Thoughts on Replacing our Antique Stove

Thank you for all of your opinions and feedback. I had been pursuing more general sponsored opportunities lately, which is where my budget for the kitchen is coming from (plus I can’t pay my mortgage in fridges and faucets). Responses to last week’s post varied, as I knew they would, but I was surprised by the overall support in favor of integrating sponsored product.

I was going to hold off on introducing the kitchen redo until plans were more firmly in place, but it could be interesting to take you along for the full ride, yes? I have a tendency to waffle (um, not that you’ve noticed I’m sure) and so I was going to try to hold off on talking about all of this until I was further past the wishy-washy making up my mind stage. But let’s dive in!

First, some context.

We redid the kitchen in our last house for $11,000. That was in 2007, so prices would be a little higher today ($12,660 according to an inflation calculator), but that total covered IKEA cabinets ($1700), quartz counters ($2300), a 30″ stove ($2000) and a 36″ fridge ($1200), a dishwasher ($700), sink (free with the countertop), faucet ($700), lighting ($350), tile ($100), hardware, paint, fabric, and the labor we had to hire for electrical work. People sometimes see a price tag, like $700 alone on a faucet, and get scared off but the overall price for the kitchen was completely reasonable. I remember seeing a $44K makeover on HGTV and feeling pretty good about having pulled off a very similar design for 1/4 the cost.

Our Old Kitchen, Before Being Redone

The Kitchen, Before

Five years later, I painted the walls and trim white for an updated look and I fell for the kitchen all over again.

All-White Kitchen

And then we get here, and hello, antique stove! It was a little intimidating, and it took a lot of getting used to. The pilot light is always on, half of it is unusable because it is wood-burning and not vented, there are four gas burners in a 17″ wide space, and the oven is a tiny 18″ wide by 11″ tall with an open flame at the bottom, a hot-to-the-touch oven door, and no temperature regulation. It’s not something I would have ever chosen. But it’s almost a hundred years old, it works the way it’s supposed to and it is definitely unique.

Our 1918 Cast Iron Wood-Burning and Gas Stove from Nicole Balch on Vimeo.

Now that I’ve totally sold you on the wonders of this beauty, who wants to buy it? Anyone? ;)

Cooking on an Antique Stove

Yeah. I had wanted a colorful appliance for years — it just worked out a little differently than I thought it would. And I’m the one that has been holding out on replacing it! The stove’s quirk charmed me, but Brandon was down to get rid of the stove from day one. He likes to cook, I like to bake. We can’t do either with the ease we were used to, and simple tasks like boiling water take forever. Eleanor is showing a lot of interest in baking lately, and I would love to be able to do that with her — safely and reliably — in something from this century. Replacing it with a stove like the one we put in our old house (which we were happy with) would seem out of place here, but it is time to find something that will work for us.

We did our last kitchen for $11,000, and there are ranges out there that would eat up that entire budget. We should have at least $10K for this kitchen, maybe as much as $15K, but we need to finish up the electrical work in the house and see where our budget is at. I’ll also be looking to partner with brands on certain aspects of the kitchen, but I’m not sure if the range will be one of them or not. Because of the blog, I have been offered full suites of appliances in the past from more than one brand, but they either came at a time when I wasn’t ready to work on the kitchen, or they weren’t a good fit, like the 50s-inspired line that was very cute but not right for this house. (I wanted to give them away and work them into a kitchen for someone else, but they were only available in exchange for placement in my own home.) So I’m looking at the decision here assuming we are paying for appliances, and if that changes then we’ll have more room in the budget to put toward other things.

Some thoughts on what we are (and are not) looking for…

  • Probably 36-44″ wide. This automatically puts it at a higher price point, but we aren’t changing the layout of the kitchen, and that is the space we’re working with. A smaller range would be out of proportion. There is another option, which would be choosing a standard 30″ stove and then replacing the 32″ fridge with a wider model or adding a very narrow cabinet or cart, but do we want to do that? I don’t think so, but I can’t say with 100% certainty yet. We’re not in love with the fridge and replacing it is tempting, but the focus and pressing need here is on the stove.

