No Space for a Fridge in your Kitchen? 11 Solutions That Work

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Not all kitchens have space for or come designed to accommodate a fridge. 

Limited space and personal preferences can impact whether a homeowner prefers having their refrigerator in or away from their kitchen.

If you own a teeny tiny kitchen, it may surprise you what a reshuffle and reorganization of your kitchen can do. 

Some great appliances can easily substitute a traditional fridge, and other rooms may even be capable of accommodating a refrigerator. 

Look for a tall slim fridge.

You may find that you do have space for a refrigerator, but you just need to find a narrow enough fridge that fits. 

Try placing a fridge in a kitchen corner or against a wall between cupboards or appliance spaces. This is achievable with a slim fridge like this Samsung one. This slim fridge is perfect for space-challenged kitchens.

SAMSUNG 11.3 Cu Ft 24" Bottom Freezer Refrigerator, Slim Width for Small Spaces, Even Cooling, LED Lighting, Slide Shelf, RB10FSR4ESR/AA, Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel

Place the fridge in a different room 

You may think it is essential for a fridge to live in your kitchen, but many homeowners have proved otherwise. 

Neighboring rooms

Rooms nearby or bordering your kitchen are typically the most convenient. If your living room, dining room, or hallway are nearby, consider relocating your fridge there. 

Dining room 

In a small apartment, a fridge in the dining room will allow you to have drinks and other condiments readily available. You could even use your dining table as an additional kitchen prep space.  

Entryway or divider 

Smaller, attractive-looking fridges can complement the aesthetics of your apartment when strategically placed by your kitchen entrance or as a room divider.  

A mini-fridge

If you are space deprived, you are most likely looking for a smaller, more compact version of a traditional refrigerator. A mini fridge is just that. 

Mini-fridges are made to fit small spaces, and most come with fridge and freezer space. 

A mini-fridge takes up minimal space in a tiny kitchen and will not look out of place even in a living room. In addition, several mini-fridges are available in funky colors that complement or add to a room’s character. 

Look at this BLACK+DECKER BCRK17W Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer from Amazon. 

BLACK+DECKER BCRK17W Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Ft., White

This stylish and compact mini-fridge is available in white, black, and silver and uses little space and energy. 

Look for a top-quality cooler

A cooler would not be my first choice when looking for a fridge alternative, but it can and does work for many small apartment owners. 

Coolers are compact, and most come with handles, making them portable. Roll them out when needed and hide them in a closet or cabinet when you are done. 

The only undesirable feature is that you must re-add fresh ice to your cooler every few days to ensure your stored food remain fresh. 

This Coleman Rolling Cooler from Amazon keeps ice for at least five days, which is pretty impressive when compared to other available coolers. 

Coleman Portable Rolling Cooler | 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Day Cooler with Wheels | Wheeled Hard Cooler Keeps Ice Up to 5 Days

Don’t forget the bar fridge option

If you are not big on cooking and live solo, a bar fridge may be a suitable alternative to a traditional refrigerator. 

It is compact and will occupy minimal space in a kitchen or neighboring room. Unfortunately, coolers lack freezer space, so frozen dinners, ice cream, and other luxuries may no longer be an option.  

I like this compact NewAir Beverage Refrigerator Cooler from Amazon, which has a quiet cooling compressor and will look good in most small homes. 

NewAir Beverage Refrigerator Cooler | 126 Cans Free Standing with Right Hinge Glass Door | Mini Fridge Beverage Organizer Perfect For Beer, Wine, Soda, And Cooler Drinks

The build-in pull-out drawer fridge

This looks great in a small kitchen and is energy efficient and modern in design. However, it is a significantly more expensive alternative to the traditional refrigerator due to its additional features and complexity in design.  

A pull-out drawer fridge is the optimal space-optimizing solution in a small kitchen. These drawers can fit in tight spaces, under countertops, narrow gaps between cabinets, and under kitchen islands.

Storing bulky fridge items may be tricky, and these pull-out drawers have been known to be noisier than traditional fridges. If, however, you don’t have a large family, a pull out drawer fridge like this could be your answer.

COTLIN 24 Inch Outdoor Drawer Fridge, Under Counter Double Beverage Refrigerator, 4.9 Cu.Ft. Weather Proof Stainless Steel Built-in Fridge for Residential Commercial Use, ETL Silver

The kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation is typically a last resort or only possible if you own an apartment and have the budget. 

Renovations are expensive. 

Typically, you would need to source a renovation specialist to redesign and reconstruct the kitchen to your liking. 

This option does, however, mean that you can create the ideal kitchen that can accommodate the fridge of your choosing.  

Placing your fridge in a closet

Often, people have unused closets filled with unnecessary items. If you own a closet like this in your kitchen or nearby your kitchen in a neighboring room, consider whether you could place a fridge in the space instead. 

A closet lets you close and hide the fridge from guests or leave it visible as part of your living or kitchen space. 

Consider your balcony space

If you are lucky enough to own or rent an apartment with a balcony and your apartment space is too small to contemplate adding a refrigerator, use your outdoor space. 

There may be more convenient spots for a fridge, but it’s better than not owning a refrigerator at all. If your balcony is positioned close to your kitchen, even better!

There are some excellent outdoor refrigerator options available. Still, this large capacity refrigerator from Amazon is rather unique: CHANGE MOORE DUAL ZONE Solar Powered 12v Refrigerator/Freezer 48 Quart(45 Liter) 12 volt Cooler Mini Fridge

CHANGE MOORE DUAL ZONE Solar Powered 12v Refrigerator/Freezer 48 Quart(45 Liter) 12 volt Cooler Mini Fridge for Vehicles Travel Camping Outdoor -12/24V DC…

I love that this fridge is economical and allows for remote operation via smartphone. 

If you prefer something less technical, this SMETA Propane Refrigerator with Freezer from Amazon may be a better choice. 

Don’t disregard your bedroom space

This may not be everyone’s first choice, but if you fancy a midnight snack or drink, you may quickly warm up to the idea. 

If you already have a cabinet with unutilized space in your bedroom, why not pop in a compact refrigerator like this Midea WHS-65LB1 Compact Refrigerator? This way, it remains hidden but accessible when you need it. 

Midea WHS-65LB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator, 1.6 Cubic Feet(0.045 Cubic Meter), Black

If you already have a mini fridge in your kitchen, adding a mini fridge in your bedroom will aid in storing additional food or drink items you would not ordinarily be able to fit.  

There are excellent bedroom fridge options that come in various sizes. Still, I love this sleek, portable Cooluli Vibe Mini Fridge for Bedroom that includes a magnetic and blackboard front – a fridge I would not mind displaying. 

Cooluli Vibe Mini Fridge for Bedroom - With Cool Front Magnetic Blackboard - 15L Portable Small Refrigerator for Travel, Car & Office Desk - Plug In Cooler & Warmer for Food, Drinks & Skincare (Black)

Make the fridge part of your apartment decor

Sometimes, a fridge in your kitchen is not an option. However, there are alternate ways to add a refrigerator to your home. 

Camouflage and compliment

Make the fridge complement your space by making it appear as a deliberate design choice. For example, place your fridge against a similarly colored wall or cupboard to make the refrigerator seem less obvious. 

Spruce things up, but stay practical

Adding décor around your refrigerator will make the fridge appear as part of the room rather than an add-on. For example, placing an attractive bench near your fridge will make loading groceries into the refrigerator easier and add some character to the room. 

Color and flair are key

When utilizing your fridge as part of the room’s décor, try looking for attractively colored or artsy designs to complement your apartment style. 

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