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Talk » Renovation » Discussing 'European refrigerators'

European refrigerators


Did anybody had luck buying one of the following refrigerators:

And you're the lucky one, please share your experience.

Is this from an urge to be different?

No Riversider, it's not. Just to justify my (so outrageous!) quest to you:
the size — I need something under 65 inches in height, preferably in some prime color.
I have a Smeg now and looking for alternatives.
Did I justify enough for you? No? ok. So if you don't have any information on the posted question, kindly step aside and make room for those who might have some.

Forgive the question, I'm just surprised there isn't a more mainstream solution. It seems the more one goes off the beaten path, the more one invites trouble when dealing with repairs. There has been some Easy Street discussion with regards to products like sub zero, suggesting they are not as good as high end G.E. or Kitchen Aid

Again, for reasons I don't care to dwell upon now, I need something of a very specific size that just doesn't get made in the US. And after having a very beautiful orange Smeg, I'm in love with color and would like to have an alternative because Smeg does have a service/parts problem.

Be aware that many of the European models do not have self-defrosting freezers.

Can you do a side-by-side under-counter refrigerator/freezer? That may give you some more options.

lad, manual defrost is just fine. In 3 years, I never had to defrost my Smeg, and it keeps the energy consumption way way down, and it's quiet like a mouse. And no, undercounter is not an option. Believe me, I've done my research and Smeg and Ardo seem to be the closest solutions.
I just wonder, with kitchen space being what it is in Manhattan, and this being the biggest, most urban of the cities in America, I'd think that manufacturers (GE?) would come up with something smaller than the monsters on the market, and also cute to look at... I don't know anybody who grocery-shops for weeks. Any given address has a supermarket of some sort within 5 blocks.

I really do need this thread.

Too bad you don't have 66" clearance. Fisher & Paykel makes a counter-depth stainless refrigerator that is a slide in with a custom look. Compared to other brands I've had, including Subzero, it runs super quiet and it costs half the price.

Stakan, you might check Apartment Therapy - search the archives. I think I remember a lengthy discussion about the reliability of smaller refrigerators, including Smeg. Unfortunately the small-appliance market in the US is completely overlooked by major (reliable) manufacturers.


Forgive me for asking but why do you need 65" height? I am asking to figure out a different solution. Is it because you have a cabinet above or something else?

there is a fancy refrigerator mentioned in this thread:

my all-time favorite thread!!!!!!

PMG, Fisher & Paykel is a very noisy, military-inspired piece if machinery, and I don't like it at all. For that price, I can have a refrigerator shipped from Europe. And color is a must.

Primer05, I designed a sort of unusual kitchen, and a retro look without the bulk is important to me for this particular apartment of mine. The matter of taste, no? I love my Smeg, just want to expand my options in case it acts up. I have this aversion to brand-loyalty and would try anything that fits my requirements.

evnyc, there's always hope... Smaller cars and elegant appliances would be a good start.

sniper, that fancy is not my fancy but thanks for the reference.

Wouldn't you need to run a 240 volt line for a European fridge?

Elmira Northstar makes retro fridges - some of them < 65" - and they even do custom colors: (scroll down)

I don't know a thing about them, other than that I've seen their stuff in magazines and I think it looks really cool.

Northstar and Big Chill both make the retro fridges but they are huge, noisy and way too expensive. Did you see the Ardo? Just for the aesthetic pleasure, just look at them.

Very pretty! I hope you can get what you want in this country. Importing a fridge sounds like a bit of a nightmare, unless you already have the 240 volt wiring in place. I'm upgrading my electric - nothing fancy, just adding another riser, because it's prewar and I have to - and my building is surcharging me thousands of dollars, plus the cost of my own electrician, their electrician, and various permits.

sears has a refrigerator that is 65". just got one. good luck

sears has a refrigerator that is 65". just got one. good luck

Staken, I won't argue with you about the color, since that isn't an option on Fisher & Paykel, but I've had Subzero and GE refrigerators to compare and both made a lot of noise, especially the Subzero when the compressor went on. The Fisher & Paykel refrigerator operates like a Mieile dishwasher--you won't know it's there.

60years ago, american manufactured stuffs that were built to last, now they build stuffs that are meant to break and be replaced a few years after.
You are 100% right! Buy Euro made stuffs! German build high quality products! Look at their cars: BMW, Mercedes, Audi...Can anybody says he replaced his Audi after 5 years because it broke?

sledgehammer, the best on the market is now made by people who invented design %u2014 Italy. From shoes to refrigerators.

