A few years ago I was in New York on a buying trip, and during some downtime, I took a walk in the Village. It was there that I saw an old refrigerator out for the garbage. Now this isn’t an uncommon sight but since I wasn’t expecting it, I saw it instead as an abstract piece of industrial design and got excited about the potential in all those vacuum formed shelves and pockets. It reminded me of the Uten.silo, designed by Dorothee Maurer-Becker for Ingo Maurer, Germany, and currently manufactured by Vitra.
(While I love the Uten.silo, it’s ticket price of over $300 wouldn’t make it practical for store merchandising.)
Instead, I thought, wouldn’t a bunch of these fridge doors look cool mounted on a wall with nifty vintage merchandise on them instead of jam jars, soy sauce and pickles? I filed that idea away to use when I finally got my own store.
Well, here it is, years later, and we finally got the fridge doors on the wall!
We originally were looking for groovy 50‘s or 60‘s fridge doors, with the individual egg pockets but they are so hard to find, so we went with newer ones, bought used from Queen St. East Appliances in Leslieville. Reggie, who owns the place, is a real character and thought my idea for using just the door liners was hilarious. We went with two refrigerator doors and one freezer door, all with the same zigzag pattern. He gave me a good deal, only $75 for all three doors, AND they all fit in our tiny car!
After a really good cleaning (these were used fridge doors, after all!), removing the rubber seal and unscrewing the liners from the door, they were ready for mounting to the wall. After some tricky maneuvering with my husband’s iPhone level app and realizing we didn’t have enough drywall anchors, we finally got them up with the help of a New Zealander customer named Jeff, who was visiting Toronto on vacation and who was all too happy to help while his wife shopped (I gave them a discount on their purchase for their help!). Once they were all mounted, we filled them up with vintage cookbooks, deadstock wrapping paper and all kinds of other goodies.
We’re so happy with them, and we think they look very mod. And if you’re adventurous enough to take on the challenge, you can steal the idea for your own home. High design using found materials is always a good thing.
See you at the store!