A counter-depth, side-by-side, Energy Star refrigerator in white — good design potential for a midcentury kitchen

B22CS50SNW bosch side by side counter depth energy starThis looks to be a good refrigerator contender for a midcentury modern kitchen: It’s the Bosch 500 Series model B22CS50SNW and it has a number of features that I really look for: Side-by-side… counter-depth… Energy Star… in white. The only thing I don’t like is that ice-maker in the door… and while a lot of folks will balk at the $2,500 list price, (1) I’m guessing you can wait for a big sales event and get it for significantly less and (2) it’s still gonna be cheaper than the Sub-Zero.

Why do I like these features?

  • Side-by-side — I really like a side-by-side for a small kitchen — less door to have to wiggle around.
  • Counter-depth — I like counter depth for similar reasons: Midcentury kitchens tend to be small, non-countertop depth are so honkin’.
  • Energy Star — is good. I don’t think we had Energy Star available in side-by-side units until recently
  • White is classic. Note: This refrigerator also is available in stainless steel.
  • Free-standing — You can build it in, or not.
  • Design — The lines are modern – yes, like the Retropolitan and my Sub-Zero, more Jetsons than Donna Reed.

I have not seen this puppy in person — I wish I could see what that white exterior is made of. Nonetheless, from the website photos and description, it looks like one to consider if you’re doing a kitchen remodel or need a new fridge and have the space to work with. Link: Bosch B22CS50SNW counter-depth, side-by-side, Energy Star, white refrigerator.


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  1. Melanie says

    Oh, I want one! Counter depth would be so awesome in my kitchen! It would be the difference between getting the frig door open or not when we have a family dinner. I’ll have to wait for a big discount sale on these.

    • Ally Cat says

      FYI: anyone wanting a one almost exactly like it, IKEA is selling out of last years white glossy front side-by-side,(Nutid S23) counter-depth for $899! We have trouble selling white appliances over the stainless, so I’m not sure if it’s being replaced by a 2012 model or not. Not sure if all stores still have stock.

        • Ally Cat says

          How long do you think it’ll be before enamel-front appliances show up in the mainstream market? I’ve been predicting that for a while, look at washers & dryers! I bet the colors will be slate gray, or other stainless-y colors without the fingerprints.
          I dig my stainless fridge but the upkeep is fussy. Luckily one of my customers recommended using Orange-Glo Floor Polish on it. That keeps the fingerprint mess under control!

  2. says

    I used to love side-by-sides (too much time spent watching 1970’s game shows, I suppose). But then we got one. It’s almost impossible to get a frozen pizza (a staple in this home) in the freezer, and you’re always moving stuff around to get at other stuff.

    Still, this is a handsome refrigerator. and I can forgive a lot of things for both energy star and counter depth…..

    • says

      I can’t understand people’s love of the side-by-side either. I guess the narrower door would be a plus in a small kitchen, but otherwise, I hate the things. Every rental house we lived in had one and I hated each with a passion. Give me a good old freezer on top (or bottom) any day. Same with stainless steel. One house I lived in had a very expensive stainless steel fridge, every smudge and fingerprint showed and it always looked like garbage. There’s a lot to be said for good old white, traditional appliances.

  3. Holland says

    Just yesterday I was tracking counter-depth fridges for my tiny kit. Right now BestBuy has a 22.6 cu Frigidaire side-by-side in stainless on sale for about $1050. Same model comes in black and white, currently their best price I can find is about $1450.

  4. says

    We had a really hard time finding a refrigerator that would fit our under-sized spot, so we hardly even got to choose a style! This one looks great, but I agree with your icemaker assessment (that’s what ice cube trays are for). And the price is a little painful. You can waste a lot of energy with an older model for that kind of money.

    • Dawn says

      We have had a hard time too. We have a built in cabinet in our 1959 Ranch. The fridge there currently is not original and very very small. When we look around at possible replacements, we ALWAYS have very few options as the opening is so small. I think we will go for a very plain and basic brushed stainless…Because I cant afford the fridge I really want at Big Chill.

  5. Zane Barlow says

    How tall is it? Our current problem is that the upper cabinets are too close to fit modern fridge height…. if anyone has some leads on side by side that’s short then normal would love to hear about it. At the moment when this original fridge goes we’ll need a total cabinet remodel to fit a new fridge.

    • Nutmegger says

      I have this same problem! The overfridge cabinet in our 1950 kitchen is too low to accommodate any new fridge I’ve come across. Does anyone know of a full-size, modern-day refrigerator of any style that is 64″ tall or less? Width is not an issue. The fridge that’s there now is a 1980s model and it’s periodically sounding like a giant swarm of bees.

  6. Christa says

    I have an old GE side by side with the door water/ice and I had to disable it because it constantly made a sound like a cow giving birth. Plus, the ice tasted like the freezer. Not good.

