridge from Big Chill. Wonder why they didn’t go with a Big Chill range? Maybe they preferred the Blue star and all of the color choices.

          LOVE the Chinoiserie work table. Doesn’t appear to have any storage, but perhaps it doesn’t need to have any.

  7. Hi Laurel,
    Yes, a full remodel will make you happier in the long run. My views: the 18″ wide dishwasher is fine. I don’t know whether the tall cabinets next to the sink remove needed counter space or not but they sure look nice. I went on the Lacanche site and for me it’s a turn-off. It seems (maybe I’m wrong) that different burners have different BTU capacities. This means you have to conform your cooking to where the correct burner is, and maybe that placement doesn’t work for you. IMO each burner on a high-end stove should have both the full amount of heat output and simmer features. Yes, I would panel the DW and fridge. But I don’t understand many readers’ antipathy to a stainless stove: unless you are getting a statement color stove then stainless is preferable to a not-quite match to white or cream cabinets. Love the idea of antiqued mirror backsplash. Back to stove: it would be great if showrooms enabled one to try out the stove. My Viking does not have a locked simmer and I wish it did although my husband (who cooks all the time) doesn’t mind that a bit.

    1. Hi Naomi,

      I wouldn’t mind a stainless range, but the Blue Star comes in about 12 shades of white! There are, I think about 250 colors! Thanks so much for your input!

  8. I didn’t read all your comments, but I can offer you a little bit of what I was told recently when I started “high-end” range shopping. The rep said that Blue Star was a professional kitchen line, but now has been adapted for home use. He said they are a workhorse for someone who cooks a lot. (That would be moi) However, service in Birmingham Al is also a problem, he said. There was one iffy other thing, but I forget what (hey, I am getting old… cut me some slack). I think that LaCanche is incredibly elegant, even if it does cost an arm and leg, so if you can,go with that.

    Most people who have done kitchens in record time (that I know, anyway) have bought all the materials and appliances, etc., and stored them till the contractor was ready to start. This cut way down on unexpected delays.

    It will be fun to watch your reno.

      1. That’s true, having materials in advance saves a lot of pain..but..something to keep in mind, with appliances-warranties..not the manufacturers’, the store ones..they expire some time after delivery..of course every store and its policy, but the best you can do is to ask the store to put it on hold for you(after you pay, of course) if something happens during the installation you’re covered.

  9. Looks really cool laurel. the one thing that puzzles me is why you want such a wide (in south africa) 90cm stove for one person? do you do a lot of cooking or baking?
    personally I think it is just a trend, also locally. but isn’t it really only for esthetic reasons?

    1. Hi Marianne,

      Good question, but 90 cm is a 36″ range which I agree is not necessary for a one-bedroom apartment with a small kitchen, but not bad for a one-bedroom.

      The range I am talking about however, is only 30″ which is 76 centimeters. I could definitely get by with one smaller, but for resale, I would recommend the 30″.

      1. Thanks Laurel. i did not realise that the sizes in USA are different to south africa. it is probably similar to the European sizes. it would agree for reselling a 30″ would be preferable.

  10. Laurel,

    My husband and I have an 18 inch dishwasher and it actually works better than a regular sized one. The two of us fill up the dishwasher in one day and we don’t have dishes waiting for two or more days to get filled enough to run it. And, when we have guests, it’s still large enough to hold a meal’s worth of dishes for 4 or 6. I think you’ll actually be happier with the smaller dishwasher.

  11. Hi Laurel,
    I also have a fairly small kitchen. When we renovated it I went with a panel ready Liebherr refrigerator which I love! We have had it now for 11 years. They make one that is 24″ wide which would also work in your space. We also have a set of paneled dish drawers which I also love. As a previous person stated, you could probably get by with just a single dish drawer thereby allowing you additional drawer space.

    If your kitchen does not have any windows in it then I would most definitely consider the antiqued mirrored backsplash with the glass shelves.

    Good luck:)

    1. Hi Robin,

      You lost me at “you could probably get by with just a single dish drawer thereby allowing you additional drawer space.”

      I definitely need to look at the Liebherr. Sounds lovely.

      There is one large window opposite the entrance. And even though it faces west, it faces our courtyard. Therefore the kitchen is rarely light and bright.

      1. Here is a link to a single drawer dishwasher:
        I have a stacked double drawer dishwasher whereby each dish drawer runs independently of the other, so it’s like having 2 separate dishwashers. In your case, you could most likely get by with just one dish drawer placed just below your counter that would conveniently pull out and save your back from bending over when loading and unloading and give you additional cabinet/drawer space beneath it.

        The Liebherr refrigerators are made in Germany and sold a lot in europe where kitchens are typically much smaller than in the U.S. Liebherr is also cheaper than Subzero.

