I am officially in the market for a new fridge. Sadly, my old fridge is on the fritzâ€”it’s been leaking both from the inside (from the freezer) and from the outside, at the bottom of the unit. On several occasions, I’ve met with a mysterious pool of water collecting on the floor in front of the fridge when I’ve come down in the morning to make my breakfast.
My fridge came with the house; it was purchased by the previous owners. I wasn’t sure how old it was, but I found a site that helps you radio carbon date your appliances, if you will: it’s called Appliance 411. All you need to know is the appliance maker (good ol’ Roper, in my case) and the model number (the previous owners had thoughtfully left all the user manuals for the appliances in the houses, so digging this up was pretty easy).
By plugging in this info into the Appliance 411 website, I learned that my fridge was manufactured in 1999. So at 13 years old, Mr. Roper is not exactly a dinosaur by appliance standards, but no spring chicken either.
In choosing a new a fridge, I have to work with various challenges posed by the current layout of my kitchen. As you can see in the photo above, the layout is not ideal: my cooktop is directly next to the fridge, so I have very little counter space to work with when I’m cooking, and it’s definitely something I want to change down the line. But at this point, I’m not ready to do anything too invasiveâ€”at least not yet!
I also have a soffit running around one section of my kitchen; my kitchen cabinets hang directly below this soffit. As you can see in the photo below, I have over-the-fridge cabinets, which right now house things I use only rarely since these cabinets are not easy to access. The problem is that all of the new models that I’m considering stand about a half to almost a full inch taller than the existing fridge space carved out by those over-fridge cabinets. This means that (a) I should choose a smaller fridge, one with shorter dimensions, (b) shave off the bottom inch of those cabinets (there is edging along the bottom of the cabinet; the cabinet base actually sits a bit higher), or (c) remove this portion of the cabinetry entirely. Right now I’m leaning toward C, which I know sounds a bit dangerous!
This would be a temporary fix, however. In my “master plan” for the kitchen, the refrigerator will move to the opposite wall, replacing two wall ovens that are currently there. And a standard oven/range would replace the cooktop/wall oven combo I have going on nowâ€”allowing me to streamline and simplify a bit. This would allow me to open up work space as well as storage on both sides of the cooking area where they are desperately needed. In a future post, I plan to outline these plans for you with more detail and better visuals!
The other reason I favor ultimately moving the fridge from its current position: this rather inopportunely placed radiator. It doesn’t make sense to me to the put something you’re trying to keep cool directly next to the heating element in the room. The radiator would be difficult to move, and I need the heat in the winter, so it’s pretty much a non-negotiable. I’ve got to work around it for now. So this too is putting some strictures on a new fridge in terms of width.
Here is the shortlist of the models I’m considering. I’ve decided that I definitely want the bottom freezer option for my new fridge. As a relatively tall person who enjoys cooking (and eating), I find the idea of being at eye level with my food Â really appealing. My folks also have the french door/bottom freezer option and they just love it. The bottom freezers also have these handy pull-out drawers, which help keep things more organized and easier to find!
The first few options I’m considering are from Fisher & Paykel, a brand that I wasn’t that familiar with until I started searching Lowe’s inventory of refrigerators. I love their simplicity and sleek design:
Here’s an interior shot to give you a sense of how the fridge is organized (this is a counter-depth model, similar to the above in terms features, but it’s less deep). It’s simple, straightforward, and you can really see everything!
And here is Fisher & Paykel’s counter-depth French door version. This model is slightly wider, so it will be difficult to fit this into the current layout. Having a counter-depth option is appealing though because less depth means the fridge won’t jut out as much in my smallish kitchen. Counter-depths also have a more “custom” look.Â It’s one gorgeous fridge, I have to say:
The Kenmore bottom-freezer refrigerator is another contender. Consumer Reports gives this one high marks for performance and energy efficiency:
The interior is pretty swanky too:
My last contender is the Whirlpool Gold bottom freezer refrigerator. Other bloggers like Ellen Moshier at Designing Main StreetÂ have extolled the virtues of this Whirlpool fridge, also highly rated by Consumer Reports. It gets high marks because of its compact dimensions (it would fit my current space well), energy efficiency, and quiet operation:
Here’s a shot of the interior:
So what do you think about these choices? Any advice? Other things I should consider before taking the plunge?
I hope you’re having a great week, and (since we’re on the topic of refrigeration) that you’re staying cool!
I love the Fisher & Paykal fridges. They’re beautiful. I thought that all American’s had SMEG fridges, like this slinky little number …
In terms of design, the F&P fridges are my favorites too. That SMEG fridge, though, is a thing of a beauty! I can’t get over those gold handles!