Reno Notebook / By Jennifer Malise / May 14, 2018
Fridge Paneling: 8 Refrigerators in Disguise
Let your fridge blend neatly into its surroundings
One of the first things you see upon walking into a kitchen is the refrigerator; it’s big, it’s shiny, and its surface is often peppered with souvenir magnets, wedding invitations, or to-do lists. But the kitchens we’re about to show you will have you scratching your head and wondering, “Where’s the fridge?” Because here’s the thing: you don’t have to put your refrigerator on display. No matter the style or size, whether it’s a single-door fridge with a bottom freezer drawer or an under-counter model, you can disguise it with custom paneling designed to match your kitchen cabinets. You can even extend the paneling to hide a built-in pantry next door and keep all your foodstuff in one spot, from fresh fruit and vegetables to cooking oil and spices. Scroll down for eight smart takes on the concealed refrigerator from Sweeten homeowners.
Ainsley and Simon’s kitchen in Park Slope
When Ainsley and Simon’s architect discovered that the column in the kitchen was merely decorative, they came up with a plan to tuck the refrigerator inside of it and add custom panels. “You don’t look at it and think it is a fridge at all,” said Ainsley.
Rachel and Marco’s Greenwich Village kitchen
Looking to create a functional kitchen that was also beautiful enough to host dinner parties, Rachel and Marco planned on hiding as many of their appliances as possible. Their general contractor built two “appliance garages” to conceal the smaller ones while the fridge was encased in paneling that matches the surrounding cabinetry.
Lauren’s kitchen in Brooklyn Heights
Lauren’s front door led directly into the kitchen. When it came time to renovate, she had to choose between creating a traditional entryway or designing a hybrid space that would add square footage to the kitchen. She chose the latter and opted for a seamless wall of cabinetry to contain the refrigerator and pantry storage—plus, a coat closet!
Kavi and David’s Clinton Hill kitchen
An open plan kitchen with a large center island received an ultramodern renovation that evoked a contemporary, art-house vibe. White, flat-front cabinets with hidden hardware provide a sleek style while matching paneling hides the fridge from view.
Claudia’s kitchen on the Upper East Side
This 1929 apartment once boasted original details full of charm and character—until they were stripped away to make room for modern upgrades. In the renovated kitchen, details like molding make a return to cabinet doors and panels concealing the refrigerator and freezer drawer, turning back time for a more traditional look.
Casey and Kumar’s Clinton Hill kitchen
Contemporary meets the natural world in this updated kitchen, combining white paint and clean lines with textural materials such as wood grain and dark charcoal soapstone. Disguised within a unique built-in facing the main kitchen, custom paneling hides the fridge, freezer drawer, and pantry.
Emily’s kitchen on the Upper West Side
The clever placement of the refrigerator in this tiny galley kitchen allowed the expansion of prep space along the countertop. Keeping all upper space clear, black cabinets with gold hardware were installed along the lower base, and hiding among them behind the first handle on the left is the under-counter fridge—perfect for those who don’t need a full-sized appliance.
Frans’ Gramercy Park kitchen
A compact studio necessitates a space-savvy fridge. Installed only a few feet from the rest of the kitchen, the refrigerator and dual freezer drawers are cloaked by white panels that allow them to blend into the wall. As an added bonus, the close proximity of the wine storage to the fridge makes a fast turnaround for wine-and-cheese occasions.
This post has been revised and updated from its original publication on April 10, 2017.
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