Not many choices in the funky fridge department

Not many choices in the funky fridge department

I hate my refrigerator.

It came with my house, all 9 cubic feet of it. It's fairly new, but my faith in it evaporated upon seeing "damaged" scrawled on the back of it in black permanent marker. Eventually, rust start creeping along its bottom, which I'm guessing is a problem with the defrosting feature.

I'm pretty sure my kitchen has hardwood floor under the linoleum floor, and I'd love to refinish it. But there's no way I'm going to pursue that project if I have a refrigerator with a rusty bottom. My solution: a new fridge, of course. (Suddenly, I understand how quickly the cost of home improvement projects can grow.)

But here's my problem - I want a refrigerator that doesn't look like a plain white or silver box. Many manufacturers make sassy red washers and dryers. Is it too much to hope that they'll start spicing up refrigerators, too? (I don't understand the logic behind the colored washers and dryers, by the way. In a typical home, the fridge is in a much more public place than the laundry area.)

Add in the frustration of having a small kitchen in a tiny house, and the obstacles to finding a fridge are irksome.

Amana makes a cool red refrigerator. It even has an entertainment version, in which you can put any beverage you choose on tap. However, the color is a little on the burgundy side for me (picky, picky, I know, but it's a big purchase). And it's not Energy Star qualified, which is far more important to me than its shade.

I love retro-style fridges (find them here and here), but who can afford to drop a couple of thousand dollars on a refrigerator? Truthfully, I'm saving a small amount of money each month with the ultimate goal of getting one, but I can't help but hope something better and less expensive will come along first. There are so many better things one could do with that amount of money. (And, by the way, I know that in the scheme of things, the search for a suitable refrigerator isn't much of a problem. Forgive me if this post comes off as shallow.)

I sent out a plea on Apartment Therapy last month, wondering if anyone knew of any alternatives to these expensive retro-style refrigerators. One commentor suggested buying a standard-colored refrigerator and taking it to an auto body shop to be painted. I could see doing that with a fridge with contoured doors - Whirlpool makes several in that style, and in several sizes.

So far, though, I haven't been desparate enough to do any research into whether someone in the area could do it or how much it would cost. After all, finding a new fridge means committing to refinishing my floor. And I'd also like to paint my combined kitchen and dining room. That's one big project.

But I can't believe how hard it is to find a unique, fun refrigerator that goes easy on the electricity. Surely I'm not the only person in search of one. Anyone else have similar frustrations?

Credit: Photo is from

EDIT: You can read all about how I bought a regular refrigerator and had it painted red here.

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choco640 wrote on February 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm

You can always buy a standard white and paint it yourself. They make appliance paints that can be applied by the consumer that are available for purchase.

jonbntl wrote on June 01, 2010 at 11:06 am

I did this a year or two back with a mini fridge, it wasnt too hard and I think looked good, depending on your skills with a spray gun! I dont know how it would relate to a full size fridge though.

Meg Dickinson wrote on June 07, 2010 at 12:06 pm
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Jonbntl, I ended up buying a white fridge and paying an autobody shop to paint it red. You can read all about it using this link:

Meg Dickinson wrote on February 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm
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@choco640 What a great idea. Have you ever tried it? I'm a little worried I'm not good enough at painting evenly to do a good job. I'll have to do some research on that.

Amanda Baker wrote on February 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm
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I LOVE the big red one. Someday... someday.

greerwilliams wrote on February 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm
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There seem to be a lot more colorful small kitchen appliances. KitchenAid does whole collections of mixers, food processors, and spatulas in coordinating colors. I think the problem with the refrigerators is often people will leave them with the house when they move. The more neutral beige paint and stainless steel appliances often appeal to the most and sell the best.

I think it is because washers and dryers are usually out of site from regular house visitors that homeowners are more likely to take a risk with them.

I think the red one is really cute!

Meg Dickinson wrote on February 26, 2010 at 11:02 am
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I have several red KitchenAid accessories that I love. And if I end up buying one of the high-end retro refrigerators, you'd better believe I'm taking it with me when I move. That's a good point about the washers and dryers, though.