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Luxury refrigerators, ovens get a home

March 12, 2010 | 12:27 pm


For some people, it might be TVs or cars or garden furniture. For me, it’s kitchens. And it was a little like being let loose in a top-notch candy store at the new showroom for Sub-Zero and Wolf at the Pacific Design Center the other day.

The showroom is full of built-in refrigerators that are filled with compartments, and refrigerator drawers that could go in a den or near a counter. Wine storage pieces can be set at one temperature for the top third and another for the bottom two-thirds.

The luxury companies Sub-Zero Inc. and Wolf Appliance Inc. opened the showroom on Wednesday. The idea is to be a counter to the rows of refrigerators or ovens shoppers face in appliance stores; the showroom has the appliances set up the way they might be used in a kitchen, with sinks and work stations – making them, of course, all the more alluring.


Paul Leuthe, the Wolf and Sub-Zero corporate marketing manager, came out from Madison, Wis., to mark the showroom opening and show off some of the appliances.

Among the temptations: warming drawers to go with the oven, and fryers and steamers that are set into the stove top. Sub-Zero’s new tall and narrow column models (starting at about $5,700) seems to be part of the woodwork. Some customers, Leuthe noted, don’t want to hide their Sub-Zero – I’d be among them, making every guest come look at my prize -- and not all models are so stealth.

One nice feature was a plastic card that slips into a space near the produce doors and details how to care for the appliance and the optimal way to keep food fresh – no milk on the door; fruit, not beer, in the fruit drawer.

Such equipment doesn’t come cheap: The Built-In series refrigerators start at about $7,000; the wine storage units start at $3,000, and Wolf ovens start at about $3,500.

-- Mary MacVean

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(Photos courtesy of Sub-Zero)