Your Super Cool Guide to Refrigeration Options

Like with all appliances, you are faced with a huge number of options when it comes to choosing the right refrigeration for your new kitchen. Where do you start and how do you choose? This guide will give you an overview of the options available to you.

Choice 1:  Capacity

Before making any decisions about the type of refrigeration appliances to use in your new space. First, consider the physical capacity that you need. Think about your current fridge and freezer and whether they offer sufficient capacity for your needs, this will help you to decide about the type and size of appliance to use.

Answer the questions below to help you decide which solution works best for you as you go through the choices in this guide. Consult your designer or salesperson and discuss which brands and models will best suit your needs.

  • How much space do you currently have in your fridge and freezer? Is it enough for you or do you need more?
  • Do you need to have a freezer in your kitchen, or do you have space in a utility room or garage?
  • Do you need extra capacity or a separate fridge for drinks or dairy products?
  • Do you need a chilled water & ice dispenser?
  • Do you cook often with fresh ingredients?
  • How frequently do you buy fresh fruit and veg?
  • How frequently do you buy cold meats or fresh fish?
  • Do you batch cook and freeze meals?
  • Do you store a lot of frozen foods?
  • Do you regularly host parties and social gatherings?
  • Do you need chilled storage space for wines etc?
  • How many bottles do you typically store in your fridge / cooler at one time?
  • Do you need variable temperature control or zoned cooling for white and red wines?

Choice 2:  Appliance type

Now that you have answered the questions above and have considered the size and capacity of your existing refrigeration appliances, it’s time to think about the refrigeration options that you would like use for your project. 

Cooling appliances can be broken down into the following types:

Fridge Freezers
 – Free standing or integrated
 – American style / Side-by-side
 – Continental

– Free standing or integrated
 – Low-Frost vs No-frost


 – Free standing or integrated
 – With or without ice-box

Wine coolers
– Free standing or built-in
 – Dual / multi-zone

You need to have both a fridge and freezer in the kitchen but the available space limits you to a single appliance or the capacity is suitable for you and your family.

A red and silver fridge freezerFree standing:

Fridge-freezers are available in many heights with most units being approximately 60cm wide.

The fridge section is normally at the top and you will have options of 50,60 or 70% of the capacity allocated to fridge. Fridges of this type are available in many colours making it easy to inject a little fun or contrast into your space. It is worth noting that almost all freestanding fridge freezers require clear space at the rear and the sides to allow for air circulation. They should also be set away from adjacent walls or units enough to allow the doors to open fully in order to remove shelves and drawers. As such, this type of fridge freezer will always take up more space than an integrated solution.


Integrated fridge freezers

Integrated fridge freezers come in a standard height of approx. 177cm. Like with free standing solutions, the fridge and freezer capacity is split 70/30, 60/40 or 50/50.


Infographic showing the split of fridge freezers


These fridge freezers are designed to be installed into an appliance housing and are fitted with furniture doors that match the kitchen cabinetry to create a minimal look. Air-circulation is catered for within the dimensions of the housing so these appliances will sit flush with other kitchen units.

Integrated fridge freezers will have a little less internal capacity than most freestanding solutions of the same size as they are made to be built into apertures of approx. 56cm wide. However, they do not take up any extra space. Most integrated fridge freezers will have a net capacity of approx. 265 litres.


Image of a smart side-by-side freezerAmerican Style / Side-by-Side (SBS)

These are larger free standing appliances, naturally offering greater capacity at around 550 litres.

Most models are approx. 180cm(h) x 910(w) x 71(d)cm and have full height fridge and freezer sections. The fridge usually represents about a third of the unit.

It is common for fridge freezers of this type to incoporate chilled water & ice dispensers into the freezer door. Some models have door-in door access to the fridge which allows the user access to items stored in the door shelves without having to fully open the fridge door.

There are manufacturers who also incorporate smart panels into the door, a bit like having a large tablet integrated.

Like with freestanding solutions, be aware that appliances of this type need clearance for door opening and ventilation as shown below. This means they can’t be installed in corners.


Image of continental style side-by-sideContinental Style / Multi-Door fridge freezers

These are similar in size to SBS appliances, however instead of having full height fridge and freezer, these have a full width fridge over a freezer drawer(s). The total net capacity of a fridge freezer of this type is very similair to the SBS solution but with a greater portion allocated to fridge space (approx. 420 litres).

With lots of door space for bottles and shelves wide enough to take large platters of food, these are perfect for entertaining. Again, be aware of the extra width required to open doors fully.

Some premium brands offer an integrated version of continental style fridge freezers, speak to your designer for more information.

That covers your fridge/freezer options. If you have a requirement to have seperate fridge and freezers then have a look at those sections for more ideas and information.

You may want a separate smaller fridge for drinks or dairy or perhaps you would prefer to have a full height fridge and full height freezer integrated at opposite ends of a tall bank of furniture, there are many reasons to specify a fridge on it’s own.

Images of freestanding cooling appliancesFree standing:

Free standing fridges are available in many sizes. There are solutions to fit under your worktop where space may be at a premium and taller options with varying capacity, some as tall as 200cm.

This is deal if you shop on a monthly basis and need the extra storage space.

Free-standing fridges are available in an array of finishes and colours to suit any style from many manufacturers.


Integrated fridges

Integrated fridges come in a range of sizes to suit various applications. With the odd exception, these are typically 60cm wide and are designed to be hidden behind furniture doors for a clean, fuss-free look.

Infographic of built-in fridge sizes

The variable height options on integrated fridges allow greater flexibility when it comes to placement, these can be used in conjunction with other modular appliances and storage solutions to customise your pantry. There are models available with small (25l) ice-boxes for storing the essential tub of Ben & Jerry’s or bag of frozen peas.

Some brands like Miele and Siemens A*Cool for example have premium appliances that are taller (200cm +) and wider (65, 75 and 90cm) than standard.

You may shop frequently and cook meals from fresh ingredients most days, in which case, you may only need a small amount of freezer space. Perhaps you bulk buy groceries or you batch cook and freeze meals for the family, for this purpose, it would be best to have a tall solution with many drawers for organising food. There are solutions to suit every need.
Free standing freezers
Free standing freezers are available in all the same size and colour options that you have with freestanding fridges. So, if you are using both together, you will have the option of matching the fascia and finish.
Integrated freezers
freezers also come in a range of sizes, these are typically 60cm wide and are designed to be hidden behind furniture doors for a clean, fuss-free look. Infographic of built-in fridge sizes The variable height options on integrated fridges allow greater flexibility when it comes to placement, these can be used in conjunction with other modular appliances, installed over, under or side-by-side.

What new kitchen would be without a dedicated wine cooler.  Free up valuable storage space in the fridge or display your impressive collection of wines by using a dual temperature zone chiller unit.

Image of a fridge with wine cooler

Wine Coolers are a great addition to the kitchen for those that love to entertain. These stylish appliances are available in a whole host of shapes and sizes, from 15cm wide under counter solutions which store 6 bottles through to large 210cm freestanding wine caves with capacity for more than 200 bottles for the avid collector.

There are free-standing and under counter models as well as modular solutions for building into your cabinetry, there are also multi-zone chillers for storing mixed wines and champagne.

150mm built under wine cooler       30cm under counter wine cooler 60cm undercounter wine cooler


60cm built-in wine chiller 90cm High built in chiller for wine1235mm high built-in wine cooler

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