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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Comments

Well, that made me smile - thanks Mike, though sorry you are going to have to soldier on with your old fridge. Maybe better for the environment that way though?

Mike. Consider talking to a carpenter to make a 28" wooden refrigerator to your liking. the door hardware and seal is readily available. Then line it with insulation. Then have a stainless steel fabricator make and install the liner and shelves. co-ordinate all of this with a refrigeration guy. The compressor and motor can be externally mounted as in the basement underneath, or in a closet on the other side of the back wall....no noise.

Mike, before you take the leap from a fridge that apparently works to something new, plug the words "fire" and whatever new make of fridge you're considering into Google. This can be a sobering experience. My daughter and son-in-law set up their house a couple of years ago with top-of-the-line appliances by well known manufacturers. Then ensued fire, flood, and numerous breakdowns with all five main appliances. If I so much as whisper the word "appliance," my son-on-law gets up and walks out into the darkness in the backyard. Something bad has been happening in the world of appliances recently.

Maybe, just maybe, you could solve some of your problems by moving the wall between the kitchen and the living room. You'd get more space in the kitchen and the wasted space in the living room wouldn't be wasted anymore.

Would that be feasible? Even if the wall is not a load-bearing one?

I'm looking at those new front loading washers and dryers. The steam capable units are particularly interesting. Somehow I just can't talk myself into paying $150-$300 extra for the matching hollow metal box to raise the units up near eye level. I need to work on my consumer skills.

Open plan! Tear out the wall between the living room and kitchen, and they'll both look a lot bigger, and you can probably steal a bit of space.

Vestfrost makes a 23" wide fridge with the freezer on the bottom. It is silent. Not virtually silent. It is really silent. It is a work of industrial design art. There fridge is made in Denmark and occasionally found at diatributors in the US.

I guess Americans really do have much larger fridges than the rest of us. I'm in Scotland and I've just measured mine (you can tell you're procrastinating when a post on a photography blog has you measuring your fridge) and it's 21" wide. Oh, and the freezer's on the bottom.

What do you do with all that space? I live with 2 other people and the fridge is never stuffed full.

Matthew

Hi Mike, take a look at www.ajmadison.com We get our major appliances from them and have been very satisfied. Great selection, free shipping deals (negotiate with a phone rep), no sales tax. They have 24" units so you could pick up some counter space. Or there's always the sawzall solution.

bd

Well, Mike, I always felt food tasted better coming out of an old fridge than a new one.
I do commiserate, however. Years ago, while defrosting my girlfriend's freezer, I punctured the lining with a knife. Amidst the hissing sound, she hastily removed her Exotic Dancer's Licence which was taped to the lower door. For my sins, I had to find her a pink fridge with a door that opened from the right hand side. I succeeded, after some time, finding one in a second-hand store.
More recently, I had to find a camera body that weighs one pound, as after 3 back surgeries as well as shoulder surgery, I couldn't hold my trusty Fuji S2 Pro. After much research, I settled on the Nikon D60, as I can't afford the Panasonic G1. The D60, with my old Nikkors, forces me to focus manually and set the exposure independantly- just like using an FM2! So I am very happily printing 2ft x 3ft pictures as usual and having the usual commercial interest. The moral of the story? I forgot...

A lovely story with a fun ending. Thanks!

I recognize the information overload. I tried buying an oven/microwave a couple of months ago. Spend a full day looking up reviews and specs, then went too well informed to all the stores to index prices. Result? The old microwave is still there.

Hi Mike,

My fiancee has this skinny/tall model in her house.

Freezer is on the bottom, its quiet and energy efficient, but not sure from your post what your height restrictions are.

I just went through the same pain in my 80 year old house, but luckily I had 30" of width to play with, so the 29 and 5/8 models just worked.

Good luck!

Mike, I was up until 3AM surfing for new audio equipment, a much more pleasant endeavor! At least you don't have to haul in block ice...yet!

We have the same problem, and I'm 6'4". We've decided to wait until we move. Our house was built in 1928. However, the low height of the fridge portion is perfect for our 1 year old and 3 year to get into trouble.

