No cabinets over top of fridge

LCaroline12February 21, 2014

Is this a wild and crazy idea? While putting the layout together with the cabinet man, we talked about how refrigerators seem to be getting taller, and it's IMPOSSIBLE to reach those cabinets. Heck, I don't even know what's in my cabinets above the fridge. Junk? So we nixed the cabs above the fridge. Surely I can find a better way to use that space. Maybe a tv that can be seen from the countertop bar. Anyone else do this? What other fridge top alternatives are there?

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I think conventional wisdom on GardenWeb is that the usual 12" deep upper cabinet above the fridge is hard to reach, hard to even see, and pretty much useless. However if a 24" deep cabinet is used, (perhaps with vertical partitions) it can improve both the look and function of the kitchen.

Some people put a wine rack above the fridge but others say that is a bad idea because it will make the wine go bad relatively quickly.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:44AM
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I have a W302112 over my fridge. I wanted something for the cookie sheet type things I never use. However, at 5'2" a 24" deep cabinet would be just dumb. i.e pointless conventional "wisdom."

I pulled it forward to the front of the fridge and it's just fine.

Wine needs ambient temperatures, not refrigerator heat to stay in optimal condition. 'Course if you put'cher bottle down every night, that fridge wine rack won't matter.

Do a search. There are a lot of people who have used shelving and tvs, among other things up there. I think it really depends upon your height.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I wanted to leave my fridge "cabinet-free" in our current remodel. I posted about it here and I think the concensus was that a "naked" fridge looks very dated. I like the look looks "airier" to me, if that's a word! My very tall hubby nixed the idea anyway. He can use the cabinet for whatever he wants as I don't need storage space and can't easily access whatever is up there anyway.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I couldn't do without the additional storage. I can't reach the recesses without a step stool, but I keep seasonal items up there and don't have to access it very often. I don't like the idea of a TV that I have to crane my neck to see.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:58AM
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I don't like the no-cabinet look because I like everything to look built-in even if it technically isn't. In my last house I had the cabinet that was pulled forward and installed vertical dividers for infrequently-used items like roasting pans, broiling pans, microwave bacon pan, and the like.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:59AM
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I was considering a nook for something decorative over the fridge, but I decided to do a deep cabinet instead. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to have storage (even infrequent), plus I needed something to tie that wall in with the rest of the kitchen (there are no other cabinets on the fridge wall).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:37PM
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My cabinet is 24" deep above the fridge and it is for cookie sheets, cooling racks, cutting boards, etc. The cabinet has wire dividers and because everything has it's edge at the front they are all easy to reach. There is no reaching to the back. For me it is very useful.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:52PM
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I have a deep cabinet up there. I am only 5'4", and can only reach the front of the bottom shelf. But I have a step stool for all the other tops of my cabinets, so what's one more occasion to use it?

I store my special occasion platters up there.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:19PM
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But I have a step stool for all the other tops of my cabinets, so what's one more occasion to use it?

It's one of the reasons I loved my dedicated 9" wide step-stool cabinet!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:23PM
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We had a tiny kitchen in an old house and ripped the above the refrigerator cabinet down when we remodeled. The refrigerator we put in was small and short (and actually allowed the back door to open fully which was a huge improvement over the old refrigerator) and I put a pot rack up there. That was a thousand times more useful to me than the cabinet had been and it helped make the kitchen look less cramped as well. I guess it might be a dated look, but in that old house dated could also be interpreted appropriately retro, lol.

I have seen some pull out type storage in IKEA hacks for the space I think. Maybe worth trying to find to see if something like that would be useful to you?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:27PM
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Like you, I didn't want them either. My last kitchen when we replaced the fridge, the doors of the overhead cabinet wouldn't open without hitting the fridge hinge. And to raise the cabinet would mean it didn't line up with the rest.

I opted for floating shelves above the fridge. Decorative for the things you don't dust and don't use, but want to display. I like the look and feel it's less "crowded" then if it had a big bulky cabinet over it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:17PM
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We are also planning for no cabinets above the fridge. We had those cabinets in our previous kitchen, and stored some infrequently used items inside. The truth is, we never took those items out until we moved...We think it's probably better to have less stuff, than to have more (difficult-to-reach) storage.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:41PM
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My cabinet maker built full-depth pullouts above the fridge. On one side I have cereal; on the other napkins, paper towels, and other lightweight (but bulky) stuff. DH is 6'4" - he can reach everything. I can reach what's in the front, and my stool is handy for everything else.

I love this cabinet!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:03PM
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You never know when you might need an extra large space. I have a built in refrigerator and the cabinet extends all the way out to the end. It's great for storing dishes, bowls, vases, candlesticks, and other things I only use ocassionally.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:20PM
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I agree, a 24" deep cabinet is the way to go.
We currently have a 12" and I have to stand on a stool every time I want to get something even if it's only a few times a year.
After we finish the install of the cabinets that are to arrive Monday, I'm buying 2 more cabinets from the same company one of them being a 24" and to no style and butt doors and probably install a pull out. I still might put things up there that we don't use as often, but at least we have a space to put them.
Currently since the cabinet is only 12", I'm standing up there probably 6 times a year trying to wash the top of the refrigerator :-/ If I put even a cookie jar on top of the frig, anytime I want to open the cabinet, I have to take down the cookie jar. Kind of a pain if you ask me lol.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:57PM
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@ankh, I like that! I can see storing paper plates, plastic cups, and napkins there. Right now those items take up space in my pantry and we don't use those items that often except once in a blue moon.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:28PM
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