Cool Refrigerator Trends

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From a built-in Keurig to sphere ice to glass door fronts to internet connectivity, refrigerators are trending in surprising ways.

Story by Ann Butenas

It was once noted social media is like a refrigerator. You get bored so you keep checking, yet nothing changes. Well, in 2021, that stale boredom may disappear as some changes are definitely happening when it comes to the options available on refrigerators today. In other words, this standard feature found in every kitchen is not your grandma’s “ice box.”

Refrigerators have made leaps and bounds when it comes to the integration of technology and innovation. Whether focusing on smart features or incorporating updated elements of design, there are a few trends on the horizon that just might inspire you to opt for an upgrade.

Christine Hawkins, Builder Outside Sales Representative with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery and Factory Direct Appliance, pointed us in the direction of where refrigerators are heading today, starting with a topic that is a real ice breaker.

“One of the biggest features we are seeing is the ability for refrigerators to make crescent, spheres and nugget ice,” noted Hawkins, who also noted some offer a built-in Keurig, making that first cup of coffee in the morning oh-so convenient with a hot water dispenser.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg! Minimalism in terms of design is trending, as well.

“Cosmetically, some people do not like refrigerators that stick out very far,” said Hawkins. “Samsung has a four-door flex-fridge version with a completely flat front look with recessed handles. Even the water, like an internal fill water pitcher, and ice dispensers are on the inside, leaving the door completely clean.”

Fun and unique colors are also making a comeback in 2021. No, we are not talking about that 1970s avocado color. This year, for example, GE offers a stunning café line, with matte black and matte white finishes, along with interchangeable handles (even in copper!) to match the rest of the hardware in the kitchen. 

Another change to refrigerators this year is becoming quite transparent: glass doors. The idea behind this concept is that it allows you to see what is inside the fridge before opening the doors. Translation? Less time deliberating with the door open while simultaneously ensuring the food inside is maintained at even temperatures. The new Bosch 800 series, for example, has a transparent wine drawer highlighted with a red oak shelf, a surprisingly unexpected design element that adds to its aesthetics.

Connectivity is also a prominent feature this year.

“Some of these refrigerators have a big touchscreen on the outside on which you can leave a message or add to your grocery list, which you can then download to your phone,” explained Hawkins. “It can also act as a hub for all of your home’s smart features.” (In other words, you can operate your washing machine, range and smart doorbell applications from this central hub, helping you to keep tabs on everything going on in and around your home.)

Further, the Dacor line has a camera inside that can snap a photo which you can then access on your smart phone so you can see what you have. No more over-buying or forgetting what you need at the store. And if organization is an issue for you, the GE Profile has adjustable shelves that can slide from front to back and also features adjustable drawers. 

 “This is perfect for things such as wine bottles that you do not want to leave on their sides,” stated Hawkins.

 It is simply amazing what your refrigerator can do for you. Today these appliances can literally come stocked with all you need and more, allowing you to operate nearly all aspects of your life directly from your fridge, offering a brand new experience right in your own kitchen.

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