What Are the Best Over Fridge Storage Ideas?

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By Daniela Klein

Updated: May 22, 2024

8 min read

Over Fridge Storage
Photo: @smegnordic & @kschuab

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    The empty space on the top of your refrigerator may seem ideal for storage, but placing inappropriate items there could lead to unintended and potentially hazardous outcomes. Many utilize this space due to its visibility and accessibility, stacking boxes, books, and containers atop the fridge. However, using it for storage poses risks, such as obstructing ventilation and overworking the appliance, potentially causing harm.

    To declutter this space, consider relocating items like unsightly dishes or rarely used appliances. Installing cabinets above the fridge, along with fridge panels on either side, not only enhances aesthetics but also provides functional storage. Instead of a chaotic space, transform it into a neatly organized storage area for baking sheets, muffin tins, and bulk snacks.

    Measurement Techniques for Fridge and Cabinet Fitment

    Determine your refrigerator space accurately to ensure your cabinet fits properly without being too large or small. Refer to your refrigerator manufacturer's guidelines for required spacing to allow proper ventilation. For the cabinet dimensions, measure the width, height, and depth accordingly.

    Cabinet over fridge
    Photo: @trueresidential

    When measuring the cabinet height, consider the fridge's highest point and subtract the gap between the wall cabinets and ceiling. Deduct a minimum of ¼" to ensure the cabinet doesn't sit directly on the fridge. For the width, factor in whether you'll add side panels and leave adequate space for airflow as per the manufacturer's recommendations.

    Preparing Plywood Pieces for Cabinet Construction

    Opting for prefinished ¾" plywood for your cabinet structure as it offers superior strength compared to MDF, eliminating the need for painting or finishing the interior.

    Custom Wood Panelling Installation

    Start by trimming the two side panels to precisely match the height and depth of your cabinet, ensuring that the wood grain runs vertically. Next, cut the top and bottom sections to match the cabinet's depth, but deduct the thickness of the side panels from the total width.

    Finishing Touches

    It is important to note that the grain on the top and bottom pieces should run horizontally.

    For the center divider, subtract 1" from the cabinet's depth to accommodate the back panel and nailer strips. The divider's height should be determined by subtracting the thickness of the top and bottom panels from the side panels' height. While not mandatory, adding a center divider can prevent potential sagging in the middle over time.

    Once all plywood pieces are cut, apply edge banding to the front edges to create a seamless, polished appearance and conceal exposed plywood layers.

    Also Read: How to Organize Storage Room?

    Utilizing the Open Cabinets Above Your Refrigerator

    Open Cabinets Above Your Refrigerator
    Photo: @the_house_acc

    Additional Storage

    You can maximize the space by incorporating decorative baskets for additional storage or use dividers to showcase your collection of cookbooks. Tray dividers are also practical for organizing baking sheets and frequently used items.

    The Wine Rack

    Consider the installation of a wine rack, although it's important to note that the heat generated by the refrigerator could impact the quality of the wine stored there. However, you can explore various styles of wine racks and decide whether to keep the space open or install cabinet doors.

    Panel-ready Refrigerator

    Attaining this aesthetic can be accomplished by opting for a refrigerator that is panel-ready. Your cabinet collaborator would then craft matching panels to seamlessly integrate with your cabinetry.

    Add Lighting

    Implementing this feature would indeed elevate the visual appeal, particularly if you don't intend to use this area for conventional storage. It provides an elegant method to showcase cherished items, and adding lighting serves as a polished final touch.

    Maximizing the Space

    A wooden beam or soffit running across your kitchen ceiling could be in place. This may allow for the inclusion of a small cabinet above your refrigerator; you can then incorporate trim and molding to perfectly complete the space.

    Considerations for Storing Items on Top of the Refrigerator

    Storing Items on Top of the Refrigerator
    Photo: @smegnordic

    Storing items on top of the refrigerator may appear convenient, particularly in small kitchens. However, it is important to recognize the potential dangers involved. Although a typical fridge can support some weight, placing heavy or fragile objects like kitchen appliances, delicate dishes, and paper products can pose safety risks.

    Items like medications, houseplants, kid's treats, and liquids atop the fridge can lead to various issues, including changes in temperature affecting potency, increased risk of spills, and potential hazards for children. Therefore, it's advisable to explore alternative storage options for these items to ensure both safety and longevity.

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