Best use of space over refrigerator?

crl_April 6, 2014

What do you think the best use of the space over the refrigerator is? Regular cabinets seem to end up as black holes for me. In our first kitchen we put in a very small, short refrigerator because of space constraints and I put a pot rack over it--it was great for us. I have also seen dividers for cookie sheets and the like; that seems like it would be good. I have also seen wine storage, but that's not ideal from a temperature stand point.

Thanks for any thoughts!

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I'm curious too. I was thinking of bins so that rarely used items could be accessed by pulling out bins from the back?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 12:57AM
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Originally, I planned a non-BI fridge in my new kitchen. In my storage plan, I had scheduled a home for some larger, rarely-used items like the regular coffee pot, large coffee thermos, pitchers, etc. My cab maker even offered the pull-out bins made specifically for over the fridge. Eventually, due to my measuring mistakes, we ended up with a BI KA fridge.

Some folks with ranges instead of wall ovens use the space for sheet pan, cooling rack, etc storage like I have over my wall ovens.

If you search around, you should be able to find an old thread, maybe two, on this topic filled with great pics. I think the last one was about 2 years ago.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:18AM
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I think I want to have the cookie sheet dividers over mine. By putting only skinny deep things in there, if you are short like me you can always get them out by the lower front corner without going for the stool.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:18AM
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In our current kitchen we have a tv over the fridge. The cabinet has pocket doors, so you can hide the tv if desired. Over our oven stack we have slots for cookie sheets. I also store mt cutting boards there.

We are building a new home and will have slots over the fridge.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:11AM
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Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:19AM
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We have deep shelves over the fridge and there are two shelves. The bottom is for muffin pans and stuff, and above that is over things rarely used. I need chair to reach the tippy top shelf (step stool wouldn't be high enough), but I can reach the baking stuff by just standing on my tippy toes and I'm only 5'1".

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:23AM
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We had our cabinet maker build pull-outs for over the fridge. I'm only 5'4", but I can reach the things closest to the edge without a stool. DH (he's 6'4") can reach everything. We use them for lightweight items, like cereal, paper towels, and napkins.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:58AM
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My fridge is 84" tall, so I need a ladder to reach the cabinet over it. I keep paper products there (towels napkins, tissue boxes, and single use plates) - yes, I still use those, sorry :$ :-)

I don't like keeping them in the pantry as we buy then in bulk from Sam's and it is hard to organize them on open shelves.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:05AM
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My old kitchen had base cabinet tray storage where something always disappeared to the back, and I was on my hands and knees digging for it. I didn't want to be up on a step stool digging around in a fridge cab. I think you need a false back in the fridge cabinet to make it work optimally for trays, but then you waste space in your biggest and deepest cabinet. Or spread everything out with dividers, which seemed a space-waster in my small kitchen.

So I went with a centered vertical divider with two adjustable shelves. It's very roomy storage for light-weight small appliances-- ice cream maker, popcorn popper, etc., large SS bowls, stockpot, 8-packs of paper towels and large packages of napkins, specialty baking pans (angel food, Bundt)--things that would take up too much drawer space. I don't have a lazy Susan or a separate pantry for those items. I use a narrow cabinet over a pull-out pantry for cutting boards and trays, and yes, things still migrate to the back and require a step stool. I should have put a false back on that cabinet, but it's a narrow cabinet, not 36" like a fridge cab.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:36AM
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Our cabinets are very deep over the fridge (30-ish inches). I used two roll-outs. So far, I have my 2nd (less used) crockpot up there and some of my canning, basically things that I don't use too often. Still not fully "moved in" yet, but it will be other stuff that I just don't access as much since it is harder access.I also had our cabinet maker make the rollouts so that the back had a higher part to it to ensure that nothing falls because it would be very difficult to reach stuff way back at the back - I'd need a ladder for sure. I can access everything with a step stool.

I have another cabinet that is like it in my talls (only it's only 24" deep. I made a mistake in getting just one wide rollout with it. Don't do this! I'm actually going to check with my cabinet maker about getting that replaced if it isn't too costly.

The two rollouts I have over the fridge are much better because I can stand to the side where the cabinet door isn't open and access everything from the side rather than trying to reach over in the front.

We used the area above our oven/mw to place dividers for cookie sheets, cooling racks, and cutting boards. In use so far, I am quite happy with that. BUT, I may need to come up with a second location for a cutting board as well since that's something I use all the time and they are used most often near our sink or on the island, so it's a little less convenient not having them exactly at POU (point-of-use). I'm thinking that I may keep some of my small ones over at the POU for quick jobs and keep the bigger ones in the divider area for when I need them.

Annkh's solution is a nice one as well having them as pull forwards, almost like a sideways drawer.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:37AM
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I have a pull-out shallow drawer or tray which holds really large stock pots, steamers, and such that don't stack well, are light to lift up and down and would take up a ton of room anywhere I put them. I can slide trays in other places, but these space hogs needed some place to spread out. The tray is nearly full-- I MIGHT be able to fit in one more pot if I had to.

I can reach them from the front or the sides without a step stool
For me, this works perfectly

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:59AM
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I have slots over my fridge for cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks, pyrex baking dishes (the 8`x 8`fits inside the 9`x 9` and the 9`x 13` fits inside the 11` x 14`).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:15PM
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that is our liquor cabinet. It's embarrassingly full and now I'm pregnant so it will stay that way for awhile.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Thanks so much for the pictures and ideas! I will have a counter depth refrigerator, so I think I need to do a little measuring. But right now I'm leaning towards cookie sheets and the like, and if there is room a deep shelf above for seldom used platters.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:00PM
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LOL that's a lot of booze, three graces!

Mine is just a big box, without shelves or pull outs. It's used for seldom used counter-top appliances. With the varied shapes and sizes of things like that and the depth of the cupboard, shelves and dividers seem difficult. I like the idea of double-pullouts, though.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:17PM
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I have 3 shelves in mine; the lowest one has half divided by spring rods for smaller baking pans; the other side has a basket with odd items; behind the baking pans are extra ice cube trays (no, I don't use the ice maker usually).

The second shelf is where larger extra cookie sheets are, flat.

The 3rd shelf is just 2 or 3 inches above the second, and there I have extra sports water bottles, canning jars, etc. I plan to convert that shelf to 2 pullout shelves at some point, but so far haven't really needed it. I do need the stepstool to get to that top shelf.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:56PM
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I vote for the liquor! Of course, you may not want to have to climb on a step stool and lean way over the fridge to get the gin for your 3rd martini...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 3:19PM
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Of course, you may not want to have to climb on a step stool and lean way over the fridge to get the gin for your 3rd martini.

Especially if you're pregnant :-)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 3:47PM
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Hmm, given me ideas now. I have some never-used wineglasses (still in the boxes so they take up lots of room) up there, I think a few vases and the curved hanging thing that came in my fridge for a 2-liter bottle. Haven't really been up there since I shoved the wineglasses in when we built almost 7 years ago.

But the Ikea pullout baskets I just bought will fit up there (if I put something in the middle of the cabinet to mount them to) - can pull them right out the doors (after opening). My side panels were supposed to be 32" so just the doors of the fridge would project, but builder cut them back to (or ordered) 24" ones to go with the 24" deep cabinet, so I do have to use a stepstool and reach over the fridge to get up there, and can't reach the back at all.

With a teenager in the house, that may be where we move the liquors to. Though he'll be able to reach it more easily than I can.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 4:04PM
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I chose to make it a glassed in cabinet for my collection of Indiana pottery bowls.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 6:57AM
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