When we moved away from our previous home, we chose to sell our Big Chill fridge with the house, even though it was one of my favorite things we owned. The reason we chose to sell it was because the dimensions and the handle side didn't fit the layout of our new kitchen. So we said a sad goodbye.
But my heart wasn't ready to move on from colored kitchen appliances! No way José. And when I saw the Big Chill Pro line, I fell in love all over again. They're clean, modern and you can choose almost any color.
But as we got deeper into our renovation, other things started going over budget, and I had to start getting creative with what things I could cut from the budget, save for later or replace. I decided to replace the fridge and stove with a DIY option.
I've been promising for months I'd explain how we got this fun mint color, and so here it goes!!!
But first, the before pics…
The fridge we bought was this one. Since I knew I was recoloring, I tried to order a simple white fridge, but in the end, for what we wanted (clean lines and no ice maker on the front) and what we needed (counter depth) to fit the space, we had to go with a stainless steel fridge.
The stove is from a random small company I found online. I actually think it is out of stock now. It was a good deal, and I love the shape of it, but functionally it hasn't been our favorite stove, and I wouldn't recommend it (so I am not linking to it, sorry!). If I could go back, I would probably choose another stove, but during the past year, we've grown accustomed to its quirks (the stovetop is hotter than anything we've ever had and the inside is a little cooler than it's supposed to be, so we've learned to make adjustments on our end for accuracy). Anyway! It's pretty to look at!
At the phase that the kitchen was here, I could have stopped. I fully realize that probably 90% of people would rather have stainless steel than a colored stove. But I'm not 90% of people, so I kept going!
My friend kept telling me not to paint, to use vinyl. But I was like, "EW NO!" because I am really stubborn, and I was concerned the vinyl wouldn't look as legit as paint.
Well, fast forward a couple months, and after Laura had called every paint company we could find who made "high heat paint," nothing was really safe enough to use on the oven. And especially not the paints you could custom color. Since the oven heat is so high, especially when you open it up, we had to find something that could withstand heat.
So I finally caved and revisited the vinyl idea.
We called a local "custom vinyl" shop. This is basically a car shop that puts the big graphics on the sides of buses or puts flames on the side of a sports car. I was definitely out of my element, but they said their vinyl was safe up to 900 degrees (or maybe it was 1000, I can't remember). Either way—it was safe.
So I went to the shop with my measurements and a paint color swatch I was hoping they could match. They said they could custom print any Pantone color. They could also do the matte finish that I wanted (and it was still supposed to be easy to clean). Awesome!
It took a few rounds of sample prints to get the color just right. I also had a lot of canceled appointments because a girl wanting to get her fridge recolored is not QUITE as high a priority as a bus that needs a country music singer's face on the side of it.
But after about a month of going back and forth, they came to my home and installed the vinyl for me.
I opted to get it professionally installed because I've worked with big surfaces of vinyl before, and it's very tricky to avoid wrinkles completely. I valued the polished look more than saving a bit more $ in this instance.
They had to remove the doors from the stove and fridge to install it, and then put them back on when the vinyl was on so that it was one big, seamless surface.
All in all, I paid about $400 for the vinyl and install. I think it's more worth it than painting because, in addition to the safety issue, it's also fully removable if we ever want to go back to the stainless steel! I intend to keep it forever, but just in case we have to move or whatever, it's good to have options!
I've had it on for about 3-4 months now, and it's still blowing my mind on a daily basis. I love the color. It adds so much personality to our simple kitchen. Before I was nervous that it looked like EVERY kitchen on Pinterest. Now it has its own custom detail.
These photos were taken during our domino shoot by Alyssa Rosenheck.
Here's a photo of our kitchen all zoomed out! I am thrilled beyond words with how it looks today. It's definitely my dream kitchen. I hope I explained all of that well for you. Please let me know if you have any questions at all! xx -Elsie
Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck.