The Four Corners of the Kitchen.
The Refrigerator.

I have started and stopped writing this post more times than I can count. Granted, I’m not one for math and in fact once cried trying to estimate the tax on a grocery bill, but still. I can count kindda high. High enough. You get the point.

This is one of those posts you’ve all been waiting for, and because I like you, I wanted to start it off right. Turns out, I don’t like you as much as I thought. Because three minutes into staring at my blank computer screen I gave up on being clever, funny, witty or engaging for this first kitchen reveal post.

I just wanna get to the pictures. And I’m sure that’s what you want too. See? I may not like you as much as we thought but I definitely know you.

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be showing you the 4 corners of my kitchen.

Why the 4 corners of my kitchen? Because my kitchen renovation is going to be featured in Canadian Living magazine and part of the deal I struck with them is that the big kitchen reveal be saved for them. Understandable.

But don’t worry. You’ll be getting all the essentials, just not the whole big wide shot.

When I started this renovation the only thing I knew absolutely for certain was the fridge I was going to get. Close to 2 years ago my fridge started to croak so I started researching refrigerators, and in particular the type of fridge I’ve always, always wanted.

I can finally reveal to you, the fridge I chose. And love. And would sleep with if I could.


True Glass Front Refrigerator

It’s a True refrigerator. An irony that isn’t lost on me after the events of last week.

True is known more for the huge commercial refrigeration units you’d see in restaurants or grocery stores, but they also have a high end residential line called True Professional.

This fridge ate up about half of my kitchen budget. And I don’t care. At all. If it was going to take the entire budget I would have said okey doke, sat down on the kitchen floor and cooked my dinner over a bunsen burner. I’ve never been one to dream about boys. I dream about high end appliances.

I know a lot of people would be aghast at the idea of having a refrigerator that you can see right into, but what I really love about this fridge is the entire thing is fridge from top to bottom. The top glass portion, plus two drawers underneath. So anything that’s hideously ugly can be put into one of the two lower drawers.

And I really don’t worry all that much about having the glass portion look picture perfect.  Not even for a picture.


True Glass Front Fridge 2


I saw the fridge for the first time when I was running to Chris’ Store Fixtures in Hamilton for a maple syrup evaporation pan. That was a couple of years ago. And it’s been love ever since then. I even took a picture of it and walked around with it on my iPhone. Sometimes I’d go and visit it.

Two years later I walked into that store and bought myself that fridge.

True Refrigerator Controls

The fridge is completely stainless steel, inside and out. It has digital controls for temperature, the door alarm  and my favourite part, the interior light which is LED and can stay on  even while the refrigerator door is closed.  That means in the dark of a 3 a.m. cookie raid, there’s light leading the way to the milk.

That light can be golden …

True Glass Front Fridge Gold Light

Blue …

True Glass Front Fridge Blue Light

Or bright white …
True Refrigerator Glass Front Fridge White Light


To be honest with you I bought this fridge based entirely on looks.  So after using it for a month or so I’m stunned that a good fridge actually keeps food fresher longer.  Who knew.

The top of the fridge is for quick grab items like milk, pop and leftovers.

True Glass Front Home Refrigerator


The first bottom drawer is for dairy and produce.

True Refrigerator Drawer


I ate one of those oranges today. It was great.  Sometimes an orange surprises you.

The lowest drawer is for all the ugly bottles of condiments and sauces a gal accumulates.

(update: I forgot to mention that I have an upright freezer in the mudroom right next to my kitchen, so that’s why I didn’t feel the need to have a freezer in this unit)


True Glass Front Fridge Bottom Drawer


This makes finding all of these things really easy.  Oyster Sauce?  YUP!  Got it right here.  Olives?  Ditto.  Slightly furry jar of chili sauce I almost put on my potato pancakes last night?  Got that too.


True Refrigerator Drawer Condiments


Now let’s go back to that first picture of the refrigerator corner of the kitchen to talk about the other things you can see in it.

True Glass Front Refrigerator

What you’re looking at is the back wall of my kitchen that looks out onto the backyard. I’ve gone with open shelving underneath the countertops to make grabbing pots, pans and cookbooks easy.

This is a cook’s kitchen.  Easy access to tools, a well thought out work space and appliances that will last me a lifetime.

The countertops are solid maple butcher block.  So if you had that in the pool, you won.  I went with butcher block to allow me to use them as a cutting board as well. I know a lot of people get butcher block and then spend the rest of their days trying to keep it perfect looking but I’m the opposite.  For me the butcher block countertop is another tool is my kitchen and it will be used as such.

