Cabinet over Refrigerator--What goes in there?

laurarwJune 3, 2011

My GC is bumping out the cabinet over my refrigerator so it will have a more "built in" look. This means I will end up with a cabinet that will open OVER my head, and will be 30 + inches deep.

The existing cabinet over the fridge is already what I refer to as "a graveyard" since I can't get anything out of it unless I stand on a chair.

Now I'll have to stand on a chair, move all the stuff out of the front just to get at stuff in the back???

I suggested rollout trays, and he said it might weigh too much. He suggested I put trays and baking sheets there. I already store those under my oven (it has a drawer for that purpose)

I suggested a lazy susan (anything!) and he said he would look into it.

Beginning to think he doesn't use kitchens much...

Any ideas for me?

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Hi laura...

We use ours as a liquor cabinet, since we don't drink and only pull the booze out for parties...a few times a year.

That may not work for some people but it works for us teetotalers..:)


    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 12:54PM
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We have used it the same way KA has, as a place to store our liquor. We also used it to store all the cookbooks we rarely used.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:07PM
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Great idea...but I don't drink much either!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:07PM
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Some folks use it to store trays vertically. They'll have dividers built in or install the wire dividers.

Ours has one shelf. On top are small appliances that are seldom used (small crock pot, george foreman grill) and the big tupperware cake container. On the bottom are the glass cake stand and all the large mixing bowls. Mixing bowls are light, so it is easy enough -- even overhead -- to grab the whole stack out and slip out the one I want.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:13PM
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I use mine to store some beautiful platters that are very rarely used.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:13PM
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I've had the same cabinet in a couple houses. We've used it as a liquor cabinet (we don't drink much either) and a place for storing the one gallon glass jars I use to make sun tea. I also store pitchers that are rarely used up there. I did need to use my kitchen step stool to get in the back, but it was worth having the extra space.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:20PM
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back of it is used for things that are only needed once every 6 month, front is lined with cereal and oatmeal. you reach into the fridge, grab mild, reach up, grab cereal of your choice.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:25PM
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We put a 24" deep cabinet up there, but framed behind it so that it was even with the front of the fridge. The standard depth was less expensive, and there's no way that back 6" could be useful anyway.

We put in vertical storage there and use it for cutting boards. Because the fridge is very convenient to our prep area, so are the cutting boards. Also, you only need to be able to reach the bottom front end of a cutting board to put it up or take it down.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:30PM
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I have a very small cabinet over the refrigerator and in keep platters and glass plates I use for parties. I am sure there are items you use only once or twice a year which you will need to store. Over the refrigerator is a good place and your appliance will looked more built - in to boot!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:32PM
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This is what I did in my last house. Loved it! I also did the 24" deep cabinet, but pulled forward.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:37PM
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kompy - I love what you did with your upper cabinet! How did you do that? Or did your GC do that? I will have the same cabinet over my fridge and would love to do the same thing myself if I can!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:46PM
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We put a TV up there, it's a great spot. Our baking stuff is over the oven.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:58PM
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Seasonal things, for the most part. In the winter, pitchers are stored in the back and my cookie canisters for Christmas cookies are stored in the front. In the spring/summer/fall, they're reversed.

Year-round, I also store vases & seldom-used water bottles in the back and in the very front napkin holders, hot pads for the table, and often-used water bottles.

The napkin holders (w/napkins) and hot pads are stored in it b/c the refrigerator is next to the DR and it's very easy to grab them when setting the table. One thing...we're a tall family. I'm the shortest at 5'10". So the front, at least, is easy for us to reach. I do have to get a chair for the very back, but it's only 3 or 4 times a year.

Tray storage...I understand your range has a bottom drawer. But, have you ever tried to store your cookie sheets, cooling racks, muffin tins, pizza pans, roasting pan (& accessories), etc. in vertical storage? It's so much easier to access them than in a bottom drawer under a range! We stored our cookie sheets and other flat items in that drawer location in our old kitchen and I'll never go back to that kind of tray storage! (Our pots & pans were all stored in the corner susan.)

Keep an open mind and think about might find something new that works better than what you've been doing. Yes, you're used to what you have...but be open to change (or at least to consider/try something new). I'm so glad I kitchen has so many "new" things and I love the vast majority of them! Not all things will necessarily work out, but at least give things a try.

I did this over my ovens. You can do something similar over your refrigerator. (The bottom shelf holds platters & my griddle lengthwise front-to-back.)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 1:58PM
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It's totally possible to do a roll out tray. My cab maker does them a lot. I saw one of kitchens with them. The owner loved hers (2) and they weren't heavy for me to pull out. It seems like they were over $100 so it didn't seem worth it to me because I'm tall and have good storage options elsewhere for things I don't use often.

I think the pullouts were Rev-a-shelf if you want to see it online. They are specifically for over the fridge.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:06PM
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kompy, where do you find the little tracks the dividers slide into? I've been looking for something like that.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:12PM
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See the link below for a possible source of the channels + tray dividers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tra-Sta Pan Organizer

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:27PM
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We did a similar thing and love the built-in look! Our space is divided with one shelf. On the lower area, on one side, I store my turkey roaster and a few other seldom used pans; on the other side, I have some seldom used platters (used during holidays or large parties). On the upper shelf, I store some seldom used trays and serving baskets. All these items used to be stored in my basement and so had to be dusted/washed before use! Nice to have them closer now - I figure the trip up the kitchen step stool is easier than the 2 flights of stairs to the basement.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:31PM
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Here's an older thread....

