They’re the unsung heroes of the kitchen. Switched on constantly and used frequently, fridges however, are not at the top of most people’s appliance wish list. While sleek built-in ovens, stand-out range cookers and flash ceiling extractors are often the starting point for a kitchen design, fridges and freezers are usually a practical rather than emotional purchase. Have you ever thought about how difficult it would be to cope without one though? Not an appealing thought is it?
Whether you’re a cook-from-scratch family or a couple whose busy lives mean more ready meals and takeaways than nights spent slaving over a hot stove, a fridge, and freezer for that matter, are an integral part of a modern kitchen. If you’ve ever suffered a fridge malfunction, you’ll now how hard it is to keep milk fresh for any length of time without one. Of course, they’re so much more than somewhere to keep your dairy products fresh. Finding the right one for you, one that fits into your dream kitchen design is pretty simple as long as you think carefully about your needs. First, are you looking for a freestanding or built-in model? Freestanding will generally be cheaper and more plentiful, while built-in will keep the integrity of design if you’re looking for a streamlined kitchen.
Get the size and configuration right
The number of people it needs to cater for will generally dictate which kind of fridge freezer you choose. Large capacity American-style designs are great for bigger kitchens but for smaller spaces, and smaller families, they might not be worth the extra space they accommodate. Standard single column models are available in 40/60 and 50/50 freezer to fridge splits, so look for one that has enough room to house not just the fresh food you might buy but the frozen you use, too. If you a cook from scratch a lot, a larger fridge might seem the best option but it’s as well to consider a bigger freezer if you batch cook to ensure you’ve enough space for those Tupperware containers of chilli, spag bol and chicken stew. Not all fridges are equal in height or interior dimensions, either, so make sure you check all measurements or you could end up with a fridge that’s too small inside to hold all you need or one that’s too tall for some members of the family to reach the top shelf. Of course, if you’re hiding chocolate or treats from the kids an inaccessible top shelf could be a blessing rather than a curse. Interior space, measured in cubic litres, can vary a lot depending on the quality of the insulation. Look for ones that have TARDIS-like interiors in a standard footprint, a particularly good option in smaller kitchens where outwardly bigger models might overwhelm the space
Interior design and special features
Eat a lot of fruit and veg? Then pick a model that incorporates food preservation technology specifically designed to keep fresh food fresher for longer by not drawing out moisture from ingredients such as cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes. Individual temperature regulated drawers for foods such as vegetables, meat and dairy products will keep them at optimum conditions. A wine rack is a great addition particularly if you don’t have room for a separate wine cooler and well-lit, easy-to-remove shelving makes the whole thing easier to clean. A good fridge will have an energy rating of A+ or above, meaning it’s 10% more energy efficient than is required by law. The better the energy rating the less money it will take to run, which is never a bad thing. In an open-plan space pick a model that has quiet operation, below 40dB is a good benchmark, so that its humming doesn’t disturb after-dinner conversation.
Holiday modes will allow you to leave your fridge on at a temperature that uses less energy but prevents bacterial growth while you are away. Drinks dispensers, or doors within doors to allow easy access to soft drinks are particularly helpful if you have thirsty little ones. App connected appliances are growing in availability and allow you to check contents or alter temperatures while you’re out of the house. Samsung’s family Smart Hub fridge has a wif-fi enabled touch screen on the door and internal cameras so if you pop to the shops without a list you can check whether you have all the ingredients for the evening’s supper. Of course, food storage needs can change on high days and holidays so opting for a fridge freezer where you can change the functions of a compartment from fridge to freezer and vice versa could be helpful. Finally, if you’ve got small children look for a finish that’s fingerprint resistant so you’re not constantly wiping it clean
If you’re planning a new kitchen, Harvey Jones’ in house kitchen designers can help with every stage of your planning, from drawing plans to choosing appliances. Click here to book an appointment today.