There is no kitchen table in this new kitchen because cooking in the kitchen was more important to me than sitting in it. But all that cooking can cause a bit of exhaustion so there had to be some sort of seating. Enter the metal stools.

My first inclination a year ago when I was planning this out was to get the square metal stools you see everywhere now. In fact I wanted them so badly I ordered them, but when they were delivered to my house they felt too “now”. Too, look at me, I have the latest stool that everyone else has. I still loved them, but they just didn’t feel right for my kitchen. So I sent them back to the manufacturer and got these “Declan” stools from Sunpan. They’re a plain white metal stool, more like a classic farmhouse stool.

I pull them up to the counter and that’s where I eat or sit and talk when someone comes over.

We mainly talk about my kitchen.

Next up?  The pantry corner.  Including all the tips and tricks I used to turn regular Martha Stewart kitchen cabinets into a custom floor to ceiling pantry.

Uch.  See? I couldn’t even END this post on a clever, funny, witty or engaging note.    Not even a tiny sarcastic jab.  A new kitchen is great, but it’s sucked the snipe right out of me.


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  1. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Wow, you got what you wanted. I’m bummed. I did not get what I wanted…I wanted a total kitchen reveal and you tell us we we have to wait until OCTOBER!!! I may not live that long! I’ll be holding on for your next reveal, I’m very interested in your cabinet corner.
    You’ve got yourself a very cool fridge. I’m also lovin’ that stainless steel creamer holder thingy! You must drink red wine. I didn’t see any in the fridge, lol. Do you have to condition your butcher block countertops? How do you like your open shelving? How do you handle dust? Congrats, Karen!

  2. Deirdre Fowler says:

    Beautiful! How are you going to tell what all condiments and sauces are when you can only see the tops? Or the leftover spagetti sauce, etc?

  3. Lordy. I might’ve had a little True-gasm. I love this corner! That you went against the trend and used solid maple butcher block made my little heart go pit-a-pat. I swoon.

  4. Susan Whelan says:

    I love love your fridge. And get a real kick out of the comments because I think your milk container ranks as high as the fridge on people’s “want” list. Running slightly ahead of a compost hole.
    When I saw the different lights for the fridge, I wondered why, and then had an “aha!” moment. I have one section of the Pepsi cooler in my store for subs and sandwiches and the provider put a gold sleeve over the fluorescent bulb because he said that regular light will turn meat a funny grey colour. Nothing wrong with the meat, but it doesn’t look too appetizing.
    So if you store bologna (true meat!) in your glass portion, set your light on gold! I don’t have a clue what blue light would do, I’ve reached the limit of my intelligence.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Hey, Karen. This is gorgeous. Just as gorgeous is the new website that True JUST launched (in case you want to update the link)!

  6. cameo says:

    In the first close-up photo it looks like you have an almost empty bottle of maple syrup with a straw in it. It turns out it’s just a reflection but, it took me a second to figure that out. My first reaction was, “Wow! She is really, really Canadian!” Total fridge envy, by the way.

  7. Feral Turtle says:

    Oooooooooooh Shiny!

  8. stefani says:

    I love, love, love your new fridge! So I Googled True brand and one of the sites was your blog from July, 2012.
    It was interesting to see what you chose after thinking about the others. Good choice :0)

  9. Lindsay says:

    First of all, how the hell did everyone see the hole in the counter?! I had to look twice to see what everyone was talking about. Secondly, now I want a hole in my countertop too! :)

    Amazing fridge and definitely looking forward to the next posts.

  10. Alicia says:

    Karen, I found your blog the other day and took an entire afternoon to read your post on your backyard and the chickens. You absolutely crack me up! The way you tackel huge projects by yourself, I think you and I would be best friends! Your fridge is just beautiful and I’m happy for you that you got what you wanted even though it cost a lot. As I always say, you get what you pay for.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Alicia! And since I’ve had over 2 years to save for the fridge, it made it not so hard, lol. I may have had to do half the work in the kitchen myself, but I got the fridge I wanted in exchange! ~ karen

  11. Mary Werner says:

    OK, I’ve read all the comments and enjoyed the new fridge and congrats on the magazine! Now down to business – my eyes went straight to the milk container – staring at it for a long time trying to figure out if it was a lighting trick with the fridge door handle reflected in glass or really a milk container. It took several more pictures to reveal that it was truely a milk container and I WANT ONE! I really just want to look at it and touch the smooth surface. So now I get what you were talking about concerning your love of the fridge. I really must go visit a restaurant supply store soon. Now I need to go back and see that hole in the counter top. (Still haven’t done anything with that faucet handle for my kitchen sink. Maybe tomorrow.)

