Monday, January 22, 2007

style vs. function?

We went to look at refrigerators today.

Although severely limited by the size of the opening in our kitchen cupboards, we were still faced with that most difficult of decisions: style or function?

Because of our space issues, we had decided not to get another side-by-side (oh, how we'll miss the crushed ice and water dispenser!). This left us with choosing between the freezer on top and the freezer on bottom. Sadly, there was only one option to be found with the freezer on the bottom (my first choice).

We went back and forth between two stores, trying to decide between the two we had narrowed our choice to. One was sleek black, actually very good-looking, as refrigerators go. This was the model with the freezer on top. After having a side-by-side, we found that this model made it seem like you had to bend over to retrieve anything from the fridge, it kind of threw us. But, the shiny black surface had the added benefit of acting as a skinny mirror! I loved standing in front of that fridge, it made my legs look skinnier than they've been since I was about 12.

The other choice was a very plain-looking white number with the freezer on the bottom. I was very drawn to the design of this one (interior, not exterior).

If you know me or Marc, you might be able to understand why this was such a difficult decision for us to make -- we are highly motivated by good design and good presentation of any kind. I was almost reduced to whining as I kept saying, "but WHY can't they have this pretty black number with the freezer on the bottom?!" Marc made it clear that he would of course choose the nice-looking fridge, but that I had to choose because it would impact me more (me being the one who is home and constantly feeding kids and cooking, etc.).

I can be indecisive even about small decisions (just ask Jill on a Creative Friday!), so this was just torture for me, especially because, if we're lucky, we'll be living with this appliance for at least 10 years (I'm still feeling irritated that our old one died after 5.5 years). After two hours of going back and forth and debating the virtues of each, I finally decided on:


the un-pretty but more functional one.

It was delivered this evening. I loaded it up with the food I was able to salvage by storing it in our very cold garage and our very frozen deck, and find I am still wondering if I made the right choice... oh good grief. I don't like this aspect of myself. I am loving the bottom freezer, but it's just not like me to choose un-pretty, and I am still mourning the loss of the pretty fridge -- not to mention the built-in skinny mirror!

Would this have been a difficult choice for anyone else? Are you drawn more to style or function?

26 comments:

lelly said...

i'm a style girl, definitely. which makes it all the more frustrating that there can't be more good design within the style.

the fridge you bought looks great in it's space! and? i've heard the shiny surfaces are difficult to keep finger-print-free!!

Robyn said...

I have the exact same fridge, actually, and I love it. I absolutely LOVE having the freezer on the bottom. It makes so much sense. Does yours have drawers? They are the best thing ever invented. You can get a ton of stuff in there and you can see it and nothing is falling out at you. Ok, sorry, I am a little excited that someone else in this world actually chose an intelligent fridge.

Jill said...

You guys crack me up. I remember marc coming home with the new "stylish" toaster oven and telling me how he paid more, but that it was worth it because it was the coolest one.

I think you're going to love, love, love having the freezer on the bottom and being able to access everything. I'm very excited about this. We need interior shots too!

Anne said...

I definitely would have had a hard time making that decision. Knowing me and my affinity for shiny surfaces I would have gone with the less practical "skinny" refrigerator, and then cursed myself every time I had to bend over to get the milk. I've always been fascinated with the freezer on the bottom, you'll have to let us all know how you like it.

Hannah said...

I think the fridge looks great! I have always wanted one with the freezer on the bottom. I totally go for function over style if I have to make a choice. For me, if it doesn't serve the purpose how I want, I don't really care how pretty it is. I would miss the ice and water in the door too...

melanie said...

I am so indecisive, I would have had a horrible time picking something as big as a fridge.

I do think you will be happy in the long run though. Function is so much better than style when it comes to something you use every single day. Maybe in a couple years when it is older you could paint it. I've seen it on HGTV so it can't be that hard can it? ha

rebecca said...

There will be, I imagine, something so satisfying about loading up your personal deep freeze, as only a freezer on the bottom could provide. "Un-pretty" maybe, but you will hopefully forgive it its flaws.
Yes, oh yes, I would so have struggled with this decision, and although I believe that you made the best choice, I hate hate hate any remorse after I purchase something. I hope you fall in love with it soon, and surely, as soon as you get out your magnets and pictures, it will feel at home in your kitchen. And who needs a skinny mirror anyway - the surface of a fridge is perhaps not the wisest place to look overly skinny, anyway - too tempting. You look gorgeous in your reality mirror, anyway!

jenn said...

It is torture when having to pick between the pretty one and the functional one! It makes me CRAZY when you can't have both- which seems to be often!! But...
function always wins and you will be SO much happier with the freezer on the bottom! I have my freezer on top and everything falls out of it, I strain my back or legs trying to load or dig through the fridge...
You made the right choice Michelle! Now you just need to cover the white with all your wonderful pictures and magnets and happy things- way better to look at than skinny legs :)

Jordan said...

I always choose aesthetics over function, but aim for the combinations if possible, it seems to me that you made the best choice under the circumstances--you don't want to bend over to get something out of the fridge for the next ten years, skinny mirror or no skinny mirror. It looks nice.

Elisa said...

