Knowing how your refrigerator will be used is a big key as to what style and size refrigerator you should buy for your new kitchen. Do you have little kids that open and close the door just for the fun of it? Or do you have teenagers who will stand with the door wide open while daydreaming of the boy in the front row or the big game tomorrow night? Are they looking for a glass of milk or something for a sandwich? Refrigerators have doors within doors to allow one to get at the milk or juice stored in the extra deep shelf on the inside of the door.
Ice dispensing mechanisms built into the freezer door helps keep the temperature in the freezer compartment close to the near zero temperature that it is designed to keep. Also, this same mechanism can disburse cold filtered drinking water. It can be a thirst-saver during the hot months. If you do buy a refrigerator that has a built-in filtering system, be sure to maintain the suggested schedule for changing the filter. It does no good to have a water filter, if you do not do your part and actually replace the filter when indicated.
Make sure that the placement of the refrigerator and freezer allows the doors to be completely opened. You will need this ability to be able to remove the shelving from the units for a thorough cleaning. Also, you will want the placement of the refrigerator to be part of the ‘golden triangle’ STOVE-REFRIGERTOR-SINK of kitchen interior design. Ideally, you want those three pieces of your kitchen to be in direct relationship with each other. The idea is that you take things out of the refrigerator to the sink and then to the stove.
Make sure that you have enough counter space (by your definition) next to each of the big three so that the space is workable for your needs. When you are putting away groceries from the store, you will want to have available counter space to separate and divide up which food goes where.
Do you need a refrigerator that has really wide shelves rather than the traditional side by side? Those are available as well. You can get refrigerators with glass doors so you can see what is inside. We had one that was originally designed to be used as a wine cooler, but we used it as a dedicated refrigerator for fruits and vegetables. We kept the temperature a little higher than the standard one and the fruits and vegetables did great – lasted longer and we had less wasted food. It was strange to begin with but we all adjusted quickly.
As you can see, once you decide how the refrigerator is to be used, it will be easier to choose which refrigerator to buy and use.