    • Mary Werner says:

      OK now I’ve seen the hole – I thought it was a coaster and overlooked it. You have VERY SHARP eyed readers!

  12. Jody says:

    At first I thought, “A fridge? That’s it? What a disappointment.” Until I saw the picture. It is glorious!

  13. Louise says:

    Oooooh! Aaaaaah!
    Beautiful! (I want it!)
    Love the counter with the butcher block, the bookcase, and the hole. I also love the classic stool. You have excellent taste!

  14. RosieW says:

    Karen, I’ve come up with something that helps me a lot. I put self adhesive laser labels on the tops or sides of my collection of condiments. They’re probably available everywhere. Mine came from a garage sale but originally from Office Depot. Use them also to ID leftovers and stuff I cram in the freezer.

    I cut each sheet into three sections and keep them, along with a permanent Sharpie, at the front edge of the drawer where I store storage bags, foil, etc. Also have a pair of short scissors in there to cut them to fit. Love that I can find things like canned black olives I’ve decanted into a glass jar for example.

    My fridge is an embarrassment and will continue to be. Adore yours!


  15. mayr says:

    Y’know what? I’m one of those freakies who really enjoy seeing what people have in their fridge. Could care less about your medicine cabinets, but your fridge intrigues me. I know. Freaky.

    • Karen says:

      Oh, no. Not freaky at all. Or maybe it is. But I always look at what the person in front of me and the person behind me in line is buying in the grocery store. ~ karen!

  16. Kim C. says:

    Georgeous fridge but my eye was drawn to the brilliant compost hole cut into your beautiful countertop! Super smart idea. You’re having us all over for a meal very soon, right? ;-)

  17. Jean Munroe says:

    Karen, what’s the model number? I have been searching lots of True sites but cannot find this model. I love it. Does it make much noise?

  18. Beth W says:

    I love that in the second photo, the red reflection of light looked like a straw going into your maple syrup, and I didn’t even bat an eye.

  19. Su says:

    I have serious refrigerator envy… and congrats on the spread in the magazine…

  20. Tigersmom says:

    WOW!!!! I’ve waited so long for the post on the refrigerator I almost have no words. Almost.

    First, thank you for starting with it. If this had been about any other appliance I may have come completely unhinged. I hope you are loving your new kitchen. It looks beautiful and so perfectly functional for you so far. And you deserve it and definitely earned it.

    Second, good job/taste on selecting/falling for this fridge. It is beautiful. And it is True. (May that serve to be a gentle reminder and keep him close to your heart. I found that keeping things of my brother’s around where I happen upon them fairly regularly worked to make him still feel somehow close, even after 25 years.)

    I think you’re going to find that your kitchen renovation is so well thought out for the way that you like to use it that it will save you tons of time in its convenience and ease of use. My hope is that it eventually saves you enough time to make up for the looooong time you waited for it. I won’t hold my breath as that will take a while….

    I need to know more about this stainless milk holder thing (other than you bought it at Chris’) and also the spouty lid thing on the milk bottle. Did it come that way? Is this a Canadian thing? Does it work that much better than just opening the bottle or is it used mostly for its coolness factor? Sounds like enough for a post. You’re welcome. ; )

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tigersmom – Thanks! Yup. I love my fridge. LOVE it. What else do you want to know about the stainless milk holder? I’m not sure where else to get them but I”m sure they’ll ship. Otherwise check my link to Amazon over there on the right. And the spouty thing for the milk bottle comes from a small store in Dundas. It makes pouring the milk 100% easier. I didn’t think it would really make any sort of difference, but it really does! ~ karen

      • ally says:

        Am I the only one that doesn’t instantly know what appliance that is on your counter? Inquiring minds…..

  21. Jody says:

    Congrats on the magazine spread in Canadian Living. Can NOT wait to see it in full glossy colour. I love this corner of your kitchen. I especially love the hole in the counter top for scrapings. And the fridge–oh my.

  22. Rondina Muncy says:

    I took a look at the True Professional line. I love the lighted top.

    I would like some feedback. They have a beverage fridge and a wine fridge. Which would give the house a higher resale value?

  23. Jeri says:

    Beautiful fridge, where did you find the milk carton holder?

