Appliance Me Away

Some people buy their appliances after they buy their cabinets. Usually, unless you’re importing a wood burning pizza oven from Italy, appliances are ready to be shipped to you quickly, and you will receive them in a short period of time. Hence, how we had a beautifully floored and painted kitchen, no cabinets, and a bunch of appliances scattered around the room.

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Because my focus at the time was spent mostly on cabinets and trying to make a decision on them quickly as possible (cabinets can have a looooooong delivery time), the appliances weren’t really high on my research priority list. A fridge is a fridge, right?

Wrong! I highly recommend choosing appliances before ordering cabinets. The two go hand in hand, so you will want to have a mostly set kitchen design, allowing for a little wiggle room in case of a change.

Generally, you would probably be OK if you pick a standard size stove. When you order cabinets, the designer asks how big of a stove you expect to have. There are standard sizes, so even if you don’t know your stove size yet, if you commit to a particular size, you will still have plenty of options. Same thing with the dishwasher.

However, it seemed like the size for fridges varied greatly, depending on if you planned to have the model be a top-freezer, a bottom-freezer, a side by side, a french door…you get the picture. I was all set on a stainless steel bottom-freezer when Dan suggested we go check it out at the store. You know, just to be sure.

Boy was I glad he dragged me to Sears during a rainstorm. I took one look at the fridge I had chosen online and immediately didn’t like it. The fridge just wasn’t big enough. I knew we’d have a spare fridge with a freezer in the basement, but I didn’t want to have to go down there all the time for all the food items that wouldn’t fit into this fridge. Directly next to the floor model I had just nixed was a gorgeous french door fridge. I knew it was what I wanted.

Luckily for me, the fridge placement in our kitchen plan was the farthest item on the right in the kitchen. No cabinets were planned to be to the right of it, and there was additional room to expand the plans farther out, the only con being it would just cut a few inches into the seating area. So, picking a bigger fridge wasn’t a huge deal in our layout. But, can you imagine if our fridge was more central in the kitchen and we had already ordered our cabinets? I wouldn’t have been able to make the swap out, and I would have had to have the smaller fridge than I didn’t like in a kitchen I was building from scratch, all because of an oversight on my part. Let me tell you, the reason I was even willing to take on such an extensive remodel was that when it was all over, I would have my dream kitchen. That kitchen didn’t include the small fridge.

I think issues like this are the hardest part of a DIY renovation; missing something small that has bigger implications that you could foresee as a non-professional. Luckily, the fridge issue was avoided by some smart thinking on Dan’s part and only cost a trip to the store on a rainy summer evening. I could easily see where this small issue would have not even been given a second thought until the appliances arrived. I guess I’m just sharing this cautionary tale to illustrate how each and every decision, no matter how big or small you think it is, is an important one that should be made based on research and informed decision making. Don’t end up with a small fridge because of an oversight, like we almost did.

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