Industrial progress can be so frustrating.

By now I'm sure several people have offered you perfectly good used 28" fridges, but I think the problem is that you are basically in the "wrong" place to be having this problem. Your situation may be common in densely urban areas but probably rare in the midwest suburbs.

So, for what it's worth, this advice from a small-budget urban apartment dweller:

Is there an IKEA reasonably near you? They sell 28" fridges (top freezer), but I don't know how good.

For a slightly bigger budget, I think your particular need is more likely addressed by European and Asian brands and metropolitan stores, such as this: http://www.homeeverything.com/web/sitefiles/searchresults.asp?Cat=128&Adds=90

These are not personal recommendations, just pointing out that there is indeed a market for slightly-smaller appliances out there.

Good luck.

Mike - a question - how much head space is there over the space for the fridge? One thing that you might consider, that would open your options up a bit, is to put the fridge on a sort of riser to elevate it. It wouldn't solve the width issue, but it would make it possible to have the fridge easier to get into without having the freezer on the bottom.

The other thing you might consider - though it would probably up the expense a bit - is to look at offerings from either places like New York, or from foreign manufacturers. Consumer Reports is okay as far as it goes, but it's pretty limited in the brands it will consider. (They never include super-energy-saving or gas-powered fridges, for example, even though many of them are about twice as efficient as the sorts of ones you can get in Sears.)

Good luck; our last rental house had the fridge and stove wedged up against each other in a corner with only a foot to spare - a corner which had the only indoor door to the basement in it. Doing laundry was a joy and a half, let me tell you.

Other thoughts - which are contingent on my properly having envisioned the rooms you described (a gridded layout would help immensely here) - you might consider putting the fridge in a different room?

(This is the sort of puzzle that keeps me up nights, and as people who prefer smaller-featured, older houses, we know well the problems of getting modern over-sized appliances into them.)

Have you heard the fridge in operation yourself? Your sense of "noisy" might not be the same as that of the Consumer Reports people; our washer and drier (small sized, from the "cheap" aisle, yep, yep) aren't rated well for noise, but they're actually pretty quiet, esp. compared to the old broken monster they replaced.

And one more thought (it's obvious I need to go eat, given the degree of rambling here) - did you go to a Sears/Penny's/other big box store, or did you go to a smaller local guy? I find that the locals may have smaller on-site selections, but they're also often more willing to work with you to make sure you get what you want.

I'll stop now. ;)

Hello,
if it was possible to find a "european" fridge/freezer in the US you could solve your problem. They would easily fit your kitchen, have no "noise problem" and have the freezer below the fridge.

Good luck with your search!
Florian.

Umm, bisque? Isn't that rather similar to the colour of TOP's site background?

But nothing grubby here. All good stuff!

In the UK our fridge/freezers are smaller than those giant USA models, kinda like cars were I guess. My white fridge-freezer is approx 21.5" wide by 66" high and the bottom half is the freezer.

Well here is one bottom freezer refrigerator I found from LG, http://www.mrsgs.com/product.asp?pID=22430&cID=53 . It is only 24" wide but doesn't hold much food 10cu ft of it.

What you need to do Mike is doodle up your kitchen floor plan and let all of us see what we can come up with for you.

Aaron

Don't forget looking at the Energy Guide rating on it. Your fridge is likely your biggest electricity consuming appliance (unless you have central A/C), and spending more for an efficient one will pay off quickly.

Maybe you should import from Europe! Here is an example that is 21" 6/10; well under 28". Two problems, it runs on 220 volts and you would need to ship it!

http://www.johnlewis.com/230423607/Product.aspx

Enjoy your search!

I'm sorry to hear that American Fridges seem to be a lot like American Cars. BIG!! Here in Switzerland we have our own norm size which is 55cm wide for all Kitchen elektronics. The European standard is 60cm. Thats still a lot smaller then the 71cm I calculate 28" to be.