  24. Carol Hogan says:

    Oh my. I am speechless. It’s beautiful. . . #refrigerator porn

  25. Lesley Ann Sturge says:

    Beautiful so far. Can’t wait to see the rest. Cheers

  26. mimiindublin says:

    I always knew that your kitchen reno would be great, but Karen..this is just amazing!
    Don’t think I’d like the glass door on the fridge, but oh wow those drawers for the bottles of sauce! My shelf on the door that used to hold those, broke off (probably too many heavy things on it!) and is now held in place with duct tape, so the fridge is a mess.
    My kitchen reno could start with this fridge!

  27. Liesl Joubert says:

    Well done.
    I’m officially drooling.
    At work.

  28. Karen says:

    Fabulous fridge. You have a glass milk bottle pourer thingy. Where oh where did you get it? Need it.

  29. Grammy says:

    Refrigerator porn. Late at night, click here, look at this beauty. Your heart skips a beat. Your eyes dilate. You feel a warm flush as you see all the hidden places and Karen describes them. Probably moistening her lips as she tells you about the various lighting options.

    Then there’s the smooth white kitchen stool. Mmmmmm.

    Try not to revisit this page 20 more times this week. I dare you.

  30. Erin says:

    I use my butcher block relentlessly! Hot pans. Cutting board. Banging a bag of ice on it to break it up. I love the burn marks, scuffs and slices. It reminds me that good food was made here. Or, remember the time I burned my hand on the pan and that’s where the hot pan landed!? Good times. Ps… sweet fridge, I love drawers everywhere too!

  31. jainegayer says:

    That is the most beautiful refrigerator I have ever seen!!!
    And I never would have thought I would say that about an appliance.
    I love the counters too. But the refrigerator…I’m in love!

  32. Deb says:

    I really did want to see the whole kitchen, but I’m just as excited for you that it will all be appearing in the magazine. Big fat congratulations to you! The refrigerator, and the espresso maker (that is what it is, right?) are just fabulous.

  33. Amie Mason says:

    Love love love the fridge! Drawers are great too!!!

  34. Debbie says:

    Love, love, love the fridge. I’ve never seen anything like it. Enjoy!!!

  35. Jody says:

    Sometimes an orange really DOES surprise you.

  36. Linda says:

    Oh, Karen, what a great-looking fridge! Even the logo is adorable. I’m glad it’s functional for you. Seeing all of those jars of condiments in your bottom drawer (tee hee, bottom. tee hee drawers) makes me feel better about all of the bottles cluttering up my own fridge, so thanks for that.
    I also must applaud you for choosing to go with butcher block countertops, and admitting that you will use them as cutting boards. I wish fewer bloggers would spend time trying to keep their ‘tops looking brand new. There is beauty in use, too.
    Do I see a hole in the countertop for scraps? If that is for compost, please let us know how you plan to keep down the smell. In my world, I would need to keep a lid on my scrap container, but would forget to remove it at the time of use and would end up with carrot nubs in the nooks and crannies of my brandy-new kitchen.
    All the best in your new kitchen! I hope the Canadian Living article comes out soon so we can have a full view of the kitchen in a matter of months?

  37. SusanR says:

    Beautiful fridge. My first thought was “Oh, it’s Canada. She must keep her frozen stuff outside in the snow”….

    I was surprised too, how much longer food stays fresh in my new fridge.

    I bought stainless appliances when I moved into my house. Big mistake in my view. No kids in the house and the damn things are still always covered with smudges and fingerprints. It’s probably the house elves.

    • Susan says:

      Dobby’s friends can be real PITAs.

    • Debbie says:

      I’m with you, Susan! Hubby likes stainless steel. Maybe that is because he doesn’t have to keep it clean. We only have one child left at home and he surely doesn’t touch the dishwasher (unless I glue his feet in front of it), so I don’t know where the marks come from. Hmm, maybe the dog…

      The stove top is the bane of my cleaning existence. My kingdom for enamel! Oh, the compromises we make in the name of a peaceful marriage! (We won’t mention the huge compromises he makes for me!)

  38. PoMoMom says:

    Oh ya, nice fridge too.

  39. PoMoMom says:

    You have a milk carton pourer thingy! Where on earth!? Stainless too! Couldn’t take my eyes off it. Reminds me of the plastic ones you put milk bags into when I was a kid.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! I love that thing too. I keep my coffee cream in it. I got it at Chris’ restaurant supply too, years ago. ~ karen!

  40. Susan says:

    I LOVE that fridge. I’ve wanted one similar for years. But what about a freezer? Do you have a separate deep freeze in another area?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Susan – I just updated my post. I thought I’d included that information! I have an upright freezer in my mudroom which is right next to my kitchen. That’s why I decided I could go with a full sized fridge with no freezer in this space. ~ karen!

