The Challenges of Selecting a Refrigerator

By Nikki DeFelice
By Nikki DeFelice

Style, dimensions, efficiency and finish. These options seem to be unlimited when purchasing a new refrigerator. Where does a consumer even begin when trying to narrow the selections? As we enter into the kitchen design phase with our clients, this decision plays an important role.

During the selection process, the refrigerator style works in conjunction with the dimensions. We need to understand the overall dimensions to factor in proper clearances. In smaller-scale spaces, this can be a critical element in the overall design. If a client prefers to have a counter-depth refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom, that would be an additional consideration. In this case, a 36” width would be necessary for maximum storage. If refrigerator depth is not a major concern, this gives the client more flexibility.

Efficiency has become an important factor in our efforts to conserve energy. Currently there are incentives to ditch older refrigerator models for “greener” options. Many manufacturers are offering Energy Star models.

Our appliance representative, Bob Murdoch from Beach Sales in Revere, says that increased sales of high-end appliances are motivating some manufacturers to sweeten the pot. “Every manufacturer is competing for the consumer’s business with incentives and rebate offers,” he says. “Companies like Viking and DCS are now manufacturing their value-line product packages for under $8,000. In addition, Liebherr is building a high-quality, reasonable priced product in both free-standing and built-in options.”

At Custom, besides factoring in the typical requirements of a refrigerator, we’re designing more kitchens with the luxury and conveniences of an under-counter beverage refrigerator or wine cooler. These options are available in varied widths and need to be considered in the early stages of the space-planning process, too.

When planning a kitchen renovation, remember that it all begins with the appliances. The main refrigerator (along with specialty refrigerators) is one of the more important details in starting the process.

For more information on this and other details related to kitchen remodeling, please contact us or visit us at our Kitchen & Bath Design Center.


Custom Contracting, Inc. 1267A Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-648-2835 Fax: 781-648-0907 Email:

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