Form, Function or Fierce: How to Select the Perfect New Fridge

A refrigerator is not something you buy everyday. But, it can be more than a place to store your food. It can be a style statement, a helpful addition to your kitchen, or the busy hub of your family activities. The only question is, if several years have passed since you bought your last fridge, how do you select a new one?

Maybe affordability is your main concern. Or maybe you want to invest in a model that comes with a variety of new features, from humidity control systems, to interior cameras, to off-gassing filters. Things have changed in refrigeration technology and selecting the right one may have more to do with your lifestyle and personality, than just the dimensions of your space. The clunky, tank-like fridges of yesteryear have been replaced by tall, sleek and energy-efficient appliances that could be a real asset to your home. And here are a few tips and pieces of advice that will make buying your next fridge a breeze.

Size Matters

Yes, in this case, it does. When they come to the appliance showroom, 90% of customers bring the measurements of their current appliance. Yet, that is a common mistake. What our appliance advisors need are the dimensions of your appliance opening. Even a quarter of an inch can make a difference in what models will be available and which ones to consider. You need to measure both the height and width of your opening, allowing at least one inch of extra space behind and above the refrigerator, to allow for proper ventilation. As well, you might want to consider how much clearance you will need for the door to open. If you have a kitchen island that won’t allow you to pull out the drawers or access all the shelves, you may want to consider options like a French-door fridge.

 

Forever Fridge or For Now Fridge?

A few things to consider when selecting a new fridge: Is this going to be for your forever home? Or is this a short-term home you may flip or a vacation home you only visit a few months a year? A new fridge is an investment and the higher quality brands will have more longevity, but they will often cost double that of budget brands. You need to consider how much you will use this fridge, whether you want something that will last five years or twenty years, and how much you’re willing to spend.

 

Out-Of-The-Icebox Design

The other thing to consider is what kind of design scheme you already have. What does your home look like? What about your existing kitchen appliances? Will you want your new refrigerator to match them? Do you like stainless steel, a custom colour finish, an unobtrusive design that won’t clutter your space, or one that maximizes the modern feel of your kitchen? Do you want your fridge to look amazing or is practicality a bigger issue for you?

 

A Fridge Fit for Your Lifestyle

The fridge you buy will often be determined by how you plan to use it. After all, it’s one of the hardest working appliances in your home. Unlike your dryer or stove, there’s no ‘off time’ for your fridge. That’s why it’s one of the bigger investments you will ever make, so you want to make the right choice. A little ‘flash and sizzle’ is great, but when we help you select an appliance, we really want to get to the heart of your home and how you will use it day-to-day.

To get a better idea of what we mean, let’s see what fridge may suit these customers. You may be inspired by some of these artful suggestions and blown away by how ‘haute’ fridges have become…

 

1st Type: The Yaletown Trendsetter

How they currently use their fridge:

This is the young professional, or couple, who are so busy with their ‘9 to 5’ lifestyle that they may prefer to relax with a drink after work, rather than cook up a storm. Their refrigerator may be used to store last night’s restaurant leftovers, or maybe to chill their favorite bottle of vodka. And though they cook occasionally, they mostly want a fridge that has a sleek, designer look. They want to impress their guests when they come over for cocktails. So, they need an appliance that has a wow factor, and one that fits the open, airy design of their downtown apartment or condo.

What we recommend:

Size may be a big factor when it comes to the downtown trendsetter. Smaller apartments and condos don’t often allow for huge, bulky fridges. There are sleek, slender free-standing fridges that could fit well in an open-concept kitchen. They are also affordable and don’t take up too much space. And since it’s ideal to keep your fridge ¾ full, to help maintain and retain temperatures, smaller fridges are ideal for those who don’t keep a lot of food in their fridge at one time. Plus, refrigeration optimization leads to less food spoilage. Perfect for those working professionals who are saving up for their very first house.

If these trendy downtown dwellers love condo-living, and plan to stay for years to come, they may want to invest in two other models: built-in, or counter-depth fridges. Unlike older models that used to stick out by four or five inches, with counter-depth fridges, the only thing that sticks out is the thickness of the door. Built-in models are even sleeker, and sit flush with your cabinetry or counters, so only the handle sticks out. It saves space and fits in harmoniously with the design of your kitchen. Plus, there are choices of finishes, from ones that blend seamlessly with your millwork, to good old stainless steel, to black stainless graphite, which is quite on-trend and modern.

 A Tip from Us: Don’t load up your fridge too often? But, want to make better use of the food you do buy? A bottom-freezer allows easy visibility, so you can actually see what’s in there and make better use of your available products.

