No Cabinet Above Fridge? 8 Things To Do With The Open Space

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So your kitchen has a space above the fridge where one normally finds a cabinet.

Kitchen cabinets are storage places, and storage comes at a premium.

You have a space to work on, use it as an opportunity to let your imagination meet your needs.

No Cabinet Above Fridge

What is the best solution for this? Without a cabinet above your fridge, anything you put on top of the appliance is displayed in plain view. Use shelves, baskets, jars, and canisters to store and exhibit items. This includes kitchen utensils, plants, pots, bowls, trays, plasticware, jars, and alcohol.

In the following discussion, I’ll show you how to look at the available space above the fridge, repurpose it, and use it for storage.

8 Things To Do With All The Space Above The Fridge

The amount of available space above the fridge is your first consideration. The recommended amount of space around a fridge is 1 to 1 ½ inches on the top. Allow for ½ to 1 inch on either side and 2 inches of ventilation space behind the fridge.

Any space above the minimum is yours to use. Figure out how to use your space and list what you need. Run through a few checks before you start. Identify the available electrical outlets and mark the wall studs behind the fridge.

1. Use Filler Panels Or Filler Strips For The Space Above Your Fridge

You may consider paneling if the exposed area above the fridge is small. Panels are an effective way to integrate the fridge with the cabinets around it. Use a panel filler to cover larger areas and filler strips for smaller spaces.

Fillers may be selected to match the cabinets around the fridge. Using fillers to cover all gaps around the fridge is a cost-effective way to give it a “built-in” look. You can use wood, metal, and even plastic fillers to match the kitchen cupboards.

2. Add A Floating Shelf Above Your Fridge

Check For Safety Hazards Above The Fridge
Shelf Above Fridge

Floating shelves are available in various lengths, and you can find a shelf in the exact size required. If you are not a DIY person, use a handyman to install the shelf. The weight of things you intend to put on the shelf will determine which brackets will be used.

A floating shelf’s weight depends on the wall studs that hold the brackets. Irrespective of the length of the shelf, each stud attached to a bracket can hold 50lbs. A standard two-bracket floating shelf can hold 100lbs.

Install as many floating shelves as you need. Use them to carry functional and decorative items like wicker baskets, trays, cookbooks, dry flowers, etc., in attractive arrangements.

3. A Place For Your Wine Rack Above Your Fridge

Wine Rack Above Fridge

Note that 1 to 1 ½ inches of space must be left free above the fridge. Make sure your wine rack sits on an elevated base or a floating shelf. You can place above the fridge any wine rack with enough space underneath.

If you’d prefer your wine away from the warmth of the fridge, use a wine rack with a wine-glass holder at the bottom. Based on your available space, this would ensure that your bottles are far above the fridge and any heat it may release.

4. Use Baskets And Drawers Above Your Fridge

Baskets Above Fridge

Wicker baskets and wire drawers are the mainstays of many solutions to storage challenges. The most useful types are standalone wicker baskets and pullout wire drawers. Pullout baskets are less practical because they may come off the frame.

Standalone baskets cannot be stacked on top of each other, so you can use as many baskets as the width of your fridge allows. You may also need to find a floating shelf or rack to keep space between the baskets and the fridge.

Pullout baskets and pullout drawers fit inside a frame and you can stack them one on top of another as high as the space allows. Pullout baskets do not have a face like drawers do. The decision on which basket to use is esthetic rather than functional.

Wired baskets are more durable and tough than wicker baskets. They respond better to the daily flurry of activity in the kitchen. If you have a small pantry or no pantry at all, use these baskets for potatoes, onions, oil & vinegar, napkins, tablecloths, etc.

5. Store Decanted Foods Above Your Fridge

Decanting means taking foodstuffs out of their packaging and putting them in containers. Decanted items are neatly stored, easy to access, and uncluttered. Items stored in tightly sealed containers will last longer, away from pantry pests.

Use the space above your fridge to store decanted food. Use your pantry to keep decanted rice, pasta, flour, etc. Store oats, coffee, tea, healthy shakes, cereals, snacks, and other pick-me-ups above the fridge.

Choose the rack according to the size of the containers you aim to use. Make sure the structure has a 2 inches space between its base and the top of the fridge. You can find wire structures, stainless turntables, and canister holders in various sizes.

6. Put Some Plants Above Your Fridge

Use the space above the fridge for some lovely, green, and oxygen producing houseplants. Look for plants that thrive in this warm, enclosed, probably sun-deprived area. Thankfully, some plants will do well under these conditions.

Your best bet is plants that do not require frequent watering or direct light. Popular succulents like Aloe Vera, The Snake Plant, and The String of Hearts, a vine plant with heart-shaped leaves, would do well above your fridge.

7. Get A Bigger Fridge

Use the space for a larger fridge to add to your food refrigeration capacity. On average, fridges are 24 to 40 inches wide, 62 to 72 inches high, and 29 to 36 inches deep. Consider narrow or tall fridges that could offer better use of the available space.

8. Put Your Microwave Above Your Fridge

Use the space above the fridge to accommodate a microwave. The proximity between the two most used kitchen appliances makes perfect sense. You will also free some counter or cabinet space the microwave currently occupies.

You can safely put a microwave above the fridge if you follow basic safety rules. Place the microwave on a rack or floating shelf at least 1 ½ inches above the fridge. An electrician best deals with some specific electrical requirements.

Check For Safety Hazards Above The Fridge

Because the fridge is such an often-used appliance, safety hazards should be on your to-do list. Heavy items not handled safely may slip and fall as you take them down and cause serious bodily harm.

Flowers that need watering, dishes needed for cooking, and large ornaments and decorations taken down to be cleaned may be a safety hazard. Water leaking from flowerpots may cause slips, and cables that are not secure may trip someone.

Items improperly stored, packed, fastened, or sealed may cause spillage or breakage. Unsecure electric cables and outlets are dangerous too. Check each item you install for safety, and always err on the side of caution.

Avoid putting above the fridge medicines and extreme heat-generating appliances like toasters. Do not use it to store treats, toys, stickers, strings, balloons, or anything small kids may try to take down themselves.


The empty area above the fridge, where a cabinet will normally be placed, requires repurposing. The suggestions above indicate that you can find various solutions to the challenge.

The space above the fridge can become an open cabinet with floating shelves. Other storage facilities can be stacked or laid side by side; they may include baskets and canisters, bins, and containers of various sizes. This is only limited by one’s imagination – and budget.

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