Refrigerator Designs for the Kitchen

contemporary kitchen renoRefrigerator designs for the for the kitchen seems simple enough, it does require some thought and planning. After deciding the placement location, consider some of the ideas below when designing around your refrigerator for your kitchen renovation since the options have grown over the years.

Integrated Refrigerator Designs for the Kitchen

Flush with cabinets and fully paneled, integrated refrigerators are camouflaged and seamless. Your guests may not even know it is there. The choice of color for the appliance itself is not important since the cabinetry is covering it. The goal of an integrated design is to have one cohesive look in the kitchen where the fridge does not stick out or contrast with the cabinetry. Instead, it looks like just another cabinet.

In terms of your dishwasher, you may want to consider using a panel on it too so that it is also camouflaged and the look is seamless in the kitchen.


An overlay installation is still paneled and still matches your cabinetry, but it is a bit more obvious where the refrigerator is located in the kitchen because the appliance sticks out more and is not flush with the cabinetry. This look is for those who want a seamless visual design in the kitchen but still want the appliance to be visible for accessibility and to break up the visual landscape of the cabinetry.

If your fridge has a compressor unit above, it can be visible in an overlay installation.

Again, consider adding a panel to your dishwasher as well if you want all the cabinetry to match and the appliances to be semi-hidden.

built in refrigeratorBuilt In

A more traditional approach, built-in refrigerators do not have paneling and so the color is important. Always try to match your appliances so that the stove, dishwasher and refrigerator are the same color. 

A built-in will need to be sized so that it fits with the surrounding cabinetry and so when entering your kitchen design phase, make sure to know the dimensions so that your cabinetry can be adjusted accordingly. 

Cabinets above the fridge

One of the accessibility and functionality challenges of kitchen cabinetry is the space above the fridge. Not everyone is tall enough to reach this space, and so when planning your refrigerator design, consider what type of cabinet (if any) you want above this appliance. Open concept can be used so that there is less impediment to access for this space, and often you can display cookbooks or dishware in this area.

Traditional cabinets can also be used, and a stool can be brought in occasionally to reach this space. Consider storing only occasionally used dishes or cookware in this space so that you are not constantly having to use a stool to access the area.

If you are not putting any cabinetry or shelving above your refrigerator, and you are planning on storing food on top of the fridge, try not to overcrowd the space as it can impact the ability of heat to escape from the appliance and will reduce the efficiency of your refrigerator and its compressor.