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What Is a Column Refrigerator?

Posted on May 17, 2024


When it comes to high-end kitchen design, column refrigerators are making a splash. They completely transform how we think about space, functionality, and aesthetics. Offering unmatched customization, exceptional efficiency, and a sleek, built-in look, these appliances are fast becoming the go-to choice for homeowners who want to elevate their culinary environment.

Here's why a column refrigerator, also known as a built-in refrigerator, could be the perfect statement piece your kitchen needs:

column refrigerator

Column Refrigerators: Definition and Advantages

Column refrigerators can be seamlessly integrated into your cabinetry, providing a polished and cohesive appearance essential for luxurious and upscale kitchens.

A column refrigerator is designed to provide maximum flexibility in a kitchen layout. Distinct from traditional models, which combine the fridge and freezer into one unit, column refrigerators are single-purpose units. You can install a stand-alone refrigerator, a separate freezer, or both, based on your storage needs and space limitations.

Key Advantages

  • Customizable Layout: You can opt for side-by-side refrigerator units or place your fridge and freezer separately in the kitchen to suit your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.
  • Space Efficiency: Designed to align flush with cabinetry, these refrigerators contribute to a more spacious and organized kitchen look. They are available in various widths and heights to suit any space.

The Benefits of Column Refrigerators

Column refrigerators redefine kitchen storage and design. Let's explore the myriad benefits they offer to contemporary kitchens:

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: With column fridges, you can achieve a sleek, modern look customized to match your kitchen cabinetry, avoiding the bulky appearance of traditional refrigerators.
  • Better Food Preservation: Advanced cooling technologies offer precise temperature control, with separate systems for fridge and freezer to minimize air exchange and keep food fresher longer.
  • Customizable Storage Options: Adjustable shelving, bins, and drawers let you organize your storage to reduce waste and improve accessibility.
  • Energy Efficiency: Optimize energy use by selecting the appropriate size and taking advantage of the separate cooling systems, which keep temperatures consistent without unnecessary energy expenditure. Choose a refrigerator with an Energy Star rating, like the JennAir 24" Panel-Ready Built-In Column Refrigerator, Right Swing JBRFR24IGX
  • Advanced Water Filtration: Many column refrigerators boast built-in water filtration systems that remove impurities and contaminants from your drinking water, ensuring fresh, great-tasting beverages.
  • Ice Dispensing Options: In-door ice dispensers provide easy access to chilled ice for beverages, while some models offer crushed or cubed ice options for added convenience.
  • Smart Connectivity: Wi-Fi-enabled column refrigerators let you monitor temperatures remotely, adjust settings from your smartphone, and receive alerts for potential issues, like a power outage that might impact the freshness of your food.
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Considerations Before Investing

Before you commit to a column refrigerator, it’s important to evaluate several crucial factors to confirm it aligns with your kitchen's space requirements and your lifestyle needs:

  • Higher Initial Investment: Column refrigerators often have a higher price tag because of the cutting-edge features we mentioned earlier. However, the investment can be justified by the potential savings in energy costs and reduced food waste over time, thanks to their superior preservation capabilities.
  • Installation Requirements: Installing a column refrigerator is not a straightforward task and typically requires the expertise of a professional. This ensures that the unit fits perfectly with your kitchen cabinetry and functions optimally within your space.

Choosing the Right Column Refrigerator

Selecting the best column refrigerator requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are the key aspects to focus on:

  • Size and Capacity: Evaluate your household’s needs to select the right size and capacity for your fridge and freezer.
  • Features and Functionality: Consider options like digital controls, humidity-controlled drawers, and LED lighting.
  • Design and Finish: Select stainless steel, panel-ready, or glass-front finishes to complement your kitchen decor.
  • Brand Reputation: Research different top brands to find one known for reliability, durability, and quality customer service. Look for brands that offer extended warranties for added peace of mind.
  • Noise Levels: Column refrigerators operate at varying noise levels, so consider how important a quiet operation is to you and choose a model with a decibel rating that meets your preferences.
  • Warranty Coverage: Compare warranty lengths and terms offered by different manufacturers. Typically, high-end appliances like column refrigerators come with a generous warranty, so be sure to factor this into your decision.
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Integrating Column Refrigerators into Your Kitchen Design