        1. Hi Robin,

          Thanks for the link. What was missing was the word “dishwasher.” :] I have clients who’ve done these drawer dishwashers and they are terrific. Because of the confinement of the plumbing, I’m not sure that one will be possible for me, however, unless it’s possible to put it under the sink. But I also am not sure if there is an advantage even it is possible.

          Thanks for clarifying that.

  12. So, so exciting! I like the sloped profile on the range hood –
    it seems like it has the potential to be less obtrusive. (Although the picture that you showed with the sloped profile looks like a suspiciously shallow projection….)



  13. I like the look of both the sink & range elevation, but as much as I love the look of the cabinets that sit on the counter (sink elevation), I would not want to lose the counter space. I like the idea of putting an arch over the sink area & the stove, with perhaps a mirror with glass over it (sink) and trimmed to mimic a window, with a beautiful crystal pendant hanging down from inside the arch. I like the flat square look vs the slanted. The flat is cleaner. I don’t like open shelves. They’re a lot like glass fronted cabinets, you are always neatening them up & dusting besides. I agree with someone else’s assessment of glass front doors. I have 5 of them in my space & I feel like I can’t use them for storage, but for staging. I like someone’s idea of a drawer dishwasher, freeing up the space below for a usable drawer. The microwave area is nice with the lift up appliance door. They definitely make pull down microwave doors.
    As for the ranges, it’s a matter of personal preference. I have an induction cook top & I can’t brag enough about it. I love it. It’s also a breeze to clean. Good luck. We did a major kitchen remodel in 2012. It wasn’t fun using my laundry room as a kitchen, but with the use of the microwave & crock pot, we survived. We bought a lot of throw away plates & utensils. It wasn’t fun doing the dishes in the bathroom sink, but it worked. It was worth it. I love my new kitchen.

    1. Hi Alice,

      I knew that you guys would have some great suggestions. I realize fully that I do need a more narrow fridge than 30″ and the weird 28″ Maybe even 22″, but I will definitely look at the Liebherr.

      One thing is for sure. It MUST be counter depth.

  14. I like the angled hood. When I remodeled my kitchen 7 years ago, I purchased a custom made hood from Modern Aire (model 1230). You can customize color and size. Even after 7 years my remodeled kitchen puts a smile on my face every time I walk into it. Go for it, it will look great.

  15. I love the look of your elevations, but one thing that occurred to me…and it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like it, but I would HATE to have so little counter space on either side of my sink. I am not one to wash every dish immediately when I’m done, and I despise not having room to set dishes and still be able to work on them.

    Good luck! I know it’s going to be beautiful.

    1. Hi Beth,

      I try not to let them pile up, but they always rest in the sink and there is still nearly 3 feet of counter. And then there’s 5 feet of counter space behind me.

      However, I am taking all into advisement. If only my kitchen were as wide in the front as it is in the back. But alas, it’s not.

      Thanks so much for your input.

  16. Hi Laurel!
    Whatever you choose is always lovely! We just purchased a home where we will give the kitchen an update and I just love that granite in the picture of the appliance garage in your post. Would you happen to know what the name of it is? I kinda want it!

  17. Hi Laurel,
    Oh man, I am in love with those ranges…I didn’t even know they existed! I always learn so much from you!
    We remodel our kitchen about 3 years ago and my female contractor(she is amazing!) convinced us to put in a microwave drawer which is one of my favorite things about the kitchen. What a wonderful invention. Our vent hood is similar to your drawings and it is straight which really looks nice.
    I agree with Michelle, just bite the bullet and remodel. You will love the result!

    1. Hi Lynn,

      Thank you so much for the support. I always learn a lot from me too. LOL It’s just the hours of research needed for posts like this. It’s been an extraordinary thing.

  18. Can someone enlighten me about the necessity of hoods over the ranges? They seem to be in every kitchen I see and they really seem to be more a fashion statement than a useful appliance. Our old house doesn’t have one and we cook a lot. We have one in our new house in the city. I like the light, but the fan seems pretty pointless and noisy. Also, they mess up the look of a kitchen with no overhead cabinets which I prefer.

    1. Hi Rosemary,

      That is a very good question. And it was mentioned that a fan that was not larger than the range would be insufficient. Sure, if one is cooking all day long and running all four burners. I’m having a Mrs. Doubtfire flashback. haha

      That never happens. And right now, all I have is the crappy microwave fan. But there are times when I definitely need it.

      But any full-time kitchen designers who see this, please chime in!

