[before and after pics below -- you can skip all the rambling if you'd like]
This is exciting. Back in January, our dishwasher broke. That part's not exciting. That part was actually pretty frustrating. You see, having a dishwasher was the highest item on my priority list when we started house shopping in 2008. It may seem silly to some, but it was a big deal to me. I hate doing the dishes. It's probably my least favorite chore. But I don't mind loading the dishwasher. So needless to say, I was very disappointed when it broke.
Last weekend, Rob and I headed over to Home Depot to take advantage of a 10% off Energy Star appliances sale they were having. We found a GE dishwasher that fit our requirements:
- It's black.
- It has good reviews.
- It's Energy-Star rated (saves us money on operating costs plus we'd save that extra 10%).
- It was within our budget.
While at Home Depot, we decided to also purchase something that's been on our wish list for a long time. A new gas stove.
That's the exciting part.
Our old stove sucked. Sorry for my poor articulation, but it's true. If we wanted to make pasta, it took more than an hour to heat the water. It didn't cook things evenly. It didn't match any of our other appliances. And I didn't trust it because I often smelled gas when walking by it. Isn't that scary? We even called the gas company to come check it out. They didn't find a leak, but at least others confirmed they smelled gas too. As a side note, it was a monster to clean. I greatly disliked that stove. I'm happy to be rid of it.
Here's the new stove. It was $599 (but we got it for $429, more on this below), and it's sleek and sexy and makes me want to cook lots of things:
The top is supposedly easier to clean with the surface made entirely of cast iron grill plates.
And it has a "turbo boil" mode or something like that (an extra large burner for more direct heat). Home Depot has a nice service where they offer free delivery of new appliances and also pick-up of the old ones. So we didn't have to worry about getting rid of the broken dishwasher and the failing stove. That's pretty convenient.
With reasonable prices such as these, we could have easily paid for these two appliances outright. But instead we decided to use our Home Depot card. We get interest free financing for 6 months, which means we pay less than $100 a month for 6 months for our new stove instead of paying it all at once. Also pretty convenient.
I probably sound like a Home Depot advertisement by now. But I'm just really excited. Other than the furnace and water heater (which we had no choice in replacing), our newest appliance was our old dishwasher, which was from 1995. The rest are even older. So picking out our first BRAND NEW appliances is pretty darn exciting. Best of all, with a recent referral bonus I received from my job, and a small but welcome tax refund, these things are already paid for.
We headed up home from Home Depot with big grins on our faces. But then we got to thinking... the black matching GE fridge that we liked was also on sale and using our 6-month payment plan, it would only be an additional $75 a month (or less, considering the 10% off sale). So we headed back and added that to our order. You may have already noticed it in the pic above.
Since we were selective but didn't go extravagant, we got all of our kitchen appliances for less the price of one stainless steel refrigerator (around $1300 with tax and after discounts). Not too shabby! We also were able to sell our old fridge on craigslist, which brought the price down even more.
But here's how we scored an even better deal on the stove. When we added the fridge to the order, the Home Depot employee told us it would be no problem to add it to the existing delivery order. We scheduled to have the appliances delivered on a day when I'd be working from home. When that day finally arrived, only a fridge and dishwasher showed up. The delivery drivers had no record of us ordering a stove. I assumed it would be coming later that day on a separate order, so I had them haul away the old appliances. We later called the store, and they confirmed that they had made an error and that we would not be receiving the stove until the following week. We were a little annoyed. They had taken the old stove away, and so we were stoveless for an extra week. For our trouble, they decided to give us $50 off the price of the stove. Rob hopped online to find that the stove was also on sale ($60 cheaper) on the Home Depot website. So he negotiated the price down to that level as well, and then we had the 10% sale discount on top of it.
And now, some before and afters.
Here is the kitchen during our house inspection (with the previous owner's decor and belongings):
After we moved in, we tried to make it look a bit more streamlined (read: less cluttered). We got rid of the cart thing near the center island and moved the microwave to the small area of counter on the far right of the photo. We replaced the half curtain with some sleek white blinds. We added storage baskets to the top of the cabinets (tons more storage!), a magnetic knife bar on the wall, some random places to hang post-it notes and so on.
Here's what our kitchen looked like with no appliances. It was at night, so these photos are not great quality.
And here's the kitchen as it looks now. We stripped the wall paper trim, removed a tile backsplash (not pictured), repaired a bunch of areas where the wall was damaged behind the wall paper, and painted:
I think it's looking pretty good. As a reminder, we intend to add a slate backsplash and also get new counter tops and a new stainless steel sink. Slowly but surely, we're making progress.
One more before and after:
Good stuff. Big smiles. I have to go cook lots of things now.