Refrigerator dilemma

crl_November 8, 2012

We are buying a house with orginal 1920s cabinets in places and just a generally quirky kitchen layout. The existing range is from the 1960s and is not working. There's no refrigerator and no dishwasher (and no place for the dishwasher without modifying cabinets).

I am planning on a Maytag induction range. The induction ranges in my price range only come in stainless steel with the dreadful black sides. I am going forward as function trumps form in a range for me. We will try to work out a panel for the range side that will be exposed.

However, this complicates the already somewhat difficult refrigerator situation. The refrigerator must go immediately next to the range. Far from ideal, but that's a constraint of the existing space and nearly non-existent budget to make this kitchen functional. So should the refrigerator be stainless? If so, this creates the same exposed black side for the upper portion of the refrigerator on one side. It also narrows my choice of fridge even more. The cabinets in the space are white. Would a white refrigerator look okay in light of the white cabinets? I generally prefer white appliances to stainless if that plays into your thinking at all.

The space for the refrigerator is 66 1/4 high, 34 wide, 32 deep. The height constraint seems to cut out most refrigerators. The depth needs to include handles.

I do not want water in the door or an ice maker at all. I am, thankfully, ok with a small refrigerator. I would prefer freezer on bottom, but understand it may not be possible to find to fit this space, especially in stainless.

I think the total budget for the refrigerator is one thousand max. That needs to include any side panels, delivery, etc.

Any suggestions on refrigerators to consider? Thoughts on white vs stainless?

Thank you!

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I'm recalling a recent thread where somebody had a similar limit on refrigerator height. (Can't find the thread just now but you might have more luck. I think maybe it was prariemoon who started the thread. Try a search.)

These days, many bottom freezer models are about 68" to 70" inches tall but it seems to me that, if an 18 cu. ft. capacity is okay, there are some bottom freezer models from GE and Whirlpool (including Maytag and Amana) that are priced just under $1k and are around 66 inches tall.

You will have more choices if you are willing to look at top freezer models. The best bet for finding any short er fridge is searching at sites like I believe the latter has has a search function on the fridge page that allows you to type-in a max height.

As for white versus stainless, that is a personal preference. Myself, with a small kitchen arranged as you describe, I think a white fridge would be fine. Plus, if you got a white fridge, you would not need to cover the side panel. With a stainless fridge, you would have a gray or black painted side, just like the stove. Also, a white fridge and cabinets maybe give you more options with the exposed side of the stove. Instead of applying stainless steel panel on the side of the stove (as discussed in your other thread), you might consider a piece of 1/2" white melamine trimmed to fir on the side. (Although it is nominally 1/2" the actual thickness is more like 7/16"). You would not need to paint it. It is pretty easy to wipe clean. It gets used for cabinets so it would not be adversely affected by being against the side of the stove. Something to think about. Alternatively, you could get a piece of sheet steel cut to the size of your stove's side panel and have it powdercoated in white to match your cabinets and put that against the exposed side of the stove.

You might also try posting in the kitchens forum because this is the kind of design question they seem to enjoy tackling over there.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 1:42AM
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I am hesitating to post because this does not meet all your criteria, but for your consideration, I like the small, bottom freezer LG and there are many reviews of it on AJMadison. However it will only work if you can make about 2 inches more height. The freezer drawers work well for me. You can find the information at:

It is white and well within your stated budget.

Good luck with your search and your kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:11AM
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Thank you both. I had that LG refrigerator in a previous kitchen and liked it a great deals. I was disappointed to find it doesn't fit in the space in this kitchen.

18 cubic feet would be plenty.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:37AM
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