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Fridge cabinets - clever fridge cabinet hacks for a streamlined kitchen design

November 19, 2023 | Updated on: November 19, 2023

refrigerator integrated into two tone cabinets

For many of us, who want to have a streamlined kitchen aesthetic, hiding appliances can be a challenge. When it comes to designing a sleek-looking kitchen, you have to consider firsthand the type, size, and design of the appliance before purchasing it. They need to be compatible and in just the right size in order to blend seamlessly with your built-in cabinetry. When we talk about kitchen appliances, the first thing that often comes into our minds is the fridge. Of course! It is the biggest and most important appliance that needs to be effortlessly integrated into our kitchen design.

In this blog, we will tackle kitchen fridge cabinet design. We will be answering questions such as: What are the different options of fridge kitchen cabinets for different types of kitchens? We will talk about the details of a fridge cabinet design and the different features of a kitchen cabinet fridge for different types of fridges.

Why is it important to have a cabinet for the fridge? The answer is for many reasons, for some, it’s an eyesore to see parts of your fridge sticking out. It breaks the aesthetics of your kitchen. Another reason is for safety and functional purposes. A Kitchen fridge cabinet protects your fridge from damage. A cabinet panel fridge, for example, not only creates clean and seamless cabinetry but also makes your kitchen space feel expansive. Moreover, you can optimize the space above fridge cabinets for storing kitchen items like condiments, cookware, or utensils.

Read on to discover more about how to innovatively and creatively integrate a kitchen cabinet fridge panel.

Over the fridge cabinet ideas

open concept kitchen withone wall of cabinets and fridge recessed

The space above your fridge often remains underutilized in many kitchens, but it holds immense potential for additional storage and creative design solutions. Above fridge cabinet ideas not only maximize storage capacity but also contribute to a seamless and organized kitchen. Here are some innovative cabinet above fridge ideas to make the most of this often-overlooked space.

1. Standard cabinets over the fridge

Installing the standard above fridge cabinet provides a conventional yet efficient storage solution. These cabinets over the fridge can match the existing cabinetry, maintaining a cohesive look in your kitchen. Consider glass-front doors for a touch of elegance or opt for solid doors to conceal items neatly.

2. Open shelving

Create an airy and open feel in your kitchen by installing open kitchen cabinets around fridge. Display decorative items, cookbooks, or stylish storage bins on your open cabinets around fridge to add personality and charm to the space. Choose sleek brackets or floating shelves to enhance the modern aesthetic.

3. Extended-height cabinets

Maximize vertical space by installing extended-height cabinets above the fridge and even cabinet beside fridge. These cabinets offer additional storage for seldom-used kitchen items like seasonal cookware or bulky appliances. Customizing these cabinets to match the rest of your cabinetry maintains a streamlined appearance.

4. Wine rack or bar cabinet

Transform the space around your fridge cabinet into a stylish mini bar or wine storage area. The best area to put up a wine rack is the fridge side cabinet. Here, you can store wine bottles, glasses, and bar accessories. This functional addition can add a touch of sophistication to your kitchen.

5. pull-out pantry

Consider a pull-out pantry system on your cabinets around the fridge for convenient storage of pantry items or spices. These slim, vertical fridge side cabinets and kitchen cabinet above the fridge can be designed to slide out, providing easy access to stored goods while optimizing space.

6. Customized fridge box cabinet solutions

Customize the cabinets surrounding your fridge with specialized storage solutions. There are multiple ways to do this. Incorporate a mix of drawers, pull-out wire baskets, or adjustable shelves to cater to specific storage needs. You can opt to have a fridge panel cabinet for a sleek and clean appearance. You can also have it open but ensure that your fridge is flush with cabinets so it does not stick out. Tailoring the interior of these fridge with cabinet panels ensures efficient organization.

7. Appliance garage

Create an appliance garage above the fridge to neatly house small kitchen appliances like toasters, blenders, or coffee makers. Retractable doors or roll-up tambour doors provide easy access while keeping the countertop clutter-free.

Space between fridge and cabinet

30 inches deep fridge and stove with cabinets behind the fridge and side cabinets

The space between your fridge and cabinets might seem like a small detail, but it can significantly impact the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen. Properly placing cabinets around the fridge involves a balance of precision and design finesse. Here are essential tips on how to do it right and what to avoid.

