At KBIS 2020—the world's leading kitchen and bath design event taking place in Las Vegas—the Beko team is shining the spotlight on our beautiful 36-inch, counter-depth, French 4-door refrigerator. A stunning stainless-steel example of high tech combined with high function and high style, it fits perfectly in a wide range of contemporary kitchen designs, from traditional to Mediterranean to modern.
A case in point: the recent installation of two of these top-of-the-line Beko refrigerators at the new custom-built creative offices of Chicago-area marketing agency Street Level Studio.
The architects for the project, Garry and Suzanne Shumaker of Shumaker Design + Build Associates in Evanston, Illinois, found a unique way to incorporate the refrigerators into a modified galley kitchen and make them “work” for the agency's unique team and eclectic workspace.
“Our goal was not to camouflage the refrigerators or make them disappear,” Suzanne says. “After all, they are the beautiful ‘bookends’ to the design. But we did want them to look built-in—without creating unnecessary construction headaches. And, like any good design, our plan had to serve two equally important goals: aesthetics and function.”
The Shumaker team spent time planning what would work within the space and with Beko's installation specifications. For the Shumaker team, access to information was critical. They were able to work directly with Beko to make sure they had the right specifications and to work out any issues in advance.
According to Garry, the initial logistics for any refrigeration installation depend on a variety of factors. Hinges are “a big deal,” as well as maximum door swing, how the interior drawers and shelves work, the manufacturer’s tolerance for gap around the edges, etc. He was delighted the Beko refrigerators were designed with square—not arched or rounded—doors, which gives a “cleaner transition from refrigerator door to the cabinetry.” Likewise, the interior hinges on the French door refrigerators were “instrumental to creating a sleek, streamlined, fitted look.” They allow the doors to open completely even when flush with surrounding cabinetry.
The firm's design took the refrigerators from fully exposed to artfully enclosed with a clever work-around that achieves a true built-in look without extra expense. It features a unique “stepped” look that is a thoughtful part of the design, not just a functional or mechanical accommodation. A filler and reveal were built around each appliance in the same plane as the counter and an offset gap was added above for circulation/ventilation (the refrigerator “breathes” from the top). A deep, single-door, lift-up cabinet was mounted flush with the surround above each refrigerator to complete the built-in look.
“We’re so pleased we were able to create an interesting, elegant, and custom solution for Street Level Studio. The finished installation adds interest and varying depths to the small kitchen, while making the beautiful Beko refrigerators a true focal point,” Garry says. “We think they fit perfectly with their surroundings in this exciting new workspace.”