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  • Writer's pictureLaura Rodgers

“Everything happens in the kitchen. Life happens in the kitchen.” – Andrew Zimmern

It is a cool night here in Clarkston, tonight. The kind of night that Michigan is known for. A night where a sweatshirt is required and a bonfire would be perfect. Yes, it is June, June 23 to be exact but it is still a cool night and after a hot weekend, I welcome it. Sitting here on the front porch I am thinking back on the weekend. In between the fun on the lake, Jim and I were able to get to a small appliance store in Toledo, Ohio to look at the kitchen appliances that I fell in love with on-line.

I have never actually had the opportunity to design a kitchen from top to bottom. The home the we lived in for 30 years prior to buying this historical home, had the kitchen design completed before we bought, the mostly constructed, home. But this home, this time, it is all up to Jim and I. It is a clean slate. Currently the kitchen is located in the center of the house. Although quite functional it is dark and has very little view of the lake. During the planning stages of this renovation, a dear friend of mine suggested that we move the kitchen from its current location to the breakfast room that overlooks the lake. The breakfast room appears to have been at one time an outdoor patio, then a four seasons room and finally, we chose to make it a breakfast room. The view of the lake from this room is quite frankly, spectacular. The thought of a large island for cooking, baking, and making my pies on while looking at the lake is beyond what I ever thought I would have. But….It seems to be taking shape to be my new reality. Last week we met with the kitchen designer and discussed what we needed in this space and what we wanted in this space. Amongst the must have’s were a pot-filler, yes, I realize that they are not as practical as I want to think, but I like them, they are a cool feature, and remember this is probably the only kitchen I will ever design just the way I want. I want a pot filler, and so there will be one.

The appliances are something we need to decide on now so that the kitchen can be designed around them. I think I found the perfect appliances for this 1857 home.

I dreamed of a sub-zero the size of a small state. When it came right down to it, however, that did not match the time period, not even a little bit. And so I found something that did. Enter, Big Chill appliances. Known for their retro and classic appliances, they had exactly what I was looking for. The refrigerator is fashioned after a vintage icebox. Although it looks like something straight out of the Victorian Era, it contains all the modern conveniences inside. The dual fuel stove/oven also has the classic look and the dishwasher made to match as well. I was tentative to fall in love with them, as the cost was much more than I had hoped to spend on kitchen appliances but even Jim agreed that they would “make” the kitchen, and were needed for this vintage space. Once he looked at them he agreed that we could have nothing less.

The closest distributor for Big Chill appliances was Glass City Kitchen and Bath located in Toledo. I called, made an appointment, grabbed our masks and on Saturday morning we were off to check out the Classic appliances made by Big Chill. We were greeted by the nicest man, Michael Walker, and he was able to show us and talk to us about the items that we liked. We were able to see them in person, pick the finishes and confirm our choices. It didn’t take us long, picking the Classic white refrigerator with copper trim, the 48 inch dual oven stove/range and dishwasher to match. We even found a teal retro fridge that will be perfect for the snack bar we hope to build in the back portion of the garage, lakeside, but that is for another post :)

Heading back I sent the specifications to Ron Allcorn at Cabinet Creations, our kitchen designer. Confident that the correct choices were made. When it comes time to order, we will order from Mr. Walker at Glass City Kitchen and Bath. He took time out of his Saturday morning to come into the shop and show us the appliances. He offered free shipping if we bought from him instead of ordering on the internet. Sounded like a reasonable deal to me.

Such a nice night sitting here thinking of what is to come. Some days it seems like there is so much to be done before we have to move out of our sweet home for the renovations. The thought of moving out weighs heavy at times but the thought of what we will come back to holds excitement that far outweighs the heaviness of the move.

Coming up next week we will be meeting with the contractor and trades to come up with a plan of what exactly we will be doing. I imagine that all of my “wants” won’t fit into the budget but that is a worry for next week. In the meantime, Jim and I are scouring over the electrical plans, trying to decide what is necessary, what we want, while trying to keep with the time period as much as we can. So many decisions need to be made before the demolition even begins. In between, we are enjoying the lake, the town of Clarkston, these cool Michigan nights and hot Michigan days. Can’t imagine another place I would rather be right at this very moment.

Until next week…..Stay well,


Current Galley Kitchen

Big Chill Classic Appliances

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Laura Rodgers
Laura Rodgers
Sep 30, 2020

They really are :)


Sep 29, 2020

Really cool appliances!!!

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