  1. Measure twice, cut once

Before starting any cabinet installations, determine the fridge cabinet dimensions. Measure the available space around your fridge meticulously. Account for the fridge’s dimensions, including its handles, and leave enough clearance for easy opening. Remember, precision is key - errors in measurements could lead to ill-fitting cabinets or restricted fridge access.

  1. Maintain adequate clearances

Ensure there’s enough gap between the fridge and cabinets. Typically, leaving a gap of at least ½ to 1 inch on each side of the fridge allows for proper ventilation and prevents the appliance from feeling cramped or causing overheating. The above fridge cabinet height is the length of the space left between the top of the fridge and the ceiling.

The standard depth of a fridge cabinet typically measures 30 to 36 inches deep or more. Given that countertops usually have a depth of around 25 inches (24 inches for the base cabinet with a 1-inch overhang), this results in a standard refrigerator protruding six inches or more from the adjacent countertops.

The standard fridge opening for cabinets for kitchen cabinets above a fridge typically accommodates the standard height and width of a refrigerator. Generally, this fridge enclosure cabinet opening measures around 70 to 72 inches in height and 30 to 36 inches in width, allowing for easy installation and access to standard-sized refrigerators while ensuring a seamless fit within the cabinetry layout.

  1. Use filler strips wisely

Filler strips can be your best friend when aligning cabinets around the fridge. These narrow pieces of wood or material help bridge any gaps between the fridge and cabinets. However, avoid overusing them, as excessive filler strips can disrupt the seamless look and feel of your kitchen.

  1. Consider the swing

Keep in mind the direction in which your fridge doors swing open. Plan your cabinet layout accordingly to avoid obstruction. Cabinets placed too close may impede the fridge door’s opening or limit access to adjacent drawers or cupboards.

  1. Maintain a cohesive design

Ensure that the cabinets surrounding the fridge match the rest of your kitchen design. Consistent cabinetry style, color, and hardware contribute to a cohesive and visually appealing kitchen layout.

minimal kitchen with recipe shelf above the fridge

What to avoid:

  • Blocking ventilation

Never install cabinets too close to the sides or back of the fridge, as this can impede proper ventilation. Restricted airflow can affect the fridge’s cooling efficiency and lead to mechanical issues over time.

  • Neglecting accessibility

Avoid placing cabinets in a way that makes it challenging to pull the fridge out for maintenance or cleaning. Accessibility is crucial for routine tasks and repairs.

  • Ignoring design harmony

Don’t overlook the visual harmony of your kitchen. Ensure that the space between the fridge and cabinets complements the overall aesthetic, avoiding disjointed or cramped appearances.

Properly positioning cabinets around your fridge involves a delicate balance of functionality and aesthetics. Precision in measurements, maintaining adequate clearances, and mindful design choices are crucial for achieving a seamless and visually appealing integration. By following these tips and avoiding common pitfalls, you can transform the space around your fridge into a well-designed and functional area that enhances the overall look of your kitchen.

No cabinet above the fridge

If your fridge is too tall for a cabinet, there are still multiple ways to utilize your kitchen for more storage space. If there are no cabinets above the fridge, you can use the empty space there to place items like décor or baskets where you can still store some items. Consider floating shelves for displays or artwork to add personality, or opt for functional storage like baskets or a rolling cart for efficiency. Custom shelving or tailored storage solutions offer versatility, while practical additions like a step stool or message board maximize the space's functionality.

Ensure items fit well, prioritize accessibility, and align the decor with the kitchen's style for a cohesive look. Whether for decor or storage, this area presents ample opportunities to transform it into a visually appealing and purposeful space within your kitchen.

Different options to wrap a fridge

sleak integrated fridge with cabinets color matchin

While fridges are essential, they can sometimes disrupt the seamless look of a well-designed kitchen. Enter fridge wrapping - a creative solution to blend your fridge seamlessly into your integrated fridge cabinet. Here are some unique options to wrap a fridge and elevate your kitchen's style.

  • Magnetic chalkboard or whiteboard wraps

Turn your fridge into a functional canvas by applying a magnetic chalkboard or whiteboard wrap. This option not only allows you to jot down grocery lists, recipes, or inspirational quotes but also adds a contemporary and interactive element to your kitchen. It’s a versatile choice that can be easily customized to match your kitchen's aesthetic.

  • Stainless steel finish wrap

For a sleek, modern look, opt for a stainless-steel finish wrap. This choice can complement stainless steel appliances, giving your kitchen a cohesive and polished appearance. It’s an affordable alternative to purchasing a new stainless-steel fridge and allows for easy removal if you decide to change the look in the future.