      1. In Manhattan, where every square inch is at a premium, we still always install hoods, and 99.99% of the time we’re required to use non-vented hoods and yet we still always install them. You want one primarily because especially if you do a lot of stove top cooking (as opposed to baking), a good vent hood will suck all the heat and steam, but most importantly the aerosolized grease, out of the room. As soon as your food hits that butter or oil in your pan, you create aerosolized (airborne) grease. That grease floats around until it finds something to land on and stick to, namely your cabinets. Then the ambient dust in your home (don’t worry, everyone has it, we don’t live in a vacuum) sticks to the grease. Yuck. Regular cleaning won’t take it off. You need a decreaser like Spray Nine to get it all clean. As far as making a fashion statement goes, particularly in traditional style design the aesthetic of a range and hood is reminiscent of a fireplace and mantel. In all kitchen design though, the range is a focal point so we like for it to be attractive and framed out nicely. So yes, part of it is a “fashion statement”. But even if you choose to skip the hood, if you have a gas range (or cooktop) you are not allowed to place cabinetry or shelves within 36″ of the top of the cooking surface because it’s a fire hazard (universal code), so it’s not like you’re running upper cabinets straight across there anyway. Keep in mind that even with a hood, you still need 30″ between gas burners and the hood, with some exceptions, so you will always have a “bump-up” when you have upper cabinets on either side with an 18″-20″ backsplash. The most obvious use for a hood is you turn it on when you burn something and it’s supposed to suck all the smoke out, but usually just ends up sucking (haha get it?). And this is primarily because most hoods out there are so weak (sucking 600 cubic feet per minute and much, much less), including pretty much all microwave hoods, that by the time you turn it on the smoke has traveled throughout the room and the weak (sucky) hood isn’t strong enough to suck it all back. A strong hood (1,000+ CFM) works great but it sounds like a jet airplane taking off in front of your forehead. So to balance what we want with what we need, we weaken the suction to lessen the noise. The workaround for a less than optimal strength hood is this: as soon as you think “I’m going to cook”, before you even go to the fridge or grab a pot or pan, turn on your hood. As it runs (at least 15-20 minutes) it will create an airflow pattern, kind of like a jet stream. Then by the time your food hits your pan, any smoke, steam, or grease is captured in this jet stream and up it goes. When you’re done cooking, let the hood run for an additional 15-20 minutes to capture any rogue grease molecules. Most hoods these days have an automatic shutoff timer. And don’t forget, depending how much you cook, always pull out your filters and pop ’em in the dishwasher periodically, like once a month if you cook almost every day! This way the filter will continue to collect grease. Jeez, that was long-winded! Sorry!

        1. Hi Sheri,

          Thanks for the terrific hood lesson! I did know about the 30″ gap between range top and hood. phew! But here’s something interesting and it’s probably something that most folks don’t give a second thought to. It’s when you said “aerosolized grease.” It’s not just aesthetics; it’s a matter of your health– particularly that of your lungs. If it’s landing on the cabinets, that means that one is also breathing it in.

          One of the highest rates of non-smokers who get lung cancer are Asian cooks who use a wok + hot airborne oil that they are breathing in possibly several hours of the day if they cook a lot. Sure, the occasional inhaling is probably not going to be a problem, but since my BFF died of the disease and never smoked, it’s given me a lot of pause. So much that I stopped adding oil while I’m cooking pasta and only add it afterward.

  19. Hi Laurel. I’m a new subscriber and this is the first post I received after subscribing. It rings true to me because I am in the middle of a full kitchen gut/reno. My one big splurge was on a 36″ range that I ordered from Big Chill in ORANGE! It is supposed to be delivered in the next 2 weeks and I can’t wait to see it. It looks exactly like the Blue Star range, but a little cheaper price, and also manufactured in Pennsylvania! It has been stressful to pick everything out, and I’ve been running to auctions every month to get things at discounted prices. Just got a 36″ Kholer cast iron apron front sink and Rohl faucet for just $425 at auction this last weekend! But as stressful as it all is, it has also been so fun and I can’t wait to finally move in and have everything be my own 🙂 Best of luck, can’t wait to watch it all unfold for you!

    1. Hi Noel,

      Welcome to the blog and thanks for your lovely comment too! I looked at Big Chill a few days ago. Love that line too! Best to you with your reno.

    2. Hi Noel, Can you tell me more about the auctions you mentioned? I’ve been to auctions for antiques and collectibles…are there auctions just for appliances? I am in the Northeast — would you know of ones in this area? Thank you!

      1. Hi Oceana. I live in Baltimore and there is local auction in the city at a place call Southern Sales Services. They have it the first weekend of every month and they sell almost everything you could think of for a home! I found out about it through my contractor, and for these types of things, I feel like they are usually not publicized very well and you have to hear by word of mouth. If you live near Baltimore, I would definitely recommend checking out this place (though I realize the NE is a large regional area!)

  20. I love the idea of the Blue Star range being made in my adopted state of Pennsylvania. The white with brass knobs is yummy! I like the angled hood unless you have very tall ceilings. I can’t wait to see what you do!

  21. I love the design of your kitchen!!! We renovated the kitchen in our small, quirky Tudor cottage in 2003 in a similar style and encountered many limitations due to the number of doorways, windows and ducts running up the walls. To keep the front edge of hand-painted white cabinets in a straight line, we had the cabinets built around the ducts, so they are not the same depth inside. This left us with a refrigerator opening around 30″. Fortunately, I found out about Northland refrigerators which started out, I believe as a medical refrigeration company and expanded into quite a residential line these days. The bonus is that both the fridge and freezer compartments are completely lined in stainless and it has glass shelves. The compressor is on top in a separate panel and can slide in or out on a track for easy service. Because of the high quality materials and ease of service, I think I’ve found my refrigerator for life. They are hard to find, but we found a vendor about 100 miles from our home so I could actually see one before buying. Other than being small for our lifestyle, this unit fit perfectly! Perhaps this info might be helpful to others.

  22. Good Morning, Friend!
    I am excited that you are going to do “it”! You will love your new space and forget the pain after it is all done. Here are my 2 cents: I LOVE the white BlueStar with mixed metals! We looked at BlueStar, Viking, and Bertazzoni. I was leaning toward a white Viking with mixed metals. I was talked out of it by the sales person…and Marc really wanted Wolf. I am lucky that he does a lot of the cooking so I left the decision to him. 18″ is fine for the DW. I would not sacrifice the symmetry. A small refrigerator with panels, I agree. We actually planned on Subzero but fell in love with this big metal box because it was so tall and beautiful inside. (I will send you an interior shot) I would make the drawers the size of the larger ones and not break them up with smaller ones on top. I will design the insides for you! Straight hood! I had a mirrored backsplash for years and loved it. The tile above the sink would be great, too! Love the plan! XO

  23. Hi Laurel! Exciting but nerve wracking at the same time eh? Especially when you can’t find an appliance to fit…as is my case in my little beach cottage. Go for the LaCanche & the slanted hood!! xR

  24. Dear Laurel, You have to go for it. I am just finishing up a kitchen/family room renovation that you encouraged me to do! I shamelessly borrowed (stole) ideas from your paint and board collections – I have no innate talent of my own and I cannot picture things in my own mind. I had to make some compromises due to the historic nature of the home and some peculiarities I had to work with. (Yes I made a couple of mistakes also.) That said I love my new kitchen. I purchased a Blue Star range in cobalt blue. I am very happy with it. I also bought a Lacanche Sully range in a previous home – loved that one also but caution you to double check the inside oven dimensions. I was unable to use some of my pans with the Lacanche Sully (I didn’t really care). I like your two cabinets – I put in something similar in another kitchen but did a single larger one and stained it like a piece of furniture. The versatility of the long shelves was really useful and I had less wasted space inside the cabinet. I like the slanted hood for the change in profile. I think I would like the look of glass shelves but I would grow tired of having to clean them and keep them streak free.

    1. Hi Laura,

      Thanks so much for such a lovely comments. And what do you mean “shamelessly?” That’s what the boards are for! Copy away! I’m completely flattered!

  25. Isn’t is always this kind of madness?!

    We spend hours drooling over Pinterest and blogger images of beautiful kitchens we wish we had, then something craps out and we end up redoing the whole place quickly, without being able to enjoy the process (or sometimes without the short-notice funds availability to do it right the first time).

    You’re lucky to have the knowledge/taste/education to get it right! (And the curse of knowledge/taste/education that will likely make you second guess it all.

    I promise to click on all your links 🙂

  26. Morning Laurel,
    What about one of those one drawer dishwashers, that would give you storage below, rm for cookbks, whatever?

    I love the rest of your layout, it is going to be Great!

  27. Hi Laurel, I absolutely love your idea of an antiqu mirror backsplash with that fantastic Blue Star range! Have you considered a match vent hood from blue star?

      1. Yes I agree! As soon as I posted my comment I had second thoughts. I do think the wood is more elegant especially with the antique glass backsplash. When I redo my horrible kitchen I’m going with the antique glass backsplash. I think whatever you decide it will be fabulous!

        1. Oh, no worries at all Vinita. The only metal I love is the antique nickel we did for my client, but that thing cost a small fortune as you can well-imagine.

