Cabinet above refrigerator

boone_2009September 10, 2012

Hi everyone!

So I've been staring at the two-door cabinet area above the fridge and wondering what creative things forum members have done with that space, during their renovations.

Currently, the two small doors open( as usual) to the sides. I just feel it's so blah. I'm thinking of putting in only one door that pulls down, so it looks more like a panel above the fridge, when closed, than a set of doors.Leaving the cabinet door-less and displaying something pretty in the space was briefly considered by me ..until I realized I would have to be climbing a step-stool often in order to keep the area clean.

What have others done? What do you use that cabinet/space for?What kind of doors do you have? Do you have open shelving, lighted displays, tray storage, glass doors, secret caches of whatever ;-), even a Tv in that dratted space?

Please toss your imaginative solutions/creations/ideas my hungry way.. I'd be delighted with any and all scraps :-).


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Boring two door design here. I use it to store our liquor collection. High enough to keep away from my two young children and easy enough to retro fit a lock to it when they get older.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:21PM
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I thought long and hard about not building the cabinet up. Then I thought equally long and hard about leaving it open as a lighted niche for display purposes. (bowing my head in shame) I went with two doors as I found our it would have enough height for vertical tray and pan storage. This freed up a drawer.
I feel like I have let you down. :(
Someone definitely has a TV there, maybe Alabamamommy

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:58PM
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I know a lot of people use it for tray storage, but it's the deepest cabinet in the kitchen, and trays and cookie sheets leave unused space in the back. Mine has a vertical center divider and an adjustable shelf on each side. It holds all my light-weight small appliances and metal baking pans that I seldom use--angel food cake, Bundt, springform--some large SS mixing bowls, and a pack of paper towels. I don't have a lazy Susan for those items, and I keep trays, etc. in a 12 inch cabinet above a pull-out pantry.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:58PM
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This is so boring and probably a waste of space, but I toss my kids' lunch boxes up there after I empty them each day after school. Oh, and just a standard double door cabinet.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:44PM
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Two doors and perfect spot for all my trays, cookie sheets etc. Some of my cookie sheets and cooling racks are 18" long so there isn't that much space in the back of the cabinet when they are pushed in a couple of inches.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Some pics here and here.

And where the second thread says I've moved pictures after doing all that work, it's lying.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:54PM
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I have done the single flip up door - for just the reasons you mentioned...the fridge will be a panelled gaggenau so I wanted a nice clean look.
What I will put up there is another question...I might put a pullout so that I can get to the back - it is quite a deep but low opening - cookie sheets?
Fridge install pending so no pics I'm afraid.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:04PM
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I'm in the boring club - Cupcake trays, big cutting boards, and roasting pans...
Also my sink grid - couldn't stand the thought of it living in the sink with all sorts of gross stuff growing - so I pop it in, use it, dry it and out of sight!
I am sure you will be more creative and we will all ogle at your idea!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:40PM
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First, thank you all for your responses!
Second, at the risk of being brined to death,I swear on my mother's pickle jar that I did a search on "cabinet above refrigerator" ( or maybe it was "above-refrigerator cabinet") and I did NOT...repeat, did NOT..get either of the links Marcolo posted ( and yes, I am shouting). :-(

Marcolo: LOL. Looks like a couple of other GWebbers besides you have had their bluff called ;-) ;-).

Cbusmomof3: Either you are splendidly tall or beautifully slender from climbing over and over again on a step-stool. Your kids' lunch boxes? I salute you!

Localeater: Fear not. Honesty is the best policy. Thus, I remain surprisingly cheerful even after reading about your equal lack of inspiring ideas ( maybe *that* is the real reason for my unsinking spirits... someone to keep me company ;-)).

Ah, Caspian... you give me hope. Now, I'm thinking - "flip-up or flip-down"?

And all the rest of you ( I'd type your names individually but my arthritic middle finger is twitching); thanks for the ideas :-). Currently, I have an old punchbowl set ( I may strike it rich one day on Antique Road Show) and large platters in my cabinet; I do like the idea of roll-out trays for cereal boxes as well as vertical dividers. I live in earthquake country, so open shelving is out. For a while I stored canned goods as part of our quake supplies - trouble is, I forgot all about them and when next I checked, they had all 'expired', poor things.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:07PM
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a2gemini; Thank you for your response - your humility is duly noted and deeply appreciated ;-).
I'm thinking about camouflaging the doors with some sort of trompe l'oeil art or a nifty sign or poster or even blackboard paint so I can scribble *just one* menu on it which will remain standard for the year, lol :-).

