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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110 Comments

  1. Anya says:

    Hi Karen,
    I know this is an old post…but I’m going through my own refrigerator crisis. Question about the True: did you stack the beverage center on top of the drawers? Is there a divider between these 2 appliances? At first I thought they were all 1 unit but now I see they are separate. Is there any kind of vibration from stacking them?

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anya. There’s nothing worse than a refrigerator crisis! These are 2 separate units. Drawers on bottom, clear door unit on top. There’s no vibration from the two. They’re made to be stacked. However, my top unit was making some horrible vibrating noise from its “guts”. I ended up having to return it because it was driving me crazy. And for the price of the fridge it should NOT make any noise that could be considered in any way annoying. The new unit they sent had slightly different “guts” to it (you can see inside from the vent in front) and it hasn’t made any vibrating noises at all. I must have had the very, very first version of this fridge, which they’ve obviously done a little redesigning on. Now it’s working perfectly with no annoying noises or vibrations at all. I love the fridge. ~ karen!

  2. Lis says:

    Hi, Karen. Did you know that the True website features your post here. http://www.true-residential.com/The-Art-of-Cold/The-Art-of-Doing-Stuff/
    Erm … Except they called you Karen Leblanc !

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Karen! Looks great! I’m remodeling my kitchen, too. Curious: does either one of your fridges/freezers have an ice maker? I prefer the streamlined look and extra storage of fridges that don’t have them built into the door (or inside). Also, I much prefer the taste of bagged ice from the grocery store (or, LUXURIOUS– ice made in a separate ice-making appliance. Alas, my small kitchen doesn’t have room for that). I entertain frequently and am wondering if the automatic ice maker in fridge would be worth it for the convenience… Long question short: do you do without one?

  4. Linda J Howes says:

    It’s beautiful, I understand why you stalked it.

  5. Langela says:

    So, you’re saying that view into the top of the fridge isn’t picture ready? Do you really keep your desserts on a pretty cake plate, arranged just so? In the fridge? I shutter to think of seeing into my fridge all the time. Right now it’s in need of a clean-out. I have kids and things always get shoved behind something and lost until they are smellable and gross. Of course, if I were confronted with that every time I went by the fridge, maybe I would clean it out more often. Hmmmm.

    • Karen says:

      Those were the true squares leftover from the fella’s father’s funeral. Nanaimo bars, so they have to be refrigerated. And yea … I like to use cake plates for that sort of thing. Makes me happy. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Langela says:

        I really didn’t doubt your fridge was neat and clean as you don’t have kids and a husband to mess it up. I remember a time, long ago, when that was true for me, too. My clothes were hung just so. My floors stayed clean for longer than a cat’s yawn. I never found mystery sticky spots that “No One” made. That “No One” is a busy bugger in our house! Maybe someday I’ll be able to have see-through anythings in my home again–cupboards, fridge, lingerie… 😉

  6. Mimi says:

    After seeing the bottom drawer we can officially be friends.

  7. Leslie says:

    I would love to have that refrigerator! Good choice!!!

  8. Barbie says:

    Our VERY EXPENSIVE fridge went out recently!!! OMG!! I’m sure it wasn’t as expensive as yours but we have never spent that kind of money on a fridge ever! But it was so BEAUTIFUL! All stainless and sleek and gorgeous! Also counter depth (which I hate and would never do again) Next time I would sink the wall behind and get a regular depth then sink it to counter!! Since our home is not that old (we built it in 07) it seems such a total stroke of bad luck for the one of the most expensive appliances to go out so soon! HOWEVER! in our search for a new one (of which we are not prepared to afford rt now!) we have found that new fridges only have a life of about 5 to 7 yrs…maybe 8 if your lucky! Even high end ones!! OMG! Why then would anyone buy a new high end fridge!?! This depresses me! Completely! AND just pisses me off! We bought the 5 yr warranty and used it on almost every appliance we bought so far…including the fridge at one point. We’ve looked into buying a commercial one now….and one that is entirely fridge and use a freezer in the mudroom as well! lol I would do it but now that I know the life is so short I can’t bring myself to do it. Since I am in the wholesale business and I have an account at the restaurant supply house we started looking into commercial ones…..but I see in your comment section that someone mentioned they are loud??? really?
    I LOOOOOOVEEEEE your new fridge and have fridge envy! LOVE those drawers with all the ugly jars and such! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
    I cannot bring myself to pay 2K (what a middle of the road new partially stainless costs) for a semi ugly semi stainless ugly and did I mention ugly ass fridge for my beautiful kitchen!!! Whats a girl to do?????
    BTW LOVE YOUR CORNER!!! and the OPEN shelves! I have that too! Very practical for a true cooker person! 🙂

  9. Liz says:

    So ignoring the sad news of having to wait to see the reveal today…I’m in adoration of of your fridge and celebrating it with you. Moreover, is that fennel?? Can you please steam it, wrap it in meat, broil it, and serve it with alcoholic cheese sauce? Vive Le Francais

  10. Karen (from NY) says:

    Oh dear. I had no idea such a beautiful specimen of a refrigerator existed. I won’t ever be able to unlearn this. Spoiled forever!!

    🙂

    Truly – it is tasteful, fuctional & beautiful – as I expect your entire kitchen is. Looking forward to the rest!

