Shopping for Appliances for Our New House

Last Sunday, Liz and I spent the morning trekking out to the suburbs to go appliance shopping. Or, more accurately, to go look at a crapton of appliances and try to figure out what we want to buy. We ended up going to Abt in Glenview and spent a lot of time just wandering around, and getting a little overwhelmed.

We need all new appliances in our new place. The oven that’s in the kitchen is rusty and of questionable safety, the refrigerator keeps things at room temperature, and the microwave may or may not work. There’s a dishwasher in the kitchen as well, but it seems a bit out of date.

Our theory is that many of the appliances were carted up to the kitchen, prior to the house being shown. We knew we needed to get new appliances when first seeing the house, but discovering the refrigerator wasn’t fully functional was a new find.


Outside Abt, which is surprisingly devoid of any signage. There’s a huge human head with sunglasses that I didn’t really investigate, but beyond this thing – nothing else indicating name of the location.


The inside showrooms were pretty much filled with rows of appliances. Liz recently re-subscribed to Consumer Reports, and one of the things we learned is that December is a good month to buy grills.


Liz, checking out some ovens. One of the major decisions we need to make is whether we’re going to invest in some nice/forever appliances (and thereby focus on the kitchen as one of our first “priority” rooms), or whether we’re going to get placeholder appliances (and focus on the kitchen down the road).


These are the knobs on what Liz and I referred to as the Dalek stove. In actuality it’s the CornuFé 1908 and checks in at $10,500. At those prices, I’m guessing it’s guaranteed to exterminate your hunger.


In the atrium, there was a lot of kid-friendly stuff: a fountain that had a water display synchronized to music, a race car, and an assortment of interactive displays.


While a nice homage to Thomas Edison, I found this display really creepy. Partly, the display celebrated his inventions… but it also felt like they were using Edison to shill for the products here in the building.

I walked up to look at some of the items in closer detail, and had this unnerving feeling that Edison would turn to me, smile, and ask if I needed any help finding the “perfect blender.”

Also: on seeing this, it was impossible not to think about the classic Simpsons episode The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace.


One cool invention: the phonograph.

I’ve seen a few of these at flea markets and antique stores. Saw one for sale, but couldn’t pull the trigger. I don’t know if I really want to own one of these guys or not, but I’d love to spend a day just listening to old cylinders.


Liz, having fun at one of the atrium displays, trying to encase herself inside a bubble. She got pretty far!

Abt was definitely an interesting place to comparison shop, though I think it’s helpful if you have an idea what you want before going in. Despite the herd of people jockeying around one another to look at things, it was a fairly comfortable experience overall.

Nice bonus: in one area of the building, they had employees whose sole job was making chocolate chip cookies using some of the ovens they had on sale. It made the place smell lovely, and nothing really beats a warm, chocolate chip cookie – particularly when it’s free.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Felix,

    Congratulations on the new house. If you’re in need of new appliances, you may want to check out the Sears Appliance Outlet in Melrose Park. They have other appliance outlets around the area, but the one in MP is by far the largest, and would have the best selection.

    2065 George St Melrose Park, IL 60160-1521 http://www.searsoutlet.com/d/store.jsp?MELROSE%20PARK&store=5640

    We built a house a few years back, and ended up getting many- if not most of our appliances there. It’s an outlet, so sometimes the appliance has a bad scratch or dent on the front, but often times, it has one on the side or rear which is never seen anyway.

    Selection is pretty hit or miss, and inventory does change fairly quickly, so come prepared with some some Consumer Reports ratings… a smart phone for additional info, and be prepared to buy if you find something.

    Good luck with the new place.

    Scott Cline Reply


    • Thanks, Scott! Interestingly enough, we did stop in at a nearby Sears Outlet and got a sense of what was available there. Several folks also recommended this approach, as slight cosmetic imperfections are fine by us (and the price tradeoff is really good).

      Funny enough, I’m working at Sears full-time now (though I found out that the outlet stores are kind of considered a separate entity/business entirely).

      Appreciate the tip – thanks!

      avoision Reply


  2. I learned an interesting thing about those cylinders recently. Each one is a primary document. They would set up 3-4 at a time: the musician(s) would perform. Then they’d set up 3-4 more. Those guys would play the same tune a 100 times a day. That’s why there are VERY few cylinders recorded by famous people.

    Alex G. Reply


    • That’s fascinating (and sounds rather grueling). I’d love to hear one of these cylinders one day, in person. Although if I’ve learned anything from YouTube, it’s that these cylinders are a little fragile.

      avoision Reply


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