Maybe you can get European models? Electrolux Bosch and V-Zug are popular models here and we are all very energy and noise conscious so that should be fine too.

Well, that kitchen is going to be a liability when you sell your house, so perhaps you could just gut it and get a new kitchen!

(I'm sure that costs so enormously much that it's not worth it unless you really want a new kitchen.)

Mike,
You live in a part of the country where small = cheap.
You need to try shopping in the land of the million dollar studio apartment,and competitive remodeling but you probably don't want a subzero made to order.
Don't know how noisy it is , but this is stainless steel, has a freezer on the bottom and is 28 inches wide

http://www.homeeverything.com/web/sitefiles/product.asp?sku=3528

If you want 18 or 24 inches wide there is all sorts of stuff out there

If you were Annie Leibovitz, you could have "gutted" the kitchen.

Well Mike as far as space design goes....
In my last house (built in 1758)I decided to "buy" rather than build kitchen cabinets mostly because the house didn't deserve the effort. I went to the local lumber yards and finally just to check went to a "box" store. I had a couple of design/layouts from the locals and they were ok. When I hit Home Depot I was introduced to a man in his mid '30s as one of the designers. He was pleasant enough and helpful. He asked if he could have the dimensions to work with for a couple days 'cause he wanted to think about the layout. With nothing to lose I agreed. Two days later he called and said he had a couple designs ready. I stopped in and he had put together an incredibly effective layout for this scabbed kitchen. I remarked at how good it was and asked what he was doing at Home Depot. He humbly admitted that it was a part time job, his real job was a space designer for Bath Iron Works where he designed the interiors for battleships.
*He* could do amazing things with your 10 inch counter.

Have fun,

Dale

On the subject of DIY recreated famous photography, I came across this inspired labour of love by Balakov recently.

On the subject of kitchen whitegoods, almost every appliance on the European market fits a 60cm space - 23.6" - and there are all kinds of configuration of fridge and freezer. Your kitchen is accidentally located on the wrong continent - bummer.

Have you thought about getting a 5'2" housewife?

She can bend to more easily to look in the bottom section, and I think I spy a space at the far end of the kitchen where you can park her when not in use.

I always read your posts Mike, though because of laziness, seldom comment.
But the "Fridge Post" is different. It started me thinking. We replaced an old refrigerator a few years ago with exactly what you were looking for- except we had the space, the width that you don't have.
For the most part we're satisfied, though did get 'grief' from my former brother-in-law because our freezer was on the bottom.
But we didn't buy a automatic ice maker- so putting two full trays of water in place is a challenge unless you get on your hands and knees.
But it is quiet.
Then I keep going back one of your posts from a few days back- where you mentioned your situation with your eyes and your lack of health insurance.
I certainly can relate there too- since 2001 I've had three procedures in my left eye; one in the right. Fortunately- I've been a Medicare recipient for all that time plus a few years prior.
In your post you didn't say if you were going to do something about your lack of insurance- just that your eye turned out to be not so serious. I hope you've since done something about signing on to some insurance.
Wish everyone in our fair land could have what I and many seniors have- a little piece of mind. I'm just sayin' Mike.

You have all my sympathy, been there not too long ago, and I too gave up. It is a friend of mine who found a fridge that fit, from Sears (Canada) of all places. Perhaps you could have a look at their stuff...

Good luck!

P.S. Do check the depth as well. Some newer fridges, like the one I bought, are somewhat deeper than the old standard, if there ever was such a thing. Kinda sticks out like a sore thumb (everybody else tries to convince me that it not that bad, blah blah blah, but my toes beg to differ).

Mike

I have 24" Samsung fridge freezer with the freezer at the bottom and the fridge at the top. I don't have a bad back and still think the other way is crazy. Perhaps you need a european model, having an "american" style fridge over here in the UK is a bit of a status symbol but I suspect it doesn't work the other way round, small and tiny ain't cool in the states.
Other problem is ours work on 240/220 volts or as a Canadian friend of mine called it "mansize" electricity
Good luck in you hunt hope it is more succesful than the hunt for the DMD
Gavin

You should see the film Kitchen Stories.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0323872/

From an Amazon review:
"The story begins with a group of Swedish researchers, who are sent to the cold and frozen wilderness of Norway to observe the daily habits of middle-aged Norwegian bachelors. The premise for this visit is that the researchers are attempting to redesign kitchens for the usage of such characters; the observations will facilitate a more user-friendly remodelling."

