Design

HOW OUR FRIGIDAIRE PROFESSIONAL APPLIANCES TRANSFORMED OUR KITCHEN AND HOW WE USE IT + A VIDEO!

September 30, 2015  —  Written by Julia 

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Today we are so excited to finally share with you a little more about the Frigidaire Professional appliances we chose for the kitchen. We couldn’t be more in love with how they transformed the way our kitchen looks, but more importantly, the way it functions and works for us. Along with a bunch of fresh photos and thorough explanation, I’m probably most excited to share with you the video we shot with Jordan Borrowman for Frigidaire Professional last week. We invited over a few friends for a dinner party so you could really see everything, the kitchen, the appliances, the flow, and all of us in action.

That was such a fun night! Not only did we officially break in the kitchen, but it was exactly the way we wanted to do it–with a whole bunch of people over. We designed this kitchen with the idea and hope that we’d be able to entertain and invite people into our home often for a big meal. The layout of the former kitchen put a lot (all?) the focus on that huge, oddly-shaped island. It could sure pack in the people but nothing else was very conducive to large gatherings. In fact, it was so large nothing could fit to the right of it leaving us with a whole wall of wasted space.

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When we were planning our new kitchen layout, we thought a lot about how we cook, get around, use, and clean the kitchen and even about how we store the food we eat the most vs. food we like to have, but use sparingly (hi, ice cream!). You’ve seen the after photos here, but I wanted to dive a little deeper into our choices and placement, so as a reminder, here’s how the same angle looks today:

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If you can believe it, the kitchen itself isn’t any wider, BUT we recessed a portion of the wall that previously had the mirror on it 25″ to house a Frigidaire Professional all-refrigerator and microwave. Not only did it give that wall function, but it freed up the area where the fridge was previously for a countertop, drawers for more storage and a window. We actually made it into a little chopping station with an over-the-counter cutting board we picked up from Ikea for $10. Our most-used small appliances (toaster, blender) are in the big bottom drawer there and I can’t believe how much we use that counter that was never there before. It’s an arm’s reach from the new all-refrigerator which makes chopping cheeses, fruit and veggies, or even giving a quick chop to a microwaved quesadilla (#reallife), a breeze.

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Why an All-Refrigerator? It has everything to do with the foods we eat. We eat mostly fresh foods, so we wanted more space to store those. This all refrigerator has 19 cu ft of interior space and all the drawers we could have dreamed of for produce and deli meats and cheeses, which you caught a glimpse of in the video we made. All of the shelves and door caddy’s are easily adjustable and the stainless across the entire Frigidaire Professional collection is Smudge-Proof, which is so practical for our family with small children–it’s probably my favorite part!

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On Separating the Fridge and Freezer: Wait, where’s your freezer? We opted to tuck the matching all freezer into the walk-in pantry we created during this renovation. Honestly, we just don’t go into our freezer as much as our fridge–maybe once a day for ice or the occasional late night snack–so having it still accessible (you can see in the video it really is right there when we need it) but not a part of the main kitchen area meant more functional use of space all around.

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We plan on tackling the pantry next, which should be a nice, quick project (knock on wood) and we’ll trim out the freezer just like the fridge is. I truly love the flexibility with the Frigidaire Professional collection. Want to separate the fridge and freezer? You can do that! Want to put two gas ranges next to each other for the look of one 60″ range? Yes! You should do that!

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Yes, we put two Frigidaire Professional 30″ gas ranges next to each other. These professional-grade ranges are a dream! As excited as we were about finally having a gas cooktop, we were equally apprehensive about baking with gas. New territory! I’m happy to report, we have had no issues with the adjustment and are pleasantly surprised with the results. The convection technology cooks everything so evenly and Chris has loved the built-in temperature probe that displays the internal temperature of meat (or any dish) right on the digital display on front of the range.

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The grates on top are continuous, so not only does that add to the look of one huge oven, it makes sliding heavy pots and pans across burners possible and easy. The range(s) also come with a griddle/grill attachment that fits perfectly over the elongated center burners and we find ourselves using it for everything from asparagus, like you saw in the video, to Sunday morning pancakes.