  • Old stoves by Chambers or O’Keefe and Merritt are fabulous workhorses that can still be found relatively affordably. They cook well and look great. After two years on an antique stove though, I’m not looking for something vintage.

  • I’m not looking for a reproduction antique or vintage style either, but I am drawn to European ranges. Aga, La Cornue and CornuFé, Lacanche, Bertazonni Heritage, Ilve, Molteni… they’re all beautiful. Some are completely out of reach, but not all of them. I also like that they often come in 40-44″ widths (our antique stove is 44″ wide), and have multiple ovens. I complain about the size of ours, but if we had more than one it wouldn’t be such an issue.

  • A professional-style range could be great too though! Stainless steel, modern commercial looks with a big oven and big, beefy knobs (red or otherwise), and powerful burners. Old kitchens with new ranges are appealing, and I hear they come with fancy features like a light in the oven and a self-cleaning mode. Imagine that! Modern times, friends.

  • Gas burners or an induction cooktop. No strong preference on the oven. Given the choice, I’d go with electric, but in the past we have had gas, electric, and convection and been fine with all of them.

  • Five or six burners, including one that does not take 30 minutes to bring a pot of water to boil (which sadly, is what we’re dealing with). Should be fairly easy to find in the widths we’re looking at.

  • Not from 1918.

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  • Emily
    August 5, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Love the honesty and openness of this post! Thanks for bringing us along for the ride.

  • Kati
    August 5, 2015 at 4:56 am

    I sincerely recomend induction cooktop. Mine is 90 cm (about 35 inch) wide and I love that the whole cooktop is work area. You can push pots and pans around. And the speed is fenomenal. And it is much safer for the kids.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      We have friends with induction stoves and they love it too.

  • Kari
    August 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I love your honesty! Yes, bring us in on the beginning stages – it’s so fun! I love that you’re being honest about the realities of antique appliances… it just breathes some fresh air into the blogging world. I love the look of antique appliances, but using them just for the sake of beauty takes some serious dedication. As I restore my 110 year old home, I often think how confused the original owners might have been to see me forego modern amenities in favor of “authenticity to the character of the home.” They managed to build a beautiful home with the latest technology of their day – I’m happy to do the same in mine.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Yes, well said! And it’s easy to romanticize something, especially from the outside, but the reality is quite different.

  • Sarah
    August 5, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Nicole, thanks for being so honest and open about all this: inviting commentary which may or may not be positive is always hard. In terms of the sponsorship questions, I believe that if it truly relates to the theme and content of your blog (i.e. a sponsored light fixture/design element) then it makes sense. What doesn’t appeal to me is the Blue Apron/Nature Box type of post, but that’s my personal opinion.

    Now, with regards to the stove, I will say only this: it is the quality of the COOK and not only the quality of the STOVE which determines the quality of the meal. I know people who spent $8000 on a range that they can’t use for s*it. And I know people who spent $800 on a plain-jane stove and cook the heck out it every night. :-) And I realize, too, (as a fellow blogger), that a lot of people will see your range… but not in every post. We’ll all do just fine if you decide to splurge elsewhere.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      I read somewhere (the kitchen issue of Consumer Reports, I think) that a lot people put Viking and Wolf in their new kitchens because well, that’s what you do. And the companies know it! They had a term for it — something like “look, no cook.” We do make and eat 95% of our meals at home. I wouldn’t say that we’re expert chefs, but a stove to work for our family for the next however-many-decades would get a lot of use!

  • Monique J
    August 5, 2015 at 8:12 am

    You are in the Chicago area, no? Would you consider a used range? I know that you can sometimes find higher end ranges on Craigslist and would allow a more modest price point than a brand new unit. A lot of times in areas with higher income/house price brackets there are what I would consider needless remodeling of kitchens – sometimes it’s just someone did not like the last owners color choices and it becomes a complete 100K remodel.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      I know people buy used appliances on eBay or Craigslist, but the idea makes me nervous. What if you’re getting a dud? There’s no recourse.

