Our friendly building maintenance man, Zach, helped us roll it (yes, it has wheels!) up to our tiny condo. He erased all our potential buyers’ remorse when he said, “I can’t believe you guys have been using mini fridges this whole time as much as you cook. I couldn’t do without a full-sized fridge.”
FFA was glad not to have heard this until last week! But it does beg the question: How did we ever live without this? I’ll tell you how: by bending over and peering into darkened mini-fridges looking for condiments, by using the hair dryer to melt ice pack on the freezers to keep them habitable and spacious, and by dragging in a cooler for fridge overflow when I over shopped (which might have happened now and then).
It all started in our cute Winter Park digs in January 2016 with just a tiny kitchen fridge that was a 3.1 cubic foot, dorm-style, under-counter fridge and came with the condo. After about a six months we added another, slightly larger fridge, a Vissani, which at 4.3 cubic feet of storage upped our refrigeration to a bit more than double at 7.4 cubic feet. The Vissani, which we picked up at Home Depot, was said to be quiet (it was) and and well-performing fridge freezer, if not frost free. Then one of the door trays cracked out of the side of our tiny, tiny kitchen fridge about a month ago and it no longer looked so charming when threatening spills at every opening.
Then for Christmas, John gave me a flyer with images of rusty old, vintage fridges from the 1940s with a note saying, “Merry Christmas, honey. Your choice of ANY of these refrigerators!.” I humored him with a good laugh, then started looking. Pronto.
Our kitchen remains tiny, making full-size refrigerator research a challenge. I wanted a counter-depth fridge that we could walk by without catching our hips on and that I didn’t have to pay an arm-and-a-leg for… How about a new model Frigidaire for $1,149 with the exact dimensions I wanted? No go. Gambles, our local purveyor of appliances, was told by their supplier that to order this fridge they would first need to set up a $1,500 display in their store, which they were rightly unwilling to do.
So I continued to search online and thought I found it at Ferguson Appliance, in Aurora, Colo., when I found out from a friendly customer service rep that that same model of Frigidaire is not even being produced yet.
I lingered online drooling over the Wolf and Sub Zero counter-depth fridges for around $6,000, trying to imagine wanting one enough to actually pay this much. But, as John pointed out, I’m not planning on stuffing any company into our tiny unit to impress them with my fridge, which is why you buy such things (their performance stats are good, but not worth a 6x cost differential). Although he was right, I do remember how impressed I’ve been with these beautiful products when visiting neighbors with fancy kitchens…
So I sighed and called Ferguson back and ordered a 30 x 30 x 65-3/8, standard-depth Frigidaire that, with a $90 delivery fee and $110 installation fee, cost right around $1,000. I was just going to have to live with the fact that the door would stick out about 5 inches into the well-traveled main “hallway” space of our little studio. The service at Ferguson was great but after two weeks of waiting, a missed delivery date freed my mind to consider other possibilities that would work better.
Then I saw the ad in Grand County On Line Garage Sale for a Bosch side-by-side fridge freezer. It had been living in a $15 million, custom-built house and its owner was moving and selling everything. I messaged him on FB for the dimensions and he sent them: 28 x 36 x 60, a “standard fridge,” he said. My heart leapt at his mistake: a 28-inch depth was not standard but was counter depth, just right for us.
We jumped in the truck, and jumped out with tape measure in hand. It fit the dimensions we were looking for: a custom-built depth for a secondhand price! We made the $800 PayPal transaction for a fridge that probably cost 3 times that new, and had plenty of help to load it onto its back in our truck bed. That was when we noticed the wheels! No need for a dolly when we get home. How easy was that? Very.
I have to say that the Bosch fridge reviews I have read online do not rate this fridge very highly but it works like a charm! We have not plumbed in the water and ice maker so it is extraordinarily quiet. Almost too quiet, as if it was dead, but the working lights assure us it’s alive!
The new fridge will assist FFA in bringing you more wonderful food ideas. I’ll be able to see and reach my ingredients with ease, and without having to bend down to low-light floor level. And even more big bonuses: I’ve ordered a new table to roll in and out of the hole under the counter where the old dorm-room fridge used to be. Not only does our tiny kitchen benefit from an almost tripling of tiny kitchen fridge space, but the new table affords more storage, and a couple more square feet of counter space as well.