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Under The Hood: While we made the hood cover ourselves, underneath we had a 48″ hood insert installed with a 1600 CFM remote blower vented out the roof. We knew we wanted something very powerful for when we’re cooking up a storm in here (1600 CFM is way more than what is recommended for two 30″ ranges) but having the blower up in the attic, vented out of the roof keeps everything quiet in the kitchen.

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The Frigidaire Professional dishwasher has probably been the biggest surprise to us in the best way– only because we had no expectations really. It matched the rest of the Frigidaire Professional collection, so it was a natural choice, but wow! Our dishes have never been so clean. It’s super quiet, has adjustable racks to fit dish and glassware of every size (I love the deeper top rack that fits dishes so easily!) and even has a 30 minute cycle. We love it! The blue light that comes on when the dishes are done (you saw that in the video, too) makes me happier than it should. There’s no guessing–they’re done!

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We’re so grateful for all of your comments over the last week about our kitchen, and especially loved hearing from those that got ideas for their own kitchen remodels. If I could leave you with one word of advice as we wrap up this last post on our own remodel it would be, design for your needs and likes. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and do something different if it’s something that would make sense in your life and make your kitchen more functional for you. We’ve never been happier cooking at home.

This post is in partnership with Frigidaire Professional, but all words, opinions and experiences are our own. Special thanks to Frigidaire Professional for providing all the appliances for our kitchen. You can read more about the pieces we used from the Frigidaire Professional collection in our kitchen, right here and check out the rest of the kitchen reveal, as well as all of the sources, right here.

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What do you think?

  1. Erin says:

    Hello! Love your beautiful kitchen! Where did you get your refrigerator trim kit from? I see on Frigidaire’s website they have a large trim kit for using both the refrigerator and freezer, but I’m wondering where you found your single trim kit? Thank you in advance! Erin

    • Chris says:

      Frigidaire also has it on their site. Or at least they did – if not a call into customer service should be able to get it for you!

  2. Now that you are remodeling the cabin – what is the price difference for your new cabinet brand vs ikea? I love the all refrigerator idea – the only thing I freeze is veggies- mainly edamame!

    • Chris says:

      Our cabinet line is from Semi-Handmade, which offers doors for IKEA cabinet boxes. So the price is very similar and dependent on which line you pick from Semi-Handmade. We should know more specifics on pricing in February.

  3. Anna B. says:

    The details you’ve shared about your Kitchen have been hugely helpful as we plan ours. Do you go into more detail on your blog about your range hood insert and cover. I love the look and would love to see how you build the covers. HUGE fan, first comment. :)

    • Chris says:

      We actually didn’t document the range hood construction very well, and have been kicking ourselves ever since because of it. :/ We’ll take better notes the next time we make one – probably for the cabin.

      • Heather Harman says:

        Do you mind just telling me what your hood is made out of? Is it wood or drywall? I really love the look and would love to figure out how to do something similar….or if my cabinet builders can. I feel like all these sleek designs can’t be made of wood though. Is it drywall with trim Added??

  4. Ayisha J. says:

    How in the heck did you design your kitchen using Ikea’s software on a MacBook. I recently got a MacBook Pro for my birthday in August and I had my kitchen almost ready to go. About 3 weeks ago, something happened and nothing is working. I even made a trip to the store to find out what was going on because customer service over the phone was not helpful. The guy at the store said that the software hasn’t worked on a Mac in 8 years. I had more luck using Chrome than Safari but even Chrome is not keeping my design in place now. Can you share your thoughts on using the software on a Mac?

    • Julia says:

      It’s ridiculous! I did have more luck with Chrome but was amazed at how easy it was in store. We just did it, very frustrating, saving every 5 minutes. I don’t know why they haven’t done anything about that!

  5. Ivee says:

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog and love your sense of style! I love the look of IKEA kitchen cabinets and appreciate the price point but am worried about their quality. Do you think these cabinets will stand the test of time? We just bought our forever home so we want our cabinets to last…well forever. Any thoughts you can give are appreciated.

