When most people imagine their dream kitchen, built in refrigeration is a major component. Built in refrigerators give the home kitchen a seamless, contemporary appearance, especially when complemented by a wall oven, cooktop and/or other built in appliances. We recently highlighted some great built in refrigerators to consider for 2017 in a list that includes built in French door, side-by-side and bottom-freezer refrigerators, but there’s another option that allows for customizability that you can’t get from those more traditional refrigerators: column refrigeration.
What is a refrigerator/freezer column?
The term “column” in reference to refrigeration is still used loosely throughout the industry, but for all intents and purposes, a column is any full-size, single-purpose unit (i.e. an all-refrigerator, all-freezer or wine system) that is built into a wall. You can pair a refrigerator column with a freezer column for a built in side-by-side look.
What’s the benefit of refrigerator/freezer columns over built in side-by-side refrigerators?
The biggest benefit of column refrigeration is superior customizability. Unlike traditional built-in side-by-side refrigeration, column units allow you to pair any size refrigerator column with any size freezer column, easily. Whether you want a wine cellar built directly in between your refrigerator and freezer or a freezer the exact size of your refrigerator, columns are the way to go.
Let’s look at some of AJ Madison’s most popular—and our most recommended—refrigerator column and freezer column pairs.
Sub-Zero’s IC30 columns give you excellent freedom to customize. For starters, the refrigerator and freezer column are both available with a left hinge door swing or right hinge door swing, so they can be built in on either side of one another. Plus, the refrigerator column is available with or without an ice and water dispenser, depending on your preference. And since these are panel ready models, you can customize the exterior appearance however you’d like.
With both columns standing in at 30 inches wide, you get a 60 inch refrigeration set-up—more than you could ever get from a standard side-by-side refrigerator. If you’re a little less concerned with freezer space, you could easily opt for the IC24FI 24 inch freezer column instead.
Gaggenau’s 400 series refrigerator columns come in widths of 24” or 30”, with a matching 24” freezer column. German engineered for a contemporary aesthetic, Gaggenau’s column selections give you the means to build a beautiful “refrigeration wall.” You can even pair these columns with the Vario 400 series 24-inch wine cooler, which holds up to 99 bottles.
Miele has been an innovator in refrigeration for many years, and their foray into columns is an exciting development. The MasterCool series columns are available as panel ready units, or with a stainless steel door. Like the Sub-Zero series highlighted above, each column is available with a right or left-positioned hinge, so the refrigerator and freezer can be built on either side of one another. And with the panel ready option, they can be designed to match your cabinetry. Miele produces reliable refrigerators with sophisticated cooling systems and a handful of convenience features, and their columns are no exception. Most notably, these models are RemoteVision capable, which means Miele can remotely monitor them and alert you if they require care.
Bored of the Stainless Steel look? Don’t want to bother with custom panels? Viking offers eight different color options in their Professional 5 series. Additionally, these columns are available with right or left-positioned hinges for installation flexibility. On the inside, Viking’s powerful ProChill Management System ensures outstanding cooling performance. The Variable Speed DC Overdrive Compressor cools foods quickly and efficiently. Viking doesn’t just make refrigerators that look good—they perform reliably and quietly.
These columns are available in 30” and 36” widths, meaning you can get up to 72 inches of refrigerator and freezer space while still achieving the side-by-side look. Or, you can opt for a 36 inch refrigerator column with a 30 inch freezer column.