Designing with fridge depth in mind | SpaceCraft Joinery


Designing with Fridge Depth in Mind

by Sarah Katsaros, May 2024

The Overlooked Art of Designing with Fridge Depth in Mind

When it comes to kitchen design, fridge depth often doesn’t get the attention it deserves, even though it plays a pivotal role in both functionality and aesthetics. Many people focus on the capacity, energy efficiency, or style of a fridge, but the depth is a crucial factor that can significantly impact how the appliance fits into your kitchen. Here’s why it matters and how to address it in your design.

Client Responsibility in Appliance Selection

When choosing kitchen appliances, especially fridges, it’s crucial to pay attention to specifications and sizing. This ensures a harmonious fit within your kitchen’s design and avoids surprises during installation. As designers, we guide our clients through these decisions, but there’s a level of ownership required from the client as well. Clients should take the time to understand each appliance they are selecting, ask questions to appliance suppliers, and ensure they know what they are receiving.

The Importance of Early Appliance Selection

A key aspect to consider is when you select your fridge during the kitchen design process. The earlier you choose the fridge, the better. When fridges are selected early on, their technical requirements can be seamlessly integrated into the design, reducing the risk of re-design or rework later on. When fridges are chosen at the last minute, it can lead to costly adjustments, such as altering cabinetry or changing the kitchen layout, to accommodate the appliance. To avoid these potential headaches, prioritise the fridge selection as one of the first steps in your kitchen design.

Understanding Fridge Depth and Its Impact

Fridges come in a variety of depths, and this variance can affect everything from your kitchen’s layout to how easily you can open the doors and access internal compartments like crisper drawers. The majority of fridges require some degree of protrusion past the cabinetry to ensure full door swings and proper functionality. While careful design can minimise the amount of protrusion, it’s often unavoidable.

Achieving a Streamlined Look

For a sleek, integrated look, some homeowners opt to build the fridge into the cabinetry. This approach can be visually appealing and give your kitchen a seamless appearance, but it comes with additional costs and complexities. The cabinetry may need to be customised, and you might require a specialty fridge designed for integration. If you’re considering this option, it’s essential to factor in these additional expenses and design considerations.

Allowing for Air Space to Protect the Warranty

While a streamlined design can enhance your kitchen’s aesthetics, it’s crucial to consider the technical requirements for proper air circulation around the fridge. Many fridge manufacturers specify a minimum amount of airspace that must be maintained to prevent overheating and ensure optimal performance. Failing to meet these requirements can lead to inefficient operation or even damage the appliance, potentially voiding the warranty. When designing your kitchen layout, make sure to accommodate the manufacturer’s guidelines for airspace, even if it means allowing for a bit of visible space around the fridge. This consideration will protect your investment and ensure the appliance’s longevity.

Minimising the Visual Impact of a Protruding Fridge

If integrating the fridge into the cabinetry isn’t feasible, strategic placement within the kitchen layout can help minimise the visual impact of a protruding appliance. Consider positioning the fridge at the end of a cabinet run or in a location where the protrusion doesn’t obstruct walkways or create awkward transitions between different kitchen zones. Creative design solutions, like using decorative panels or trim, can also help reduce the visual impact.

Final Thoughts

Fridge depth might seem like a minor detail, but it can have a significant impact on your kitchen’s overall look and functionality. Whether you’re aiming for a fully integrated design or working with a protruding fridge, careful planning and thoughtful design choices are key. By understanding the implications of fridge depth, following manufacturer guidelines for airspace, and taking ownership of appliance selections, you can create a kitchen that is both beautiful and practical. Prioritising fridge selection early in the process ensures a smoother, more cohesive design with fewer surprises along the way.

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