Our Kitchens

torn out kitchen

Moving right along, the ceiling in the kitchen is down. We had a little structural issue up there that had to be repaired, when the house was built someone decided to cut a pretty important piece of wood so the pipes could run straight. Meanwhile, said wood was sagging. So I lost 3.5 inches off the depth of the kitchen, but that was much less expensive than trying to keep those inches while correcting the problem. That’s the kind of issue we’ve been happy that our contractor has solved for us. I’ve had such peace of mind knowing that this kind of stuff is way beyond what we know and care to work on ourselves.


The light colored wood running horizontal is new. So is the fat wood that runs up and down. My apologies to everyone who knows the actual terms for stuff like this. But if you look where the old wood is cut at the pipe you can even kind of tell in the photo that the wood was sagging.  So Wes & Josh and the team built some extra support. Now it’s all nice and strong thanks to that fat wood. I am so laughing right now at the fact that I’m trying to communicate this. Forgive me.


Also, since that kitchen wall is opened up, we can easily move the word’s worst placed thermostat. That kitchen wall is directly behind the white sofa.

before kitchen

Here’s the before.


Here’s our temporary kitchen.

temporary kitchen

Classy. There’s also a griddle on the hearth. Kind of makes it feel like olden times when I sit in front of the fireplace on the floor and cook.

We are going to be purchasing a refrigerator this week with all the Labor Day Sales. I’m leaning to french/cafe doors with the freezer on the bottom. We have an extra fridge that will be right downstairs in the basement too. Any thoughts on refrigerators? Do you love or hate yours that you recently bought?


  1. Hi there
    We have an LG with french doors and the freezer at the bottom but with 2 drawer freezers not one, I love it so much. I mean I really love my frig!!! it also has a water/ice maker in the front on the left door. Love love love it.
    good luck deciding

  2. My daughter just got a counter depth Kitchen Aid from the Sears surplus store for half price. $3000 fridge all stainless inside too. Side by side. Tiny scratch that can’t be seen on the front lower right corner right by the floor. Her second fridge is in the pantry right by this fridge. Since they have 4 teenagers the second full size fridge is a necessity! She couldn’t be happier with this new fridge!

  3. Super happy with the Samsung French Door fridge we bought 6 months ago. Its HUGE and the ice maker is integrated so no big lump on the door. 31.5 cubic feet

  4. Oh those floors! Swoon!
    Also, I spot some black and white windowframes :)

  5. We have the fridge with double doors on top,freezer down and we LOVE it!! Highly recommend. :)

  6. Handy Mandy says

    While this won’t be helpful to your question. I feel the need to express how I love my regular side by side. A couple years ago a friend had an aunt who bought a new one, thus giving me the opportunity to get her really nice in good shape still side by side!! It replaced one that I had duct taped the back of because the cover was falling off. Oh yes, the little things in life are so wonderful. :)

  7. We just bought a new fridge for our first house. We bought a white kenmore with the freezer drawer on bottom and one door on top. French doors would take up less space though. We went with cost savings. Stainless is beautiful and trendy, but for ease of cleaning nothing beats white and it blends wonderfully in a white kitchen. Even black shows every smudge. With two boys in our house I go for less expensive and easier to clean every time.

  8. mmm…. goldfish crackers with pancake syrup! It’s what’s for dinner!

  9. So glad you have a good contractor!

  10. What a mess- been there- done that! It will be SO worth it when you are done- xo Diana

  11. We have a Whirlpool Gold French door fridge and I am so in love with it! It is super roomy and easy to wipe out. I was afraid that the freezer drawer wouldn’t be big enough for my liking, but there is plenty of space as long as I keep it cleaned out.

    • Thirkellgirl says

      We have a Whirlpool Gold French door fridge, also, and I love it. FYI, it’s the same fridge that Ikea sells in Stainless (but we were sticking with our white stove so got ours in their new icy white finish). We are now an empty nest most of the year, and I never even use my standalone freezer anymore, because there’s so much room in the bottom freezer. I’m short, too, and this works SO much better for me than a traditional fridge. I’d never go with a counter-depth, because you lose so much room.

  12. I just remembered I pinned these nice, sort of retro/sort of modern fridges by GE … http://www.geappliances.com/products/artistry/

  13. we have the LG french door one… I found it on craigslist! So I get lucky too! It was 10 years old when we got it and the ice maker quit working. (which is why they sold it) It has been going strong for 2 years now! I just dont like stainless though because there are always fingerprints.

