No cabinet over fridge?

dcward89December 27, 2013

Does anyone NOT have a cabinet over their fridge? I have always hated them and in my current kitchen we ended up removing that cabinet and hanging it in the garage. It seems like everyone now designs their new kitchen with the boxed in fridge with cabinet over the top. As we are embarking on our reno, I would really love to just leave my fridge free standing and open at the top. I know some would not want to lose the storage space but my new kitchen is going to have SO much more cabinet space than my old kitchen and we have a pantry in the basement for seldom used things. Other than the storage issue, any pros or cons?

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Sophie Wheeler

A naked fridge? Only if you are doing a retro or possibly an industrial design. Then the fridge had better be stand alone design worthy like glass doored or retro cool. A regular fridge isn't very attractive. Thus the many attempts to hide it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:54AM
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andreak100

If you don't want it, you certainly don't have to do one.

We had to remove ours in the old kitchen when we had to replace our fridge - it died before the renovation was going to start, so we bought the fridge that we wanted for the new kitchen rather than getting what would fit under the cabinet.

I'm getting one back in the new kitchen - for me, it's going to be a place that I will place seldom used items and I had pull out shelves installed so that the items can be brought forward to more easily access. I am going to have about 10 times the amount of storage that was in the old kitchen, and we have a basement and cold cellar, still I wanted the cabinet over the fridge.

But again, if you don't like it and want your fridge to be free standing, you don't have to box it in.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:58AM
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daisychain01

We don't have cabs over our fridge at the lake. The only downside is cleaning up there.

Another option is instead of a deep cab, just have a dummy cab made. We can't put a full depth cab over our fridge because it is an old, old house and the fridge box is built out into the back mudroom. We have a 6" deep cab over the fridge (important for storage as our kitchen is very small). I love it because I can reach everything, but have that little bit of extra space.

I think it can look just fine aesthetically, but I am one for unfitted or industrial look over the traditional.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:50AM
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daisychain01

We don't have cabs over our fridge at the lake. The only downside is cleaning up there.

Another option is instead of a deep cab, just have a dummy cab made. We can't put a full depth cab over our fridge here at home because it is an old, old house and the fridge box is built out into the back mudroom. We have a 6" deep cab over the fridge (important for storage as our kitchen is very small). I love it because I can reach everything, but have that little bit of extra space.

I think it can look just fine aesthetically, but I am one for unfitted or industrial look over the traditional.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:51AM
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robynstamps

We decided not to to a cabinet above our refrigerator in our new build. I honestly never use the cabinets above our fridge now.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:39PM
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lavender_lass

My mom has a shelf for display. We have a little cabinet we never use...and honestly, I'd rather just put a plant up there. Maybe I will and just hide the cabinet :)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:44PM
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angela12345

The 12" deep cabinet over the fridge in our primary residence that I cannot reach without a stepstool I do not use. I *think* there is stuff in there, but it has been so long since I opened that cabinet (years) that I honestly do not remember,

The full depth cabinet that is even with the front edge of the fridge in our beach house I use all the time !! Over one fridge, we store a child seat for the dining table and 3 coolers for the beach. Over the other fridge we store all of our cutting boards, cookie sheets, platters, etc, all on their edges for vertical storage.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:45PM
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OldTimeCarpenter1

The problem with over-refrigerator cabinets in most kitchens is that they are the same 12" depth as the upper shelves. They can rarely be reached without a stool.

Our solution is to build them the same depth as the refrigerator box (excluding the refrigerator door), and put a large two level lazy susan inside. Now the cabinet is useful storage. I have one in my own kitchen, and I would not do without it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:48PM
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palimpsest

Maybe you won't, but most times I have seen this (I grew up in an area of old utilitarian kitchens) --it ended up with junk stashed on top of it that had no more accessibility than in a cabinet, or they got fancy and decorated up there and it was obviously dusty. I'd rather blank it out or have an empty cabinet than an open junk / dust catcher.