How loud is your current 'fridge? Newer models may be so quiet that even a noisy one is like a sleeping puppy next to what you have now.

Train? What train? Lived here by the tracks for 20 years. Don't hear 'em any more.

P.S. (And I'm sorry if you've washed your hands of this matter and more shopping advice is simply annoying.) The IKEA fridges are made by Whirlpool and are 18 cu. ft.

Check these out from Equator...http://www.equatorappliance.com/productimages/products/refrigerators_freezers.asp

ConServ models appear to be tall, thin, modern, quiet and energy efficient...with bottom freezers, I think.

Jeff

Hi Mike:
I switched to a bottom freezer refrigerator, and I think its more difficult to get stuff out of the freezer. I think it could have aggravated your bad back.

On the bright side, now you can spend more money on camera equipment.

eric

Be Bold! Knock out the wall between the kitchen and the adjacent room and go for an open plan layout. Expand the kitchen area, put in an island bench - you can work around that, talk to people, watch TV - everything, instead of having two pokey little rooms.

Our stove was placed in our counter when our house was built in 1977. It doesn't even have proper burner plates. It's not up to code.

We bought a new one. Brought it home. Found out that all the standard sizes have changed since 1977. There is nothing that will fill this hole in both width and length. There will always be a gap.

We returned the new stove and put the old one back in. Two years ago.

Do yourself a favour and tear everything down to the studs and start over. You don't want to compromise on the most important room in the house. This is where the day begins (and ends). Your mood, your attitude, mien, disposition, all rest on how well you stuff your face in the gastronomitron! My God, it's the stomach you're talking about here!

Mike, LG makes a line of tall, skinny refrigerators with bottom freezers. The freezer section has an exterior door, with drawer storage inside.

Here are pointers to a couple of models. You can look at others by exploring the "Choose a model" list on the web pages.

http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/gr-409glpa.jhtml
http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/gr-359stq.jhtml

My wife and I have had a couple of LG skinny fridges – about 24 inches wide and 24 inches deep – and we've been very happy with them. They're not as roomy as the usual models, but they're a life-saver for a tight kitchen design.

Mike, I sympathize entirely !

I don't have the same space issues. Our fridge is 18 cu ft & just under 30" wide in a space under a 33" wide cabinet. (The existing fridge has a nasty habit of freezing stuff in the fridge compartment). I can look at the 22 cu ft models *if* I'm willing to cut down the overhead cabinet by about 3/4" (and given that it's an old kitchen with cheap cabinets that we're planning to remodel in the next decade, I'm ok with that).

Like you, we're looking at bottom freezer models. (Part of the motivation for the bigger fridge is because the bottom freezer models shift the volume ratio in favor of the freezer so if we were to stick with 18 cu ft, we lose fridge space). And we like the french door models since we have an island to our backs when we open the door. There are umpteen million fridges out there, but narrow it down to one that fits, is Energy Star rated and then try to find one that doesn't have a factory installed ice maker ! We're down to precisely one bottom freezer model with a single door and one with french doors (and that one does have an ice maker). And they're tough to find in retail stores - I'd probably end up ordering it online.

Anyway, we just stopped at the local Sears this morning & that convinced my wife that she likes the french door models so it's one last pass through the spec sheets (I narrowed it down to 4 brands earlier), then just buy the one that comes closest to what we want. How bad can it be ?