  11. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Cool fridge..but..shouldn’t the light turn off when you shut the door???Huh..Have I been lied to all of these years???..And now you want me to believe the light comes on in 3 colors..It seams I need some explanation here..

  12. Claire says:

    You’re a tease! That’s all I’m going to say.
    Where’s the rest of the kitchen Dammit! 😉

  13. Olga says:

    Wait, why is it all green outside of your window? Is the spring finally has sprung? lol

    • Karen says:

      LOL. NO! That’s an evergreen!! It’s still freezing, fireplace weather. No snow at least! But no tulips either. 🙁 ~ karen

      • Olga says:

        That was my guess once I hit “post comment”. We should trade houses! Even though I don’t have fancy fridge, we have 3000 sq ft house (in Southern California) where you can practice your DIYs (o:

  14. Olga says:

    You are such a trend setter Karen. Screw the square bar stools, now we all want your white stools, awesome fridge and that Jura Ena!

  15. Linda S. in NE says:

    Whoops, forgot to ask my question. Several readers have asked about the noise level of your new appliance, and I have read your answer. I noticed the two grill/vent areas, and I was wondering if there is a lot of heat output?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda S – The grills in the front are where the condenser coils are. Normally they’re in the back of a fridge, but since this is a commercial style fridge they’re in the front. I haven’t noticed heat coming out of them, but I suppose a bit would. No more than any normal fridge though. ~ karen!

  16. Linda S. in NE says:

    Congratulations on your new kitchen, Karen. I am so tickled for you and pleased that you worked hard and ended up with an appliance that you truly wanted, not just settled for. I’ve only seen one finished corner, but so far, I would have to say it is “YOU”.

  17. MaryAnn Poe White says:

    Do you have a separate freezer?? You have to have a place to keep your stock your ice cream!!

    • Karen says:

      I do. I have an entirely separate freezer in the mudroom. But it’s mainly for lasagna. 😉 ~ karen

  18. Hi Karen, Love your blog and your sense of humour! We’re looking at the Perlick bottom fridge/ freezer combo, which look very similar to yours… but minus to cool color-changing lights. Now I gotta take a look at True also. We’re planning to go with a 24″ drawer freezer on one side and 24″ drawer fridge on the other. We don’t keep much in either, so hopefully they’ll be enough room for us. Looking at your fridge now makes me want glass front door for the fridge also (I’m also not one to care about picture perfect either!)

  19. Bols says:

    Karen,
    You never said you are into S&M — but I guess I should have guessed based on all your projects. 🙂

  20. Carol says:

    Karen I’m so happy for you that you ended up getting the one single item in your kitchen you had your heart set on, you made it happen. Even though there was a back-up plan,,,juuuust in case, I’m glad it wasn’t necessary (I don’t believe for one second you ever gave up on the true fridge!). As someone who has already seen the other corners, and everything in between – I can assure your readers its worth waiting for, even just the corner peeks. : ) ~ C

  21. So Karen,

    After looking at the True site, it seems to me like you got an under-counter glass refrigerator and two stainless drawers and kind of created your own full size refrigerator. Is that correct? I do not see any full size refrigerators on their site. Nonetheless, it is beautiful. I too love kitchen appliances and have been fortunate enough to have very nice ones as well.

    Love this corner and can’t wait to see more. I remember your deal with the magazine so I had prepared myself for snippets:)
    Kim

  22. Trissi V. says:

    That is a beautiful refrigerator.

  23. jeannie B says:

    I like your new fridge Karen. It’s very trim and practical and quite beautifully designed. And, I like the idea of a hole in the counter to get rid of food scraps. The stainless steel container below, looks large. What about smell and ease of emptying? Do you put a cover over it? Says I, who had my compost bin on the patio dumped by a raccoon last night.Big mess to clean up. And, I love the idea of butcher block counters that can be used. That corner of your kitchen is lovely. Well done.

  24. christine says:

    My fridge has a door alarm (bingggg), and it’s not highly fancy like yours, Karen. This is a hard core fridge. Very nice!

  25. kelli says:

    Well, Corner No. 1 is BEAUTIFUL, Karen, well done! Can’t wait to see the other 3. That fridge is cray. Although I think I’d go with some type of frosted glass because my house isn’t quite that ‘tidy.’ 🙂 But to have a whole drawer devoted to condiments and such, now THAT is definitely something to aim for! (I’m also a collector of condiments…no idea where they keep coming from!)

    LOVE the cake stand in the fridge too…what are those, samples of 4 true pies (or cakes)?

  26. michelle r says:

    Dare I say it……… I think I will. I don’t like the fridge. Just being honest. It’s not my style but it is perfect for you Karen. It certainly has your personality, see through but with little hidden jems. And besides who cares what I think, you love your new buddy……….

  27. Melissa Duits says:

    1. Cool fridge. 2. What is that silver thing on your milk carton? 3. Do you put Eagle Brand sweetened milk in your coffee? If not, you should!

    • Karen says:

      Hey Melissa! 1. Thanks 2. a stainless milk/cream carton holder from Chris’ Store Fixtures 3. In my tea. Which I don’t drink very often.

  28. Amie says:

    I am exactly the same with my butcher block counters – they are there to be used. The only things I won’t cut on them is raw meat and beets. I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends, so I keep a butcher block cutting board just for cutting meat separately so they don’t get squeamish. That board is also wonderfully stained from beets.

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