  • Em
    August 5, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Keep in mind that what people say they want and what they actually want are usually different. I’ve said before that I don’t mind seeing sponsored or gifted items, but then I’ll stop reading a blog because they got a free room worth of products. The key is always balance.

  • Barbara
    August 5, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I have a Bluestar gas range. Not one fancy thing on it. Just four gas burners, a fan and a light. Looks semi industrial, has a big oven and boils water quickly. Has the large stainless steel knobs, not red ones though!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      There’s a lot of love out there for Bluestar!

      • Antonia
        August 8, 2015 at 10:15 am

        I was reading that the Big Chill Pro is manufactured by Bluestar (and is a little bit cheaper and comes in a zillion colors). Might be worth considering!

  • Amanda
    August 5, 2015 at 9:19 am

    My boyfriend has an antique stove in his apartment that I despise. I get why the landlord loves it, but there’s no temp control on the tiny oven and there’s no such thing as low on the burners (which severely limits what you can cook). How do you clean your stove? Their stove has gotten pretty bad since it’s 2 boys.

    I always drool over the Lacanche stoves, but all the ones you listed are beautiful. I love that the Ilve ranges have furniture-like feet, which would look really nice standing on its own.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Same here with the burners — there is no low/simmer. Our stove has a tray beneath the burners that can be pulled out for cleaning. The oven though… the oven is not fun.

  • Cindy Matthews
    August 5, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I like what you’re discussing. However, on that old stove… Try checking with an appliance museum. When the family bought an electric stove for my grandmother (she only had a wood burning stove) many years ago it was a GE electric, 3 eyes and an oven (around 1935, I think.) Years later, my parents were touring a museum and the curator proudly bragged they had the only example of that particular model stove still in existence. That was the same stove my grandmother had and it was still in her kitchen and working. The museum was chastened.

    I look forward to following your kitchen adventure.

  • Anna
    August 5, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I now know why most of my grandmother’s recipes only specify a ‘hot’ or ‘fairly hot’ or ‘moderate’ oven.

    I realize you’re not looking for a vintage style oven but Elmira stoveworks make modern ranges that look like yours.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Maybe I should be trying to cook off of 100-year-old recipes to fit the stove!

      Elmira and Heartland both have stoves that look antique but with false fronts concealing a full-sized oven and 4-6 gas (or electric) burners on top. I don’t really like the looks of our stove enough to replace it with a match though.

  • JessiBee
    August 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Yay for wishy-washy! I think it’s great that you are going to blog from the beginning stages. I like seeing the whole process because it’s the real and it makes everything more personal. Oh, your old kitchen! I loved it all white and was just looking at it the other day to help me decide if I want to go with black countertops. I love the look of yours but I still can’t decide because I’m wishy-washy too!

  • Linda/makedoanddiy
    August 5, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I’m really glad you decided to bring us in from the beginning on this one. Finished, polished rooms are lovely to look at, but personally I’m more interested in seeing the room evolving as decisions are thought through and made :)

    • tara
      August 5, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      I agree, the process is just as interesting as the finished, shiny end result.

      I do love a good before and after though ;)

    • Sarah
      August 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Hear hear!!

    • Kelly
      August 5, 2015 at 7:45 pm


    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm


  • cd
    August 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I appreciate your honesty in this post. I also get wanting a cool, right-sized oven. I will never ever understand a $700 faucet. In my life. Because what can it possibly do that a cheaper one, can’t? That’s the sort of thing that I would save on, but to each her own. We just bought a $750 gas range and it is working great. I am in love with it.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      A $700 faucet does the same thing a $150 or $1500 one does. But you’ll pay more for a better design, choice of finish, and sturdier construction. The faucet, handles, and hardware are to the kitchen what jewelry is to an outfit. Those little details can elevate the overall design.

