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—minivans 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 24 to 27 inches deep (traditional models are about 30 to 32 inches deep) and 23.5 to 24 inches wide (a foot narrower than the average).
- 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; $3,529 at AJ Madison.
Above: The Samsung Chef Collection Counter-Depth Refrigerator has a 12.2-cubic-foot capacity with a 23.44-inch width and 23.25-inch depth; $2,994.99 at Best Buy.
Above: The Bosch 500 Series (B11CB50SSS) Refrigerator is 24 inches deep with an 11-cubic-inch capacity; $2,154.10 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 $2,899 at Plessers.
Above: The budget Blomberg (BRFB1042WHN) Refrigerator is 23 5/8 inches wide and $749 at AJ Madison.
Above: The Haier (HRF15N3AGS) 28-Inch Refrigerator is a little wider than the average slim size of 24 inches or less, but it’s the narrowest French door refrigerator we can source; $1,099 at AJ Madison.
Above: The Fagor 24-Inch Counter-Depth Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer (FFJA4845X) is a freestanding refrigerator that fits flush in a 24-inch cutout. 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 FFBF181SS 24-Inch Refrigerator is $1,356 at AJ Madison.
Above: The LG LBN10551PS 24-Inch Refrigerator has a 10.1-cubic-foot capacity; $805.10 at AJ Madison.
Above: The Smeg 50’s Retro Design (FAB32UBL) Refrigerator runs a narrow 23 2/3 inches wide. It’s $2,999 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 is 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 our posts:
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 28, 2013, as part of our issue called The Urban Kitchen.