Is the Ikea Nutid refrigerator-freezer the most affordable counter-depth refrigerator-freezer out there? At $1,349 in white and $1,399 in stainless, I think it may be — and I am now adding this model to our Retro Renovation kitchen decorating arsenal. I like counter-depth refrigerator-freezers for mid-century kitchens for a number of reasons, and I tend to favor side-by-sides, too. Here’s why:

  • Our vintage kitchens tend to be smaller. A counter-depth fridge — which by definition does not jut into the main of your kitchen area — kind of recedes into the cabinetry… it’s smaller. In mid-century America, fridges were smaller than they are today.
  • Similarly, a side-by-side model means there is less door to swing into your smaller kitchen.
  • A counter-depth fridge is more amenable to creating the “fitted” kitchen look, which was the ascendant style in the postwar era. Bring that soffit right down to the top of the fridge!
  • Stuff is less likely to get lost… or turn into a science experiment…in a counter-depth fridge.

The downsides: These tend to have less storage space… and side-by-sides protypically are less energy efficient than a freezer-on-the bottom model. This Ikea Nutid, though, is Energy Star qualified.

Here’s the link to the Ikea Nutid.

And click here to see my other refrigerators identified as good possibilities for a Retro Renovation kitchen.

  1. gsciencechick says:

    Hmm, definitely something to think about! Our state energy star rebates take effect later this month for the last weekend. It is 15% off energy star fridges, freezers, washers, and dishwashers bought during that Thurs-Sun weekend. That makes this an even better deal!

    However, if there is any way we can manage a Big Chill, that would be awesome.

    There is Nutid French door model, but it does not look like it’s counter depth.

  2. elena says:

    thinking about getting the Ikea Nutid now that I see it’s counter depth and reasonable – anyone with experience with them – it would be great to get comments.

  3. pam kueber says:

    elena, it might be worth getting an online subscription to Consumer Reports to see if they have tested this one…

  4. Mary says:

    Try ebay–I was able to find authentic retro chrome & red handles for my 50s diner in my basement there. 🙂 You find the craziest things on there, including small parts. 🙂

    Hope you find them! 🙂


  5. suzee says:

    Late to this party, I’ll add that we’ve had a Nutid for 1.5 years now, with 2 adults and 1.5 teens (one is in college, only here 4 months out of the year, but the other one eats like a horse). We shop once a week, max. We’ve never had a problem with space! We’re selling current house and moving into a 1950 post war (how I found this site) and will be installing another Nutid there. Great fridge for the bucks.

  6. Heidi E. says:

    There’s one more nice thing about side-by-sides—the freezer is as big as the fridge. That was a huge sacrifice for me when I first moved out of my parents’ home to a place with a normal top freezer. I like to freeze large amounts of portion-sized leftovers for DIY TV dinners and it never made sense to me the the freezer, where you can store things long-term, is usually less than half as big as the portion full of stuff you need to use up fast. I wish I could remember which brand my parents had( I think Whirlpool, but not sure. I guess it doesn’t matter since they won’t be made the same now)—it was still working great after over 40 years when my dad moved out of state to a second marriage last year, despite needing the door handles reattached when I was 12.

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