    • Julia says:

      They have a really great warranty on them and we’ve had ours for a couple years already and STILL love them. I would recommend them to anyone.

  6. Annie M. says:

    Hi there! Love love love your guys’ blog. We’ve been planning our kitchen and I keep going back and forth between the right mix of drawer sizes. What have you all found to be the most functional drawer set from Ikea?

    Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      Chris’s favorite drawer is his 36″ shallow depth spice drawer. But I’d say our favorite drawers are the 24’x 15″ with the 5″ hidden drawer inside. So versatile!

  7. Chloe O. says:

    Chris, how is the white concrete countertop holding up? Any issues? Does it stain easily?

  8. Melissa Colton says:

    Hi Julia:

    I love your house so much. You are so creative. I was wondering where you put your freezer? How has your frigidaire fridge held up?
    Thanks!
    Melissa Colton

  9. Danielle says:

    Hi there,
    I’m new to your blog but I love it. We are skim-coating our counters over the next two weeks in the same white concrete and have seen multiple recommendations for that same sealer so that’s our plan as well. I know it’s been about a year now. How are yours holding up? (Hoping you see this since it has been about a year!) thanks in advance – your kitchen is gorgeous!

    • Julia says:

      Countertops are holding up wonderfully. We’ve had a few spots where the sealer has hairline cracks, but the counter is stain free. We plan to reseal in the new year.

  10. Carrie Brewer says:

    Really great job on the kitchen! Long time reader, first time commenting…

    I am seriously considering installing the same fridge/freezer you have and wondering if you are still happy with them. And specifically, if you have lots of issues with fingerprints and water drips/smears on the fridge? I have a SS DW and I swear I could clean water drips off of it three times a day. Ugh. I just don’t know if it’s worth thousands more for a paneled option. In fact, I am really hoping you can give me the confidence to pull the trigger on the Frigidaire pair.

    Also, the trim kit is purely for aesthetic purposes, yes?

    Thanks in advance if you can help!

    Keep up the great work, LOVE your blog.

    • Julia says:

      Trim kit is purely aesthetic, yes. And! These Frigidaire appliances are smudge-proof. We’ve never had an issue with fingerprints! They’re fantastic.

  11. Jaime says:

    Hello! I am wondering how many inches you have of space between your perimeter cabinets and your island? I am designing our new kitchen right now using the Laxarby cabinets (which is why I found your lovely kitchen reno) and the Ikea software keeps telling me that there should be 48 inches between opposing cabinetry… but that just seems like such a big gap to me! I like the idea of 36″ more, and have had it taped out on my kitchen floor for a while to see what I think… but I am worried about not following the Ikea recommendation. Would love to know the size of your gap and how you like it. Thanks so much!!

  12. Jenn says:

    Any recommendations on vent hoods? We’re also thinking of installing two 30 inch ranges in our new kitchen. I’ve looked at a few options, but the controls seem to be on the front of the hood and I’m wondering how you would access them once you create the hood cover?

    • Julia says:

      You can always leave a small gap between the hood and vent to access those. We chose a 48″ Electrolux hood for ours. It was actually more powerful than two hoods and it’s been great.

  13. Monica says:

    I’m a new reader of your blog, and I love what I see, especially how you achieve exceptional results with standard products (the double ovens used side by side is one example!).

    We are about to renovate our kitchen, and I am seriously considering stowing our freezer in a walk-in pantry. We would also store our loud blender in there, so we have the capability of shutting the doors and not subjecting the whole house to the noise. I’m worried we don’t have enouch space, though. May I ask about the dimensions of your pantry? And the width of the pocket door? Is there enough room to maneuver in that area or do you wish you had gone bigger?

    Other than that, I’m quite excited to see your finished pantry space, once you’ve got it all decked out! Thanks!

