Use of over the refrigerator cabinets

saskiasmomOctober 17, 2007

I'm planning to get a cabinet-depth refrigerator which is 36 inches wide, about 24 in. deep. How do you use this space? Custom cabinet will be made so I can have shelves or use for trays, etc. What works best for you?

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In my previous kitchen, I had dividers for trays, cookie sheets, etc. and found it worked great.

I'll also be getting one custom made this time- my cabinets are not really supposed to be custom, but the supplier doesn't make 30" wide wall cabinets 24" deep, so just found out from my kitchen guy who came over tonight after work, that it will be added to the list of cabinets that they are having custom made for us- so I'll be interested to see what responses you get. I have a fair amount of baking pans/sheets and lots of trays/platters, so it'll be nice to have them stored vertically instead of piled up on top of one another. Guess if there was lots of room, you could also store wrapping paper in tubes up there.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 2:22AM
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I have tray/platter storage up there. It is fantastic to have them stored vertically. This is a nice deep cabinet to hide those big cookie sheets and serving trays. My cabinet inserts slide in and out, so I can change the width of the spaces in the cabinet. In previous kitchens, that space has been the deep dark cave where things get lost, but it's valuable storage space and well worth thinking about how you can use it. Before this, all my big trays and stuff were stacked inside my oven, so this is a huge improvement. I have seen some people use that space for their supply of tall soda bottles, paper towel stashes, and liquor too. But it's all too easy to forget what's back there, so I like the tray solution best.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 7:07AM
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We store our tv on a pull-out arm above the fridge. The other half of the cabinet has tray storage. We have another cabinet with cookie sheet storage so I keep baking pans in this cabinet, along with the broiler pan, extra turntable for the mw, and a large cutting board that slides in next to the tv (purchased after this picture was taken.) When I got the cutting board home, I realized it wouldn't fit in any of our other cabinets cabinets (due to the spacing of shelves.)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 8:26AM
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I use it as the deep, cavernous space that it is to store bigger items I don't need on a daily basis: bread machine, wok, crockpot, big stockpot, some holiday dishes.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:05AM
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Our space is only about 12" tall, but it is wide. In it right now, I have a Pottery Barn metal serving tray with handles (for carrying stuff out to the deck when we eat outside), a box of the black Wolf knobs that came gratis with our range, an over the sink Julien colander (that doesn't fit anywhere else!), and my speckled enamelware roasting pans (one with cover) and roasting racks--you know, the odd and ends stuff that take up lots of space, but don't get too much use.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:16AM
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One G-Webber posted a fabulous use for their space. They had custom-rigged a pull-out hanging rack for wine glasses. Anyone remember that or keep a photo?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:30AM
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I wish I had copied a pic of it.

Someone who used to post here had a cool set-up her cabinetmaker made for her.

Each door was the front of a pullout; and each pullout was accessed from the SIDE.

I have tray dividers (the metal one, spaced VERY closely) on one half, and the other half is the only place in my kitchen that's tall enough to

It's a bit of a black hole, but it's the ONLY PLACE I can store some of the big, bulky stuff (the crockpot, the oversize mixing bowl I use 4 to 6 times a year, the meat-marinating container, the cotton-candy machine).

every other cabinet is simply not large enough.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:31AM
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Here is another kitchen with a cookie tray cabinet over the fridge. The spacing is fairly wide which worried me for a while. But it works well for the thinner sheets as much as for the large roasting pan.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:37AM
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For me, I prefer to store things I don't need very often as my husband is the only one in our house who can reach above the fridge without a step latter. I have a shelf and store vases, cake plates, Holiday platters etc. If I stored my baking pans there I would need a permanent step latter attached to the refigertor door:(

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:06AM
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I use mine for my canning pot, my coffee pump thermos and a few seldom used things like that. I have bakeware and tray slots over my ovens and a smaller one over my utility cabinet.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:08AM
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I don't know what I would do without that over the fridge cabinet! Right now it's got about 10 bottles of wine, about 8 bottle of other booze, 10 bottles of San Pellegrino water, and some large miscellaneous items in it that couldn't fit elsewhere. This cabinet is indispensable.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:42AM
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I spaced my dividers much more closely than Beatrix_In_Canada's dividers were spaced (and in fact, I'd recommend spacing them closely if you have choice). and I have *more* stuff up there, in half the width.