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Boring here too but ours is divided into vertical and horizontal storage - 21" high, 26" deep, with one shelf. The shelf side stores extra stock pot, extra crockpot, popcorn popper etc. Shelf only extends half of depth which was the result of running out of material, but has made me very happy because I can store taller items in front.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:35PM
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I'm going in the boring camp club (bowing head in shame) IF we ever managed to find a GC and cabinet maker to actually complete our kitchen.

We plan on having two roll outs up there - the back will be high for the roll out - along the sides, it will taper upward from the front to the back similar to a magazine holder to make certain that nothing falls off the back and I can't reach it.

But, yeah, boring. Sorry.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:24PM
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I forgot what was up there! Currently I have a 12 inch deep cab above the 33 inch deep fridge. I can't reach it -at all- so I must have filled it up years ago. Apparently that's where my cake stand lives (wondered where that went!), a strange bowl still in it's box, and a plastic jug.

Hopefully the new kitchen (still in design phase, plans just posted!) will have more useful storage. I love hearing what everyone did! Lots of good ideas, and the pics are great.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:40PM
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I'm in the TV camp.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:57PM
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I'm in the cookie sheets and cooling rack camps.

I have plans!

This is one of the cabinets I am going to invest in to make it 15" deep. Then, I can lay the trays on their sides. Fit more up there.

I just this moment decided I need a TV up there, although I can take 2 steps to the left and see the den's TV.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Big a** bore here. 2 doors holding the margarita and mai tai fixings, small cache of booze I bake with like chambord. Seasonal things like paper plates, ice bucket. A lot of different flavored balsamic vinegars.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:40AM
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On top of the fridges right now we have a 33" single bowl sink, a set of roll-out trash cans, an oversized silverware caddy, plenty o' dust...

We're still getting ready for the remodel, and our finds have gone on top. Don't think they'll work too well up there in the finished kitchen.
; )

Love everyone's ideas.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:32AM
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This is what I did. I love it and I don't have any special cleaning that has to be done up there. This is just part of my cookbook collection. I have a step stool that I use to get into the high cupboards..I am 5'2" so have it for all my uppers anyway. I have 12 ft ceilings so i was going to need to climb up no matter what.

That is a 12" pullout pantry from Lee Valley on the left..holds a ton of stuff.

Rhome410 liked my idea so much she did the same thing as i did over her Twins. c

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:57AM
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I did not read what I have done, so here:
First, I designed our home, and made the fridge flush with the cabinets, so I have a VERY large cabinet above the fridge (very deep). It is a basic 2 door. Top shelf has baskets/containers that I can pull out. In them are: bug spray, air cleaners, sprays I do not use very often and extras of tall items, also paper towels. Shelf right above fridge, are same containers, Windex, Wood cleaners, floor cleaners, sink cleaners, and sponges. These baskets/containers are all long and narrow, and I have them all labeled. I am kinda short, but I can reach up easily, and grab the basket I want. I have pets and children and I refused to keep this stuff under the sink as everyone else I know does (even with child proofing). It works great for us. Been like this now 20 years or so. The baking pans others keep above their fridge, I keep above my wall oven. I don't stand them up, I lay them flat. The bottom shelf has cookie sheets and pizza pans on the right, rectangle cake pans on left. On top shelf I keep my flour, sugar, and some fancy dishes I use very seldom. Works for us, and we are a LARGE family. Just another idea...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Lots of fun ideas. Guess being taller is helpful as I can reach most items without a step stool. Trail- live your idea!

Love the margarita option!

Boone- we want to see what you design

Williamsem - have to find your post!
On iPhone so hard to capture the spirit!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Here's mine.

I have been told that the refrigerator heat isn't good for the wine but we haven't had any problems with any wine going bad (3 years).

If I didn't have the wine storage there I would probably want it for cookie sheets and cake pans. I do love trailrunner's books. :)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Trailrunner I'd love to see the rest of your kitchen. Can you provide a link for me? Thanks.

