03 December 2009
Posted by Paul Anater at 6:27 AM
I went to a dinner party last night at my old friend Keith's. Keith lives in a recently renovated 1930s bungalow in a historic part of Tampa. He did a masterful job with his home. Despite the fact that it's a historic structure, he stayed true to his modern/ eclectic tastes while still honoring the architecture he had to work with. He did everything perfectly. The scale is right, the aesthetics are right and his use of the existing structure is spot on. Bravo Keith.
When I walked into his kitchen for the first time tonight I saw immediately that he had a suite of appliances by Fisher & Paykel. Again, bravo. He used two separate drawer dishwashers, a 36" gas cooktop, an under cabinet hood, a wall oven and a refrigerator. The refrigerator was the last thing I noticed and I stopped talking when it sunk in what he'd bought.
This is the fridge. It's Fisher & Paykel's 17 cubic foot counter depth. It's width is 31-3/8" and it's height is 66-3/4" and by American standards, it's a small fridge. He enclosed that small fridge with cabinetry on both sides which makes him stuck with that size appliance for life.
I am hardwired to specify at least a 36" wide and 72" tall refrigerator in every kitchen I design. I buy the story that everybody needs a large refrigerator so thoroughly that even when I don't have a large refrigerator to work around, I leave room for one. I mean, doesn't everybody need at least 25 cubic feet?
So I asked him why he bought such a small fridge. He said, "Because that's all I needed."
Of course. You know, I don't think I've ever asked someone how big an appliance he needs. I automatically specify them to be as big as the space and the budget allow. Keith lives by himself in a small bungalow and his kitchen is a small galley. He grocery shops a couple times a week and he really doesn't need a big fridge.
I spend a lot of my working life helping people figure out the difference between their wants and their needs. Last night I learned that I have been blind to a whole category all this time. So really, how big an appliance to you need?