My Fridge Isn’t Magnetic, So I Decorated My Dishwasher Instead… and I Love the Maximalist Look

published Sep 27, 2022
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Jill Livick kitchen
Credit: Rusty Williams

My fridge has always been a representation of my personality — not just the contents inside as a food writer — but also the outside. The most maximalist, colorful place in my NYC studio apartment was the front of my fridge, but when I moved to LA, tragedy struck. Although sleek, twice the size of my New York fridge, and with an ice maker to boot, my new fridge was not magnetic. Instead of a place to display photos of my friends, mementos from traveling, and kitschy food magnets, it was just a giant stainless steel eyesore full of condiments.

I put a call-out on Instagram for any tips on how to magnetize my fridge. I tried adhering a thin sheet of metal to the fridge with Command strips, but it fell down. Friends bought me a suction cup magnetic board for my birthday, but it also fell, even after thoroughly cleaning and drying the fridge before sticking it on a few more times. I looked into magnetic contact paper to wrap my fridge, but worried about the residue, since I rent my apartment. So my magnets sat in a little storage box for more than a year… until my best friend, Izzy, came to the rescue.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

Izzy is also obsessed with covering every square inch of her fridge with memories and magnets, and she ended up moving to a new apartment with her husband with the exact same fridge as me, across the country in Astoria, Queens. It was a devastating coincidence, as we both shared the same magnet withdrawal. She’s an innovator though and discovered that her dishwasher, stove, and microwave were all magnetic. Five minutes after receiving her photos of her newly-decorated kitchen, I sat down on the floor and arranged all of my magnets across the dishwasher and immediately felt a rush of dopamine. It worked for me, too, as you can see above, and I absolutely love that I have another maximalist appliance that makes me happy when I see it.

If you’re in the same magnet-less situation, I suggest investing in magnetic squares (and circles) of all sizes to put on the back of photo booth photos, instant film shots, postcards, and other paper goods. Initially, I only bought a small pack, but I just bought that 95-piece set to replace some of the falling-apart Instax film sleeves I use to display photos of my friends. I also may pick up some of these colorful frames to add some more dimension and pops of color to my arrangements. 

Credit: Alyse Whitney

The dishwasher’s the most edge-to-edge covered with an eclectic mix of memories, but my microwave got in on the action, too. The mic is now home to a lot of my favorite pop culture magnets, while the back of the stovetop where most of my food-centric collection lives.

I like to think of my kitchen as a mini art gallery, and it remains one of the most maximalist, colorful, unexpectedly playful places in my new home. Okay, maybe second to my mantel full of food-themed Squishmallows and plushies above a rainbow-colored fruit rug. I’ll just say this: It’s a fun place to live.