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Kitchen Refrigerator Cabinet Surround

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After picture of painted gray cabinets

When I last posted about how I changed the look of our kitchen, I told you about how I painted my kitchen cabinets gray. Did you notice that in the After picture, that there was no refrigerator to be seen?!  This post is all about the Refrigerator.  I think you are going to like it.

Here is the story of my refrigerator cabinet surround. This is the corner where the fridge was in the kitchen when we bought the house.


before picture of where the refrigerator was, beside the dishwasher
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I cleaned out the fridge, and it died.  That was the second time that had happened to me–by cleaning a fridge I killed it. Here is a tip: when you clean out a refrigerator, turn it off.  Otherwise, by having the door open the entire time you are cleaning it, you are likely to burn out the motor.  Ask me how I know….

So another fridge was given to us, and I put it to the left of the stove.  I did this because it bothered me to have all six inches of that vertical space to the right of the fridge wasted.  Eventually, I put our computer desk in the fridge’s original spot. It has worked very well there.

the second place the fridge was, beside the stove

The refrigerator stayed to the left of the stove for a long time.  Meanwhile, we had this entertainment center.  I had bought it off of Craigslist for our former apartment for less than $300, including delivery.  But for our house, the entertainment center was not big enough to fill the TV wall, and would have left wasted space on each side. And so I planned to use the entertainment center for pantries in the kitchen.  The kitchen had very few cabinets before I added more, so the pantries were very necessary.

I had bought pretty fabric for the backs, so that you could see it through the glass doors when it was an entertainment center.

inside of an entertainment center cabinet

But you don’t even have to use your imagination to see how that was just not going to work in the kitchen. There was no way to make all of the kitchen things look nice behind those glass doors.

the front of a tall glass window cabinet with kitchen supplies in it

So I covered the glass doors in contact paper.  As you know, contact paper is sticky on the back.  I was attaching the front of this paper to the back of the glass, so I had to use…. masking tape.  It did the trick! You can see the door below: on the left the door is closed, and on the right it is open and you can see the masking tape.

[Later on I used the same contact paper for the back of the cabinet over my microwave, for the inside of my trash can lid, and for my light switch cover! (Now if I had enough left to cover the fridge with it, I might just try it!)]

PInterest Graphic of Contact Paper in the Kitchen 5 ways

So while the fridge was sitting to the left of the stove, I used in between the two pantries for my baking cabinet.  Here it is at Christmas time.

kitchen pantry cabinets decorated for Christmas

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Entertainment Center Repurposed

Then came that day that I had the Great Idea.  I looked at the space between the pantries.  The bridge above them was adjustable, depending on the width of your television. I decided that I wanted to put the refrigerator between the two pantries!! I was going to repurpose my entertainment center as a refrigerator cabinet!

Entertainment center cabinets in kitchen

So all by myself, I pushed the fridge from its spot beside the stove, across the kitchen to the opposite wall….

Empty spot where the fridge had been

And I tore the floor!   Oh, I was so upset!   This is what I get for doing things All By Myself….  Well, I had to finish what I was doing.   I fixed the floor later.

torn vinyl floor https://www.b4andafters.com/kitchen-refrigerator-cabinet-surround/

I put the fridge between the two pantries.  I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.  Now I would have to walk a few more steps when I was cooking, to bring things from the fridge to the counters.  But it ended up working very well.  It is very convenient to get the milk for breakfast and put it right onto the table.  The move actually opened up my small kitchen a little bit and gave me room to move. (The picture below was taken immediately after I had moved the fridge.)

fridge between two pantry cabinets

Moving the fridge had left a huge empty spot next to the stove. I had big plans for that space! I moved the baking cabinet there (remember, it had been where the fridge was, so they traded places), added a wall cabinet, and turned it into a coffee station! This Coffee Station is now my favorite place in the kitchen.

Coffee station in the kitchen

Here is the refrigerator cabinet surround today.


the fridge in its new place between the entertainment center cupboards

I’ve worked hard to find plants that will thrive in the low light above the refrigerator.  I like to put plants there because it is one of the few places in the house that the cat cannot reach.  The plants also partly hide the things that I am storing on top.  The philodendron is the newest addition and loves it up there.

plants above the refrigerator cabinet surround

Here is another view.  Using the entertainment center as pantries has been a life saver.  It is such a good use of space for us in our small house where every inch counts.

side view of the fridge with cabinets as pantries on each side

One of the nice things about this refrigerator cabinet surround idea is that if we ever get a new fridge that is a different size, it will still fit!  Because the bridge on top is adjustable, I can move it to fit any size fridge! The entertainment center looks like it is a built-in, just for the purpose of flanking the fridge.

front view of the fridge with entertainment center pantries on each side

Now you know where the fridge is in my kitchen; now you know….. the rest of the story. Once in awhile I think about painting this Entertainment-Center-turned-Fridge-Surround a nice soft white. What do you think? Would it look nice painted? I will say that it would be tricky to paint all of the window pane trim. And the brown wood color hides a lot of splatters from my children.

By the way, my kitchen greatly improved when I made slipcovers for my chairs.

kitchen with gray painted cabinets

I would love to get a new countertop, but cannot justify the extra expense (yet!). There are plans to replace the sink and faucet. I will be sure to post about it when it happens! SaveSave

Have you been inspired and given some new ideas? I hope so!

Pinterest graphic for Kitchen Refrigerator Cabinet Surround


Pinterest Graphic for Kitchen Refrigerator Cabinet Surround


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