Beautiful kitchen a kick in the pants

There's nothing like seeing someone else's kitchen to encourage you to get cranking on your own. In this case, I'm talking about the Midwestern kitchen renovation featured on Apartment Therapy today.

The fact that this kitchen has red cabinets probably doesn't hurt my instant love for it. Neither does the fact that its wall color emphasizes its natural light and adds to that retro-feel I love so much. The whole thing makes me want to start working on my own kitchen (right this minute!) to make it as bright and easy as my inspiration's.

I've decided on how to deal with my funky fridge problem: I'm going to buy this refrigerator during the state's Energy Star incentive program. The fridge is one of Whirlpool's most efficient and is estimated to run on $37 a year. My current refrigerator is almost half its size and uses more energy.

Its relatively reasonable retail price, the state's program (which will also give me $75 for recycling my current rusting refrigerator) and taking advantage of my Discover Card's 5 percent cash-back incentive at home improvement stores in April have me pretty sure that I'll spend less than $600 on the refrigerator itself.

I've found an auto body shop that will paint my fridge a tomato red - I gave them my favorite enamel bowl for inspiration - and they've told me it will cost $275. The grand total - less than $900, a fraction of what I would've spent on a retro-style refrigerator. A luxury, yes, but a more rational one.

While I'm replacing my refrigerator, I want to seize the opportunity to rip up the vinyl tiles and plywood subfloor and refinish what I'm pretty sure is the hardwood floor underneath. It's possible the floor has patches of plywood in it, especially near the duct work, but I feel like a resource like PACA could provide hardwood replacements if necessary.

I've long wanted to paint my yellowish-gold combined kitchen and dining room, but have never been sold on a color. But I love that aqua color featured in the kitchen I mentioned above. I know that if you're going to replace a floor, you might as well paint before ripping it up. Don't you love how a home-improvement project snowballs? I'll keep you posted on how things go.


Photo credit from Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn.

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Sandy wrote on April 09, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I love using color, but I've learned to be careful with red. One of the reasons the red works in your sample kitchen is that it is balanced with cabinets on either side of a galley kitchen. A refrigerator is already the biggest single thing in most kitchens, and if it is the only red thing it will be overpowering. I'm not sure it will look retro, either, as it will be a big red box -- one of the defining things about retro applliances is their rounded shape. You can minimize some of this by making the range and dishwasher red, too, but that's an expensive solution. I suggest you test your plan first, perhaps by draping a red cloth or even wrapping paper over your refrigerator to see what it will really look like. Appliances were always white until harvest gold, avocado, and coppertone arrived mid-century, so you can go retro without painting the refrigerator at all, although I share your love of modern colorful retro-styled pieces. (Just a thought from someone who once had a red telephone and got tired of seeing it before anything else every time she walked into a room.)

Meg Dickinson wrote on April 12, 2010 at 9:04 am
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Thanks for the advice, Sandy. I'm going to stick with my white dishwasher and range and will have to try draping my fridge in red. However, I'm addicted to the color - I have a scarlet couch and absolutely love it.