5.20.2018

Another New Washer/Dryer

Onto another installment of how boring adult life can be... purchasing a new washer and dryer set. We snuck over to Lowe's on Saturday morning before the weekend crowd got there, and while Amanda was still at Grandma's house.

Then we took advantage of the early Memorial Day sale to purchase a basic GE set: this top-load washer for for $449 and this gas dryer for $549. Overall, the price ended up being around $1200, since we also needed to pay for a plumber to install the gas dryer (one of the quirks of living in an older home) and some odds and ends. I'm glad that we went in person rather than buying online, since the salesperson was able to explain the complicated delivery/install process and could make sure that we got all the necessary extra parts.

In the past, I've made the mistake of buying expensive or fancy appliances for the laundry room (remember the compact two in one machine?). But, I've since learned that: a) calling out for repairs is no fun even if they're covered by the warranty, and b) the laundry closet room is way too tiny for gigantic, front load machines that look like small space shuttles (I expect a chimpanzee with a helmet to be climbing out of it).
Image result for monkey shuttle helmet
Ham the AstroChimp



5.19.2018

Retro Kitchen Ideas - The Fridge

Buying appliances has to be one of the most soul-sucking experiences there is.

Last summer our refrigerator died at the New House just about this time, and I was so excited to finally replace that hulking beast with something new and pretty. Until I got down to the nitty-gritty details and realized that, short of removing the center island, there were no fridges for sale that would fit in that space! Our refrigerator already was counter-depth, and had two side-by-side doors with very little clearance in the front. All of the new fridges at the big box stores either had one large door that could not open in that space, or a pull-out drawer for the freezer that could not pull-out for the same reasons. We're talking about two feet of clearance, people.

We finally settled on the stainless steel Haier Quad, which had the advantage of selling under $1000, but was not the pretty fridge of my dreams. Funnily enough, even though we are not practicing, it is one of the few fridges marketed to the Sabbath-observing crowd, which our earnest salesman was at pains to explain (the gist is that certain functions turn off from sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday, but keep the rest of your cooling action going so that you don't die of food poisoning on Sunday).

Just before we took the plunge to order the Haier, I requested that we check out the local Re-Store. Habitat for Humanity sells donated household appliances and furnishings there that they cannot re-use in their construction projects. As luck would have it, they actually had an old almond-tinged-white-ish-side-by-side-without-a-bottom-drawer refrigerator that would exactly fit in our kitchen, for under $300. Hallelujah.

So. Now we are moving back to the Old House. And now I can fit any fridge that I want - Big Chill, Smeg, you name it. However, this is where the First World Problems set in. The Big Chill Retro refrigerator looks gorgeous on the outside. But, on the inside it looks very basic. Tiny, non-adjustable shelves in the door (what is supposed to fit in a 4-inch door nook?), deep and low shelves that involve taking out all of the contents to locate the jars of peanut-butter and jelly, and a large light fixture that hogs all of the top-center space - prime real estate! It looks, sadly, just like generic Whirlpool fridge that is currently in our transition apartment kitchen:

Whirlpool with Top Freezer

Big Chill Retro
Okay. Maybe not worth the $2800 difference in price tag?

While I was checking out Big Chill reviews (why are they so hard to find?!), I was also looking at Smeg. Those Brits, they love the Smeg. It's adorable. And, it has fun counter-top appliances in an array of pastel candy colors (colours? Well, Italian company, so I guess it doesn't matter). But, in an American market it is patently tiny. The ridiculous solution that I have seen presented is to simply pair up two Smeg fridges:

Image taken from Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmiia8qKZKg
I don't know if this is an earnest idea, or simply for dramatic effect (or a statement about American consumerism!). I just can't even imagine convincing my husband that this is a good idea. Especially at almost $3000 each.

The search continues. Is there a retro-inspired, side-by-side, pastel-colored refrigerator out there? Is the answer 42?

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