  • ursula
    August 5, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Would it be possible to put a modern range and oven in the old beauty that you have — maybe just saving the shell of the old one? You’ve probably already thought of that and found that it would be prohibitive or impossible…
    My second choice would be a Viking with those great big wonderful red knobs. My friend has one and loves it.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      It is posible! I looked into it when we first moved here though, and it’s expensive (about $5000, if I recall correctly). Our stove is interesting, but I don’t love the look of it like I love other models, so I’d rather sell it and move on with something else entirely.

  • Suzanne
    August 5, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Hey, Nicole! I’m a longtime reader, and I fully support you pursuing sponsors to help re-do your kitchen. And a new range/oven is going to CHANGE YOUR COOKING in such big ways. It’ll be worth it for your time, effort, sanity and kids’ safety.

    Good luck finding the right fit for your kitchen! I’ll look forward to seeing what you end up with!

  • Arli
    August 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Yay for honesty and transparency! And with that said, I hope you get the stove…and complete kitchen of your dreams sponsored! Can’t wait to see the process and finished result.

  • Rebecca
    August 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    We have a 1940s O’keefe & Merritt stove in our current kitchen, and while I love it, I would never (ever, ever) put one in my next house. Beautiful? Yes. A work horse that’s never going to die? Yes. A million pounds? Yes. ALWAYS HOT? Yes! I’m assuming that given the age of your stove it is even hotter and more inconvenient that mine, just not realistic for most people.

    I’ve seen a few remodels where they kept the old stove as a decorative/storage piece and brought in modern appliances. If space isn’t an issue maybe that’s an option?

    • Nina
      August 5, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      I had (up until we moved a month ago) a 1950s (possibly 1940s) Wedgewood stove (with double ovens and a griddle!). It was GORGEOUS, and I loved it to pieces. But yes, it was always hot, weighed 5 gajillion pounds, and the oven temperature was something I had to get to know like a lover’s moods. But I loved cooking on it and was terribly sad to leave it. No stove will ever take its place in my heart.

      Side note – we bought that stove while we were living in Los Angeles and recently moved to the Chicago area. I looked into buying a similar stove around here, and they’re not nearly as available as they were in LA! You see antique stoves of a similar style to yours on craigslist and at antique stores, but I haven’t found even one 1940/1950s-era stove. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right places.

      • Making it Lovely
        August 7, 2015 at 1:13 pm

        I’ve seen them at the flea market and on Craigslist. I don’t know about Wedgewood in particular, but similar stoves from around the same time pop up from time to time.

  • Jen
    August 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    We ended up with a Fisher Paykel because we needed a 44″ to fit the existing cabinets. The price was half of Viking. We’re very happy with it, especially the warming drawers. The only downside, the ovens aren’t large enough for our existing Calphalon pans including cookie sheets, jelly roll, roasting pan, lasagna pan, all of them 1/4″ too big or they just fit but there is an angle in the rack that makes the pan unlevel. An expensive oversite on our part. Make sure your favorite pans will fit (LeCornue makes pricey pans to fit their ovens). Or better yet, if the ovens are different sizes. Our old stove had a mind of it’s own. A new stove will change your life!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      That would be a good option, but I only saw a handful of options, not larger than 36″ or with multiple ovens. Maybe they’ve stopped making the one you have? Am I missing it?

      • Jen
        August 7, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        Just checked our model number and they don’t make it anymore. Abt was extremely helpful in finding less pricey options, although Le Cornue stoves are beautiful!! For me, function and budget trumped aesthetics. Wish we would have gotten one with two different sized ovens. Had to sell my pans at the block sale. One other bit of advice, with these commercial style stoves, make sure you have a good exhaust fan that exhaust outside, not recirculating. I live in an old Oak Park home too so I feel you pain! We have a soffit accross our kitchen just so our exhaust goes outside.

  • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
    August 5, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Wow. Those new stoves and refrigerators are amazingly gorgeous!! Not familiar with any of those brands. {{sigh}} Best of luck with your design/choices Nicole. Never dreamed of having either appliance, even though I’ve been a baker, a good cook also, forever. As a young kid, I discovered the kitchen was made for me! All the colors are amazing. Wow. “Pink Lemonade” is a perfect shade. “Jadite” (green) is lovely. Green, black and white are a happy combo! You keep decorating, we will keep reading Nicole. Very fun.

  • The Glamorous Housewife
    August 5, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I am building a new house and getting the Lacanche Cluny 100 in turquoise! I have a completely redone Wedgewood vintage stove that I adore but it has its quirks. Because I am a voracious chef, I need to upgrade, hence the Cluny.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Ooh, you are!? So exciting! (Did I miss plans on the blog?)

      • The Glamorous Housewife
        August 8, 2015 at 12:12 pm

        I haven’t discussed it on the blog yet. We are building a new house from scratch and it is taking FOREVER!!!! The plans aren’t even finished yet!! But we need to pick appliances because it gives the architect/contractor the information they need on what kind of hook up they will install. So even though Im not moving in any time soon, I have to pick a stove/fridge/washing machine/etc.

  • Danielle
    August 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    We recently remodeled our kitchen and went with a Thermador 6-burner gas cooktop and double wall ovens, plus a warming drawer. I am very familiar with the ‘making do’ concept (our house came with its original 1960s range), but these new appliances make me so very happy! Is it odd to say I love them?? But, I realize you said you want to replace the stove – not swap it for 2 separate pieces – so ignore my advice!

    What I can offer is that one of my sister’s has an Aga. It came with her house and she loves it. Hers has 2 ‘burners’ – one set for simmering and one for boiling – plus 4 ovens, set at varying temps (200 – 400 degrees, I think). For all its beauty, however, it is an enormous energy hog. It’s always ‘on’ (kinda like your pilot light)and really cranks out the heat. So much so that they turn it off during the summer – and use their separate 6 burner gas cooktop and double wall ovens instead. Honestly, I don’t understand why they don’t get rid of it – altho it sure is a conversation piece!

    Good luck with your decision making! Like so many others, I love hearing about the process!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      It seems a lot of people with an Aga have backup stoves, ovens, or both. There are new versions (Aga Legacy, or even the Aga Pro which doesn’t look like an Aga at all) that are not on all the time, but people have very strong opinions on them, love or hate!

  • laura
    August 5, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I’m surprised that you would keep the layout as is as the stove and fridge look somewhat unpolished/unplanned next to each other.

    I think it might be worth investigating how much it would cost to move the sink over to the window, and move the stove over to the the current location of the sink.
    You could keep the fridge in its current location, but replace it with under counter units topped with a marble counter-top for baking and open shelving above.

    • Tiffanie
      August 5, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      Me too. I think large appliances spread throughout a kitchen, still within the cooking triangle, much more aesthetically pleasing. Plus I find counter space on both sides of the stove useful during meal prep and cooking.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      I would love to change the layout, but if we do, it means all new cabinets. The fridge next to the stove is not something I would choose to keep, but we have to see how much we can realistically do now, versus saving up and getting a new stove and lights now (the two priority items) with a plan to do more at a later date.

  • Sarah
    August 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    can’t wait to see how this progresses! i feel your stove pain, though to a slightly lesser degree. we moved into an apartment recently and the stove is electric, which i’m fine with, but only has 1 large eye and 3 small eyes. it’s definitely a first world problem, but i find it irksome to have to plan my meals around how i can cook them – do i have to start the pasta water 30 minutes early so i can use the big eye for the sauce?

