There are several reasons to give the refrigerator a “Built-In” look. The first of course, is appearance. Hiding the huge sides of the refrigerator may be an excellent improvement on the look and feel of your kitchen.
Here is a drawing of a typical refrigerator before and after being Built-in. Build-in Refrigerator< As you can see, The appearance is a lot different if the side of the refrigerator is hidden. The refrigerator in both drawings are the same size, but the refrigerator in the ‘ After ‘ drawing doesn’t look as large because your eye focuses on the new wooden panel. You see only the edge of the refrigerator door instead of the large white side. Shown is a standard-depth refrigerator. Cabinet-depth refrigerators are also available, but are more expensive.
To accomplish this, we’ve added full-height matching panels on each side of the refrigerator, and changed the wall cabinet above from 12″ to 24″ depth.
The change is a convenience as well. Now, when using the countertop adjacent to the refrigerator for meal or snack preparation, any loose items cannot fall between the refrigerator side and the cabinet. That makes the kitchen much easier to keep clean.
If our wall cabinets are 36″ or 42″ tall, (not the 30″) we’ll add to the convenience by adding vertical dividers on at least one side of the cabinet above the refrigerator. We can store lids, cookie sheets, or any other flatware vertically in a cabinet 18″ or 24″ tall. That gets those troublesome storage items out of the regular cabinet space and makes more room in them for other items.
To store flatware above the refrigerator, you don’t need to be able to reach all the way to the back of the cabinet. You just have to be able to reach the front edge of the cookie sheet or lid you need or want to store. Very handy. See details in a sketch here
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