Interesting! What's the brand name?

should be —Italy.

PMG, I have nothing against Fisher & Paykel, I just want what I want. And I think that in New York, out of all places, one should be able to enjoy the achievements, technological as well as aesthetical, of other countries. Of course, GE would be unhappy. So instead of developing diverse beautiful thing, they'll work on not letting Ardo into American market. I find it offensive.

sledgehammer — Ardo.

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As long as 97% of the entire marketplace in the United States has room in their kitchens for those so-called "monster" refrigerators, don't expect the major manufacturers to retool their operations to cater to that last 3% -- it's just not economically advantageous.

Agreed. Manhattanites can buy products designed for populations where space is not taken for granted. I don't have room for a 36" refrigerator in my studio apartment. While higher end GE and Kenmore appliances are great, they aren't designed for tighter spaces, nor should they be.

I have a 36 inch frig, and if you shop for your own food, cook your own meals and have left-overs, it is not a luxury but a necessity. At least in my book.

The appliance market is dominated by suburban/ McMansion buyers... hence why you constantly see huge refridgerators, 6 burner stove tops, double ovens, etc in all the stores and websites.

However, several companies do make a limited range of appliances for small spaces. One new appliance that has popped up in recent years are combo washer and dryers, as these consume less space and are more visually attractive than stackables.

The stacked/combo washer/driver may just be the best appliance to come out for the apartment owner. A huge money saver and convenience.

NYCMatt: "As long as 97% of the entire marketplace in the United States has room in their kitchens for those so-called "monster" refrigerators, don't expect the major manufacturers to retool their operations to cater to that last 3% -- it's just not economically advantageous."
I'm not saying that Ardo or Exqvisit should be available in Sears or P.C.Richards but they should be available SOMEWHERE. There's a difference between "not common" and "impossible to buy".
And being stuck with white, black or stainless steel only does nothing to open up imagination. Design is a cultural thing, after all.

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NYCMatt, your urge to lecture everyone on every subject should be suppressed. If you have no information on the subject, say nothing because your opinion means absolutely nothing.

stakan, you might want to check out They let you search by height/width/depth. Colors might be hard to find, but you can always send it to a car-painting place before delivery.

NWT, white refrigerator sending it to car body shop to be painted delivered back to me = one Ardo refrigerator bought in Britain and shipped to my door, and I'll have enough money left to a casino trip.

Check out the site; it will give you all you need to know about European refrigerators...

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, Stakan, but what about the electrical upgrade you'll need for a European import appliance? There's a reason why US appliance retailers don't sell everything you see in Europe - unless the manufacturer makes a 110v version for the US market (as Smeg does), you'll have to spend a lot of extra money before you can plug your new European fridge in.

Hey Stakan. If you can't find what you need in the NY market you haven't looked very hard. Stop asking others to do your legwork, get off you ass and search. It's there.


Suzanne, there are quite a few adapter types these days that can make any appliance work anywhere. The world is getting smaller and smaller.

Please, please talk to an electrician before you do this. The transformers you're talking about (because that's what you need to do, transform the voltage, not just adapt the shape of the plug) are not meant for continuous use, and certainly not for large high-amperage appliances like refrigerators. You'll blow fuses and/or start a fire (transformers get hot). Your neighbors would rightfully throw fits if they found out.

Suzanne, you're right, it's sort of a big deal and I thank you. I already spoke to numerous electricians (one is a board member of my co-op) just because I'm information junkie.
The reason for this thread was to ask for others' experience with an appliance I'm interested in. I understand it's not everyone's thing and let's just leave it.
Thank you.

What's with StF62's snottiness? Seems like stak an IS doing legwork by asking fellow apartment dwellers for practical, real-world advice. Is there somehow something wrong with speaking with one's community? Jeez.

And NYCMatt is just simply obnoxious and unhelpful. "Why don't you move into a bigger place?" That's an insane question to anyone who's not independently wealthy or a trust-fund kid. People are out here trying to do the best they can do within the limits of their finances. Wanting something that fits in one's space and looks nice is not a crime or unreasonable, for God's sake. There is nothing wrong with wanting the place where one live, one's home, to be comfortable to be in and pleasant to look at.