  • judy
    August 5, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    We wound up with an Electrolux propane gas stove because I wanted gas and natural isn’t available in our neighborhood. I remember seeing a great larger size stove at the Costco web site. I don’t know if they do product placement but it might be worth inquiring. I am so happy you are doing your kitchen, I think with three growing tots food prep will be paramount on their list especially boys, wait till they hit 12/13. they never stop eating and if you are the house where everybody hangs out(made the mistake of putting in a pool) the gang can go through 2 pounds of hamburger and countless hot dogs. ouch! said our food budget. Good Luck and I know it will turn out beautifully. Could I ask your fans if anyone knows what happened to the blog of Virginia Elizabeth Barnes. She seems to have dropped off the blogging planet and we are all worried about her.

  • Dany
    August 5, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I would recommend an induction cooktop or range. We have an Electrolux range that I adore. Very safe with kids, super fast, easy to clean. You can even cook with paper underneath! Not that you would want to but it is that safe.
    I also recommend going to the Gardenweb kitchen and appliance forums. Gardenweb is now part of Houzz and the real people advice in there is amazing.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      I’ve been spending a ton of time in the GardenWeb forums. They’re fantastic!

  • Lianne Raymond
    August 5, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I think a refurbished stove could look cute in there, too – like Cristiane did in her kitchen here:

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Very cute, but no more vintage/retro/antique appliances for me. I can happily admire from afar!

  • Kelly
    August 5, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Ha! I’m surprised your last bullet wasn’t listed first! It sure is pretty, but I think you will enjoy the change. In the meanwhile, you could use an electric kettle on your countertop to boil water in minutes…

  • Aislinn
    August 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    So I think the antique stove is gorgeous but being able to boil water is key. You have great taste so I’m sure whatever you choose will work perfectly.

  • Aislinn
    August 5, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    So I think the antique stove is beautiful BUT you don’t live in a museum and boiling water is key. I’m sure whatever you choose will be lovely (and will function way better).

  • Lisa
    August 5, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I love this type of post–I always want to know numbers and thought process.

  • Kate K
    August 5, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    You should set up “IFTT” recipes for craigslist searches for the stoves you like–often people renovating a house sell a (sometimes new!!) Viking or other great appliance simply because it’s not their taste. If you have time you can save a fortune. (Using IFTT is a generally great way to score specific stuff on Craigslist, btw. I got a gorgeous old brass bed already converted to Queen size last year, and the listing came to me–I didn’t have to watch the listings every day!)

    Also, I have the saga Legacy gas range and needed a wall oven in order to roast a turkey. It looks great in my 1914 house, though!

  • Cynthia
    August 6, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I definitely enjoy the ride so thanks for taking us! I had an O’Keefe and Merritt stove in my previous 1930s era home. It was awesome with a built-in griddle that I used almost daily with two little boys. The oven was on the small side but this was in CA so we grilled our T-day turkey outside anyway. Looking forward to seeing how your kitchen evolves!

  • Samantha
    August 6, 2015 at 11:41 am

    What’s that saying about silk and pigs ears? Or maybe the one about creating a white elephant? I know people who are literal millionaires and/or are actual trained cooks who don’t have those brand names. I think it’s ridiculous the tone you’re taking – like a Viking is beneath your cooking style? Your choices are just irrelevant if all you care about is looks and design.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      I hope I didn’t come across that way. A European range would be wonderful to own, and of course they are beautiful, but appreciating them doesn’t mean I look down on everything else or consider certain brands beneath me.

  • Angela Maniaci
    August 6, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now, and I love your decorating and writing style. I’ve never commented before, but this seems like a good time to say that your honesty about the reality of blogging and sponsors is great, and I’ll keep reading no matter what you do. Good luck!

