Where To Place A Refrigerator In A Kitchen [3 Crucial Considerations]

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home, making their overall layout very important. Since these spaces also house several major appliances, it's essential that the design is optimized for use and convenience. One thing you might be wondering is where to place a refrigerator in a kitchen.

When placing a refrigerator in your kitchen, you should consider the following:

  • Which nook provides enough space for the doors to open while keeping aisles clear
  • If the fridge can be easily accessed from the oven
  • Whether it'll be sitting in direct sunlight

Scandinavian domestic kitchen interior scene with orange refrigerator, Where To Place A Refrigerator In A Kitchen [3 Crucial Considerations]

Even if you're not able to design the kitchen layout yourself and are instead looking at a property to rent, you should still keep these things in mind. Proper refrigerator placement will make your kitchen easy to navigate. Knowing the particular measurements will keep you savvy whether you're designing your own kitchen or moving into a new one. Read on to find out what they are.

Ensure Kitchen Aisles Are Clear

Wide angle shot of a Domestic kitchen with modern appliances

This may seem like obvious advice, but you have to leave kitchen aisles clear. Kitchens bustle with activity, so it's important to be able to move around them with ease. Since refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers open up and block these pathways, you should be mindful of how wide they are.

Traditionally, kitchen aisles should be between 36 and 42 inches wide. This allows plenty of space to work and walk. It even leaves enough of a path to edge around when an appliance or cabinet is opened up and partially blocking the aisle.

How Much Space Is Needed Between A Refrigerator And An Island?

If you have an island in your kitchen, you'll still want to follow the 36 to 42 inch width rule. In fact, since you'll need to open your fridge often, you'll want to get the aisle closer to 42 inches. This allows for the most ease of movement in your kitchen.

Take this kitchen, for example.

The space left between the island and the refrigerator is plentiful. Someone could be standing with the fridge doors open looking for something to drink while another person is chopping vegetables at the island without either one of them being cramped.

On the other hand, this kitchen's aisles are a little cramped.

A person would have to stand to the side of the freezer drawer to access what's inside without bumping into the island.

Accessing The Fridge From The Oven

A popular method used in kitchen design is the triangle theory. Simply put, your refrigerator, stove, and sink should form a sort of triangle around your kitchen. This doesn't have to be literal, but as these three features are used in the preparation of meals, it should be easy to travel from one to the others quickly.

When designing the ideal kitchen, you should consider keeping the fridge, oven, and sink within four to nine feet of each other. Again, the length doesn't have to be the same between all three. However, if they're all within this range, meal prep will be less of a headache.

Take this kitchen for example.

There are clear and unobstructed paths between the oven, sink, and fridge, yet the stove and the fridge are closer together than the fridge and the sink.

Here's another good example of a well-planned triangle.

Can You Put A Refrigerator Next To A Stove?

Since stoves radiate heat, it's best not to put a refrigerator directly next to one.

Furthermore, you want plenty of counter space on either side of your oven so you can set things like plates, tongs, or ingredients down as you're cooking.

Take this kitchen.

Even though the stove and refrigerator are close together, there's still a sliver of counter space separating them.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight

For a similar reason why you shouldn't place your refrigerator next to your stove, you really shouldn't place the appliance in direct sunlight. The heat, particularly during summer months, has the potential to raise the internal temperature of the fridge.

Food needs to be kept at specific temperatures in order to remain safely edible. Read more about the ideal range here.

You can also find more information about food storage, particularly how to keep leftovers good for longer, by reading our comparison of plastic, glass, and stainless steel containers here.

How Much Space Is Needed Around A Refrigerator?

One final consideration when placing your refrigerator is how much space is needed around the appliance. If you don't allow for ventilation, your fridge becomes less energy efficient.

Therefore, you'll want to make sure you have about a quarter of an inch of space on all sides. Any less and your refrigerator won't be able to vent, and any more is an inefficient use of your kitchen's available space.

Finding the Right Look For You

Since you now know the rules, you can go about finding the right refrigerator for your home with confidence.

For example, if you have a standard amount of space and a simple setup, you should consider this model.

Find it on Amazon.

This fridge has the one door that swings in one direction, making it easy to plan for walkways. It's sleek, neutral color also helps it fit in with most decor styles.

If you have a bit more room to work with, you could consider this refrigerator.

Get it on Amazon.

Given the way it opens, you'll need some wider aisles to ensure people have room to move about when the fridge is in use.

Have a narrow kitchen and a sense of adventure. Try this fridge on for size.

Learn more over on Amazon.

The bold color makes quite a statement and looks lovely in contemporary kitchens. Also note the stylized handles.

Finally, this is another refrigerator you can consider if you have a spacious kitchen, perhaps one without an island to get in the way.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The freezer door is a desirable feature but can make navigating around the open fridge a bit of a headache unless you have enough room to accommodate.

Enjoying Your Kitchen

Scandinavian domestic kitchen interior scene with orange refrigerator

Now that you have your appliances sorted and your refrigerator in its ideal location, you're ready to host!

One essential component of having people over to enjoy your home, and especially your kitchen, is knowing what serving dishes to have. We've laid out the twenty most essential types of serving dishes you need for the next time you have company over.

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