Optimizing the integration of a column refrigerator into your kitchen design is crucial. Here are strategies to ensure a seamless fit:

  • Work with a Kitchen Designer: A professional kitchen remodeling designer can expertly guide the integration process and make sure your new column refrigerator not only fits seamlessly but also enhances the overall style of your kitchen. For example, if your kitchen features stainless steel appliances, matching the finish with your new column fridge will maintain a cohesive and visually appealing aesthetic throughout the space.
  • Custom Cabinetry: Tailor-made cabinetry is key to achieving a built-in aesthetic, allowing your new column refrigerator to blend seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen’s design elements. This approach not only enhances visual harmony but also maximizes space utilization.
  • Consider the Workflow: Strategically position your refrigerator to optimize the kitchen's flow and efficiency. Ideally, it should be placed near key food preparation and cooking areas to facilitate easy access and improve your overall culinary experience.
  • Maintenance and Longevity: Regular maintenance is crucial for maximizing the lifespan and performance of your column refrigerator. Make it a routine to clean the unit thoroughly, inspect door seals for leaks, and ensure it’s not overloaded, thereby preserving its functionality and efficiency over time.
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Explore Our Refrigerators at Bray & Scarff

So, are column refrigerators worth it? Our answer is yes.

Column refrigerators are at the forefront of kitchen design innovation and offer a blend of style, functionality, and efficiency unmatched by traditional models. While they come with a higher initial cost and specific installation requirements, the long-term benefits of customization, enhanced food preservation, and aesthetic integration make them a valuable addition to any modern kitchen.

We offer a diverse selection of other refrigerator models including standalone French-door refrigerators, top-mount refrigerators, and bottom-freezer refrigerators as options for your kitchen. Our appliance specialists can help you choose the perfect fit for your family.

Visit a local Bray and Scarff location near you or browse our website to discover top refrigerator brands like GE Appliances, Whirlpool, Amana, and more.

If you’re interested in designing a custom kitchen, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our design team today!

Interested in learning more about appliances? Check out our related readings:

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Frequently Asked Questions About Column Refrigerators

Why are column refrigerators so expensive?

Column refrigerators are priced higher due to their advanced technology, superior construction materials, and customizable features that cater to specific aesthetic and functional needs. These units are designed for longevity and efficiency, often including state-of-the-art preservation technologies that add to the cost.

How wide is a column refrigerator?

The width of column refrigerators can vary significantly to accommodate different kitchen sizes and personal preferences. Common widths range from 18 to 36 inches, allowing you to choose the size that best fits your kitchen layout and storage requirements.

What does "in-column freezer" mean?

An "in-column freezer" is a standalone freezer unit designed to match and complement a column refrigerator. Like the refrigerator, it is built into the kitchen cabinetry, providing a streamlined look. Depending on your kitchen design and space, it can be placed separately or alongside the refrigerator.

What is the difference between a bar fridge and a normal fridge?

A bar fridge, also known as a beverage refrigerator, is typically smaller than a standard refrigerator and is designed primarily for storing drinks and occasionally small snacks. In contrast, a normal fridge is larger and designed to store various perishable foods and beverages, equipped with features like freezer compartments and vegetable crispers.

Can column refrigerators be customized to match any kitchen style?

Yes, one of the major advantages of column refrigerators is their high level of customizability. They can be outfitted with custom paneling that matches your existing cabinetry, ensuring they blend seamlessly into any kitchen style, from modern to traditional.

Are column refrigerators more energy-efficient than traditional models?

Generally, column refrigerators are more energy-efficient due to their advanced insulation technology and the ability to maintain stable temperatures with minimal energy consumption. Their design allows for separate cooling zones, reducing the amount of energy used compared to traditional refrigerators where the cooler air must fill a larger, combined space.

subzero column refrigerator
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