Some of us are career remodelers, always looking for the next room — or house — to renovate. Others want simple improvements. They don’t necessarily want to tear their entire home apart, but they do want a few things to look and function better.
As the holiday season approaches, one room in your house will delight or frustrate you more than usual: your kitchen.
In a recent blog, we looked at luxury ovens, ranges and cooktops that meet the needs and tastes of discerning homeowners. But what about your refrigerator? Is it up to the demands of storing the prep for a Thanksgiving dinner of 20? Will it safely chill the smoked salmon you plan to serve for a New Year’s Day brunch?
Will your refrigerator hold up to the inspection of out-of-town relatives and in-laws?
If you’re ready to upgrade to a luxury brand refrigerator or feel it’s time to retire an existing one, here are six refrigerator-freezers to consider:
Viking offers built-in, under-counter and freestanding refrigerators. If you host parties often or cook for a large family, you will enjoy the extra-width afforded by its 36” French-door model. Some features of Viking’s professional-grade refrigerator, which sells for about $4,000, include:
- Cold Zone Drawer that keeps temperature 3 to 5 degrees colder than the rest of the refrigerator to keep produce and meat fresh longer.
- Three slide-out freezer baskets for easy access to frozen foods.
- One model includes an ice and water dispenser that fills cups and pitchers with a touch of a button.
- Door control panel offers easy adjustment of refrigerator and freezer settings.
- 19.8 cu. feet storage capacity.
- Options include side-trims to match existing cabinetry.
Do you want a refrigerator that keeps food fresh but is also energy efficient and environmentally friendly? Liebherr boasts that every one of its refrigerators meets or exceeds the Energy Star guidelines and is the only company in the North American marketplace that can make this claim. Liebherr refrigerators also meet compliance for RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances) in electric and electronic equipment and do not contain lead, mercury or cadmium. The company’s commitment to energy and the environment also includes using 100% recyclable materials in its packaging and collecting heat generated during production to warm its administrative offices.
Liebherr, a German manufacturer, produces high-end freestanding, built-in, integrated and under-counter refrigerators, wine coolers and cigar humidors in widths from 24” to 60” wide. Liebherr won two awards – the 2014 Platinum Award for Design Excellence and the 2014 Red Dot Design Award – for its new 48” refrigerator freezer, which sells for about $6,500 and includes:
- Duo cooling. The refrigerator and freezer have separate cooling units to eliminate transfer of air and odor between units.
- BioFresh system to maintain individual temperatures for produce, meat, fish and dairy. Keeps cheese fresh for 100+ days and lettuce fresh for more than a week.
- Soft System that closes the refrigerator door for you.
- SuperCool and SuperFrost. Rapidly cool the temperature of your refrigerator – and hold it for up to 12 hours – with a single touch of a button. You can also fast-freeze foods, and the freezer will automatically reset itself once all foods are frozen.
Marvel Under-Counter Refrigerators
Need some extra refrigerator room but don’t want to replace your unit? Marvel sells full-size, professional-grade refrigerators for home use, including a handsome French-door model. But it is best known for its under-counter refrigerators, beverage coolers and wine cellars. Its USA-made professional series features stainless steel shelf fronts, glass doors and a soft blue interior accent light so you’ll never have trouble finding your favorite beverage – even in the middle of the night.
Other features of the Marvel professional series under-counter appliances, which sell for about $1,600, include:
- Dual pane, UV-resistant glass doors to prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging your wine collection.
- Vibration Neutralization System to protect wine from damaging vibration.
- Door closes itself if you accidentally leave it ajar.
- Doors open and close within the width of the refrigerator to provide easy access and a flush fit with adjoining cabinetry.
- Full length handle and toe kick.
- Can be ordered with a wood overlay to match existing cabinetry.
- 24” model includes 5.2 cu. feet of interior space, enough to hold up to 20 wine bottles or 95 12-ounce cans.
- Designed and tested to meet ISO quality and management regulations and the same standards as refrigerators Marvel supplies to hospitals and laboratories.
Samsung French-Door Refrigerator
Is big not big enough for you? Do you want a refrigerator that’s bigger than big — the biggest? Samsung’s Chef Collection 34 cu feet refrigerator was the biggest in its class as of March 2014. It’s big enough to hold nearly three dozen bags of groceries, which is great if you host large parties or live in a house with teenage boys!
Samsung’s French-door refrigerators tied for first place in a J.D. Power customer satisfaction study. The Chef Collection four-door refrigerator sells for about $6,000 and includes these features:
- Metal cooling. Interior panels are made of metal, not plastic to lock in the cold and keep refrigerator temperature consistent.
- Triple cooling. The cooling system includes 3 evaporators and 2 compressors to control temperature and humidity in the refrigerator’s 3 zones. You can program each zone separately for desired coolness and humidity levels.
- 8″ LCD Touchscreen Control Panel lets you know the internal temperature of the refrigerator and also gives you access to a photo album, memo pad and grocery manager.
- Water dispenser makes sparkling water.
- Half of the freezer space can be converted to refrigerator space, as needed.
Sub-Zero Pro Refrigerators
When homeowners started demanding professional-quality refrigerators for their kitchens, Sub-Zero was ready. It became the go-to brand for anyone with the space and budget for a top-of-the-line refrigerator. Although other brands have come along to give it competition, Sub-Zero holds strong in the market. Its Pro 48 side-by-side refrigerator sells for about $16,000 – more than twice as much as some refrigerators in the luxury class – and includes features such as these:
- 100% steel construction with optional glass door.
- Can be built-in or freestanding.
- Exterior temperature display with easy-to-read digital readouts.
- Separate, sealed compartments for fridge and freezer so food odors don’t transfer (no fishy-smelling ice cream).
- Fruits and vegetables stay fresh 20% longer, according to Sub-Zero customer feedback.
- Defrosts when it’s most convenient and effective based on your use patterns and climate. Your Sub-Zero will defrost more frequently in a humid climate like Miami than an arid one like Las Vegas.
- Stainless steel bins.
- Warranties for up to 12 years.
Thermador Freedom Refrigerators
Do you need more freezer room than most side-by-side refrigerators provide? Do you like the idea of mixing and matching the best of all refrigerator options? Thermador Freedom Refrigerators provide a modular solution to refrigerators. Some options you might like include:
- Refrigerator and freezer columns come in widths ranging from 18” to 36”.
- Side-by-side or bottom freezer option.
- Refrigerator and freezer columns do not have to be assembled as a single unit – you can create a work space or any space of your choosing between them.
- Stainless steel construction allows for custom panels to meet your design needs.
- Theater-style LED lighting fades in when the unit is opened and illuminates from both the front and sides.
- Separate compressor and humidity controls for each refrigerator or freezer panel.
- Hinge allows you to open doors to 115°.
Did this inspire you to go refrigerator-shopping? Or do you already own your dream refrigerator? Please tell us what you love (or hate) about the appliances you currently own. Sign up to become a free member of Revuu and post a review about your refrigerator, oven, cooktop – or anything in your home.
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