  28. I put off my kitchen renovation until the dishwasher died too! It was a nightmare to live through and, for various reasons, took much longer than expected, but the final result was worth it. Having a functional kitchen is fantastic and now I wish I’d done it 10 years ago. Good luck with yours!
    My suggestion is to install frosted glass (or something with ridges) instead of clear glass for the gorgeous cabinets. Unless you are a very neat person and have a collection of beautiful China and crystal that will be perfectly styled at all times! I used ridged glass to obscure what’s inside but they still have the effect of glass doors. I also had pot lights installed inside the cabinets and used glass shelves. At night the pot lights cast a soft glow which I love.
    Do you have room for an undercounter pullout drawer microwave? Then it won’t matter which way the door swings open.

  29. Bummer, looking at the plan it seems as if the appliance garage will need a right hand microwave. Is there such a thing? Or how about a microwave drawer? Symmetry may have to be fudged.

  30. Laurel,

    Agree completely on going smaller with dishwasher, and of course on fridge! However, in the quest for the right size, don’t forget to carefully read the product reviews.

    The handy search on AJ Madison’s site produced the Bosch and several other including a Miele. The single review on the Bosch revealed there is no lighting in the freezer. That seems like a sacrifice for price.

    My two cents on the range is that the white BlueStar (over color) let’s the knobs and accents stand out — in a good way! It’s really elegant to me.


  31. I am surprised to see you planning upper cabinets, after I read your one post, I feel like upper cabinets LOOM.

    Also, I feel your tiny kitchen pain.

    1. Oh, I saw below you have no room for a pantry. I use the ultra glam solution of keeping bins in the basement of pantry items. Ughhh.

    2. Hi Celeste,

      I drew them in, but am not sure. I did say that one exception is a galley kitchen where space is at a premium. And if I didn’t have cabinets, I’d have shelves, but don’t need more shelves if I have them across the way.

      But I’m still weighing options.

  32. P.S… Lacanche EVERY time! no matter which image I look at for your alternative, each one has wobbly knob syndrome. They just don’t appear in line at all and look rather clunky. This look is far more likely to date than the best ever classic Lacanche.

    Good luck!

  33. I love the BlueStar! Never heard of them before and the price point works for my budget. Thank you so much. I found a dealer near me and can’t wait to see the options in person.

  34. Hello Laurel,
    I hear you-from not so sunny UK.
    It started with the smoke signal from the dishwasher and it sounds like it’s sending an important message!
    Why not get your dream? Your design is gorgeous. And as you say, it’s only you who really knows how it all needs to work and flow….
    My main observation is re the dishwasher/sink area. I’ve just done my own re-model and am regretting lack of space around the sink. My builders accidentally took out the wrong side of an old cavity wall, so my space reduced rather than increased around the sink. This forced my decision to get a drawer dishwasher by Fisher and Paykel- it’s been brilliant. It’s pretty top end price wise but saves so much space and bending- and allows others to help load and empty. (Can a dishwasher be ‘sociable’?!) They do a single drawer which could co-ordinate perfectly with the large drawers in your units either side. You then release another space beneath for a further deep drawer. AND you get immediate space for washing up to be kept out of site.
    Strength and courage to you- keep us posted!

    1. Hi Anne,

      I’ve seen the drawer dishwashers and they are way cool. But there’s counter over the typical dishwasher, so I’m not sure how it would give me more counter space. It’s nearly 3 feet. If I don’t do the banquette, I could get a few more inches. I’ll have to see.

      Normally, I wouldn’t just design something and put it out there, but I figured why not? Changes will be made and I’m loving everyone’s input!

  35. Laurel, I shall pray for you in the hour of your need. —- Wait! What am I saying? It will be hours and hours and…..But I can do that. We all can do that for all the little and big things you’ve done for us. It will be grand when finished. Will also send tissues. When I had to purchase a new range to fit my 35-inch space, I wept. Truly I did. But it looks great, and if the market stays hot, I’ll recoup the cost. Now that you’ve got it on paper, you must go forward. “Prayerfully,” as we say in the South!

  36. Great ideas for an unconventional kitchen with angles!

    I would add that I have had an 18″ dishwasher twice and both times it was adequate for two people. When I had people over it was better to run two loads than wait until everyone was finished to fill the larger one. Holding dishes in the larger dishwasher only made it smell.

    I also noted that you design and the inspiration kitchen with electric stovetop both have hood designs that are too small for the cooking surface. The hood should extend a couple of inches on both sides or it will not draw the heat and steam properly. This will damage your cabinets over the stove and create problems with excessive cooking smells. You might discuss this with your designer when you order the cabinets.

  37. Hi Laurel, I like the Blue Star Range in the all white color. It is fun looking, simple and not dated like the other one. Like the slanted hood range over the straight style. Like the idea of the antique mirror on the wall. Enlarges the room. Like the glass shelves with lighting coming down to show off pretty dishes. Under cabinet lighting on either side of the stove in something quality (hockey puck style) not the fluorescent. The lighting really helps on cloudy days and nights. I’m all about streamlined decor so I won’t tire of it.

  38. I draw floor plans and elevations by hand too! And architectural printing! Love it! It helps me really get into the space and come up with ideas

    1. yeah, for all of the geeky things I know, I never learned any of the computer drafting programs. I’m not a fan with how they look. There’s nothing like hand-drawn, except mine are really bad. Normally, this would’ve been the designing draft and then I’d start over and do a more finished version.

      Also, I no longer have any real drafting equipment.

      1. For me, a computer-aided drawing will never equal putting pencil to paper! Who needs drafting equipment if you have a couple sheets of graph paper, a mechanical pencil and a scale? Or even just a ruler in a pinch?

        1. Hi Michelle,

          The second I got out of design school, I stopped using that unwieldy drafting table. Graph paper and pencil suits me just fine!

  39. Love the design and you will love it when finished. We did ours last year. Worth the aggravation…
    Re: the fridge, don’t know if there are others but Subzero has a 30″ counter depth fridge that comes panel ready…

    1. Hi Allison,

      Yes, there are a few brands to look into. I was so fixated on the 28″ issue. Here’s what’s frustrating. The opening IS 30″. It’s the bottom cabinet that encroaches the space and makes it just a little over 28″. Not sure why it’s that way, but it is.

      1. I suppose the refrigerator issue won’t be settled until you have your cabinet design set as you have both overlaping and inset doors in your inspiration photos. The inset design might require the extra space. I have a 22″ Miele that fits inside a 24″ carcass with overlaping doors.

        1. Hi Susan,

          Yes, it has occurred to me that I probably do need a more narrow fridge, in any case. I’ll look at the Miele too! Thanks so much for your advice!

  40. I need new wall ovens because the Viking ones have never worked very well. I have had them serviced numerous times to no avail. I will definitely look at the Blue Star ones – I wasn’t familiar with this brand before seeing your post.

  41. I have been following your blog for awhile but never commented. before. I *love* the kitchen design though I need to comment on 3 things:
    = I feel the surface area around the sink is not enough to work at sink properly and you’ll get lots of splashes on both walls of the tall cabinets I love the tall cabinet, but would probably bring the middle drawers up and make opening in the middle of the tall cabinet to add the surface area on both ends of the sink.
    = The small drawers (the ones in the middle of tall cabinets and 6 next to oven on each side) are pretty but the middle partition reduce the storage surface and more steps in opening the drawers. What do you think of following the bottom large drawers and making 2 small drawers side-by-side to be one long drawer (so 1 on each tall cabinets and 3 on each sides of oven)
    = What do you think of adding cabinet above the cabinets instead of closing the soffit?

    *I like the angled range hood.

      1. I understand what Sasha is saying about the sink area. There doesn’t appear to be enough space next to the sink to set dirty dishes before washing or loading. I also agree that there will be more splashing than you anticipate as I currently have this problem with my sink placement. I think she means to raise the cabinets, which od course would be a more traditional option and you would lose the look of the inspiration kitchen.

        1. Hi Susan,

          I understand what You guys are saying, but I have taken all of that into consideration and I’m good. I live alone here – and it is now 4.5 years. I did have a family for a very long time but they are all gone now.

        2. Hi Susan, thanks for reading my mind and explaining it to people! English is not my first language so the comment above would have mistakes. It is pretty much as you say. The #3 was for replacing the missing space from taking out the middle shelf.

  42. Hi Laurel! I love the design but I think I found a glitch – I haven’t found a microwave that DOESNT hinge on the left. That being the case, with your microwave oriented the way you have it drawn, you may not find it very user friendly. Also, wouldn’t you like a little more space to the left and right of the sink? I’m not sure if you left 18″ or 24″ – I’m assuming 24 since the sink base looks similar in size to the flanking cabinets. Aesthetically, I absolutely love it. I’m a huge fan of the glass door cabinets 🙂

    1. Hi Michele,

      Well, right now, I use about the amount of space that’s to the right of this sink. There’s more, but I never use it. With this design, I actually have double the counter space. There’s a sliver of counter to the left of the sink, but it’s not really usable except to charge batteries.

      And thanks for the micro info. Sheri brought it up already. Good point.

    2. I think I have it. I could just put the nuker in one of the overhead cabinets. And I can still do an appliance garage and other (non-essential on a daily basis) storage in that area above it. I’m thinking of a hidden door accessible from the banquette, possibly.

  43. That’s gonna be one beautiful kitchen. I vote for the La Canache stove and the angled hood (it looks less boxy).

    Thanks for sharing this journey. I eagerly await the finished kitchen.

    One question when you have a client who is about to undergo a renovation such as this what words of wisdom do you give them to make the journey easier?