Mike, I don't know if you can remove the height restriction but you can take a look at Conserv refrigerators. We used to have one in our old place and they are quite good. Very energy efficient, quiet, and the freezer is on the bottom, and only 24" wide. They are tall though. They are split 50/50, which is great if you need a lot of freezer space, but the fridge space itself is on the small side. Probably not smaller than you'll find in 28"/short fridges though. The interior light leaves something to be desired. But they are quite stylish!
http://www.conservrefrigerators.com/conserv.html

The only inexpensive solution that comes to mind is
to get the world's loudest fridge and then move the compressor some place outside the room. You can plumb the freon lines in copper. The suction line will need to be insulated. In order to do this legally, you'll need to get an epa freon card (it's an easy exam), and rent (or borrow) a freon recovery pump, a high vacuum pump, a freon recovery bottle, and a gauge set. What one does is to move the freon into the bottle, cut the lines, move the compressor/condenser, splice in the new lines, remove the air (moisture boils @ ~1500 microns, and it'll be quick and easy to get a tiny system like that below 1000) and put the freon back in. Can you sweat or flare copper?
In a similar manner, with some fiberglass for the
shell and some spray foam insulation, you could build a drawer freezer & a fridge above it, but
I think that would be significantly more time consuming. Just a thought.

"Umm, bisque? Isn't that rather similar to the colour of TOP's site background?"

Barry,
I knew someone was going to mention that....

:-)

Mike

Dale,
By coincidence, my Dad used to run Bath Iron Works, when Congoleum owned it.

Mike

"Your kitchen is accidentally located on the wrong continent - bummer."

I sometimes really do wonder if I ought to emigrate to Europe.

Do they let you do that?

I'll need to do something interesting once Zander leaves home.

Mike

If you are interested in simply changing the color of the fridge, it can be "electrostatically" painted for a pittance. It is a bizarre process where they apply an electric charge to your fridge and the paint only sticks to the fridge and nothing else. Looks great. They did ours in the middle of the living room carpet without a drop cloth and it was perfect. Just weird. I think it cost $125....

John Banister,
Good idea...I'll contact you in 2016 when I'm finished with all that!

Mike

Mike,
Do a search for Liebherr refrigerators...they are reportedly quiet and some are 24".
Best regards from a fellow cheesehead,
Susan

I went through the same search with similar needs. Found this one. Absolutely loved it, wished I could have taken it to my new house. (Note the bottom freezer and <28 inch width.)

http://www.summitappliance.com/catalog/model/718

Smaller than the super-sized American fridges, but better designed on the inside.

It is the Honda Fit of refrigerators.

Plus, it was cheaper than most others I looked at. It is a design straight from Europe and resembles 90% of the fridges found in the EU.

W.r.t. emigrating to Europe: they do let you do that although not easily (in most places).

One of the easiest way to proceed is to find some sort of spouse there. Although if you are picky about either destination or spouse, it may get complicated.

Another way is work. Some European countries still welcome foreign entrepreneurs, so if you are willing to relocate your "major photography website", you may have a chance. ;)

Either sound like a lot of hassle for a fridge problem, though.

When Zander leaves home...
Ask yourself how much refrigerator you
require, then look at some side by side models.
Electrolux comes to mind, as well as Woods
in Guelph Ontario who've been in the business
over a century. They do export to foreign countries like the USA, and for your electrical currents

As stated above, there are some options for you depending on what you're willing to spend.

My wife and I recently remodeled the kitchen in our 1935 bungalow's home. We decided to not change the floorplan or layout of the kitchen, instead going with more modern cabinets and appliances.

We also faced the challenge of needing a frig that was only 28 inches wide. We further restricted our options to a unit that was also only 24 inches (counter depth) deep. The only two options that we were able to find were from Sub-Zero (with two separate freezer drawers on the bottom), or from Liebherr.

I highly recommend either of those, should you so choose.

HMMMM,
Mike, if you would change the word "refrigerator" for "camera" or "lens", (and, of course, some measurements etc.)you would have a nice post describing the choosing agonies of a photographer searching for the ideal piece of equipment.... that is, ideal for a certain individual.