  14. Our new house had a side by side stainless and I have to agree I wouldn’t pick stainless. It is hard to keep it clean and looking nice. I would love to get a French door refridgerator with bottom freezer drawer. We have a hard time fitting things in the side by side.

  15. I have a French door fridge with freezer on the bottom. I like the freezen the bottom but I think next time I would get single doors. I end up opening both doors to the fridge almost every time I get in there because I need to access stuff on both sides. The freezer drawer pulling out instead of a door swinging open can be a little awkward to get stuff in and out. Just my two cents.

  16. We got a French door, bottom freezer drawer LG. previously had a traditional top freezer bottom door fridge. There was no learning curve with the switch. It works great! We have the one where you can open either door first. Some only close a special way. Not ours. I recommend getting one like that where you don’t always have to shut one door before the other. Oh, ours has a beep if the door doesn’t shut….great when you have boys! :)

  17. I probably love my French door freezer drawer Maytag more that you should love an appliance. Mine is black, and I am crazy about it. We used to have a side by side, and almost a year later, I am still giddy over the Really Wide Things that will fit in my fridge.

  18. jeanne parker says

    DO NOT – I SAY AGAIN ….DO NOT GET AN LG FRENCH DOOR!!!! We have had ours for 6 year but had it replaced with a new one after only 2 months. It was not keeping at temp and ice maker never worked from day one. It was still under warranty and after 2 service calls, they decided to replace because the manufacturer didn’t insulate correctly. Since then, it works, however, the ice maker only works when it’s in the mood (and of course, never when we have a house full of guests !!!) It is stainless steel French door with water and ice in door, freezer at bottom. LOVE the style and wouldn’t live without the width of the full shelves…..The problem is that the plastic inside, i.e., vegetable bins….never stay on the tracts, never close without a fight and re-tracking them up on the tracts – blah! Not easy and very frustrating! My sister bought the same one a year earlier and has since re-built the hot mess 3 times over! Seriously! They could have bought another fridge for the amount they invested in repairs and new parts to keep it running. Maybe they are only supposed to last a few years??? My other sister and a friend bought the Samsung Stainless Steel French door and have never had a problem in 5 years. Seriously, I get angry every week when I put my fruit and veggies away! Oiy! Okay, I’m done with my rant. I know you will check with Consumer Reports…..and that is so smart. We didn’t and trusted the name and were screwed. God bless your new home and enjoy your journey making it your own!!!

  19. Have two French Door Kenmore Elites… Agree with Jen above…Do not buy one thinking you are only going to open one of the doors at a time..It just does not happen. Also, I have a white and I have a Stainless. I hate Stainless Steel…Love White. Now, on to the freezer on the bottom. I truly am amazed how much stuff I can get in there with the top drawer and the bottom section. I guess, all in all, I would buy the French Door kind again. I have had trouble with one of the drawers not staying on the tract but other than that…love them.

  20. We bought the LG French Door with freezer on the bottom. We absolutely love it and would highly recommend it. I saw another comment above advising otherwise, but we still talk about how much we love it – 2 years later. Good luck! Your house is going to be amazing!

  21. We bought an LG french door frig with the two drawer freezer on the bottom and the icemaker on the left door. I like it. I had a really duh moment when I Finally realized that the icemaker stops putting out ice into the glass when you open the other door!!!! It only took me two weeks to figure that out. Get the two drawers for the freezer; otherwise you’ll be digging for stuff. I love the bottom large drawer.

  22. This is what I would consider buying if I was feeding a family of men. But first, we upgraded to a freezer on the bottom fridge also. I oh so wanted that freezer on the bottom and while I do like that feature I dislike the top part of my fridge. I went two sizes up from my old fridge and feel that there is still not enough room. With the individual shelfs I have difficulty putting something on the shelf under right in the middle because the brackets get in the way. Hope that makes sense. I would also have to say while I like the stainless I don’t love it and if given the choice would go back to white. So back to what I think you should consider is an ALL fridge upstairs and a stand up freezer in the basement. I know other family of 5’s who bought the ALL fridge and just Loved it. Good Luck

  23. You know I’m loving all the pictures and your Nesterized descriptions of technical stuff :)

    As you know we remodeled our kitchen last year and we love our Whirlpool 25 cubic, stainless steel French Door refrigerator. The freezer is below and it has a pull out drawer that’s a part of the fridge. it’s where we put easy access snacks and foods for the kids like cheese and fruit, etc.

