The scene is a tony Upper East Side apartment. An elevator opens up to a loft space.
White walls. High ceilings. Open floor plan. What are we doing with the kitchen?
Elena designed the kitchen and cabinets herself. Appliance-wise she rolled with an ASKO stainless integrated dishwasher (she was the owner of an ASKO dw at her prior residence and swore by it, which is the typical sentiment from ASKO owners), Wolf 30″ dual fuel range DF304, and a SubZero Bi36 framed refrigerator. She also has Bosch Axxis 24″ laundry tucked away and stacked in a closet.
Beautiful design here Elena.
Elean’s Upper East Side Kitchen. Wolf DF304 range, SubZero 36″ Framed refrigerator, ASKO integrated dishwasher.
Six years ago I sat in an auditorium at Sub-Zero headquarters in Wisconsin and asked one of their engineers a pointed question:
“Will Sub-Zero make a french door refrigerator?”
At that point the answer was a resounding “no”, but times have changed and we are now staring at the near-imminent release of Sub-Zero’s first foray into the French door style – the Bi-36UFD (there are plans for a 42″ to be released in the next year or so).
I was fortunate to spend some time with the new fridge at the recent Architectural Digest show in NYC, took some nice booty pics, so let’s get in deep now. First, a list of the feature set or as I like to call it, the “tale of the tape”
– Width: 36″
– Available in stainless, overlay and flush inset
– Annual energy usage is 571 kWh or $61
– Star-K certified
– Automatic ice maker
– Water and air filter systems
– Dual refrigerator system so freezer and fridge don’t exchange air
OK, now let’s get into the grist. The biggest issues with French door refrigerators is the way that they seal, or, their lack
of sealing! If you open a typical French door you will see an annoying “flap” in between the doors that is needed to get most of the doors to seal. The problem with this flap is that I’ve had plenty of customers complain that they break, get loose, etc.
The Sub-Zero Bi36UFD utilizes the flap as well, BUT, Sub-Zero spent 4 years working on the way the fridge seals so as to avoid the issues that most other French doors encounter.
That’s why you will pay more for a Sub-Zero – insane focus on customer usability. While most, if not all of the other premium fridge manufacturers were rolling out French Door fridges in the last 5 years, the engineers at Sub-Zero sat back and said we’ll be patient, we’re going to get this right. It seems to me that they did. The fridge doors open and close with the security and sureness that one would equate with Sub-Zero. The fit and finish is beautiful.
Enough of the words, onto the evidence…..
This pic shows the Bi36ufd with the classic Sub-Zero handle. It can also be purchased with a Pro-handle to match your Wolf range.
Remember, whether you want a flush inset look or a panel-ready look that will jut out from the cabinet, you must buy an “overlay” Sub-Zero model.
Then, you need to let your cabinet people go to work. Flush inset style requires the cabinets to be a 2 3/16″ deeper.
So, it’s the same fridge, just different measurements for the cabinets.
Let the pictures tell the story.
Sub-Zero Refrigerator With Flush Inset Application
Sub-Zero Overlay Refrigerator With Custom Panels – Notice How the Sides Jut Out Compared to the Flush Inset Model.
When Sub-Zero relaunched their built-in refrigeration line 3 years ago one of the big additions was the new ability to
buy a built-in 30″, 36″ 42″ or 48″ fridge, put a panel on it and have the panel be completely flush with kitchen cabinetry.
This is a look that Sub-Zero had offered for years in the 700-series, but for one reason or another was not available with
the larger fridges.
Sub-Zero has dubbed this look “flush inset” and the majority of my customers who are paneling their new Sub-Zero’s are going with this
style. I can see why…it’s cleaner and sharper looking.
Most customers think that you have to purchase a unique fridge in order to attain this look. Wrong.
You still purchase a Sub-Zero overlay refrigerator (which comes without a front or handles) and then
you would have your cabinet maker/carpenter play with the cabinet sizes in order to attain the flush inset look.
Basically what they need to do is the following:
– make the depth of the cabinet space 2 3/16″ deeper than the standard depth of 24″. So you would instead be using 26 3/16″ in depth.
– the flush inset width is 2.5″ wider than a standard opening
– the flush inset height is .25″ higher than the standard opening
– you must allow 1/2″ reveal (opening) around the perimeter of the fridge in order to promote airflow and allow for the proper door swing.
Also note: the inside edges of the A)the rough opening B)the sides and a portion of the back of the decorative panel will need to be finished as they are exposed when the doors are open.
Most people use custom panels that are 3/4″ thick. If you go with something larger than this you may be required to purchase a 90 degree door stop in order to prevent interference with adjacent cabinets.
Let the pics tell the story
We recently delivered these Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances to a home in Ossining in Westchester County. Note the gorgeous custom cabinetry (hand crafted in their home), especially on the line
with the three SubZero units. Quite a trophy kitchen here folks.
To all our readers who question what island trim looks like on the back of a Wolf dual fuel range. Voila!
Magnificent, commanding, regal…what else can I say about this pic. The Wolf 48″ range is quite the sight.
Best by Broan Insert
Don’t sell many of these combinations (for now) as warming drawers have fallen off a bit. Wolf convection micro, Wolf L-Series single oven SO30FS and unamed warming drawer.
Paneled and under an island.
From Left – Right – SubZero Freezer, SubZero Wine Unit with Drawers,SubZero Built-in Fridge
Pull out drawers on SubZero wine fridge
Different angle, check out the custom canopy above the Wolf range. Bon Appetit indeed!