This is the story of how crazy I’m making myself trying to decide on a refrigerator. It’s just so difficult, especially for someone who likes to do a lot of research and comparisons. And if you start reading the reviews….forget it! There are as many negative reviews as there are positive for every single brand.
There are a few things I have already decided. Okay, I already know I want a built-in fridge, and I also know I want a side by side. I know many people don’t like the side by side, and there are a lot of you who love the freezer on the bottom, what I consider “the new style.” However, I have that style in the Crab Shack, and as I suspected, I don’t like it. For me, I don’t like bending down and rummaging through what ultimately becomes a mess of items. My hands get too cold. I like the entire side to be freezer, plus even though your argument against the side by side is the narrowness of the freezer, we will have a second (albeit cheaper) fridge in the garage for overflow, and that will probably have the old-fashioned freezer on the top. Or we will have a small stand alone freezer like we have here in our basement and either option will solve that issue.
Okay, so two decisions down, easy, right? Nope. Still so much to decide! You probably remember me saying I don’t like stainless. And that’s really because of the fingerprints. I hate looking at them, and I would hate having to clean that giant appliance all the time. So it would have to be the smudge-proof stainless, and not too many are made in that size. So my number one choice would be to have a “panel ready” fridge that would match the cabinets. Which is fine because I love that design. I love it so much I have it now! I have white cabinets and I have a white cabinet covered KitchenAid Refrigerator. I’m happy with it, the problem is they don’t make the same one anymore with the front water dispenser. I actually could live without the dispenser, you could count on one hand the amount of times I’ve used it in 20 years. (Not the same fridge we purchased 20 years ago, although yes, the same model.) But John likes it and uses it often.
This is the model KitchenAid has now. The handles are completely different, mine go from top to bottom and are white, and match the cabinets. That was a big disappointment. Not that it would have been my first choice maybe. I probably would have liked something different. But at least, I figured, I could always go back to this one if I couldn’t find something else.
I ruled out the Viking right off the bat, it had many, many, many terrible reviews, which was surprising for such a high-end appliance. I did give them a peek a while back though, they have a model that has a glass front, and there was one in a Sea Glass color. It was just beautiful but I see now they don’t even make that color anymore.
There was one I’ve never heard of before, a Marvel. Then I saw it was made by AGA, and I have heard of them. They can accept the panel, but they don’t have the water and ice dispenser.
One that has come pretty highly recommended is the Sub Zero. I know two people who own them, and although they have had to do repairs, they still love them. Also, this brand has the water dispenser and will accept the panel overlay. Of course, with the price tag (let say $10,000 to $12,000 range) I’ll have to skimp somewhere else to afford it!
The last one I think I will be considering is the GE Monogram. This model does accept the panels, and has the dispenser, the main thing I don’t like about it is the handles. I’d prefer the ones that go from top to bottom, or at least most of the way. These are a little skimpy looking to me.
Okay then, the last feature I would like to have is the Energy Star rating. We are going a little more green now that we are building, we have a wind turbine, we will incorporate some solar, and having Energy Star appliances fits right in, besides the fact that they will save us money. The GE is Energy Star rated, but the Sub Zero in that configuration is not!
It looks like from my research, and from laying all the facts out here, the GE Monogram will be the way to go. However, if you knew me, you’d know I’m not done looking. I may just start looking at the 42 inch refrigerators now to see what I come up with. See how I drive myself crazy?
If you own any of these brands and want to weigh in, I’d love to hear what you like or dislike about them. Have you ever had to repair it? How was it dealing with the customer service department? Do you mind cleaning the stainless, or do you recommend the smudge-proof kind? Save me from myself and send me some info! I’d appreciate it!