We went to IKEA to check out some shelves we’re thinking about getting. Instead of the stuff we walked in for, we ended up leaving with a pick-up-later receipt for a range and a fridge. Our biggest impulse buy EVER.
We owned a dishwasher already, which, surprisingly enough, we got from IKEA. We love it to pieces. We even named it. Sven. As in, “Lets sit on the couch and watch movies while Sven does the dishes.” Kind of a big deal when you’ve lived without a dishwasher for 7 years.
We were a little worried that Sven would be chintzy or flimsy like so much of IKEA’s furniture, but it turns out IKEA doesn’t actually make the appliances. They just design appliances to look nice and get Whirlpool to make it for them. They’re not cheaply built. And they’re not exactly cheap in cost, either. Prices are pretty much exactly what we found at Lowe’s, Home Depot and Sears — but for stuff that’s way prettier.
And we needed pretty stuff for our kitchen. Since our house was a foreclosure, so it didn’t come with a fridge or dishwasher. It did come with a super old range. Pardon the yellow pictures. I didn’t take the time to white balance my crusty old point-and-shoot:
It was usable, but it was so old that it didn’t seem very efficient. And it was definitely not easy on the eyes.
We knew it wasn’t something we wanted to keep around forever, so we went ahead and hauled it out to the garage. We’ll eventually donate it or offer it for free on Craigslist. Or hope that it grows legs and walks out on its own so we never have to think about it again.
When we moved the oven, we discovered something lodged in the back.
It’s a brick-sized block of wood with what appears to be a bat carved into the front. And “December 25 1938″ carved into the back. From the look of it, the block might have been a handmade Christmas present that some kid made for his / her parents. An old-school DIYer? A kid after our own heart. We dusted off our 73-year-old find and set it on a bookshelf.
Before we closed on the house, we planned to set aside $1000 for both a range and a fridge. We wanted to score something great on mega-sale. Or just get something that would get us by for a few years, even if it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. Then we realized that it’s totally the wrong thing for us to pinch our pennies on. We love to cook, and we eat home-cooked meals 90% of the time. Since we’d be using our fridge and stove a lot, we figured we should get something we’re totally in love with regardless of cost, and budget tightly for other stuff we don’t use as often.
And then we met the Datid Pro D51:
Datid is really wide and really industrial looking. Better yet, it FEELS really industrial. The matte black, the cast iron grates, the silver toggles on the knobs. And there’s a wok burner in the center. A wok burner! We swooned! We also loved how it doesn’t have a back panel to it, so we can set this in to our custom-made island and have it be flush with the rest of the surface. But that’s not the best part.
Original price: $1,749.00
What we paid: $799
Saved: $950. That’s 54% off. (That’s the best part!)
We got the range at a super deep discount because IKEA is discontinuing this sucker. Apparently nobody really buys black appliances anymore. We, on the other hand, embraced its hue. We think we can make it work in our kitchen, because we’re not going matchy-matchy with our appliances. It doesn’t really bug us that the dishwasher is white but the stove is black. The stove will be set into some stark white cabinets. We might even do white concrete countertops for added contrast. Why hide the stove? Why not make it stand out?
Besides, the original cabinets in the kitchen — the super old ones from the 1880s — will be stained dark as well, so it’ll fit right in. And our backsplash might be a black, grey & white tile number we rip off off Dexter Morgan’s condo kitchen.
Long story short, we can make this work.
After spending $799 on that stove, we were thinking about cheaping out on the fridge. And then we walked right into Nutid:
Having lived with craptastic apartment fridges for years, we might have shed a tear or two as we stood there in awe of this boxy beauty. Look at how squared off that baby is. All of the other fridges we saw have curved fronts or curved handles. This one doesn’t have a curve on her. We loved it! Plus she has a digital display, an ice maker, tons of pull-out drawers in the fridge & a side freezer. “A freezer like that,” Bradley said, “was made for Costco shoppers.” And then we reached for our wallets.
Fridges similar to Nutid were in the $2000ish price range when we looked online. Fridges not quite as squared off were cheaper, but still hovering around $1500.
Original price: $1,349.00
What we paid: $899
Saved: $450. That’s 33% off!
We think we walked away with a great deal.
Our pretax total for the fridge and stove came out to $1698. We cut our costs further by picking up the appliances ourselves from the New Jersey warehouse instead of having them delivered to the house for a bajillion dollars. (We’re not sure what IKEA’s delivery charges are, but we’re pretty sure it would be between a jillion and a bajillion to deliver to Pennsylvania.) In the end, we came in $648 above our budget for kitchen appliances, but we think it’s worth it because we smile every time we open the fridge or walk by the stove.
Moving our new appliances into the house wasn’t easy. We rented a hand truck from Home Depot and loaded up the fridge first:
The thing weighs, like, 500 pounds. Luckily for Bradley, I go to the gym and lift heavy weights. And I gave up on the idea of manicures right around the time we started crushing walls and hauling lumber. No prissiness up in our hizzy. So we rolled up our sleeves and somehow got the fridge out of the van (which has no ramp), onto the handtruck, and safely onto our patio (which also has no ramp).
Getting it inside was an even bigger ordeal.
Big ol’ fridge. Teeny tiny door. We removed all the styrofoam and cardboard packaging around the fridge and squeezed it through (barely). And then we had to get it through the living room and into the kitchen, which — surprise! — was an even bigger pain in the butt.
The fridge came with a little plastic protector base that was about 1/2 inch too wide for our door frame. We didn’t have the right socket set to remove it. After a few choice profanities, we ended up laying the fridge on its side and then hacking off the plastic feet with a handsaw.
It finally slid through the door frame and over to its current resting place (not its permanent home). We took a minute to bask in its glow:
It wasn’t easy, what with the hideous linoleum tile and the fruit-themed wall border. But we basked as best we could.
The stove came in with such little drama that I completely forgot to take a picture of it. We haven’t fully assembled it since our gas isn’t turned on yet, but rest assured that it looks fab-u-lous in its new (temporary) home. Especially when compared to what used to reside in its place:
See that thing big silver thing hanging out of the wall? Doesn’t it look like a cartoon robot arm?
That’s the old venting system for this stove. It’s plugged into the back of the oven and into the chimney. We’re not sure it actually did anything. All we know is that we giggled maniacally when we ripped it out of the wall. And we giggled even harder when we tossed the old Dumpy McGoo stove in our garage and pushed our sleek new Datid in its place.
What we learned:
- Nobody has cleaned behind that stove since at least 1938. Gross.
- Someone lost a dry chunk of Ramen down the burner.
- It’s OK to take the cheap route, but some things are totally worth splurging on.