    1. Hi April,

      Thanks so much. Ahhh… words of wisdom? I’m amazed at what some people go through. I had a client once whose reno lasted two full years! I thought it would never end. They did need to move out for a few months.

  44. It would be great if you could just get your kitchen reno underway, so you can write about all the decision-making as you go along, and the things you learned when it’s done. Why do I say this? Because I have a major kitchen reno (as in full gut, and maybe tearing down a 100-year-old, load-bearing wall) coming up in the next year or two and it would be great to learn from your mistakes (well, I’m sure everything will go perfectly smoothly … ha) and your successes. Selfish? YES! 🙂

  45. I love your design concept! So polished, and I love that it looks like furniture rather than kitchen cabinets! Definitely the 18″ dishwasher, it’s plenty for servicing a 1-bedroom and it’ll be much prettier to maintain symmetry there. And definitely a 24″ fully integrated fridge like the Bosch which is nicer than the Liebherr (about the same price) or the Blomberg (usually under $2,000). You’ll adjust fast and the design payoff will be huge. And the La Canache? I’m dying. The Blue Star is pretty great though, too. Have you seen the Bertazzoni Heritage range and hood? Also beautiful (if you can vent to the outside). If you’re building the hood to match the cabinetry though, my vote is for a straight down hood all day long. Only one concern and that’s with the microwave placement… since all microwaves are hinged on the left side of the door, wouldn’t it be awkward to get things in and out with the door opening into you? Definitely better than over the range though!

    1. Hi Sheri,

      Ahhh… we have a REAL kitchen designer in the house! I just play one on TV. hahaha!

      Good thought about the micro. I just ran into my kitchen. I usually use it to heat up hot water and small stuff, so I could probably handle that. I know that they also make drawer microwaves, but don’t know if that’s a good option for this kitchen or not.

      I just looked up the Bertazzoni. Very handsome!

      1. Hi Laurel 🙂 I think your design is so beautiful and it would break my heart to see a stainless steel microwave drawer in it. Sadly no one makes a microwave (drawer or otherwise) that can be covered by a cabinet panel because of the little glass window. And besides, spending upwards of a thousand dollars for a built-in microwave just to heat up water and small stuff seems silly. As far as tucking it into an upper cabinet, nowadays most upper cabinets offer about 12-13″ clear depth inside, deeper than decades prior, but still too shallow for almost every microwave on the market. The only one I’m *sometimes* able to squeeze in is the the GE Spacesaver countertop microwave (PEM) which is 13″ deep (and 24″wide). But even that one can be tricky because of the plug. At a minimum you’ll need to place the outlet above or to the side of the microwave so that the microwave can be pushed all the way back. And because it’s 24″ wide it does not fit inside a 24″ wide cabinet. If I were doing your design I’d probably keep the microwave where it is but turn it to face the banquette. Not a great solution but it could work since you don’t use it constantly. I’d widen the cabinet a bit to allow the microwave to fit in the other direction, but also to bring it toward you past the edge of the banquette as you’d be using it while standing up against a corner. This way the door would open away from you and for small things you wouldn’t even open the door very far. Then I’d hide the whole thing behind a cabinet door!

        1. Hi Sheri,

          I swear you’ve been reading my mind. I was thinking the same thing about the nuker in a drawer and did investigate to discover that they don’t have a panel ready version, although I could swear that my client in Bronxville had one. Damn, I should know that!

          And I don’t know if you saw my comment and if you didn’t, I understand that you don’t have time, but I realized like 5 minutes after I wrote about the upper cabinet as a possibility that of course, it would be too shallow.

          My question if you see this, is that I would obviously need a very small microwave to turn it 90 degrees. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. And yes, that is a cabinet. It is really just filling in that awkward space.

          So, I just investigated, and there are some very tiny microwaves (15.375″ wide) which is all I need. I’m not baking a lasagne in one. lol

          If I do a 22″ fridge, I’m buying myself 8 inches which is significant. I probably need a couple of those inches for the range area, but with the smaller nuker, that would work! Thanks so much for your input!

  46. Great design, Laurel. You have certainly maximised the space. Have you considered a downdraft ventilator that is hidden below the cooktop? This could free up more space above the cooktop. I have settled for a German brand downdraft model as it has a huge extraction capacity and the filter plates can be put in the dishwasher. It is truly a godsend. Maybe worth looking at.

    1. Hi Carole,

      I have seen them and love the idea. But I actually think the hood would make a pretty design and break up the cabinets.

      After going on an on about no upper cabinets, I have them, but it is a small kitchen and no chance for a pantry.

