GE Monogram Glass Door Refrigerators - good idea?

lee676March 19, 2011

For the last decade or so, it's been popular to put commercial refrigerators, like Traulsen or True, into high-end home kitchens. These have transparent glass windows that let you see the contents from outside, but given they're intended market, they are not domesticated and tend to run noisy for residential use.

I knew it was a matter of (not much) time before a residential appliance menufacturer caught on, and now General Electric is selling a line of three Monogram refrigerators with see-thru doors. All are built-in, 30" wide, 80 or 84" tall, and have an (opaque) slide-out drawer at the bottom that can be used as a freezer, extra refrigerator space, or a wine cooler. There's also a slimmer drawer between the two others, that is always a freezer and icemaker.

Anyone here have one? Does anyone think they're a good idea? Do you want guests to see the inside of your fridge? Do you get self-conscious about how clean your food is put away, since it's on display for your guests to see?

Any other manufacturers that sell these?

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lee- that commercial in the home trend petered out about a decade ago and GE is kinda late to the party. Sub Zero rolled out a glass front fridges with the usual creature comforts consumer want at the turn of the century. They still are not huge sellers.

Traulsen stopped supporting home installs long, long ago and True never has. That said, people still buy commercial fridges for their homes but they're not for everyone. See some of the many discussions about this in the archives here.

At any rate - these GEs look like a nice product , but they are not delivering yet and are a completely new platform for them. Additionally , there last gen built ins have been plagued with quality control issues. So buyer beware.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 10:08AM
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> that commercial in the home trend petered out about a decade ago

That's what I thought too, which is why I was surprised to see a new product of this sort.

I wasn't aware Traulsen ever supported residential installations. Most of the time, commercial appliances in residential settings are a bad idea. Lots of kids burned their hands touching the doors of restaurant stoves in their home kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 5:18PM
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What is in my refrigerator is never nice enough to be "for everyone's eye"....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 3:12PM
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Well in my opinion a fully integrated fridge with a glass door is a visual oxymoron. The idea behind a fully integrated appliance (paneled fridge especially) is to make it disappear. Then you have to cut a hole in the cabinet door because it has a window in it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 4:57PM
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palimpsest- while I totally agree with you, there are some people that like the fully integrated units because they line up with the adjacent cabinetry. Non integrated units break that uniform plane that can be seen in the 2nd pic above.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 6:08PM
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To carry on the window motif, I'd put a pretty curtain in there.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 9:09PM
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... and in some neighbourhoods, you might want to put bars across it to deter any B&Es. :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 11:59PM
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Can we hear from someone who isn't biased because they can't afford a glass door refrigerator. Yes, it will not look good in your trailer with bars, curtains, and full of malt liquor.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:36PM
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I've seen them around here, mostly SZ pro-48. They are cool looking but as mentioned above the interior needs to stay "clean" I guess you could say. Looks a little strange with plastic wrapped dishes full of last nights dinner. Of course if you're not eating at home it looks great, just fill it up with fancy european water, expensive cheeses, and wine ;) I also would look at it -for me at least- as just another surface I have to keep absolutely clean like my counter otherwise it'll look bad...OCD I know.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Although I don't know about the see-through door models, I can tell you that I'd never EVER purchase GE Monogram! We bought a house in March and the instant that I opened the refrigerator door, I knew that something was wrong....this is an expensive built-in model. Six years old. Should have been under warranty for several more years. Even the information packet says as such! Of course, the compressor was out and we had to buy a new one...and the company would not honor the warranty. And, I also felt that this should have surely been caught on inspection! The freezer temps were in the high 20's...not to mention high '40's for the refrigerator..and that was after it had been closed all night! So, $2000 later, we are still out the money and I'm probably not going to be reimbursed from GE. TERRIBLE service with these people! And I replaced the cooktop with my gorgeous new CornuFe range...but that's another story. Just think very carefully about built-in refrigeration from GE Monogram. I don't want anyone else to have such an expensive issue if they can avoid it!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 12:34PM
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I think they're pretty but I'd struggle to keep the contents looking neat and "display-ready". I like closing doors on messes. ;)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 6:06PM
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I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why anyone would want to put the contents of their fridge on display in the first place??

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 7:46PM
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I love the looks of them. I've wanted a SZ with a glass front forever. That said,I'd probably regret it. Maybe if I could have it just for certain things. Anyway, I do think they are cool, and if GE fridges had a better reputation I'd probably find a way to make it work!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 9:45PM
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Good luck trying to buy the glass front GE Monogram. I cancelled my order yesterday after six months of delay due to some problem with the doors. Apparently GE can build the refrigerator, but not the doors.
As to the glass front, I like the idea of seeing what's in the box without having to open it. (I have another refrigerator and a freezer in the basement for the remains of the day.)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 7:07AM
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That makes no sense to me. Why would I want to break up a beautiful kitchen by looking into a fridge with leftovers and such? On top of that you lose all door bins- that's where we keep all of the little stuff that would get lost on a shelf. Not to mention they can't be terribly energy efficient- glass never is. Also- trying to keep the inside of the glass clean would be a PITA, ever try to clean cold glass? Talk about the least useful concept I have seen...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Are the lights on inside as shown in the ad photos? I suspect that with lights off, you wouldn't see much besides some outlines and color... But I speak from no knowledge, just guessing.

Maybe I'm wrong, because I just checked a photo from Vicnsb's kitchen. Things can be seen in some detail, and maybe she made sure it looked nice for pics, but it's not unsightly.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Glass front refrigerators are also less efficient because the glass does not insulate well. That is why none of the glass front refrigerators have an "Energy Star" rating.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 2:51PM
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