To give the stainless steel refrigerator the look of a built-in, Chalender cut a hole in the wall behind the appliance and built a 6-inch frame that protrudes into the adjacent garage. “Instead of spending $5,000 on a built-in, we spent $1,800,” he says.
Warren Chalender To give the stainless steel refrigerator the look of a built-in, Chalender cut a hole in the wall behind the appliance and built a 6-inch frame that protrudes into the adjacent garage. “Instead of spending $5,000 on a built-in, we spent $1,800,” he says.

Reconfiguring the main floor of this house allowed designer Warren Chalender of WLC Designs, in Fort Myers, Fla., to increase the size of the kitchen and add storage space.

The new kitchen is 437 square feet and offers plenty of storage, including a tall cabinet wall with a wide appliance garage. “Above it is a display space,” Chalender says. “It’s a nice way to break up all the panels of the pantry cabinets.”

The location of an existing window at the end of the run of cabinets dictated the depth of the cabinetry. The wall unit is 12 inches deep, with a lot of pull-out drawers, which the designer prefers to include whenever possible because they allow easy access for users.

A slide-out shelf under the tambour door provides an additional ledge where the client can pull up a stool from the island for coffee.

Another option he has used to create this flush look is building in extra space by creating thicker walls with 2x6 framing. He says that adding cabinetry panels on the doors of a refrigerator that is not flush with cabinetry defeats the purpose of the panels. In addition, some stainless steel refrigerators have black sides that show when the front of the unit extends beyond the counter depth.
Warren Chalender Another option he has used to create this flush look is building in extra space by creating thicker walls with 2x6 framing. He says that adding cabinetry panels on the doors of a refrigerator that is not flush with cabinetry defeats the purpose of the panels. In addition, some stainless steel refrigerators have black sides that show when the front of the unit extends beyond the counter depth.

Designer Warren Chalender had to order a custom door because, at 45 inches wide, this tambour door is wider than most stock cabinetry standards. The garage holds a coffee machine, a toaster, and coffee and sugar canisters. A separate lower shelf pulls out about 11 inches on sliding hardware. Chalender also installed lighting inside the garage.
Warren Chalender Designer Warren Chalender had to order a custom door because, at 45 inches wide, this tambour door is wider than most stock cabinetry standards. The garage holds a coffee machine, a toaster, and coffee and sugar canisters. A separate lower shelf pulls out about 11 inches on sliding hardware. Chalender also installed lighting inside the garage.