The absolute worst problem with our kitchen (beyond tackiness, which is easily imagined away) was the refrigerator. When we moved in, there was a lovely harvest gold classic in the kitchen; we got rid of that one & Ken's grandmother generously helped us out with her old fridge before a move - it is super nice and way beyond our budget, and a great color, so thanks again! So the problem was no longer the fridge itself, but rather its placement. Note: its current placement is in the DINING ROOM, which is not any better! But it works for now...
Now, there's never a good place for a large elephant-like item in the kitchen; it just takes up so much space! But alas, we like cheese, ice cream, and all the other goodies it stores, so we must find a spot for the dang thing.
The problem with placement was that the fridge was right next to the main entrance to the kitchen, and the back (most used) entrance to the house. So everyone entering had to squeeze through between a wall and the sticking-out-almost-beyond-the-doorframe fridge. While we sure appreciate the Frank Lloyd Wright aesthetic of squeezing folks through a smaller area into a larger area, it really didn't work here. It pretty much made the kitchen awkward and cave-like.
We identified a corner long ago that could work for the fridge, and after many changes of mind, we went with it. We essentially enlarged the existing chimney bump-out, making a fridge alcove and just to the left, the space is perfect for a door-height pantry cabinet (more on that later, I just stripped GORGEOUS salvaged oak doors from the neighbors). Why is framing so satisfying? Love it!
The idea is to trim out the 2 alcoves to look just like our door frames, and the alcoves should end up looking like they've always been there, like we punched through a wall to place the fridge rather than built a wall to house it. I think the design works, the fridge is out of the doorway, and we still feel like we've got a wide-open kitchen, even giving up a few square feet of space.
Tomorrow, we're on to adding the microwave alcove, matching style, other side of the room. Sadly, I've loaned my camera for the weekend, so there'll only be after pictures on that one.
Oh, and dig our purple (mold-mildew resistant) drywall! It's pretty psychedelic in there, with the purple, old green paint, and stripes of old yellow pain. Gone soon...