  24. We have a KitchenAid counter depth side-by-side. It barely has room for food for 2 people, but we have another refridgerator with a top freezer in the basement. Otherwise it wouldn’t work at all. I do love the fact that the refrigerator doesn’t stick out past the cabinets; we didn’t have the space for a large Subzero type unit when we remodeled, otherwise we would have gone with one of those. If you are looking at dishwashers, I highly recommend Meile. We have one with a third rack up top just for silverware–I love, love, love that machine. It does a great job of cleaning and is so quiet I hardly know it is running.

  25. Yay!! So much more room!!!!

  26. Is it bad that I am loving seeing your house in a *ahem* disorderly fashion? It makes my disorderliness (word?) seem more normal. Remodeling is chaos…the good kind. I’m right there with you!

  27. Whirlpool has a french door fridge called white ice. It’s so pretty, shiny white with stainless handles. I saw it at Costco. I can’t recommend it, only that it is super pretty and since it’s not stainless probably better since apparently stainless is getting dated pretty quickly now. Don’t forget to measure carefully, it didn’t occur to me since my old fridge was fine and when I got a new one the handle barely cleared the island by less than an inch. Lucked out.

  28. We have a Samsung with the french doors. It is my mission in life to save others from making the terrible decision that I made. Within a year the ice maker and motherboard were both replaced. It is LOUD. The ice maker startles people who are upstairs. Seriously…it’s a whole other floor. It was also designed by a man who has clearly never had to clean a refrigerator. This is only an issue if you have children or forget to put defrosting meat in a bowl. They may make other good products but the fridge is awful.

  29. We opted for a counter-depth fridge when we remodeled and it was totally worth every penny more. It doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb and saves lots of room for small kitchens! You probably already bought one but I recommend going with a counter-depth! Here’s our remodel – had THE EXACT SAME cabinets as you did! http://kellyhicksdesign.com/2013/06/home-tour-kitchen/

  30. I love our 90’s subzero that came with our house…single door fridge on top, pull out freezer on the bottom…same depth as our counters. I love opening only one door and the sound of only one door closing! I have 5 kids!

  31. Just make sure you get water on the front. Ours doesn’t have that and it makes me sad. We have the drawer freezer on the bottom which is fine but it seems like it doesn’t hold as much as other layouts. Maybe it’s just our model.

  32. I just found my dream fridge -a white french door with freezer on the bottom with water and ice inside (I don’t like stuff on the door!) for $350 on Charlotte CL….. I asked my hubby if that could be my birthday gift since it was just a couple days til my birthday! =) I love it…. The ‘snack’ drawer is my favorite! I store my yogurts, sour cream, cheeses, crescent rolls and extra butter down there and there’s still more room!! (he doesn’t like how the ice maker is one step harder to get to than a regular one though – that’s a small ‘downside’)

    Have fun finding one!

  33. As long as it works I’m good. :)

  34. Whirlpool fridge….you won’t be sorry!!!!! I love seeing you transform your home!!!! So exciting!

  35. Go with the Frenchdoors, you’ll never regret it! We bought a Kitchen Aid SS six years ago and have LOVED it. No water and ice in the door because you lose valuble space but the model we have has a little spigot? inside the fridge near the shelf on the left. No more crawling on your nose trying to get the leftover spaghetti dinner. :)


  36. I am so jealous of your floors!!! They are gorgeous!!!

  37. We had a side by side that we bought when we bought our house. I liked it, but would be so ecstatic to get a large subzero one someday, as it seemed like there was never enough room on either side (though this problem would have been solved with an extra fridge/freezer, which we did not have). We sold our house last year, but the appliances we bought looked like stainless but weren’t “real” stainless. So, magnets worked on them and they didn’t show all the fingerprints that you get with real stainless. I loved them! I did still occasionally have to wipe them, but that was mostly due to having a bunch of little kids at home. :) Good luck!

  38. My mother-in-law was out of town when the electrician installed the electric sockets in their new home. The electrician and my father-in-law made a joint decision to install all sockets at waist high and mid-way across the width of the wall, for easy access (as in ….middle of the wall -from any direction).
    unreal how men think.

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