  14. Heidi says:

    I have followed your blog for awhile and I love it. We are thinking of remodeling our kitchen and adding the all fridge/freezer combo with ikea cabinets. Was it hard to disign the ikea cabinets around non ikea appliances–mainly when you take into consideration the trim kit. I’m just nervous to make a mistake… We’ll take all the measurements into ikea to have someone help us, just trying to save money on cabinets. Thanks

  15. Ashley says:

    How are you liking your all fridge and freezer? We are building and I’m loving the price tag on those versus the VERY expensive competitor. Have you had an issues with them? Is there any regrets or things you wish you would have with your appliances?

  16. I absolutely love your kitchen and pretty much shoved my phone in my husband’s face to show him the two side by side ranges. They’re amazing. But one question I have is in cleaning them – with the two side by side, does gunk get stuck between them?

  17. Anne says:

    Absolutly beautiful kitchen!!! Thanks for sharing!
    I’ve been eyeing these appliances for our remodel and wanted to ask about a few of the complaints others have mentioned in reviews.
    Does it bother you that the range does not have a digital read for oven temps? Also, I understand the temp control knobs are in 50 degree increments. Does that make it difficult to reach an exact temp such as 325 degrees?
    Is the oven fan too loud or does it stay on for too long?
    As for the fridge and the freezer, did you have any hesitation building your cabinets around an appliance with a few questionable reviews? My great fear is that I will install these with built-in cabinetry and they won’t last. Since dimensions vary between brands and models, finding a replacement to fit might not be possible.
    Finally, if you were making a purchase tomorrow, would you choose the same appliances?
    I’m really not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but am hoping for some honest feedback before I buy. The Frigidaire Professional line is my first choice as of now, and would appreciate hearing about your experiences. Thanks in advance!

    • Julia says:

      Anne, Thanks for all the questions and I’m happy to honestly answer them!

      -I never thought about a digital read for oven temps, so it hasn’t bothered me. The 50 degree increments threw me at first, but now it’s easy enough just to put it in the middle if I need something like 425. Really a non-issue for me.

      -I’m assuming you’re talking about the convection oven fan and not the range hood fan. The convection oven fan is not loud at all, thankfully! Our last range (in our last house) had the loudest convection I almost hated to use it because of that. If you WERE talking about our range hood fan, we put it up in our attic (it’s a remote blower) so it’s not loud either. Hahaha.

      -The selling point on the Frigidaire Professional appliances is they are standard size appliances. We looked at other brands, like Sub-zero and Viking and not only were the prices $$$$$ but the sizes were all custom sizes so if there ever was a problem, we would have to rework our cabinetry and everything! The Frigidaire fridge and freezer–we love!–but if anything did happen down the road, it would be an easy, no stress swap.

      -We would choose the exact same appliances across the board, hands down. We love them!

      I hope this helps. We have only had our appliances in for about 3 months, so I don’t have a lot of long term feedback, but really–zero problems, only love so far.

  18. Anna says:

    Hi! A little bit of a strange question but I was wondering if you have a link for the apron that Chris is wearing. I am doing some Christmas shopping and that caught my eye for the chef in our family. Thanks!

  19. M says:

    First off what a beautiful kitchen! Love absolutely everything. I wanted some more information about your kitchen island. Is it from ikea? Did u build it? Thank u!

  20. kellie says:

    I can’t tell you impressed I am with your kitchen remodel! It is a stunner! Since we’re in the early planning phase of our own kitchen remodel I am most interested in your white concrete countertops. Are they prone to staining? I just called a local concrete contractor (because my husband and I are NOT that handy) who strongly warned me against them for that reason. It really burst my bubble because I’m in love with look after seeing them in your place.

    • Julia says:

      It’s alllllll about the sealer. We dropped $200 on a sealer and it’s nearly completely life proof. We have had spills and messes and zero worries. Check out this post for more of those details:

  21. Rebecca Armitage says:

    OH. MY. GAWD! That range! I die. I never thought of putting two side by side…genius. That baby is what dreams are made of. Haha, I’m seriously drooling – I will MAKE room for that in our kitchen (well whole house) remodel. Drooooool. I love love love the independent fridge and freezer as well.