Here is a link that might be useful: Tray Divider Over Fridge

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Tray storage and tv storage. We ordered the tracks for the dividers with our cabinets. They were full height and dh cut them down and put in the extra shelf after we were comfortable with what size items we wanted to store there.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:51PM
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That's where I keep all the cleaning supplies -- I know the little ones can't get into them there. But I'm tall enough to reach without a chair.....I store vases which are rarely used in the back part of the cabinet. I also have a cabinet with the tray storage but it is under counter cabinet. I use things in there every day. Love the tv idea. Clever!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 3:25PM
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laurarw about this--we store our wine and water goblets (used infrequently) on one side, and cookie sheets on the other.

Although I REALLY like the idea of a stereo!

I didn't realize that a standard 24" would save money over 30--thanks for that!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 4:17PM
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A friend of mine keeps perscription medicines up there, says it's the safest place to be out of reach of the children. I never would have thought of that but it seems pretty logical.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 7:36PM
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I have all the extra rolls of paper towels (we buy from Costco) up there , behind a row of cookbooks. It takes us about two weeks to go through a roll, so grabbing a stool and getting the next roll every two weeks is no big deal.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:07PM
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I love my roll out trays. I am 5'3'' and can reach most everything with my hands over my head. I am a great believer of storing items at their point of use. We keep cereal, lunch boxes toward the front. Items rarely used are in the back.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:13PM
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On one side serving items, good silverware, G Forman grill and Xmas/bday gifts in the back behind the other stuff (until the others figure out my hiding spot).
In the other one is the tray storage as shown by others.
Since we have a separate 30" fridge and freezer, that would be too much wasted space if we did not utilize it. I almost did without because of wanting no "uppers" but am glad we kept those in. 30" x 30" tall upper cabs can hold a ton.
I keep our liquor down lower so it does not get hot being above the fridge or higher up in the room (heat rises).

BTW - how did teetotalers get on GW? I thought it was a requirement to drink if you do a reno ;)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 9:26PM
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On one side I keep things I don't want other people or dogs to know about. It's the place for special treats or to keep things untouched until I'm ready to use. (Nobody looks there but me.) The other side has a big basket that I can pull out. This is where I keep my clean up rags (not dish rags/towels) for major spills and accidents. However, I like the idea of tray storage.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 7:55AM
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Extra rolls of paper towels. I'm short, and can ... just ... barely ... (stretching...) reach them on the lower shelf. It's a problem if someone has just spilled a whole glass of milk and I need to grab a new roll quickly.

I actually have two of those cabinets, stacked one atop the other. The top one was put in simply because there seemed to be no reason to stop short of the ceiling. A few months after finishing the kitchen, there's nothing in it but the manuals for the kitchen appliances. The step stool is always handy, though, so I'm sure I will eventually make it the home for some bulky, seldom-used items.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:17AM
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I LOVE having that huge, deep cabinet to keep things that just won't fit anywhere else, along with awkward things that I want easily accessible. I keep all my large (and extra, extra large) bowls up there, including mixing bowls, popcorn bowls, storage bowls, and huge stainless bowls. I also keep several large serving platters that I only rarely use and some of my mom's old pieces that I never use but can't ever get rid of. The things that get used the least are in the back or on the top shelf, while the things I use every day are on the bottom shelf in the front.

This pic is from quite awhile ago--the cabinet has much more stuff in it now!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:24AM
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Circus Peanut

Ours (fairly shallow because of a very tall fridge) is an open shelf and we love it for storing bowls, colander etc. Lesser-used stuff (fondue pots) go in the back.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:31AM
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Mine is not as deep as the frige and you have to use a stool or chair to get into so the only thing I keep in mine is three kerosene lamps ready to light during power outages.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:36AM
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May I suggest I added beautiful wooden pullout shelves to every shelf I had in my kitchen (except over the fridge!) They're also located in ebay. The prices are so unbelievably reasonable you'll want to use them everywhere. They install very easily. I've got an antique colonial and the cabinets were built in. I couldn't afford to replace the cabinets, but I sure could afford to make them more accessible. The vertical space over my fridge is only 15" so I'm pretty limited, but i could store on an angle up there and put my baking stuff. Thanks for the great ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shelves that slide

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Okay, now I'm feeling guilty I didn't study up on how I would use this particular cabinet! Before it had a lot of my good china but I will have a glass cabinet for that now. My cabinets are already being made--nearly done. Hmmm....recalculating.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:27PM
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"how did teetotalers get on GW? I thought it was a requirement to drink if you do a reno"

i've noticed that... I don't drink either, so have no idea how to survive a kitchen redo...

I'm very short also. at 5' I can't reach anything up there. If it was a tall cab and I still canned i'd probably store my canner and related stuff up there.
the one in my soon to be new (used) kitchen isn't deep and I have no idea what will go there. probably stuff I have no idea where to put - as long as it isn't something I need often (if ever). I have no idea what that might be.

I do think it's a great place to hide presents tho - if you have someone to hide them from. I don't anymore. I have a lot of lower places to hide dogs presents that the dogs can't reach. They can't open drawers either...

how about a display area?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:55PM
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I opted for open shelves with baskets for storage. It is so much easier to pull the baskets down as opposed using a stool every time I need something out of the cabinet. My fridge is counter depth so there is not wasted space in the back and I was able to find baskets that were a perfect fit. I use the space to store paper products and light bulbs.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:28PM
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