Oh yeah BTW, thanks guys, for reminding me of the above fridge cabinet... and that stashed behind those 2 boring doors is a bag of potato chips that has started to whisper my name. And wouldn't you know I'm tall enough to reach it without a step stool. Curses! I really can't just eat one!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:05PM
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We put disposable picnic & party supplies up there-- paper plates, napkins, plastic tableware, plastic cups, etc. We also put the tupperware for potlucks-- deviled egg carrier, cake carrier, etc. and insulated lunch bags up there. It's all light stuff, so it is easy to pull out when needed and won't hurt the floor (or me) if dropped. It's also stuff we don't need that often, so it's okay that I need a step stool to get up there.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:06PM
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island and sundownr...thank you ! There is a link to all my photo bucket albums on my page..but here is the one to the finished kitchen. You can also look at the "food" album to see pics of us using the space. Glad to be of help. c

Here is a link that might be useful: Finished kitchen pics

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Love that Sundowner! We keep ours in the basement - but yours sure looks nice!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:06PM
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Thank you trailrunner. It's beautiful! Love the rustic double doors...and that paint color is awesome. Can you please tell me what it is? Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Hey island...thank you ! The old door was a single that swung in to the kitchen. I had my GC cut it in 1/2 and then we made it open in to the DR...I stripped it as much as I could and then decided I liked the rustic look..goes with the mantle..which I also you see a pattern ??? :)

The color on the walls in the kitchen is Thyme. It is an Olympic paint color from Lowes made up in BM's Matte. I love the rich velvet color that the matte gives to it. I have used this BM paint in several of my rooms and it is great. If I can answer anything else let me know. c

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Thank you all so very much for the great ideas and wonderful pics! Trailrunner - I enjoyed looking at your Final Kitchen photos...beautiful!
I have a deep cabinet above my current tall pantry cab, and I store picnic supplies there.
Our above-fridge cabinet can be clearly seen from our family room which is the major reason I want to do something pretty with it.
a2gemini: I'll definitely post pics of my final decision re the will be a while though as I'm still in the planning phase. :-)
Thank you all, again! Your replies made me smile, laugh, think, re-imagine. :-)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 1:24PM
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nhbaskets, do you pull the tv out to watch it? I thought of a tv above my fridge, but I got a crick in my neck with the tv over my 5' oven stack.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 1:28PM
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thank you has been over 6 yrs and I wouldn't change a thing. Hope you will be in the final stages soon and post back. c

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I only keep a basket with lightbulbs,batteries, nightlight spare. Two tall flower vases. A couple of thermoses and a couple of bottles of wine. I have to get the stool for all but the light bulb basket. I can just get to that and drag it down. I do not use the other items often so it is not a bother to get to them. I bake a lot so my pans up there would not work for me.

Boring double door and it is not even all that deep.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Thanks,Trailrunner..I hope so, too!
Shades-of_idaho : Those are great ideas re. the batteries, lightbulbs and spare flashlight. Perhaps I could store a small fire extinguisher there, too.My only concern would be the batteries..will it be too hot in there?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:17PM
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I got a open cabinet with interior funished and a nice valance. Also put puck lights. and will use it to put some decorative vase.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Must everything in the kitchen be unique, exciting, unforgettable or trendsetting ? :)
2 doors and plenty of storage for ice cream maker, salad spinner. waffle maker, crock pot and food processor, kitchen towels & flour sack cloths. It is easy to access as it's 24" deep with space in the back for the fridge to vent.
This cabinet is much more useful than the previous one...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:37PM
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tnom: that's a great idea - a wood valance ( or an arch to go with the arched cooktop alcove :-))for an open cabinet. Will definitely look nice as seen from the family room. Thanks!!


However, when one is in the kitchen ( or any room at home or in the office, for that matter) for long periods of time, it's nice to have pleasant surroundings that soothe the senses, especially the visual one. I like practical, but I also like pretty :-).

Also, I will have another deep above-pantry cabinet which will be plain ole, plain ole ;-), and where lots can be, it's not visible from the family room which is always frequented by both family and guests.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:51PM
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LOL- I am extra envious of everyone here, especially that super cool wine rack! My ceiling is 6' 9". I am lucky my very large fridge fits. Space for a cabinet.... what a luxury ;)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:39PM
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marti8a--TV doesn't pull out. It's sitting toward the front of the cabinet, but still allows pocket doors to close. I tend to just listen while cooking. No problem while sitting at the island.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:19PM
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