Well, I'm sitting here with my bologna and sliced "bread & butter" pickle sandwich after a stressful night working in the ICU, sipping on a cold Goose Island, India Pale Ale, and being hugely entertained by this posting and all the comments. Thank you one and all!

Rod G.

I veered off at the beginning of your story into the realm of pondering whether the increase in refrigerator size in the US correlates to the increase in waist size of the typical US citizen ?
And which came first ?
Larger citizens eating more food and therefore needing larger refrigerators ?
Or was it that we citizens were driven to fill our shiny new huge refrigerators with lots of food that we then felt compelled to eat before it spoiled and thus we grew fatter ?
Now we even have extra refrigerators in the garage just for the soda and beer.
They are right next to the extra freezers that hold the 55 gallon drums of frozen hamburger and barrels of ice cream.
How did people in the 50s and 60s ever do without the extra refrigerators and freezers and the large double-door queen-sized kitchen refrigerators that we now have ?
Were they just not into foodkeeping ?
No, that can't be it because I remember my mother and grandmothers being very serious about preserving leftovers....
Perhaps they just didn't understand how important it was to always have a case of two of Diet Coke and a 25-pound pack of pre-cut ham and cheese slices for handy sandwiching ?
No, that can't be it because Diet Coke wasn't invented yet was it ? And people sliced their own cheese.....
I don't know how it all happened. I'm going in circles with this. I need answers !!

This post could have been written by my wife. She also claims to never be able to find anything that fits.

You attract such bright and helpful readers.

If your dishwasher is on its last legs you could use that space to replace it with a small under-bench freezer, and put a small bar fridge in the fridge cavity. Bring it up to easy reach height by putting a storage drawer underneath. A smaller fridge will help reduce your capacity to conduct biological experiments with mouldy leftovers and with half empty jars with expiry dates from the 1970s.... and you get no choice but to go see what's fresh in the shops for tonight's dinner.
Cheers,
Lynn

Mike, I thought I was the only one with this problem--28" must have been some magic number back then like 35mm.
Then everyone switched to 2 1/4. The bottom line here is we are moving and leaving the problem to the next person.
Now there are a lot of RV refrigerators run by propane that do not make any noise. They all fit in very small spaces--how novel. It's America, if it ain't big or the biggest it's just un-American if you own it. Soon you may be able to get a rebate on an energy efficient 18+QF unit that cost $500/year to operate, but no rebates on small units that are not energy efficient that only cost $250/year to operate. Don't ask.

I'm with Rod G. After a day at work, this was fun. I got the giggles with John Banister's "moving the compressor" post. And then the idea of paint flying onto a fridge sitting on the living room carpet was pretty bizarre.

Mike, re your Dad running the Bath Iron Works: I'm seeing a synergy between that and his role as a director of NASA. As in the ironclad craft of Jules Verne and Georges Melies - correct?

Rod S.

"I sometimes really do wonder if I ought to emigrate to Europe.

Do they let you do that?"

Yes, if you have a job. To get a job you need a working permit. To get a working permit, you need to have an address there. To be allowed to have an address there, you need a job. And that is just the start of the bureaucracy.

Having experience with public services in Belgium (my native place), France and Luxembourg, I can tell you only the latter is nice. The other two are dreadful.

So the only two practical ways are:

1. Work for a large company with offices in Europe. They can easily relocate you. Beware that in that case you pay both the US and European taxes. Yours are much lighter, by the way.

2. Come as a tourist and stay. Actually the easiest way. Not legal but then you get help by a number of government funded organizations that will lead you through all the legal loopholes and go on hunger strike if you are to be deported.

Regarding the suggestion of getting european fridges, beware that most are still not of the "no freeze" type, meaning you have to switch them off twice a year to let the ice melt. The most expensive ones work like the US fridges. Many people here actually buy US fridges in order to get proper conservation.

Personally, rather than considering any european-based option, I'd dismantle the kitchen.