 

2nd Type: The Busy Family of Five

How they currently use their fridge:

This is the ‘on-the-go’ family, that between work, school, kid activities, weekend sports, appointments and PTA meetings are constantly in and out of the fridge. The parents might be running to Costco or doing big shops to feed their growing family. And with kids snacking in between meals, the fridge must always be well-stocked with nutritious varieties of foods. It’s a busy home, so their fridge must be practical, functional and have easy day-to-day care.

What we recommend:

When selecting a new fridge, a big family might want to consider value for dollar. There are plenty of options that are within a reasonable budget. Free-standing fridges come in many price ranges, but when it comes to moderately-priced models, the life expectancy could be as short as 5 years. However, if you don’t mind paying more, a built-in model or a premium brand could last around 15+ years. If your family is only here to stay for a short while, it might not be worth that kind of investment. But for your forever home, you might want to consider a fridge that will last and outlast your little ones.

A busy family could also benefit from some neat, modern-day features, such as an alarm on your fridge door that sounds when it’s left open. Perfect for a teen that often forgets to close it after a snack. Or how about an interior water dispenser or one with a child lock? It will save you from mopping up accidental spills, caused by your six-year-old. An inside ice maker, or ice dispenser, will also keep ice cubes from spilling all over the floor, and will keep mom and dad from slipping when they go to unload their handfuls of groceries.

Newer fridges also come with a solution for the ‘dreaded fingerprints’ that often plague stainless steel appliances, which can be a pain for a busy family, where the fridge is constantly touched. Models nowadays have easy to clean, fingerprint-resistant finishes, that prevent nasty fingerprints in the first place.

A Tip from Us: Don’t use harsh chemicals or detergents to clean newer models. There’s no need. With fingerprint-resistant technology, a simple microfiber cloth and some warm water, and voila, your fridge door is clean!

 

3rd Type: Whole Foods Foodie

How they currently use their fridge:

This might be the person who is a dedicated home chef. They love to cook and adore fresh, locally-grown produce. If you open their fridge, you would see fresh blueberries, kale, avocadoes, even fancy French cheeses or applewood-smoked bacon. They delight in making elaborate meals, but also day-to-day ones. Either way, their kitchen is their sanctuary from the workaday world and so they need a fridge that will accommodate all the many uses and needs of a frequently-used kitchen.

What we recommend:

It’s not unusual for this person to spend a whole paycheck on a trip to the farmer’s market, so it makes sense to invest in a fridge that will match the quality of their food. They don’t want their fresh fruit and veggies to brown before they’ve had a chance to use them. That’s why their fridge needs to have a good preservation system. They might want to consider refrigerators with vegetable crispers that have special filters that siphon off the gases from produce like bananas, which can speed the ripening of other items. After all, you spend so much time and effort selecting the best of everything, you want to keep food waste to a minimum.

Flexible shelving would also be a consideration. Shelves that you can move and arrange will help you accommodate that large turkey at Thanksgiving, or that four-tiered cake for your parent’s anniversary. There are many options, such as split-shelves and long shelves, with rows that you can arrange in varying heights, to fit almost any type of product.

After a shopping binge at your local market, it might also take some time to tuck all your items into your fridge, which can lead to reduced temperatures inside. That’s when a ‘supercool button’ might be a useful feature. A simple press and your fridge gets blasted with a shot of super-cool air, bringing it back to temperature in a flash.

A Tip from Us: The one area of your fridge that has the most temperature fluctuations? The doors. So, you might want to keep your prized perishables inside the main shelves, to prevent any possible spoilage.

 

4th Type: The Decked-Out Techie

How they currently use their fridge:

This person loves the latest gadgets and high-performance gear! They delight in sophisticated equipment and have the most modern kitchen appliances, with all the bells and whistles. They have Google Home set up, so they can remotely use anything in their house, and their fridge should be no exception. They also like sleek modern designs and want their home to look open, with crisp, clear lines and well-organized storage.

What we recommend:

Modern refrigerators have come a long way. Just like your television, alarm system, lighting, and sound system, even your refrigerator can be integrated into your ‘smart home’ technology, such as an Alexa or Siri. They can sync with your phone, so you can create grocery lists that display on a fridge-door screen. You can even enter expiry dates into your fridge’s smart system, and have alerts sent to your phone when food is about to spoil. Some even send you recipe suggestions, based on the items that are near expiry.

Some fridge models also double as an entertainment hub. They have in-door screens that can play video, music and even display your latest vacation photos, so it becomes a conversation piece, when your techie friends come over for a night of 3D television.

Want to discuss which fridge fits your personality? Visit us in-store and chat with one of our advisors to find your perfect fit.

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