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Why You Should Have a Drawer Refrigerator in Every Room of the Home

by Olly Mason

We’ve said it in our luxury kitchen buyer’s guide and we’ll say it again: A high-end kitchen is all about customization and innovative appliance solutions that inspire and make using a kitchen easy. You may be aware of the standard luxury kitchen appliances, but the latest addition — refrigerator drawers — are allowing homeowners to explore even more personalized appliance installations while maximizing useable kitchen space. Read on the see all the advantages of refrigerator drawers.

Sub-Zero drawer refrigerators shown seamlessly installed into cabinetry

Why Refrigerator Drawers are Different

While under-the-counter refrigerator solutions help add extra refrigerator space to a kitchen, refrigerator drawers provide two enhanced user features:

  • Refrigerator drawers are accessed from above, making it easier to grab, find, and organize items.
  • Refrigerator drawers install flush into cabinetry for a more seamless look compared to undercounter beverage centers or wine coolers.

Additionally, drawer fridges provide a handy place for children’s foods and snacks. By creating their personal food drawer, parents can encourage healthier eating habits by stocking select fruits, vegetables, and snacks, while simultaneously freeing up extra space in the main refrigerator that would otherwise be used for children’s foods.

Refrigerator Drawers: A Luxury Kitchen Upgrade

Traditionally, luxury kitchens have always included a pro-style range, custom range hood, and a large-capacity built-in refrigerator. The need for extra capacity in the refrigerator is because, while built-in fridges may look big, in order to sit flush with cabinetry, they need to be shallow. In order to create that preferred depth, both width and height need to be adjusted, so while they may seem bigger, built-in refrigerators can often have less space than even freestanding fridges.

For example, a 42-inch built-in refrigerator might be around 24 inches deep, but it will also clock in at around 84 inches high (that’s seven feet!), all while having the similar capacity of a counter-depth freestanding fridge at around 36 inches wide and 72 inches tall.

Why does that matter? Because extra space comes with its own set of considerations, such as:

  • The bigger the built-in refrigerator, the less room for other kitchen additions, such as cabinetry, appliances, or ventilation.
  • A large-capacity built-in refrigerator can impair an open kitchen design.
  • Unless a built-in refrigerator has been finished with a custom-panel face (which costs more money), it will be harder to make work in minimalist or sleek kitchen designs.
  • Perhaps most importantly, a large built-in refrigerator might not be the most efficient use of space.

But isn’t the whole point of a bigger refrigerator to maximize food storage? Yes, but that extra storage space comes with its own list of considerations, including door clearance; whether a wall is big enough; whether a kitchen can house the fridge without creating obstructions in workflow; keeping track of items (and preventing spoilage).

Refrigerator Drawers Provide Enhanced Organization

Let us be clear — we’re not saying ditch built-in refrigerators altogether. While we do suggest considering the points above, ultimately, built-in refrigeration provides a luxury experience that freestanding units cannot. Instead, we recommend elevating that high-end experience with the addition of a refrigerator drawer that allows users to explore even more kitchen customization.  

Here are a few of our favorite examples.

1.   Snack Zone

This recommendation takes the concept of a kid-friendly refrigerator space to the next level by using refrigeration above and a freezer below. We particularly like the Thermador® 4.7 Cu. Ft. Double Drawer Refrigerator/Freezer since it uses LED interior lighting for easy visibility (say goodbye to “Mom, I can’t find it!”) and SoftClose door hinges that provide both quiet operation and extra safety for little fingers.

Thermador T24UC900DP refrigerator drawer shown ajar with beverages inside

2.   The Avid Cook

As any seasoned cook will know, having ingredients laid out for preparation makes cooking more enjoyable. Rather than raiding the refrigerator and bringing items over to the countertop, a refrigerator drawer lets users keep fresh ingredients on hand and ready to use.

When kitchen space allows, we recommend the Sub-Zero 36-inch double refrigerator drawer for the ultimate prep station. With the ability to control temperatures up to a degree of setpoint, plus advanced humidity management, this 6.6 cubic foot fridge drawer not only stores ingredients — it preserves them.

Bonus tip: Match the roomy capacity of the Sub-Zero ID-36R with a Sub-Zero 36-inch option for storage capacity that rivals even 48-inch refrigerators.

3.   The Entertainer

A thoughtfully placed refrigerator drawer isn’t only practical when entertaining — it’s also an impressive conversation starter. Most importantly, a refrigerator drawer is less invasive than having guests go through the main refrigerator, and since the compartments can be customized, guests will always know where to find items.

Available in the Noir collection’s sleek style or in the bold statement of the Rise collection, JennAir refrigerator drawers with obsidian interiors come with 4.7 cubic feet of storage capacity and independent controls. Additionally, they can be customized with wood paneling or a stainless-steel front.

JennAir double refrigerator units feature a Produce, Assorted, Beverage or Meat setting to properly chill and store refrigerated items, while JennAir refrigerator/freezer units feature the same, plus a Soft Serve, Spirits, or DeepFreeze setting in the freezer.

Refrigerator Drawers vs. Beverage Centers

As mentioned above, beverage centers won’t provide the same sleek appearance as a refrigerator drawer, but there are also a few other benefits to using a drawer fridge in a home bar.

Marvel refrigerator drawer with an assortment of beverages and fruits inside

Innovative Storage Solutions

While shoppers are able to find beverage centers with dual-zone or multi-zone temperature settings, using a separate refrigerator and freezer drawer ensures there is absolutely no temperature transfer between the two compartments.

Essentially, that means users can stock beers, soda, and water to extra-chilly settings in one chamber, and a more customizable temperature per flavor profile in the other.

Unlike beverage centers that require crouching to stock and access, refrigerator drawers are used from above. It’s a small detail, but it makes a big impact considering how many cans or bottles the average cooler can store.

Additionally, this allows users to access items easier, reducing the amount of time open, helping to retain cold temperatures even more. 

Where Else Can I Use Refrigerator Drawers?

Refrigerator drawers invite home designers to think outside of the box with unique solutions for nearly every space of a home. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Woman in blue blouse grabbing items from a Sub-Zero refrigerator drawer in bar

  • The Media Room: When it comes to enjoying entertainment, interruptions are simply unacceptable. Install a refrigerator drawer in a media room for cold beverages and snacks on the spot without missing a scene.
  • A Home Office: We’re all getting used to the work-from-home situation, and that can often mean missed lunches and skipped meals in order to stay focused and in the zone. By installing a refrigerator drawer in a home office, at-home workers can keep productive on a full stomach by stocking meals and snacks in the workspace.
  • The Home Gym or Garage: The last thing anyone wants after an extreme leg day session is to walk any further to enjoy a post-workout treat or drink. Give yourself a well-deserved break by adding a refrigerator drawer into a home gym or even the garage for water and shakes ready for replenishing.
  • The Outdoor Bar & Patio: On top of the benefits mentioned above, adding drawer refrigerators to the patio or outdoor bar area can also keep indoors tidy. For example, when the kids are swimming, keep them from tracking water into kitchen by supplying them with a beverage center outside.

Explore Exciting Refrigerators

At Grand Appliance and TV, we’re excited to present new appliance options that change how kitchen design is done. If you’re ready to see how a refrigerator drawer can improve your kitchen, we’ve got a large catalog in stock to help you fulfill your design dreams. Visit one of our 25 locations across Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa or shop online today!