The Tale of Cindy’s Kitchen, Part 2. Finally.

FINALLY got my FINAL kitchen plan out the door and on its way to the menuisier (the carpenter) in Portugal for construction. FINALLY!!

Was waiting for the drywall to all be finished for absolute last measurements and also to FINALLY make up my mind on a few questionables. This process was very stressful, as I don’t speak any language that anyone involved understands, and have to rely solely on my graphic skills to communicate what I want. Ugh. It’s a first for me and has been a good learning experience—just hope I get what I intended to order!!!

Wanted to share my little design journey about the refrigerator unit:

Whether we went with totally custom units or not, I wanted the refrigerator surround to be a showpiece. Since the kitchen is so long and narrow, I wanted to break up the long run of cabinets. And previously, when I planned to make the archway between the kitchen and living rooms, the fridge would have been visible front-and-center from the living area, so wanted it to be spectacular. Even though that plan didn’t culminate, I liked the placement of the fridge.

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned how frustrating shopping for appliances in a foreign country has been. We are simply so spoiled in America with our vast choices and low prices. I wanted an “American Fridge,” as they’re called here—mostly meaning large capacity with built-in freezer and automatic ice maker, instead of the much more common built-ins or small units. And I would have loved a panel-ready unit, as I wanted to end up with something like these:

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But after finding just a couple of large panel-ready ones to the tune of over €12,000, definitely decided I could ‘live’ with stainless steel! So my next thought was, “Wow, if I can’t have panel-ready, maybe I can bring some ‘patina’ into the kitchen by taking an old massive armoire and chopping it up to become something of beauty.” And so the search began.

Then the issue of actually BUYING the right furniture piece and chopping it up so it would look okay began to worry me, so I switched gears again and decided maybe it was easiest to just add an antique ‘fronton’ to the top of a custom wood unit. As my base cabinets are black and the uppers will be cream, I wanted a wood piece to break up the black-and-whiteness of it all.

Found this one for only €30, but the blasted people would not respond to their ad!

Found this one for only €30, but the blasted people would not respond to their ad!

Unable to actually PURCHASE a fronton, the deadline was looming to get the final measurements to the carpenter. Without THE piece and THE exact width, it was impossible to complete the kitchen design.

And so I folded. I sketched for a day under pressure and came up with the following design, which I think is going to be absolutely fine.

Refrigerator CabinetThe fridge will slide right in, the surround will be chunky enough to balance out the size of the unit, I’ll have room for cookbooks on the lower opening and still have a beautiful lighted niche for something really fantastic above. It will give me the height and interest I’m looking for. Whew. And off went my plans to Portugal! Stay tuned.

Not sure when to expect the kitchen to be completed, but I’m sure we won’t have it by our move-in date of June 15. But in the meantime, we can barbecue and use the guest house kitchen—gonna be ‘glamping’ for a while.



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5 Responses to The Tale of Cindy’s Kitchen, Part 2. Finally.

  1. Roark says:

    I need a nap after that one, not bored just exhausted. 🙂

    • says:

      Oops, Roark, meant the following rant to be a reply. You have NO IDEA how glad I am to have the kitchen design behind me. Beaucoup de stress! You know, you think something is a good idea, but then to make it happen with basically a gag in your mouth, is something else entirely… Stay tuned for Part 3

  2. says:

    Wish you could be here. Every day now brings some new drama. Today’s installation: The contractor absolutely rejected the hardwood we bought (now that it finally got delivered), so I had to call our interpreter in a tizzy and, pure sweetness that she is, got them to return it and get us what we were supposed to mindread to get in the first place. Just another day not hearing things correctly in another language, not being able to really converse with the sales person, and certainly lots of misunderstandings with our dear contractor… No wonder I sleep so well. And I thought working was hard!

  3. Keep on keeping on Cindy. You are one the best designers I know. It is going to be beautiful. ~Kim

    • says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Kim. It takes one to know one! We sincerely hope you and Mark have a trip to France planned for the near future.

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