Gone are the days of clunky freestanding refrigerators dominating the visual space of a kitchen. Your good taste in refrigerators doesn’t need to announce itself by making sure everyone notices your new model as soon as they walk into the kitchen; rather, it shows itself in the elegant restraint of an integrated refrigerator that blends in seamlessly with the surrounding cabinets.

This classy, luxury look often carries with it a price tag to match, making it challenging for some people to bring their perfect kitchens from fantasy into reality. Fortunately, there’s a solution that offers the best of both worlds.

Integrated application allows for tight reveals, flush design with surrounding cabinetry.

A Short & Affordable Integrated Refrigerator

Fisher & Paykel’s ActiveSmart™ Refrigerator RS36A72J1 is a 36″ French Door Integrated Refrigerator which blends seamlessly with your cabinets at a remarkably affordable price and a convenient size. In fact, it’s the only real contender on the integrated refrigerator market that combines affordability with a shorter height.

Major Benefit #1: Smaller Size

If you’ve been spending much time in the integrated refrigerator market, you probably realize that all of them are pretty tall. The Miele Vi Series 36” built-in refrigerator, for example, stands at 84” high. KitchenAid’s 36-inch side-by-side built-in refrigerator is just a hair shorter at 83 ⅜”. Sub Zero’s 36” over-and-under integrated refrigerator is right there too, at 84”.

Aluminum accents give the plastic interior an industrial touch.

So what’s a person to do if this height isn’t functional, practical, or desirable based on the space or taste in question?

That’s where this size option of Fisher Paykel Integrated Refrigerator comes into play. It’s a standard 72” high, a full foot shorter than many of the other options on the market – and also the same size as 90% of refrigerators on the market today. This gives it added versatility and makes it an option in spaces where other integrated refrigerators simply will not fit.

Major Benefit #2: Affordable Price

This option from Fisher & Paykel stands as strong on price as it does on size, coming in at $3,799.00. While you can certainly get refrigerators for less, they won’t offer the same level of quality (or style) as this integrated refrigerator.

Control panel lacks digital temperature and feels especially cheap.

For a more accurate price comparison that reveals just how competitive the Fisher & Paykel is, let’s take another look at those options by Miele, KitchenAid, and Sub Zero.

Sub Zero 36” Integrated Refrigerator with Ice Maker: $8,320.00

Miele 36″ Built-In Bottom Mount Refrigerator – KF1903VI: $8,299.00

KitchenAid 20.8 Cu. Ft. 36-Inch Width Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator: $8,999.00

Compared to those prices, you can see just how affordable the Fisher & Paykel is within its niche.

Other Features of the 72″ Height Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart™ Refrigerator

It’s hard to truly stand out among dishwashers of this quality, and the ways this Fisher & Paykel does it are primarily through its unique combination of height and price, as we’ve already covered in depth. With that said, it’s worth touching on a few of its other features to give a bigger picture of what this refrigerator can offer.

ActiveSmart technology monitors and responds to your refrigerator usage to keep your foods at the perfect temperature without using more energy than necessary.

The design of this refrigerator minimizes gaps; it’s designed to have only ⅛” reveal of space on any side.

Easy access and use was clearly a priority throughout the design process. The double doors let you get to any part of the interior easily, while the extensive LED interior lighting means there are no dark or hidden corners.

Freezer compartment has 3 tiers of storage.

The flexible and adjustable shelving also contributes to this overall ease of use. 

We especially were impressed with the addition of the aluminum trim to each of the plastic shelves on the door, giving what is no doubt a cheaper interior a feeling sophistication.

Conclusion

This refrigerator is punching above it’s weight limit both in price and application.

Is it as good as a Sub-Zero or a Miele? No, not even close. But then it’s price is less than half of its nearest competitor. Obviously Fisher & Paykel are aiming for a different type of customer. This refrigerator is the first of what we hope is many Integrated Refrigerators “for the masses”. Meaning, now you no longer have to be spending 150k on your Kitchen remodel in order to have flush and integrated refrigeration.

This model for under $4,000, allows you to panel your refrigerator to integrate seamlessly into your Kitchen. Something that previously would have cost you twice that. It’s weakest point is the control panel, which feels and looks cheap and surprisingly cannot even be bothered to display an actual temperature readout.

The Fisher & Paykel Integrated French Door Refrigerator reaches a whole new audience and we are interested to see where it goes from here.

 

Gretchen Holm

About The Author

Gretchen Holm, a Bay Area native, has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade. When she isn’t traveling, she tends to be in the kitchen, which leads to a deep appreciation of great appliances.

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