Classic Kitchen: Give and Take

LAST UPDATED: Nov 18, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Feb 06, 2017 | By: Julie Blanner

Giannetti Velvet and Linen built in refrigerator looks like French cabinet

When you embark on a kitchen remodel, you know there are going to be a lot of decisions to make, but weighing the cost benefit can be a challenge. Let’s face it, I want it all. I’ve never had the luxury of doing a full kitchen remodel, let alone custom. 

One thing Chris and I both knew we wanted was built-in panel ready appliances. Little did I know how much additional that would cost. A built-in refrigerator is double to triple the cost of a stand alone refrigerator. Being panel ready {the ability to accept a cabinet panel to blend in} is an additional thousand or two for a refrigerator and nearly doubles the cost for a dishwasher and wine refrigerator, not including the cost of panels themselves. Brooke Giannetti, author of Patina Farm disguised her refrigerator as a beautiful wood cabinet by utilizing a panel ready built-in refrigerator. We had originally planned to do the same, but I’m still weighing the decision of how it will be built-in.

panel ready built in refrigerator | Velvet and Linen Patina Farm

Still, we remain committed. Sometimes life’s a game of give and take. Here are the appliance decisions we’ve made so far:

A microwave drawer – if you’re not familiar, you still see the microwave {it’s not hidden in a drawer}. It’s built in for a very clean look. Rather than opening a door, you pull it open, placing whatever you want to warm inside. The panel is concealed and flips out so that you don’t have to bend to see/program.

The built-in refrigerator. I’ve compared countless photos and admired friends’ kitchens with built-in refrigerators and since it’s new location will put it in direct site from our living room Chris and agreed if we could make it work, we’d go for it. Give: we may forgo the water and ice dispenser on our refrigerator to make it fit our budget shaving $1,300 off.

The dishwasher feels the most frivolous, but I love how it streamlines the kitchen. Less than 2 years ago we replaced our dishwasher {with the majority of the expense to our home warranty} and I love it. It’s so quiet we weren’t sure it was working at first. We are purchasing the same dishwasher, panel ready and having the vent painted to match our cabinetry. I love how seamless it blends into this DeVol kitchen.

disguising a dishwasher as a cabinet

I’ve been unable to find the panel ready wine cooler I fell in love with online and can’t get too excited about the $1,800 or $2,900 options, so, I’m going to give and settle for a nicer wine cooler that’s stainless with wood panels on the interior. 

A French range. I can’t wait to share more!

A Zephyr vent – it’s almost silent and collects oil so that it doesn’t build up in the kitchen.

We have a few other decisions to make this week, okay, a lot. Here are a few things weighing on my mind as the countdown to the build date of our cabinets is just 3 weeks away:

Hinges or hidden hinges. This is something I completely overlooked and never really invested any thought into. So, after our cabinet maker left I turned to my Pinterest board to find a commonality. Most of my favorite kitchens have hinges, but I do appreciate the clean aesthetic of hidden hinges. At almost the same cost, this decision comes down to a matter of personal preference. What do you think?

Finished panels at cabinet ends. I love the clean, polished look of finished panels and without a doubt will do them at the end of the island. If our budget permits, I’d like to do them on the cabinet ends as well, but it adds an additional $1,500. What do you think? I think it really finishes the cabinetry below. 

learn about kitchen cabinet styles | inset, partial overlay and full overlay

We know we’re doing inset cabinetry, but I had originally dreamed of this beautiful detail from Anne Decker Architects. Given the cost, I may scale back to another of my favorite styles, which also pairs well with our custom doors – shaker with flat front drawers. TBD, but they’re both beautiful, so it’s hard to justify the additional expense. Which do you prefer?

I am so excited that you’re coming along with me for the journey and really appreciate your input. Deep breaths.