  • Wood grain or faux wood wraps

To bring warmth and a touch of natural elegance into your kitchen, consider a wood grain or faux wood wrap for your fridge. This option is perfect for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere while seamlessly integrating the appliance into wooden cabinetry or countertops.

  • Matte or glossy solid color wraps

For a minimalist approach, consider a solid color wrap in either a matte or glossy finish. Opt for a color that complements your kitchen's palette, making the fridge seamlessly blend with the surrounding decor.

  • Chic textured wraps

Textured wraps can add depth and visual interest to your kitchen. Options like brushed metal, carbon fiber, or leather textures can give your fridge a luxurious and sophisticated appearance.

Fridge wrapping offers a cost-effective and versatile solution to integrate this essential kitchen appliance seamlessly. Whether you prefer a bold statement or a subtle blend, these creative options allow you to transform your fridge into a stylish addition to your kitchen decor. Experiment with different materials, colors, and textures to find the perfect wrap that suits your taste and elevates your kitchen's overall aesthetic.

Built-in fridge cabinet

white kitchen design with fridge that looks like cabinets

Interior designers recommend that the fridge to be hidden in a cabinet because a cabinet-covered fridge offers a multitude of benefits. The advantages range from maximizing storage to enhancing the overall look and feel of the area. Having a fridge inside a cabinet also protects your appliance. These cabinets can be customized to fit specific appliances, such as under-cabinet fridges or hidden fridge cabinets, adding a touch of sophistication and efficiency to your kitchen layout.

Under-cabinet fridge

The concept of an under-cabinet fridge revolutionizes the kitchen's functionality, especially in areas designated for entertainment or social gatherings. Incorporating a bar cabinet with a fridge insert beneath a countertop or within a designated area allows for easy access to beverages without interrupting the flow of the kitchen. If you are looking for bar fridge cabinet ideas for kitchens with a small island, an under-cabinet wine fridge is something that you can integrate under your kitchen island.

When considering an under-counter fridge, focus on measuring the under-cabinet fridge dimensions. Typically, the height and depth are standardized at around 82cm and 55cm, respectively, simplifying those aspects of the measurement process.

A bar fridge labeled as "panel-ready bar fridge" includes additional attachments to secure a cabinet face. This feature enables you to conceal the front of the fridge with a personalized cabinet panel. Opting for panel-ready appliances is a favored option as it grants the flexibility to tailor the look of your appliances according to your preferences.

This setup enhances the entertainment space, offering a convenient and stylish solution for storing drinks, mixers, or chilled snacks while maintaining a sleek and cohesive look within the cabinetry ensemble.

Kitchen Cabinets

Hidden fridge cabinet or cabinet-ready fridge

In contemporary minimalist kitchens, you’ll often see a fridge that looks like cabinets. This fridge cabinet design is intended for kitchen cabinets to look consistent throughout. Designers often hide the fridge by creating a custom fridge cabinet or they suggest that you go for fridge matching cabinets. There are different ways to make your cabinet door fridge blend seamlessly into your cabinetry. You can apply a finished wrap that mimics the color or pattern of your cabinets.

A fridge that blends with cabinets or cabinet-ready fridge takes the integration of appliances to a new level. A fridge that looks like a cabinet creates a cohesive visual appeal, giving the kitchen a clean, uncluttered look.

Matching the fridge with the surrounding cabinets in terms of color, style, and hardware allows for a cohesive and harmonious appearance. Additionally, a fridge with cabinet doors offers the option to conceal the fridge entirely when not in use, maintaining a uniform and uninterrupted design throughout the kitchen.

In traditional kitchens with existing cabinetry, they might have a space allocated for the fridge. You can install a cabinet fridge door here or customize it to create a fridge with panel doors. Having a fridge that looks like a cabinet is an ingenious way of transforming old traditional cabinetry into a contemporary one.

The beauty of integration

Built-in cabinet fridge brings a level of sophistication and efficiency to the kitchen space, especially when tailored to accommodate specialized appliances like under-cabinet fridges or hidden fridge cabinets. These solutions not only optimize storage but also contribute to the seamless design, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the kitchen. Whether it’s a discrete under-cabinet fridge for entertainment areas or a hidden fridge in the cabinet, integrating these elements creates a harmonious and efficient culinary space.


Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.