  22. jenny park says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the double ranges side by side and I am attempting to do that in my very tiny kitchen. I do a ton of canning and also love making two GINORMOUS pots of tamales at a time (think like 200 at a time), so having the double range configuration would be so nice and then I wouldn’t have to go outside to my patio and use my camp chef stove in the wintertime…burr! I currently have a gas range so there is already a gas line there. I know I will need to add an extra electric plug for the second stove. But did you already have a gas line and had to run a second for the second stove or did you not have one there already and did you put one in and do a “t” section so it split off to both stoves? I am wondering if I need to have two separate gas lines there or if I can somehow adapt the one I already have to use for both stoves. I need a fridgidaire genie/shoulder angel haha. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  23. Amanda says:

    I really really love this! It looks like you guys have tons of storage now in the lower cabinets–something people often use as a reason not to get rid of uppers. I’d love to see how you configured them on the inside since Ikea’s new SEKTION line is so customizable.

  24. Melissa says:

    I love this kitchen! Do you worry about the knives being in reach of your girls? I have a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old and I feel like they wouldn’t be allowed on that floor of the house if I had knives stored like that.

    • Julia says:

      Haha!! Greta (our 5 year old) can reach the bottom row, but knife safety is something we have been teaching her since she was little so she has never even tried to touch them. Faye is still too little to reach or understand, but we really don’t worry about Greta anymore.

      • Hilary says:

        I’m finding it so interesting how many questions and comments you have received about your knife storage, especially with regards to child safety. I know every family and all kids are different, but by the time our kids could reach over the counter we had had many talks about knives and hot pots and other kitchen hazards. And by 3, both our kids had started helping in the kitchen – not all the time, but when they showed interest. And by 4 both had used fairly sharp knives with supervision. I guess the magnetic strip makes the knives look more alarming? Because I feel like knives in a drawer are equally as accessible (but maybe out of sight out of mind?). And our knife block can be reached by both our 5 and 6 year old.

        Anyway, your kitchen looks beautiful! So lovely and functional at the same time. I have so many favorite parts, but I love your use of the space, the new windows, the full fridge and the light fixtures the absolute best! Also, love how you have found your design style and that you know how to execute it. Still working that out for myself!

  25. B says:

    This kitchen is so pretty. And calming – like a perfect spot to hang out, chat, and drink wine while the cook is at work :) and I love all that glorious counter space for laying out baking supplies!
    Question though…have you guys had any issues with crumbs or grease getting in the little gap between the two stoves? Easy to clean? Too soon to tell? I guess this question applies to most stoves, since they also have the little gaps between the counter and stove. I currently have a lip on my range that overlaps the counter, so I haven’t experienced it myself – but curious in case my next kitchen is different, I would love to know what potential cleaning challenges I’ll face!

  26. Amy says:

    Aaaah! I just love it so much! You’ve given me some great ideas for our waaaay in the future kitchen reno. I love the video – it really does bring your kitchen to life. You guys have done a fantastic job. I don’t post comments often, but this is truly one of the best reno’s I’ve seen! I’m looking forward to seeing your pantry soon!

  27. Shannon says:

    Your new kitchen is truly incredible! Great job. Of all the beautiful things to look at, it seems to funny to say that an item that kept catching my eye was the utensil jar adjacent to the stove top. I love that it’s clear! Is that just a repurposed hurricane candle holder or is really a utensil holder? I always love things that are used in unexpected, but very clever, ways.

  28. Meg says:

    You guys did such an amazing job and what a beautiful place it has turned out. Loved watching the video and congratulations! I love your blog and you deserve all the love you have received. And that meal is so sumptuous! And you look fantastic as always. I think I have said that every time I leave a little comment :)

  29. Cair says:

    I really love your kitchen and it looks like it is just perfect for you. So glad you were able to translate your dreams into this beauty. I’m getting ready to redo my kitchen and you are right in that we need to do what works for us. I have a few people who are dead set on my opening up a wall, and won’t stop nagging. That was my thought for years, but it never really worked for me (or hey, I would have done it). Came up with my version of perfect when I visited a for sale open house nearby. Sometimes you have to think outside the obvious.