  47. I hear you about stainless appliances. When we redid our kitchen, I wouldn’t have them. In a small space, who needs it interrupting the cabinets. I say, blend it all in. Regarding the hood, one slanted in would be better, also because of the small space. Again, the slant gives the impression of more space. Otherwise, I love your design ideas, especially the two tall glassed cabinets on each side of the sink. I recently put a glass door on our tall linen cabinet in the master bath and love it.

    1. Hi Mary,

      I agree with all. A large kitchen can take the stainless, but especially with the fridge being so close to the entrance and hopefully will have the green chinoiserie paper in the entry, it would look horrible to have a big steel box looming nearby.

      I think that folks have been programmed that they MUST get stainless steel or else!

      1. Laurel,

        A very wise man (at Home Depot) once said to me, “People obviously don’t want what you want.” This was his answer to why all the appliances were either a ghastly stainless finish or a very basic model in black or white enamel. Sadly, somewhere along the way the masses thought stainless steel was sign of having “arrived”. Yuck I say – and I have it in my house because there was no other option when we had our tract home built last year!

        Seriously though, I repeat his comment to myself often and it makes me laugh.

        Those Blue Star ovens are adorable!! Love the color options.

        1. Regarding the stainless – ghastly is right. Many of them are not even stainless these days – even in some expensive kitchens – they are silvery plastic.

      2. nah..folks(like me lol) really really, I mean really want’s just very expensive ..unless it’s white or black but I usually dislike white or black..stainless is just often the best option of what’s out there and affordable
        panels is another option of course..but also..something’s gotta give..decided to save somewhere, and somewhere was appliances. Doesn’t look offensive in our kitchen too..sort of blends in. I hate appliances as a class though..a color would be an only thing that could make me love them. Well. At least I have a red teapot..dream come true:)

        I’m in love with a) your plan!! it’s flawless b) 250 colors!!..can’t stop playing lol
        I’m in the slanted hood camp..and ok, back to reading comments..:) It’s a long way to Tipperary(c)

  48. Ooh, ooh, ooh! I think it’s all perfect, and I never think that. This is what happens when you’ve lived in a place for a long time and given both serious and casual thought to what works, and what you want, as you prepare countless meals and rinse countless dishes. You’ve designed a functional work of art. I can’t wait to see the finished product. And you won’t need to move out, you’ll just need to eat a lot of takeout mixed with sawdust, and chocolate.

      1. For over a year I’ve been struggling with where to put the *%$&!!! microwave. I’ve drawn a 700 plans and every time I move the stupid thing I have to redesign the whole kitchen. Now you have solved my problem in one post. My designer friend looked at your sideways tall cabinet yesterday and loved it. We’re putting one at the end of the range run in an under-utilized corner where there are no other uppers. It was a EUREKA moment! I poured myself a glass of wine and binged on House of Cards feeling I deserved the break now that the “nuker” dilemma was resolved. THANK YOU Laurel for sharing your talents and for deciding to renovate your kitchen just as my time limit on kitchen design was running out. I don’t know how I would survive the refurbishing of this old house without you.

        1. Hi Gail,

          Thanks so much for your sweet comment!

          It is a good idea, I’ve come to realize after someone pointed it out, but only if the cabinet is the reverse of where mine is located because microwave doors always open with the hinges on the left.

          But glad that you’ve (hopefully) solved the dilema!

        2. Yep – on the left works! I was wondering about the m/w door hinges. Thanks again!

  49. Straight hood might be better – less visual space- love the design- especially the sink area!! Much luck

  50. Really none of my business but at different times you have mentioned living in an apartment but always talk as though you have to remodel it yourself. I’ve noticed this phenom on other blogs also;. Just not familiar with this concept; why would you remodel someone else’s space only, perhaps, to move on? Regardless, lots of luck on your project, am sure it will be lovely.

    1. Hi Fern,

      Yes, I live in an apartment, but I also OWN it. It is definitely all mine. Maybe you don’t live in the USA? Many apartments are not rented, but owned by their occupants.

      1. In the west and Florida, we call them Condo’s. Maybe the word apartment has different definitions in various parts of the US.

        1. Hi Jeannine,

          We have condos here too. A Co-op is something different in that one actually owns shares of the building. But in the end, when I go to sell this place, it is on me, not just the shares that I own.

          But apartments can be rented or owned whether they are condos or co-ops.

  51. Loving your kitchen design- especially the tall cabinets on either side of the sink-very unique-keep the pics coming! I like the Blue star range better of some reason.. Its mighty pretty!

  52. Hi Laurel I say bite the bullet and remodel. You’ll have a few months of chaos but years of enjoyment. I like the look of the angled hood. Also, I clicked on the range; fingers crossed they sponsor it for you. Who knows, if you do a complete remodel, you might be able to get most, if not all, of your purchases sponsored.

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