My Kitchen Needs Help!

Built-in Electric Can Opener

I Need Ideas!

This lovely built-in electric can opener has been in this kitchen for 42-years, and it’s been dead for at least 15 of those years. In that time, I have gone through two other electric can openers that have sat on my counter-top, the last of which just recently died and has caused me to think about this space again.

I haven’t removed the ancient gadget in the wall because I don’t know what to do with the open hole it would leave. As you can see, there are electrical switches (one for my also dead garbage disposal, the other for the fan over the stove-top) directly next to the can opener.

Built-in Electric Can Opener 2

The offending can opener sits just above the back splash of my counter-top, but below a cabinet. You can see the two-plug electric outlet around the corner to the left. (This kitchen seriously lacks in electrical outlets). Just to the right of this space is my sink, and to the left is the door to the garage.

I would love some ideas on what to do with this. Do I just pull it out and drywall over it, or is there some fantastic use I can make of that all ready existing hole that will be left behind? I would greatly appreciate hearing any ideas or suggestions you may have.

Have you ever seen one of these built-in beauties?

What would you do with this space?

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~Lorelai

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32 Responses to My Kitchen Needs Help!

  1. Brandi @ Finding the Path for Me says:

    PULL IT OUT! And dry wall, you will be much happier. Send a plane ticket, I will be right there to assist. πŸ˜‰

  2. Anna says:

    Apart from not functioning I do not think it looks ugly. More like antic in some ways ;). If you take it out, you will have to deal with electric wiring, wouldn’t you? Yous a thought.

  3. I think it is time to pull it out. Sometimes it stinks but that is life.

  4. I would pull it out, patch it up and add a decorative backsplash that goes up to the cabinets, down to the countertop. Maybe tile? I have never seen a built in can opener, funny!

    • I’ve grown up with that built-in can opener, but I have to admit, it’s the only one I’ve ever seen. And what a mistake. What do you do when it dies and you can’t replace it? Tile might be a fun idea. πŸ™‚

  5. Shirley Wood says:

    Oh the possibilities. I’d say pull it out, drywall and use this opportunity to put up a pretty backsplash. Home Depot does free class on how to install a backsplash. They sell peel and stick which are kind of pretty.
    Or you could completely redecorate the entire kitchen in a retro theme! πŸ™‚
    Be sure to share your final decision, inquiring minds want to know.

  6. I would definately pull it out & float out the drywall. It will make the kitchen look more updated & maybe you can install an outlet in that space…

  7. I wish I had some awesome suggestion for that space. I might be laughing too hard about that can opener directly in the wall to think of anything suitable. They assumed it would work forever, huh? I vote for an outlet!

  8. Oh wow. I’d definitely pull it out but I’d be careful since the wiring is probably also 42 years old. I’m hoping you won’t get into more than you bargained for. It’ll look better dry-walled over, though.

  9. Well, it’s definitely a conversation piece.. i’d be struggling with keeping it, repairing it. I love ‘history’ in a home. If you’re dead set against it.. the logical thing would be to add in another outlet (you mention needing more). If I was left with a hole in my wall I would put a wooden or tiled box in the hole (inset like a mini cubby) and use for a small vase or decorative item ?? or functional .. build a box in and a ‘drawer’ or door on it, frame it and voila.. fun storage! you are super creative.. I can’t wait to see what you do!

  10. Natalie says:

    I think that it probably is the best to remove it and dry wall over the space. We did this in a previous home in the kitchen to get rid of the phone on the wall. We were happy we did it, and you could never tell there had been anything there. It also gives you an awesome excuse to paint or tile! πŸ™‚

    • HA! No other excuse needed for repainting. That kitchen has only been repainted once in its 42-year-life and that was 30+ years ago. My dad says, “There’s nothing wrong with the paint, it’s just a little old.” πŸ™‚

  11. You could take it out and make a cute little nook of some kind and put a decorative thing in there or store some very useful small kitchen tool t here πŸ™‚ It really is kind of neat, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one of those.

  12. Rebekah says:

    Is this in an outside wall? I can’t tell in the picture, if it is an outside wall I have no suggestions other than drywall it and add some fun tile. If it is an inside wall, could you get rid of that whole wall section so the cupboards are hanging from the ceiling?

  13. Adelien Tan says:

    I prefer to put it out, drywall, and put up a picture or any other things more beautiful.

  14. Bonnie Frank says:

    I have never seen a can opener like this, I’m sorry. If it were me, I’d probably just put a great framed picture in front of it.

  15. First of all, I think it’s hilarious that you post about your kitchen needing help on the same day that I have a guest post on my blog about kitchen organization LOL Now, as far as this eyesore (and I’m sorry, but that’s what I would call it!) I would have yanked this thing out of the wall a long time ago. Which would probably have upset my hubby, but there would have been a hole in the wall that would have been sooner dealt with than the can opener LOL Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission at my house! Of course, if you want to be sweet, move an appliance over to block it. My Keurig would be strategically placed right in front of it πŸ™‚

    • I know… I always laugh when our posts are somewhat related. πŸ™‚ I’m really liking the “ask for forgiveness” idea. That is just exactly where I am at. Since this is technically my dad’s house, I have to be a little careful, but he is 85-years old and living full time in Mississippi–I don’t think he will ever be out here in Cali again. So, I am just adopting a do-what-I-think-is-best attitude.

  16. I have never seen anything like this…depending on your backsplash I would cover over it with a new backsplash, tile or Lowes has these cool sheets that look like metal…they come in different colors and they easily glue onto the backslash…so I would just cover right over it…thats just me though;)

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