Buying a new Fridge-Freezer? Get interior design advice from Sarah Slade here
Buying a new Fridge-Freezer? Interior design specialist Sarah Slade shows you how to choose a unit to suit your kitchen design.
Shopping for a new fridge, freezer or fridge-freezer combo can be an exhausting experience. For many of us, it’s a choice we’ll only have to make once or twice in our lifetime. Those of us who have lived in rented property for most of our lives will have become used to putting up with whatever fridge-freezer happened to be included with the accommodation.
But the time may come when you decide to make a change. Maybe you’re moving into a new house, or you’ve decided to invest in a new kitchen – maybe you’ve just grown bored of your old fridge and want something a bit more stylish and reliable. You could choose something cheap or shop for something second-hand – but this could leave you with a unit that’s unreliable, unfashionable and that burns through your energy bills in no time.
LG take pride in their fantastic range of refrigerators – from spacious and innovative American style fridge freezers to sleek and robust Combi fridge freezers – and we know that the perfect fridge or fridge-freezer should be a balance of good design, good size and good value for money.
But with so many options available, settling on one choice can be a huge challenge. Once you’ve taken everything into account – such as the size of your kitchen, its colour scheme, the layout of your work surfaces, and more – it’s easy to be left feeling a bit confused.
We think that shopping for a new refrigerator should be a pleasant experience. That’s why we were delighted to have the opportunity to sit down with interiors expert Sarah Slade,. With her knowledge and passion for interior design, Sarah taught us some invaluable tips about how you can choose a fridge-freezer that fits with both your kitchen and your lifestyle.
Hi Sarah, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be involved in the interior design industry?
I studied at The Surrey Institute of Art & Design and started my career in PR before making the leap to interiors journalism. I was the Focus Editor at ELLE Decoration UK magazine where I produced monthly specials, wrote features and planned photo shoots. Now I regularly contribute articles as the title’s Associate Editor. I also take on freelance interior design and commercial styling jobs.
Do you think a lot of new fridge buyers rush their purchasing decision?
When you’re on the shop-floor it’s easy to be seduced by offers of extra storage space you’ll never fill or colour options that you’ll grow tired of long before the appliance’s lifespan. It’s important to stay on course, and it’s not possible to over-research your decision – a fridge-freezer is a big investment.
A fridge-freezer needs to work hard day and night to keep food fresh. At the same time its look and style can be the thing that holds your entire kitchen together. More time than is commonly assumed should be taken to explore and compare different models in the flesh to get a proper steer on features, materials and scale, and to ask any questions you might have.
Every aspect should be looked at – from how the fridge-freezer’s shape and size will affect sight lines, to how its finish and colour will tie in with other design features.
For instance, a painted Shaker-style kitchen with traditional furniture and quirky design details will welcome a fridge with gentle curves or a classic white design, which you can build similar cabinetry around. On the other hand, a contemporary space with sleek, clutter-free surfaces calls for something more slick and discreet.
Do you know of any particularly heinous fridge faux-pas?
I think the most important piece of advice is to never place a fridge-freezer next to a heat source such as a radiator or oven where it will need to work harder to stay cool.
As for design, my first rule is to avoid putting a tall fridge-freezer in the middle of a stretching work surface. It will consume working light and carve up prepping and serving space. Incorporate your fridge-freezer towards the end of your worktops instead.
Having said that, be cautious of putting a freestanding fridge-freezer at the end of a kitchen in an open-plan space – especially if you’re not linking it to the surrounding scheme. If you do, it may have the appearance of a floating metal box. You must also beware of placing a freestanding fridge at an angle so that it straddles the corner of a room – it will suck up space and can look clunky and cumbersome.
What sort of things should buyers look out for when they’re shopping for a new fridge or fridge-freezer?
A fridge-freezer should be chosen around the style and layout of your kitchen cabinetry and worktops, which generally is more expensive and time-consuming to replace, and not the other way around.
If you have a pure white cooking space with streamlined, handleless drawers and cupboards, follow suit with a built-in appliance so as not to interrupt the flow.
A completely built-in finish where the fridge door is covered over with a co-ordinating panel or even book-matched to surrounding horizontal wood-grain can look dramatic in a galley kitchen. If there’s already linear interest, such as sweeping, open shelving, a double-door fridge-freezer or a bank of freezer drawers below will continue the theme.
Stainless steel is a good choice overall as it is easy to clean and gives a sharp, professional edge. It also adds a cool industrial vibe to the kitchen.
Are there any benefits to be found by choosing a fridge or fridge-freezer design that complements our kitchens?
The kitchen is both the workhorse and hub of the home. Whether you want to spend time in the kitchen, to cook and eat in it, will be determined by how inviting the design is.
For instance, setting an American-style fridge-freezer into an alcove or recess will claw back some space in the kitchen – but remember, its large footprint can break the conversation between the dining table and the chef.
This goes to show that you shouldn’t get side tracked with aesthetics alone. Your kitchen might look beautiful, but if you find yourself having to shut the dishwasher every time you go to get the milk out you’ll soon grow frustrated.
Do you have any tips for bringing a fridge or fridge-freezer to life?
A tired fridge or fridge-freezer can still be put to use as a dynamic display point. Use the top to form an arrangement of serving ware such as jugs and bowls and large kitchen utensils. This will draw the eye up.
You can also trail house plants down the side for another welcome splash of greenery. And you can make a feature of your fridge-freezer’s vertical lines by stacking cookbooks up the side by their spines, or by hanging kitchen utensils in easy reach.
Storage opportunities surrounding your fridge are rife but rarely utilised. Building co-ordinating cupboards or shelving above will make use of this often overlooked void. As for spaces either side, try incorporating a skinny wine rack or pull-out spice larder into the vertical gap.
Another idea for updating an old fridge is to give it a lick of chalkboard paint, on to which you can then scrawl shopping lists as you run low on certain foods.
Thanks for joining us Sarah. What's next for you?
I’m launching my new interiors blog and exploring a book idea.