Where should a fridge be placed in a small kitchen?

Find the ideal slot for your fridge despite the size of your teeny tiny kitchen

Small kitchen with a cooker, counters and a fridge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stuck with a teeny tiny cooking space and wondering where should a fridge be placed in a small kitchen? I feel you on this. The kitchen in my new place is seriously compact and, honestly, I wasn’t sure where to put my fridge. 

Whether you’re planning a kitchen remodel or you’ve just moved into a small home, you might be wondering where you should place your refrigerator in a smaller-sized kitchen. The thing about kitchens is that they need to be super versatile spaces and need to meet the demands of a whole range of scenarios, so knowing how to dissect the space can be a little tricky. 

While a fridge is probably the largest appliance that will go into your space, if you've found the right small kitchen ideas, it doesn’t have to take up too much space or feel overly cramped. To help determine the perfect spot for placing a fridge in your small kitchen, we’ve put together a selection of expert-approved tips. 

Where should a fridge be placed in a small kitchen? 

Knowing where to position a fridge in a small kitchen is vital for making the most of the space that you have. While every kitchen setup is different, the expert tips and ideas below will help you find the perfect place to position your fridge.

1. Position your fridge based on size

Okay, so this may not seem super relevant to where to place your fridge but, trust me, it is. For a smaller kitchen space, you need to consider the room that you have available and what fridge size and shape will fit best into that space. 

Ryan Fitzgerald, Owner at Up Homes says: “Go for a narrow, taller fridge model. Makes the most of vertical space instead of taking up tons of floor space. Height can be just as useful as width in a petite kitchen!”

While Shantae Duckworth, professional organizer and founder of Shantaeize Your Space, explains: “You can opt for a smaller size fridge instead of a full-size fridge. This will be more energy efficient, as well as save space. If you opt for a smaller size fridge, you can get creative with where you decide to put it.

Ryan Fitzgerald
Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald is an experienced realtor and the owner of Raleigh Realty. He’s a subject matter expert in all things realty, which naturally includes certain aspects of interior design and home decor. He was named a 30 under 30 Realtor® by Realtor Magazine and is a regular contributor on Forbes and US News.

Shantae Duckworth
Shantae Duckworth

Shantae Duckworth is a professional organizer and founder of Shantaeize Your Space in Seattle, Washington. She is a Member of National Association of Black Professional Organizers, and Member of Black Girls Who Organize Group. She is a public speaker and writer about organization as well. 

2. Save space with an under counter fridge

Look, I get it. We all want a large-sized fridge so that we have enough space to store all of our essentials. But when your kitchen is more compact, it's not always possible to fit a full-size fridge into the space. Instead, you're better off opting for an under-counter 

Duckworth says: “You could also install an under-counter fridge to save valuable floor and wall space. It slides perfectly beneath your kitchen countertop, making your limited kitchen space appear larger.”

3. Utilize the corners of your kitchen

If you’ve got a little corner nook in your kitchen that’s unused, you might want to think about putting your fridge in there. 

Duckworth says: “ I recommend placing your fridge in a corner of the kitchen. Corners are often underutilized in small kitchens, but they can be an ideal spot for the fridge. Install it diagonally, and you'll not only save space but also create an attractive focal point. Make sure to put some storage baskets on top of the fridge so you can store extra serving platters up there!”

The great thing about using corners to place your fridge in is that it won’t obstruct necessary space, especially if you set up your fridge so that the fridge door opens towards the wall, making it less likely to be in the way when open. Just make sure to leave enough space between the fridge and the wall to be able to fully open the fridge door.  

4. Position your fridge in the 'food zone'

As a rule of thumb, it's good practice to create a 'food zone' in your kitchen where all the food is stored. If you can create an area where you store all your food, it makes sense to place your refrigerator near this area. You can even get crafty with some storage hacks to find new ways to organize your space.


What is the ideal space around a fridge in a kitchen?

To ensure that your fridge is able to effectively dissipate heat, it's important to leave a gap of between one to two inches around the top of the fridge, the back of the fridge, and the sides of the fridge, and the wall, counters, or ceiling. 

Does your fridge have to be in the kitchen?

While it is usually more convenient if your fridge is located in your kitchen, there's no hard and fast rule that says you fridge has to be in your kitchen. If you don't have enough room to store your fridge in your kitchen, you could opt to put it in another room. 

These helpful tips will help you to determine where you should put a fridge in your small kitchen. Keen to ensure that you don't make a mistake when it comes to organizing your fridge, our guide to small fridge organization can help. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.