    Those appliances are drool worthy.

  30. Monica says:

    I am just about to redo my own kitchen and have certainly been following your progress with interest. The kitchen is spectacular! As a scientist, I am very familiar with the fridge- and freezer-only setup and so wish I had a convenient space for a freezer (I live outside of Boston where a walk in pantry is an absolute luxury – my $700K 1952 ranch house is 1280 sq ft total! ) I have two specific questions:
    1. How are you feeling about the placement of the dishwasher? I am wondering if its spot between the dining room and the sink results in “traffic flow” issues – i.e. plates need to be brought over from the table to the sink for scraping etc, so the door to the dishwasher has to be up to move from the dining room to the sink, which means you might have to wait till table is all cleared before loading the dishwasher – am asking because I am planning a similar set up,
    2. How are you liking the location of the chopping station? When I chop I really like being near the sink for rinsing and use of the disposal – curious why you put it where it is instead of between the sink and the stove.
    Congratulations of a beautiful renovation!

    • Julia says:

      These are two really great questions, Monica. The dishwasher one, specifically, I meant to address in the post and spaced it so I’m glad you brought it up. We were originally going to put the dishwasher to the right of the sink, but the more we thought about it, the more we realized it would disrupt so much flow from being in the way when cooking at the range, to having to bring the dishes well into the kitchen to get to the dishwasher. It was a reader that actually suggested putting the dishwasher on the left side of the sink and we couldn’t be happier with its location. We generally just put the dishes right in the dishwasher, while pots from the range we’ll stack in the sink until it’s time to do the dishes. It feels like it’s out of the way from the work flow which has been really great. As for your chopping station question, there are times that Chris brings out another cutting board and uses the island to chop, especially since the garbage can pulls out of one of the drawers on the left side of the island, but for the most part it was just the most convenient place to store knives and it is so convenient to have it right there next to the fridge and pantry.

  31. Jeanna says:

    I’m saying it again, I totally love your kitchen :) Dark cupboards with gold hardware cause me to drool, and the lights you chose! Love! I can tell you really put a great deal of thought into the space, and it’s paid off for sure :)

  32. I love this kitchen so much, I could translate this to my own home! Are you/have you done a cost run-down on the IKEA cabinets? We’re considering IKEA, but were curious how the cost lines up.
    Enjoy it!

  33. NIcole says:

    AMAZING!! Seriously one of THE best kitchen remodels. Love it! I really wish I could transplant this into my own home :) Happy cooking, and cleaning, and eating, and entertaining!

  34. susan says:

    This is one of the best kitchen remodels I think I’ve ever seen. It is astonishing how much wider it looks. Y’all have done a remarkable job of using the space wisely and making it work for you. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. I just LOVE the pantry door and the new laundry room. You were so smart to use the existing extra space from the unnecessary bathroom etc. the way you did.

  35. Heather says:

    I have to say that this is probably my most favorite post on Chris loves Julia ever! That video is beautiful and I love how you have showcased the elements of your kitchen in this post. My only wish is that you had done your kitchen before I did mine last spring! I am so jealous of the recessed wall because it makes the space seem so much bigger. And I do not blame you one bit for being excited about the blue light on the dishwasher! I think I would be just as excited about that and the all fridge. Oh, and next time I go to IKEA I am buying that cutting board!

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us Julia, we all have opinions and some of us judge bloggers for how they choose to represent themselves, but you are doing a wonderful job! Your last paragraph really says this so eloquently.

  36. Karen says:

    I love your kitchen. Seriously… it’s one of the best blogger projects I’ve ever seen. Kudos on a job well done.

  37. Sarah says:

    This is a gorgeous kitchen. I can’t believe how much bigger it looks. I too would have opted for all fridge with freezer in the pantry and the double range is so smart. Great way to save some $$!

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