Unless you are going modern, freestanding, or know it will be kept clutter free.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Open cabinets above a fridge are still cabinets. I think it's only people who have never had deep cabinets above their fridge and have only had those piddling 12" deep ones that don't see any value in the storage there. It's a perfect place for trays and cookie sheets.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:59PM
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annkh_nd

We love the pull-outs over our fridge.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:08PM
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cevamal

We have a counter-depth fridge and a deep cabinet. Perfect for storing cake & cupcake keepers.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:26PM
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ardcp

we took our cabinet over the fridge down so we could fit a new french door in the space and i love it! when we redo the kitchen, no cabinet for me. it looks great and boxing in the fridge with cabinets is quite pricey anyway plus we just dont like the look unless you have a counter depth fridge(we have a normal depth fridge)
i was toying with the idea of a bookshelf/display shelf before getting the fridge and most kitchen designers acted like i was nuts! do what you want and be damned with the latest kitchen "rules"!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:41PM
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bookworm4321

My cookie sheets are used often, so they have a cab right by DW. Above the fridge is a great place for me to store seasonal items, like holiday serving pieces. So what if I use a step stool a few times a year? Having the cabinet go to edge of fridge, like in Palimpset's picture, is much nicer than the open space, with shallow cabinets behind. I also like annkh's pull-out, but each pull-out cost me $250 for item and labor. I chose not to use pull-outs on any of the high cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 8:18PM
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jellytoast

I had one of those shallow cabinets above my fridge before the remodel. I could only put a few things in there and it was pretty useless. I rarely got up there because I knew if I stood on a stool to get in the cabinet I would be able to see the top of the fridge and would be forced to clean it ... with no full cabinet on top, it got filthy! I now have a deep cabinet like in OldTimeCarpenters drawing and it is so much better. Like bookworm, I use it to store seasonal things and infrequently used items. I've considered converting it to tray storage, but I have two narrow 12 inch base cabinets that work well for that so far.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:14PM
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2LittleFishies

We have a TV up there. The doors are push back into the cabinet.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:27PM
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joaniepoanie

I never used the 12" cab we had but when we remodeled we had a full depth put in. It's high and I'm short so need a stool or tall son, but I do keep seldom used items up there like paper plates, etc...I'd never give up the storage and a shelf would just collect dust..I'd really hate to have to drag out a stool and dust it all the time...or wipe off the top of a free-standing fridge.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:57PM
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bpathome

My mother's refrigerator is in a surround that matches the cabinets, and above is a matching panel. She was 5'1" when she designed her kitchen, and knew she wouldn't be storing anything that high up!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 12:34AM
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susanlynn2012

I hate my cabinet over my refrigerator now as it is short and I can't reach it even with a stool and must climb on the counter to get to it. I am looking forward to a deep cabinet that covers the top of the refrigerator that I can reach with a stool in my new kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 12:44AM
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Elraes Miller

I don't and have no interest in one. I do have a shelf that runs between the tops of cabinets and fridge with the trim across. Plus I added a decent wood sheet on the small area of the wall behind which matches the cabinets. Something was needed to bring all together rather than the fridge just hangin out in it's spot. The shelf isn't really used, more of an area for "something". I'm casual, but also a bit minimal, so this may not work for you. Cleaning the shelf isn't an issue.

I'd think the concept would depend upon your fridge and location. Can you go without and later add one if it doesn't look right to you?

I just ran a search and there was nothing but cabinets. Except for just one that did show your option, it was next to a bump out wall which created a nook for the fridge. Not a built in, one side was open.

What I do have is a dumb cabinet over my microwave that I can't get into without a stool. It is akin to what you don't want to do. I'd get rid of it if I didn't think this was an integral part of the cabinet run and electrical is inside. Have guessed it is actually a cabinet for a fridge, it is bumped out about an inch beyond the others. Not a favorite look for me.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 8:45AM
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dcward89

Our fridge sits next to a wall on one side and only lower cabinets on the other side, no uppers...then a window. The other side of the window has uppers and lowers. Mocking it up on NKBA's virtual planner, I can see that some may think that wall looks lopsided but I like the look and the openness. My current kitchen is small and very closed in. In the remodel, we have dropped two walls between the kitchen and the dr/lr down to counter height so that opens it up dramatically. I think I'm gonna go with no boxed in fridge. I can always order it later if it bothers me. Thanks to everyone here for your opinions and information. This forum has been unbelievably informative in planning my new kitchen. When it's all finished I will do a reveal and see what everyone thinks of the free-standing fridge.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 9:13AM
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