I am the WORST decision maker. I worry about pleasing everyone else, and I also worry about making a decision I will regret or that will turn out wrong. If someone else makes the decision for me, I don't have this problem, and I am very forgiving with others wrong decisions. Anyway...between my husbands frugality and my wanting to please everyone including myself, we can take months to decide on anything.
For what it is worth, I think your new fridge looks very nice. Good decision.

Amy said...

I went for style over function when we bought our counter depth fridge for this house. I sometimes wish I hadn't. I would dearly love the extra room so I don't have to always run out to my garage to get food. I think you made the right choice. And like others have said, you can cover up the surface with fun stuff and you'll never know the difference.

amy m said...

Decisions are very difficult for me to make especially when it's between style vs. function. I would much prefer style for all the reasons you mentioned, but sometimes you just don't have a choice and must go with function. Think of it on the bright side the black would show everything and the shinny surface all the fingerprints. I think you made the right choice.

Kelly said...

This is exactly the kind of choice I have a hard time with because there is no "right" decision. I'm sure you'll love the freezer on the bottom, and if you ever feel like a boost that the "skinny mirror" black refrigerator would have given, you should just come look at your picture on your blog. You are beautiful!

Tasha said...

I am cracking up about the skinny mirror! That may have done it for me!

I wrestle with style over function, and usually choose function, but then feel frumpy...

Price Cream Parlor said...

I love your new appliance! My first thought was CUTE! Can an appliance such as a fridge be "cute?" - we just bought a new fridge as well and that is a hefty decision. And, one that weighs heavy on the mind! I love my new bottom drawer freezer! Hope you enjoy yours as well!

stacys said...

Alas, I am a style girl all the way and it gets me in trouble. We currently have a very stylish black counter depth side by side that looks great. But I can hardly fit anything in the darn thing! Oh well. At least I can look at it adoringly while not eating anything because it only holds one box of frozen waffles. Sigh.

Diana said...

Oh my, I am the most indecisve person ever. Trying to decide where we are going to go to dinner is so funny because of how long it takes me to decide.
I'm glad you decided with the more functional fridge, that would have been such a hard decision for me too. I would probably would have liked to go with the nice sleek black fridge but would have ended up with teh functional white one.
Since we've only rented we've never owned a fridge of our own, I can only dream what it would be like to choose a kitchen appliance.

Jenny said...

I would probably say function. Yours looks both style and functionable in my book. My b/f has one of those and loves the freezer drawer.

I am more of a one door instead of two fridge kinda gal since my kids drive me crazy with the water and ice machine on the door.

I think yours looks great!

Susan said...

Do I go for style or function? Lots of times, I'll wait until I can have both, if at all possible. I'm pretty picky. You will love the freezer on the bottom! We moved into a house with this refrigerator and it's freezer is on the bottom. I love it! The only bad side, my four year old is always getting herself her own popsicles. I have to hide them from her in the big freezer in the garage!

Liz said...

I completely understand how difficult it was to decide. I think I am the Queen of second guessing, "was this really the right choice? do I really like this shirt, these pants, those shoes?" Hopefully the fridge will grow on you, and in 10 years, maybe you can get the style you want with the functions and features you want too!!

Amie said...

I think this one looks great. (It helps that I didn't get to see the black one. I hate choices and usually choose by money. I have several things I don't love but they were cheap!

I hate to boss you around especially since I haven't even been to your house but it looks like it would be even more functional if you switched the door to open the other way?

Good choice!

mom said...

I guess it goes without saying that all of my adult life as a designer, I have chosen style over function, many times to a fault of terrile inconvience if not total impracticality! Recently, I replaced all my average, however very easy to use, door levers with beautiful vintage production glass knobs of all colors and finishes. Some are crystal, others tortoise, some black shiney, amber crystal and so on....I miss the ease of the levers, but oh so love the look of the fabulous glass knobs! I think the white one was a great choice. It is classic and allows many options when we paint the kitchen! We may be saving black for that! Also, the bottom freezer you will love! The only thing that I wish you would have thought of was to get one that opened with a left hinge. It would make so much more sense and ease getting things our or putting away! Some refrigerators have the option to switch the handle. Do a little investigating and see if you and reverse the handle. It would be great! I really prefer NOT having the ugly ice machine on the outside, perhaps you need another one of my vintage looking glass refridgerator water jugs.....let me know, I have a stash, remember when we found them when we unpacked the basement????

mom said...

Just one last comment, as I just proofed my comment after reading everyone elses! Why didn't I proof it before, I don't know. It is the end of the day and I am late leaving the office and in way too much of a hurry. However, I know how misspelling (is that right?!!!) and gramatical errors grates on you, so I am apologizing. I have come a long way in my computer skills, but I tried to go back and edit and I could not figure out how.........sorry will have to do for now.....

annalisa said...

oooh, tough decision. But if you'd gotten the pretty one, everytime you yelled "damn!" as you had to reach over to retrieve an item, wouldn't you feel foolish for choosing style over function? You made the right decision.

dpw said...

I love style, but in the end my practical side usually wins out.

Kristi Brooke said...

i may be more function.

I love the freezer on the bottom! that would be the fridge i would have bought. that feature is so handy and great.

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