Mike, if you have a bad back, shouldn't you be bending at the knees instead of stooping? If you can't find another fridge perhaps a vertical rail to one side of the fridge would allow a more controlled descent and ascent.
My foot doesn't bend so well so I could do with such a rail myself, for my front loading washing machine. There is nowhere to put one so I have to slide down the adjacent cupboard door which is at an internal right angle to the machine.
By the way, work tops are usually about 900mm/35.4" high and mostly 600mm/ 23.6" deep, here in england.

Maybe you need to change the name of your blogsite to "The Online Photographers Old House". At least until your home renovations are done.

Aaron

Mike, your ship just might have come in. I just saw on Yahoo that the next wave of stimulus money might be for appliances! Check out the Yahoo home page now.

Jim

You're just in time...

Latest in Stimulus: 'Cash for Refrigerators
Business Week

(Seriously)

Jeff

"Mike, if you have a bad back, shouldn't you be bending at the knees instead of stooping?"

I have bad knees too!

This makes me sound like I'm in terrible shape but I don't think I'm any worse off than most typical 52-year-olds. I can still hit a golf ball (thankfully, my torn rotator cuff doesn't impinge on that) and walk five miles.

As I often say, "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."

Mike

Jeff Johnston recommended the Equator model. DO NOT buy anything from Equator. I bought their washer/dryer, and it broke five times in the first year, and each time it broke, it was a minimum of two weeks for a technician to show up. The store finally took it back, after six weeks of my constantly calling.

So basically, "bisque" is the "almond" of yesteryear?

Hey! Just in time!
Cash for Refrigerators! Wait till this fall!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bw/20090824/bs_bw/aug2009db20090821304909

The most refreshing part in a post about refrigeration- nobody mentions the man who likes Sony and hates noise.

I recommend going to the appliance forum at gardenweb
(http://www.thathomesite.com/forums/appl/) and posting a question. I don't know if anyone will have an answer for you, but these people sure do care deeply about their appliances.

You have a choice- either your kick this problem down the road by buying a tiny fridge, or you can solve it by throwing more money at it.

I faced a similar problem when I puzzled over how to remodel my small kitchen. In its original configuration, it had just five linear feet of counter space! The dining table usually served as a cutting, sorting and preparation space, which forced a full cleanup between every stage of cooking and eating. I was excited to find a 24-inch compact range that could fit within a new plan that gave me additional counter space. But what would that dinky range do for the usefulness (and resale value) of my kitchen?

Finally I had a brainstorm of the obvious-- why not move the kitchen table out of the kitchen, into an adjoining den? With the table out of the way, I had room for full-sized appliances and a little more counter space.

I chose a bottom-freezer fridge because it puts perishables like milk and veggies closer to eye level, where you can tend to them. Freezer food can sit for long periods down at knee level, where I'll usually be choosing it by label. Look for a model with double doors over the freezer tray- these allow full-width storage of items like large pizzas, which side-by-side models usually can't swallow.

Back to you, Mike. Maybe you could cut away the wall plaster to gain 3/4 inches of width on one side? But that leaves you short, so start shopping for a better deal on cabinets. The fridge I'm recommending will cost you at least $1200 also, so you may be saving for a little while longer.

"To add insult to injury, the adjacent living room is long and skinny, so it also features limited living space alongside more space that is essentially wasted."

Consider pulling out the wall and combining the rooms - a very popular DIY conversion here in the UK.

With a typical US timber frame house I imagine it could be a 20 minute job with a chainsaw - followed by several months clearing up.

"Cash for friges" is for real. Line up the best deal you can on the commonly sized 30 inch refrigerator of your choice. You'll hardly regret losing the counter-space, and SOMEONE can cut down the cabinets as needed. This is the easiest, best thing to do by far: it addresses the problems that you actually have and you'll never be sorry you did it.

My freezer on the bottom died. I got another, and a very close fit it was too. No other way for a man to get beer, or cheese.

SAWZALL!!

Made in Milwaukee. Come 'on! Have your fridge and some Wisconsin pride.

Do you get the impression that appliance makers in general don't care what users want, but only about convincing people to buy what they can conveniently make?

Hmm ... is that a metaphor for the photography field?

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