Upgrades in the kitchen

We’re just getting all sorts of new things here at the Toburen household! Last week I introduced Audrina, our new sofa. Well, as if that wasn’t enough excitement, we also had to go out and buy all new appliances! Now, don’t judge…let me explain.

We were really glad when we bought our house that all the major appliances conveyed, but they were pretty mismatched. We had a freezer-on-top white fridge, a black dishwasher, and a black and white range. Seriously, I do not know which it was supposed to be.


Not to mention that our microwave was all the way on the other side of the eat-in area.


We’re planning to do a full kitchen remodel in the future, but that’s not going to happen for a while. Since appliances are a large part of that budget, we figured we may as well keep an eye out and replace them one at a time as we found good deals. Our goal was to stay under $2000 for all 4.

So I’ve been watching Craigslist for over a year now…with no luck. Dishwashers all seem to have leaks, the stainless ranges look cheap (I wasn’t opposed, but saw them often and figured I’d wait to see if anything better came along), french door fridges are rare, go really fast, and usually have something wrong with them, but are still listed around $1000! And I never see over-the-range microwaves in working condition. I was getting discouraged. And then I got an email from Home Depot about Black Friday appliance deals.

And that’s how we ended up with these: a Whirlpool stainless steel french door fridge


A Whirlpool Gold stainless steel dishwasher


With the buttons on the top! Which I love!!


And a stainless steel Samsung electric range with convection oven and over-the-counter microwave with sensor cooking!


Aren’t they pretty? Home Depot and Lowe’s both had some serious sales that actually made these brand new appliances comparable to the used ones on Craigslist. After a little hesitation, some scouring of Craigslist, and a trip to the scratch and dent store to evaluate prices, we realized we were not going to get deals like these anywhere else! We already had the cash saved in our designated “house fund” (which is also our kitchen fund), so we decided to go for it!

At normal prices after tax, we would have spent a total of $3,992 for these 4 appliances!! Here’s what we actually spent.

  • Refrigerator: $998 (normally $1699)
  • Dishwasher: $398 (normally $599)
  • Range: $698 (normally $999)
  • Microwave: $198 (normally $319)
  • $21.96 for some add-on part needed to install one of the appliances (can’t remember which)
  • Less 5% discount (to compete with 5% off using Lowe’s credit card – ask about this at Home Depot! They have a specific code to scan for it!)
  • Less $100 discount for spending $2000-$3000 (special promotion running at the time)
  • Plus 9.75% Tax

TOTAL: $2,302.84

But we’ve also already sold our old dishwasher for $175 and our fridge for $165 (which will all go right back into our house fund), effectively making our total…$1,963! Under $2000 like our original goal for used appliances!

I suppose we would have gotten the 5% discount off the full-prices (making it $3793), but even still we saved nearly $1500!  I call that a success. Plus, they look so pretty! Here’s the before (including before we tore out that bulkhead).


And after!


For the most part, the appliances were fairly simple to install. The delivery guys brought all the new ones in and all the old ones out, and they installed the catch for the range that keeps it from tipping should weight be put on the door while it’s open (think child climbing onto it). Andrew hooked up the fridge water line…because we have an ice maker for the first since we’ve been married!!


I am way excited about that. We are moving up in the world, let me tell ya. The dishwasher was fairly simple for Andrew to install, too, since everything was already run for the previous dishwasher. The microwave, though, was a bit more complicated. Before, we had this old range hood there along with a tile backsplash that we don’t exactly love.


First, Andrew took out the range hood, and then fished the wires through the wall up to the cabinet above.


Using these wires, he installed an outlet in the wall in the cabinet. We were worried that the microwave might stick out too far and we wanted to give it as much extra room as possible, so we decided to take out the tile and sheetrock behind where it would go.


Andrew carefully chipped out the tiles up until just below where the microwave would hit, took out the drywall…


And then drilled a hole through the bottom of the cabinet for the plug using the paper guide that came with the microwave. You secure the microwave by both mounting it to the wall and screwing it into the cabinet above, so Andrew reinforced the shelf of the cabinet above (before it was only held in place with finish nails!) and installed a horizontal piece of wood between the studs to for the bracket.

Once it was installed, we cut a small piece of wood to fit in the gap, painted it the same color as the walls, nailed it up and caulked the edges.


And luckily, it doesn’t stick out very far at all!


Here’s another before.


And after!DSC_0028

So far we are loving our new appliances! Our oven is huge! Seriously, you could cook a kid in there. And our fridge. It has been life-changing having our food at eye-level! Seriously, amazing! I’m so glad I was patient and didn’t settle for a side-by-side on Craigslist (most of which were not much cheaper anyway!)


Plus, it fits in the space perfectly, which I think looks so much better! The old fridge had a larger gap at the top and several inches on both sides.


I never really noticed before how annoying it was that the microwave was across the room, but now I can’t believe we lived with it for so long! It’s awesome having it in the kitchen!


Of course, now instead of a microwave and cart…


This corner houses a random assortment of things…we haven’t quite figured it out yet. Ultimately, we would like some kind of dry bar here with a cabinet on the bottom and a “counter-top” and then maybe some floating shelves above? (the frame isn’t crooked, I promise!)


But we’ll see. Also, since the pretty new appliances don’t make our dingy cabinets look any better, I’m considering repainting them as a temporary solution, including fun, bright colors on the inside! Funny how you forget so quickly…after redoing my mom’s cabinets I said I’d never do it again!


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