  • Nicole
    August 6, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    It’s wonderful to actually read about the process behind your choices. In recent times many of your posts have read like a synopsis: “We needed a rug in here for ___ and ___ reason. I gave it some thought and poof! Here it is!” There isn’t a lot of satisfaction in that for the reader who wants to know more, or who enjoys the anticipation of waiting to find out what happens next. Good luck with the process this time, it seems like your whole family will benefit from this upgrade :)

  • Laura
    August 7, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Hi, I never comment, but I love this post. It’s like the old Making It Lovely again, the one that I loved reading and that has kept me coming back out of loyalty in the last few months when it’s all been feeling rather impersonal and gloss/sponsor-heavy. Totally get the need for sponsorship, totally get that things evolve, but what’s always been the best thing about your blog for me is getting to see _how_ you think and plan things through – the end result is usually good to look at, but it’s the behind-the-scenes action that’s best. Hurray, enjoying the breath of fresh air, long may it continue! And good luck with it all – I’m sure it’ll look great whatever you do.

  • Tasha
    August 8, 2015 at 9:41 am

    You might enjoy this article.

    Does Chicagoland have any discount appliance stores? Up here in MN we have a chain called “Appliance Smart” that sells factory overruns, discontinued models, slight cosmetic blemishes, etc.. Maybe there is a similar store like this in your area? Good luck. I am sure whatever you end up doing will be fabulous!

  • Amy
    August 8, 2015 at 9:44 am

    So I am sitting in a Machine Shed restaurant and they are using a stove just like yours as a decorative waitperson station! You may be able to sell yours to the franchise. I know they are based out of Iowa but they have locations in WI (I am at the Pewaukee location.) Just so surprised to see your stove here!! Good luck!!

  • Jaime
    August 8, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    I have a 1958 O’Keefe and Merritt gas range and it is my favorite thing in the house! It is 39″ wide with a griddle in the middle. The front burners put out awesome BTUs and boil a big pot of water in about 5 minutes or less. All four burners have simmer settings where only a tiny flame (or flower) in the middle comes on. The back burner grates have a simmer plate so this heat is distributed evenly for soups, etc. The back burners also have a little lower BTUs. My griddle gets smoking hot and makes amazing pancakes. There is a sweet little shelf where I can put all sorts of stuff to keep warm. My clock and timer both still work and the light too. My oven is amazing and the best oven I have ever cooked in. It stays perfectly at the temp you set it at and bakes like a queen.

    It weighs about 350 pounds, but I can slide it on our linoleum. You can have the gas shut off to the pilot lights on the stove top burners and just light the burners when you want them on. (This is really easy to do.) The oven pilot does stay lit, but there is a safety valve there.

    It is very easy to fix if something breaks and most parts aren’t that expensive. My husband fixed our oven pilot with help from a repair man who was on the phone.

    Cleaning it is incredibly easy and the oven has a tray on the bottom that lifts out and can be washed.

    If I ever have to sell my beloved house I am taking my stove with me!

    Here is an article about the same stove I have from a lady who writes cookbooks and owns one- she is far more eloquent :)

    Ours is definitely “The Heart of Our Home”!!!

  • Anne
    August 9, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Hey Nicole – thanks for letting us watch you through this whole process! I am at the end of a kitchen renovation to update a kitchen last touched in 1955. I wanted to actually throw out an argument for a smaller range – 30″.
    I too thought anything less than a 36″ stove would look too small in our 15×15 room, but I was counseled by both my sister who’s a trained chef and several kitchen designers why 30″ worked perfectly. 1) my sis challenged me to think of when I needed six burners at once. I couldnt think of one time even at holidays. 2) the designers actually mentioned that a range with no counter on both sides is dangerous. I didn’t have adjacent space before in our old set up, and in my two years cooking in the old kitchen, a wood spoon and oven mitt both fell into a burner and caught on fire. Not to mention that no counter means little hands can reach more burners.
    I’ve been using my new 30″ all gas Thermador with surrounding counters aplenty and LOVE it. No regrets.

  • Sharon
    August 20, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    We compromised in our historic house by getting a Blue Star range and we love it. It comes in 180 colors and it’s been a dream, and it’s far cheaper than the expensive european models you named. I think we paid about $4K for the 36″ range we got. It has really high-BTU burners which are great for canning or quick water boiling.

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