  7. Jay says

    Wow Pam, you really are getting into the 70’s; you would probably be floating in mid-air if it came in avocado. Bosch does make a good product but that price!!!.
    You make a good point about the small kitchens. I cleared the underside of the original overfridge cabinet with less then one inch when I bought my Amana bottom mount freezer. Yes it sticks out into the room but I love the abundant space the open interior affords for fresh and frozen foods.

  8. says

    It’s a great looking appliance! I wish I could do a side by side, but it simply isn’t possible. Our fridge space is fairly small (by the standards of the overly large refrigerators on the market these days), but I’ve finally come across a few that might fit the space we have.

  9. Lisa says

    We just bought a “French door” model. Not all that retro looking, but the Samsungs are available in basic white or black. You get the space savings of the smaller door but I think it will be less restrictive on storage than side-by-side. The one we bought has a drawer-type freezer on the bottom and is counter-depth. Got it at Lowes on sale for about $1000, so pricey but not crazy expensive.

  10. Chris H says

    I’m another one who does not care for side by side models. The compartments are narrow but deep, so you have to pull things out to get at other things. As others mentioned, big items don’t fit.

    When we do our kitchen remodel, hopefully next year, we will ditch the side by side and get this ‘fridge –


    The top of the upper door is slightly arched, and while it does not look as curvy as a ’40s or ’50s ‘fridge, it seems like a reasonable and cost effective choice for a pre-MCM kitchen.

  11. gsciencechick says

    We really liked the Bosch (stainless) when we were fridge shopping, but when we looked at the price, we decided if we were going to spend that much, we’d just go with the Big Chill. I also do like the PP’s bottom freezer with a single door. That would’ve also been an option, and that style is more economical.

  12. says

    I agree about Samsung bottom freezers. After much research I found theirs to be the best for the size and price. I got their bottom freezer about a year ago and LOVE it! It’s a couple inches shallower than most, but it’s a about a half inch deeper than a true counter-depth for about a $1000 less than true counter-depths. When I renovated my kitchen I made my boomerang patterned laminate counters that ran next to the refrigerator about a half inch deeper. Samsungs are pretty neat too, really innovative with all of their other products and highly rated in JD Powers. I also work at Sears and sell appliances, and usually recommend Samsung. Mine is model: RB217ACPN/XAA

    Also is if you swap out your electrical outlet for a recessed receptacle it can help with the depth if the plug and cord are causing it to stick out. I noticed these for sale at Home Depot after I did my counters.

  13. Pat says

    I like the fridge, I have a Sears side by side that looks very similar. I don’t see what is so retro about it though. By the way, these counter depth fridges have VERY LITTLE freezer space, especially with the ice maker/water dispenser. I have to use my extra side by side in the basement for it’s freezer.

  14. Chutti says

    Ah, COUNTER depth….
    We searched high and low only at Sears (because we had a credit) for a fridge for our new old house that looked retro.

    That GE Chris linked to was the most retro looking I saw beyond the Big Chill and Smeg. Unfortunately, it had poor reviews (freezer tube issues?) so we passed on it. Agreed that the ice maker is not a look (r function) for us.
    Had hoped to find a retro-style fridge we could ‘antiquify” like our last Frigidaire from Sears. Here’s the last one hubby painted with Auto Enamel (left over from the 1956 Buick):

    Wound up with a Kenmore French Door with bottom freezer in white. It is by FAR the largest fridge I’ve ever owned. Not scaled for retro in any sense, which is an unusual departure for us. Gotta say we LOVE having room for my obsession with asian condiments and bizzare frozen meat substitutes, and it works great.
    Our bills went down $20/month!

    We got a smoking deal at the Sears Outlet-who cares about a scratch in the back? -but it is really too deep to look retro. Love everything else we’ve done to get my dream 1930’s kitchen. I’m shooting for that See’s Candy look. You know-we’re modern and hygenic, but homey. Something in counter depth would definitely be scaled more appropriately.

  15. raisedranchkid says

    Anyone buying a new fridge or getting rid of an old one should check with their utility company to see if they offer any rebates. Con Ed (NY) is currently advertising that they will give you $50 if you get rid of an old fridge, and they’ll even haul it away.

  16. Marcheline says

    Sorry, all you side-by-siders and stainless steel lovers. For me, there’s nothing on my retro kitchen horizon but a BIG CHILL. There just isn’t anything hotter for keeping things cold than that baby!

  17. Pat says

    I have a Kenmore that is very similar to this. I would never buy another counter depth unless I had to (which we had to in order to fit in our kitchen). It doesn’t hold enough and we have to have a backup fridge in our basement. (and there are only 2 of us using it!) I am so glad they are FINALLY making flat surfaced fridges again. I refused to buy those wrinkled front fridges, not only are they ugly, but the surface attracts dirt!

  18. Pat says

    What is mid-century about that design, I don’t see it?
    By the way, counter depth refrigerators are really SMALL! I bought one because of space issues and I still have to use my old refrigerator in the basement for lots of stuff. Never again.

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