One last thought: Seven percent of a population is more than a large enough market for boutique products. If companies can market Smart cars to space-strapped urban dwellers, smaller refrigerators is hardly a stretch of the imagination.

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Briquette, thanks. I believe that in a year or two we 7%-ers will have enough choice of elegant, modern, efficient appliances of normal proportions. My place is actually big enough to have a huge fridge, I juast happen to stick with my tastes. This notion is lost on NYCMatt et al., so do what I do: put him and other loser/prick types on "ignore". He's not worth wasting time on.

Summit Appliances specializes in apartment-size refrigerators. It has refrigerators that are 63.0" x 23.25" x 23.5" and 58.38" H × 23.63" W × 26.0" D among other sizes. Good luck.

P.S. Maybe you can get them to custom paint one for you. They do offer custom painting on under counter refrigerators.

Matt, are you still contending that the times square bomber was some kind of government plant?....just wondering

I know that is off topic from the euro-fridg. It's just something I remember reading here ages ago.

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"One last thought: Seven percent of a population is more than a large enough market for boutique products. If companies can market Smart cars to space-strapped urban dwellers, smaller refrigerators is hardly a stretch of the imagination."

Because products that are made specifically for tiny segments of the market, like the Smart Car, almost always FAIL:

Smart hit hard by plunging U.S. demand, report says

Paul McVeigh

Falling demand for the Smart ForTwo in the United States means the Daimler AG brand likely will sell fewer than 100,000 units of the two-seat minicar globally this year, down from 114,000 in 2009, a German magazine reported.

The ForTwo's U.S. sales this year will be about a third of the 25,000 units sold in 2008, Der Spiegel said, without citing sources.

Dealers complain they are losing customers because the ForTwo only has two seats, and only two model variations, a coupe and a cabrio, the magazine said. In Europe, the Fiat 500 is winning potential Smart buyers, it said.

According to Daimler's numbers, U.S. sales of the ForTwo are down nearly 70 percent to below 4,000 in the first seven months. July sales were 560, down 60.5 percent compared with July 2009. Smart's global sales fell a little more than 20 percent to 8,400 in July, with volume down 17.4 percent to 59,100 in the first seven months.

If a company made a special line of of appliances for urban homeowners with smal spaces, it too would suffer the same fate and would eb a FAILURE.

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Well said Matt. I know some won't like this, but if your someone who is bothered by appliances so much, perhaps you should be living in the burbs rather than Manhattan. I actually lived most of my life in a 1,000 square foot 2 bedroom apt. and we had regular sized appliances... Not once did we have to buy "apartment sized" appliances.

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I live in a 547 sf studio with full-sized appliances in a 7 foot galley kitchen. Many older NYC buildings have pullman kitchens or smaller galley kitchens that require 24" stoves or compact refrigerators. Isn't this why we have brands like summit and haier?

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was up to Arthur Ave a few days ago and popped into the Sears mini mall - Sears is selling Smeg. Hideous color, big enough for a very few provisions. Looked redick. Over:out.

I don't understand why some people got upset by the individual looking for a specific kind of refrigerator. I live in the mid-west in a stone house that the former owner completely gutted and remodeled sometime after 1987. The kitchen was designed with a enclosed area for a refrigerator. That enclosure is 65 inches high, 36 inches wide, and 28 inches deep. I don't care if the refrigerator sticks out a bit, but if I have to tear out the 30 plus inch cabinetry above, I loose a lot of storage.

The current refrigerator is not some European brand, but a Frigidaire model probably from the late 80's or early 90's that was just under 65 inches in height. Most of the few, new refrigerators I see that are under 65 inches are tiny compared to what I currently have. I don't want US manufactures to retool. Rather, I just want them to make what they used to make not so long ago. I'll keep the current refrigerator as long as I can, but it is wearing out.

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"Re-tooling would still be necessary"????? Matt, you need to learn something about a subject before you start with your answers. Have you ever been to an overseas appliance store? Have you every been to an Asian manufacturing plant? If you had, you probably would have noticed many smaller refrigerators. So no actually, a retooling isn't necessary. The problem isn't manufacturing, it's distribution, very few distribute to the US because demand is low.

Goldie, don't waste the space and time on this Matt person. He's never been outside of his zip code. There are a few posters here who are on my permanent ignore list, and he's one of the pack's leaders.

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