French Door FridgeOctober 10, 2023
Plus-sized fridges in American kitchens have long been regarded as a domesticated expression of the banal idea that bigger is better. And the rest of the world caught up. Many a kitchen is dwarfed by the size of their refrigerator. We’ve come to the end of how big a fridge can be: accept we didn’t. In the last few years a new cooling-unit-trend with a quintessential European twist is pushing the limits of large: The French Door Fridge.
For those who like us are not aware of the details and history of the French door, here’s a very short summary. French doors can be traced back to the early 17th century when the French embrace of Renaissance ideas and ideals with it’s focus on proportion and symmetry was at its height. The French aristocracy incorporated these principles into the designs of their chateaux. Just think of those neurotic French gardens with their symmetrical lawns, hedges and fountains. Similar ideas on symmetry influenced the interior of the home including, you guessed it, doors. Rather then a single door, this preference involved the integration of the double (symmetrical) door. The double or French door was soon tied to social protocols. As an assorti of aristocrats wandered around the state rooms in Versailles they would pass through these double doorways. These doors had footmen assigned to open and close them according to strict rules of precedence. Only one door would be opened for someone of lower rank (it served as a clue to those already in the room that someone of lesser rank was entering). However, if both doors opened it had to be someone really important.
The cunning appropriation by the white goods industry of the French Door tradition (in itself already quite silly) supposedly allows us to tap into this Versailles grandeur, but not before we get rid of that ordinary single door giant. And there we go again.