Perfect for the space-starved kitchen: full-height, counter-depth refrigerators that are slim in stature but fat with features. Here are five well-designed models that offer generous storage while fitting into tight quarters.
Above: An example of a compact kitchen equipped with a 24-inch refrigerator; kitchen design by Ore Studios of Seattle and Santa Fe.
The standard refrigerator freezer has a 36-inch waistline and generally offers between 18 and 25 cubic-feet of storage space. For smaller kitchens, these roomy models are out of proportion—mini vans parked in spaces made for sedans. Fortunately, several manufacturers offer what are referred to as apartment-sized or counter-depth refrigerators. Here's how these diminutive models size up:
• Most are freestanding (though a few are designed to be built in) and stand at typical refrigerator height, which can be anywhere from 66 to 80-plus inches (these days, fridges keep getting taller).
• Scaled to fit flush with standard kitchen counters and cabinets, they are generally 23.5 to 24 inches wide (a foot narrower than the average), and 24 to 27 inches deep (traditional models are generally 30 to 32 inches deep).
•Most offer a 9- to 13-cubic-foot storage capacity—only about half as much as full-size models, but far from dorm-size. Best of all, they come with most of the features offered by the top-of-the-line giants.
Above: The Liebherr CS136 24-inch, counter-depth, bottom-freezer refrigerator has a 13 cubic-foot capacity and stands 79.8-inches tall. This Energy Star-qualified stainless design features separate cooling systems for the refrigerator and freezer, convenient freezer drawers, and an automatic ice maker; $3,199 at AJ Madison.
Above: Liebherr also offers a built-in slim refrigerator model: the Liebherr Premium Plus Series HC1060 is a 24-inch fully integrated bottom-freezer refrigerator with glass shelves, two freezer drawers, a power cooling fan system, and an ice maker. Its fully integrated setup reduces the interior storage capacity to 9.2 cubic feet. The panel-ready refrigerator is $2,999 at AJ Madison ($2,749 without the ice maker).
Above: The Fagor 24-Inch Counter Depth Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer (FFJA4845X) is a freestanding refrigerator that fits flush in a 24-inch cut out. At 79-inches tall, it features an 11 cubic-foot capacity with four glass shelves and two humidity-controlled crisper drawers, and a bottom freezer compartment; $2,149 at Plessers.
Above: The Summit FFBF171 Apartment Size Refrigerator Freezer fits into a 24-inch opening (it's 23.63-inches wide and 77.63-inches tall) and offers 11.47 cubic-feet of storage space, stainless steel doors, and digital controls for a reasonable price: $1,239 (without ice maker) and $1,519 (with ice maker) at AJ Madison.
Above: The LG LRBP1031 Counter-Depth 24-inch Refrigerator is a good budget choice. At 67.7-inches tall, it's a bit more demure than most and has a 10 cubic-foot capacity. Other features include glass shelves, two crisper drawers, a bottom freezer, and digital controls; $625.50 in white and $805.50 in titanium at AJ Madison.
Above: Want more refrigerator space and willing to sacrifice a freezer? The Thermador Fresh Food Column is a 24-inch, built-in refrigerator (with no freezer). The fully flush refrigerator is 83.75 inches tall and has a 13.1 cubic-foot capacity. It's custom-panel ready or a stainless panel, shown above, is available for an additional $500; $4,399 at AJ Madison.
Looking for more space-saving appliances? See 10 Easy Pieces: Favorite Appliances for Small Kitchens.