The Kitchen Renovation - Phase 2: Appliances

2:21 PM

After a few weeks off - preparing for and subsequently enjoying a vacation in Captiva, Florida - I'm back and prepared to give you more pictures and details on the next part of our kitchen renovation.


I previously had a Kenmore side by side counter depth fridge, a KitchenAid dishwasher, a Jenn-Air gas slide in range with a convection oven, and a GE combination wall oven/microwave. 

And before I go into the details of what we purchased, I'll tell you that I conducted HOURS of research (shocker, right?) on Consumer Reports to narrow down the field of search for our appliances. Once I figured out what the best were, then I had to narrow it down further by my size constraints. My fridge had to fit into an existing box, basically. My wall oven, same thing. Plus, I knew I needed another combination wall oven/microwave, since I didn't want a microwave sitting on my counter and I liked the way my old combination wall oven/microwave worked. I also loved my KitchenAid dishwasher and was really sad to see it go. But it would have been odd to have all new appliances but that one.

First things first:

The Refrigerator
Needing much more space than my side-by-side allotted me, I opted for a French Door Refrigerator. And I was limited to the cabinet box, which gave me about 32" depth to work with. I really would have loved one of the fabulous Samsung 4 door refrigerators, but they don't currently offer one that fits in my space. So I decided to go with a GE Cafe' French Door that was a cabinet depth (32"). I was a little worried that I'd lose freezer space, but that does not seem to be the case. And I have considerably more space in the fridge section, plus an ICE MAKER THAT WORKS!!!!! Yippee!!!!

Such an improvement!!!
(It needs a little bit of leveling. Our floors are slanted in this old house).

Look at all that lovely organization and even empty drawers!

Now, this is a really old picture, but it happens to be the only one I could find that showed a decent picture of my Jenn-Air slide in oven range and a little bit of my combination wall oven/microwave. Plus, the old tile floor. I had several complaints with the Jenn-Air - the convection oven didn't work, only one half of the gas burners worked, and there was a nasty vent thing in the middle that looked ugly and collected bits of food. 

Here's the Whirlpool Wall Oven and Microwave unit we got. I love it!

And here is the "in process" picture of our GE Cafe slide in gas range! Instead of just having 2 working gas burners, I now have 5, including a griddle! Plus a warming drawer, and a convection oven. I still have two ovens, one is a convection and the other isn't, so I have options!

Not to be a complainer, but simply to relate to you the realities of switching out appliances, I have to say the whole thing was a ginormous headache. I had so hoped it would be a seamless process, but alas, it was not meant to be. Is any home project ever seamless? Not in my experience.

In the case of my slide in range, we had to shave off some tile from the countertop in order to make it fit (even though we did order the correct size oven). And then, the plug in at the wall was a whole different voltage type for the Jenn-Air than what I needed for the GE Cafe. I needed just a regular plug-in. Not to mention that the gas line that came out of my wall extended into the space about 14 inches and my new oven couldn't fit with it that way. Which, of course, meant I had to hire a plumber and an electrician to come out to shorten my gas line and switch out my wall socket, respectively. It was enough to bring me to tears.

Not only because I was so ready for my kitchen to be usable again, but because the dust from cutting the tile was pervasive and persistent, and I had the unexpected expense of the electrician and a plumber. 

Once it was all in, however, it was like childbirth. I forgot all the pain and was just so happy to have my new ovens and microwave. They make me so happy!

And last, but not Dishwasher.
Since I loved my old KitchenAid so much, I went with another KitchenAid this time.
I like that the dishes are heat-dried, rather than drip-dried. (I learned so much about appliances through this process....), and I never had a single complaint about my old one.  I always got clean, shiny, lovely dishes. 

Since there are always complications, the particular issue with the dishwasher was the height.  With my floors being raised higher (about 1/2"), the height of the new dishwasher wouldn't fit. We had to cut out some of the tile countertop lip in order to slide the dishwasher in. And for some reason, all the padding/insulation they put around dishwashers made this one want to pop back out. I'm still having issues with a little section of the insulation poking out through a spot when I open the door all the way. I'm working on it. 

As you can see, the state of my cabinet fronts is sobering. And that will be addressed in the future, rest assured.  I also wasn't upset about removing part of the tile countertop because I'm going to replace all the countertops eventually too. 

For the moment, I am thrilled with where we are.
I'm working on paint colors to repaint my walls and repaint my little red bathroom, but I can honestly say I am very happy with all my appliance choices and LOVE the way they look and function.

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