Choosing a Built-In Refrigerator

Built-In Refrigerators at Arizona Wholesale

Types, Styles, and Look

In the early days of built-in refrigerators there were very few choices. Sub-Zero gets credit for creating this category in the mid-late fifties. It took a while for the category to grow into what it is today. At one point Sub-Zero was synonymous for built-in refrigerator, and even today they are clearly a market leader. However, many other brands now offer a variety of choices in built-in refrigeration. Here are a few:

Bosch, Dacor, Electrolux, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Miele, Monogram, and Thermador

Sub-Zero pioneered the traditional built-in refrigerator which, for our purposes, is a refrigerator with a cabinet depth no more than 24″. Early on the brand offered a choice of stainless steel fronts or models that would accept slide-in cabinet panel fronts to match adjacent cabinetry (overlay models).

Eventually, built-in refrigerators were developed that had hidden hinges and accepted cabinet panel fronts that were flush with adjacent cabinets. These refrigerators were fully-flush “integrated” refrigerators.


Sub-Zero Fronts

Click below for a short discussion on integrated appliances from Houzz:


Today, column refrigerators with cabinet panels have doors that go from bottom to top (no horizontal panel at the top), and when the doors are closed are truly not discernible from the adacent cabinets.



Configurations of built-ins includes side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, bottom freezer refrigrator/freezers, and separate column refrigerators, freezers, and wine coolers. In addition, some brands offer built-in under counter refrigerators and wine coolers; as well as under counter refrigerator and freezer drawers. The configurations for your kitchen are endless.

Click on the link below to review some of the choices in built-in refrigerators on our Houzz page:

Arizona Wholesale Houzz

For all your contract appliance, floor covering, window treatment, water systems, grills, and other builder-designer needs contact the professional at Arizona Wholesale.

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

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Kitchen Design Idea: Appliances on Islands

Appliances for Kitchen Islands

It's surprising how many kitchen islands are nothing more than tables or counters, occasionally also serving as workspaces.

Basic Kitchen Island

While this is certainly inexpensive, it almost appears to be an afterthought, as if to say, “We've got this extra space in the middle of the kitchen, so we need to fill the space.” Well, why not get some functionality out of it?

kitchen island with appliances

Appliances on Islands for Universal Design

There is much discussion these days about Universal Design. One of the challenges is finding lower cabinet space for moving microwaves from over-the-range and in general making appliances more accessible. The kitchen island is ideal for a microwave drawer as well as for an undercounter refrigerator or beverage center, or even refrigerator or freezer drawers. Also, moving appliances to a kitchen island frees up more cabinet space along the wall.

Entertaining Around a Kitchen Island

A strong rationale for an “open kitchen” design is for entertaining. Guests gather in the kitchen for a glass of wine and watch, if not participate in the final stages, of the meal preparation. Yet, with appliances lined up against a wall, for much of this time the host is standing at the range with his or her back facing the guests. If we would only move that range or cooktop to the island, the preparation would be the center of activity, and the host and group would be much more engaged.

Kitchen Entertaining

Of course, it's more work planning for gas for a cooktop, ventilation, etc. but that's why we need designers. Anybody can stick a box in the middle of the kitchen.

To find the right appliances for your next kitchen design project contact the professionals at Arizona Wholesale Supply.

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Universal Design Appliances at Arizona Wholesale Supply

5 Universal Design Appliance Trends

Making appliances work for Universal Design

Kitchen designers have been working on Universal Design kitchens for years now. There are some who even specialize in this area. For an appliance, this may be as simple as locating the appliance at a certain height. Unfortunately sometimes, appliances are just not as suitable for Universal Design as they could be. The good news is that more and more new appliances have features and capabilities that make the appliance more Universal Design friendly.

Here are some emerging trends in the way designers specify appliances and in the growth of certain appliance features and types that are more Universal Design friendly.

1. New trends in microwave ovens. We recently wrote about the growing popularity of microwave drawers 2013 Appliance Sales Trends. In addition to the trend for microwave drawers, we're seeing traditional built-in microwaves at or below counter height to make them more accessible.

2. French door refrigerators have become enormously popular, and they are very accessible. We especially like the more recent models that feature convenient, accessible pantry drawers.

3. Slide-in Ranges have been around for years. Their easy to reach upfront controls make operation a breeze. However, overhead ventilation can be a problem with any range. Jenn-Air offers a selection of electric and gas slide-in ranges that have downdraft ventilation which can be controlled from the front.

4. Refrigerator and freezer drawers are now offered by a host of appliance brands. Not only are they accessible, they can be located nearly anywhere in the kitchen. Since a convenient location can be critical for Universal Design, the value of this trend cannot be overemphasized.

5. Dishwashers are being raised. Ovens are being lowered. Dishwashers are the one kitchen appliance that is often too low to be accessible – not too high. Designers have fixed this by raising the dishwasher off the floor a few inches. On the other hand, wall ovens have typically been located with their controls at eye level for a standing adult. Now, we're seeing ovens placed in wall cabinet at a much lower height with convenient controls for everyone and an oven door at waist level. New steam-convection ovens are ideal for these installations.

In general, appliances themselves also have better designs. Induction cooktops are super safe and run cool. Child lockouts are now commonplace in appliances, just as auto-shutoff features. According to a recent article in Housing Zone,

There have been incredible technology and design improvements in the kitchen that make accessories, lighting, and appliances more intuitive and easier to use. Smart design helps to make the space more accessible and safe for all users.”

It also helps to deal with professionals such as those at Arizona Wholesale Supply who are experienced in providing appliances for all needs. They can help you select just the right appliance for your specific situation and budget.

What trends have YOU seen or would like to see to make kitchens accessible to all? Add your comments below:

For more information on appliances, floor coverings, or window treatments contact the professionals at Arizona Wholesale Supply today:

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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