      • Susan says:

        Please keep us up on how that works out. We’ve actually been discussing that. We already have a deep freeze and a very crappy fridge (we rent & it is provided) but the plan is to put one in the office that will become a pantry as soon as The Son moves out and his room becomes an office :) I hope that made sense. Then I can possibly get our Mr. Right Now Fridge and Mr. Fridge of My Dreams when we build in a few years.

        Thanks, Love. And so very sorry for your loss…been working this week and not reading blogs.

  41. Valerie says:

    That is one beautiful refrigerator; the stools are perfect for helping to create the look you mentioned you wanted months ago. It is often more difficult to locate traditional looking furniture pieces. I have a solid butcher block kitchen table that is an inch and one half thick. I purchased it 30 years ago and haven’t seen one as sturdy since (mostly they are veneer, albeit 1/4 inch thick, attempting to resemble butcher block.) Those counters are superb. I would carve my initials in them if I were you.

    I think square stools are weird.

  42. John C says:

    Where’s the freezer part??

    • Karen says:

      Hey John. I thought I put that in the post. But maybe I didn’t. Probably I didn’t. I decided to go with full fridge top to bottom because I have a full sized freezer in my mudroom which is in the room right next door to the fridge. ~ karen! p.s. did you run a marathon this weekend? I ate spaghetti and meatballs and half a pie. So I did not run a marathon this weekend. But that’s the only reason. p.s.s. for everyone reading the comments I know John, I’m not just randomly throwing out marathon questions to everyone.

      • John C says:

        Hoping my Karen misses this post or else that fridge will be on the list. Still working on the new kitchen war chest…getting closer!
        Just marathon training mileage each day of this weekend…trying to get ready for the Sulphur Springs 100-Miler in 3 weeks (gulp).
        The longer I am outside running, the less we talk about our current, circa 1995 fridge that I can’t bend down to use the crispers in (again, because of the running).

  43. Melody says:

    Karen, love your photos, but you’re killing me. Waiting so long for the big reveal only to learn that will go to a magazine!!?? You’re rivaling day time drama with the teasers. I’ll be back same time same channel for the rest of the corners.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. You will eventually see it all Melody. Just in corner sections. You just won’t get the big wide shot here until September or October. But … I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to piece it together in your mind. Trust me, I want to put up big full size wide shots as much as you want to see them! But business is business. ~ karen!

      • Melody says:

        Understandable business is business; girl has to make a living.

        This girl will bide her big picture mind with meditations of seeing the forest for the trees or in this case the corners from the kitchen. Bet you never thought of your blog has having a’ moral to the story’ ;)

  44. Raymonde says:

    Oh my! I understand your love of high end appliances. That’s why I got an Aga range. A gorgeous red one!
    I’ve had it for over 5 years and it still makes me happy every time I walk into the kitchen and every time I cook! It’s the best investment I ever made!!! :-)

  45. Laura Bee says:

    OOhhhh. Love the hole in the counter for compost. And the stool – I have an old fashioned high chair with the flip down steps. Need to recover it-that may be a good or bad diy depending on if I can figure out vinyl piping.

    And I was totally going to scroll to the pictures! (But I didn’t!)

    And big congrats on the CL spread – centerpage foldout? Yum, kitchen porn.

    • Laura Bee says:

      I had to come back for another look-see. Now I see the piggies on the window sill, the true squares & the fridge is built in. Is the cupboard knob wood or metal? And I also realized that we probably won’t get to see the sink since it’s not in a corner. Yeesh. So excited, but the wait is gonna be killer.

  46. Edith says:

    A no nonsense kitchen… it!

    Can’t wait to see the rest :)

  47. Beth says:

    Is that hole in your counter-top to scrape your scraps into?! Ingenious!

  48. Chris says:

    DROOL! I’ve been wanting a fridge like that for ages and hubs thinks I’m nuts. So insanely jealous!

  49. Janet says:

    I’ve never heard of a door alarm on a refrigerator. Obviously my refrigerators have never been high- end enough. So, what’s the alarm for? To warn you that you’re breaking in to eat one of those goodies on the second shelf? To warn you that someone else is? To let you know some dumby head left the door open? What IS it for?

    • Karen says:

      Hi janet – The door alarm is so you know if any of the doors haven’t been closed for a period of time. It bings. I’ve already had it bing at me twice. ~ karen!

  50. Susan says:

    How exciting! What a GREAT refrigerator! What kind of noise does it make? My imagination thinks it hums softly. Can’t wait to see more!

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