(caveat: I don't store thick stuff, like the springform pan and muffin pan and toaster, between the dividers. There's not room, and those are a markedly different shape than the cookie sheets I sotre there, so I put the bulky stuff somewhere else. Beatrix can put those there because her dividers are widely spaced. i can't, but then, I don't want to)

That leaves the other half available for other stuff. (plus, I got after-market tray dividers, and have a taller cabinet, and I have a shelf across w/ open space above it)

So if you're considering tray dividders up there, think carefully about what will go there, and seriously consider much closer spacing. (for one thing, it's easier to get stuff out, bcs stuff isn't leaning on each other)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Last kitchen, I used it to store seldom used appliances. Our upright tray storage was right next to it, above the wall oven & MW stack, as that cab was a bit lower. You can't beat having a good upright tray storage cab someplace handy in your kitchen!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 12:07PM
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Picture of the pull-out hanging rack for wine glasses Sweeby mentioned is near the end of the linked thread...

Here is a link that might be useful: Cool cabinet 'insides' ideas...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Per Talley Sue's suggestion, I spaced my wire dividers fairly closely. This meant I still have space for two closely spaced horizontal shelves. I use them to store my thick heavy carving board which only comes out at Thanksgiving as well as a few other seldom used items.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 1:02PM
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Originally, I was going to put in dividers for sheet pans and such as others have done  which is very cool. But, when putting things back into my new kitchen, I discovered I already had 2 great places for these things. So, I made the modification shown below that I found on IKEAFans (credit goes to PollyQ).

Many of us store less used items in this space, but letÂs face it  even though they are only used a few times a year, they are a pain to get out! With this system, this space is easy to use. I keep all my liquor bottles on one side.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 1:38PM
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It hurts me to read that people store liquor above their fridge. That's a horrible place to keep the precious liquids. They will deteriorate so much quicker up there than anywhere else that is dark and cool. Above the fridge is warm, which is NOT good for the booze! And particularly bad for wine. You can always tell a bad KD by the fact that they put wine storage above a fridge, near a stove or high up in a kitchen (where heat rises).

Our space is much smaller (about 9") because we have a subzero. I am leaving it open (finished cabinets box with no doors) in front and plan on using it for decorative platters. The back can be stacked since you won't see them, and one will sit in front so you can see it's profile. I also saw a wonderful option, which I would have done if I'd had just a couple more inches, where they left the space open as well but put in two deviders to devide the space into three little boxes. Each box had a pretty mixing bowl in it. It was very nice to look at, and you know behind that one mixing bowl they probably had skads of ugly stuff (ok that's my kitchen) they probably had more lovely bowls heh heh

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 1:51PM
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We circumvent this problem by consuming the wine we store above the fridge quickly enough that deterioration is not an issue.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 4:08PM
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Mayland has the right idea :-).

I use mine to store Christmas decorations that go in the kitchen - centerpieces, utensil holders, napkin holders, etc. Also, lunch boxes go up there.

I loved the cookie sheet idea. But my cab is waaaaaay too deep for that.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:18PM
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Costco size packs of disposable dishes/cups/flatware and a big electric frying pan that I haven't used in a long time. It's things I don't need unless I'm having a big gathering and I wait until someone tall shows up to take them down for me.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:18PM
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Our truly brilliant cabinet maker put a slide out drawer with a clear bottom. We can pull it out to see what is in the entire area from underneath. Sorry igloochic, but I'm guilty of using it as a bar as well...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:43PM
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We are in the final design stage & our cabinet maker also suggested a slide out shelf so stuff won't get trapped in the back 12" of the 24" deep cabinet. Efmiller, what did your cabinet maker use for the clear bottom?? Great idea!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 4:15PM
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We used to keep vases and candle holders up there. I didn't particularly like that arrangement but had no other place to keep them. It was such a pain to find whatever I needed.

Now, I'm thinking I'll keep my cake plate/punch bowl, maybe a formal dish set that only comes out for holidays, a honking big divided serving tray that we were given as a wedding present and love but don't use that often - things like that.

Don't know where the vases and candleholders will go. I suppose this is my excuse to get rid of a lot of them. I do seemed to have moved past the candles stage of my life.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 6:06PM
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Holiday decorations that the kids have made over the years for all the various holidays. Just a pain in the neck to rotate them to get the next holiday out!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 6:32PM
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i keep my really really large tupperware bowls and platters - the ones I use for when we have a big party. I only need them a few times a year so i don't need to get at them. I also store all the extra insulated mugs that wind up multiplying all over the place. I swear those things are like rabbits.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 11:10AM
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Since the ceilings are so high and I use a step stool all the time anyway we did this. The cabs have all the picnic paper party goods in them and this holds many of my cookbooks that I don't use as often as the others. That is a Lee Valley pantry pullout on the left.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 4:33PM
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