WRITER | Linda Richter-Clutter
PHOTO | Witbeck & Big Georges Home Appliance Mart

Space-Saving Under-Counter Refrigerators

When you open your refrigerator, what takes up the most space? If you said soda, beer and wine then you may want to look into adding an under-counter beverage or wine cooler. Being able to create an area in your home where all these products are centralized keeps everything organized and may eliminate extra congestion in the working area of your home.

The installation of under-counter units is one of the latest trends in kitchen and patio designs. They create a nice unified design where you don’t want a large piece towering over the space and you desire more counter space. These units will give a room a nice clean, streamlined look and can improve traffic flow in your kitchen.

There are several uses for under-counter refrigerators in various areas of your home. You may have an outdoor grilling area where, instead of going in and out of the house for drinks, food and snacks, you can have everything right there where it is convenient. Or, you may have a bar area where having quick and easy access to drinks makes more sense than a full-sized refrigerator. Maybe you want a coffee bar in your primary suite providing creamer, juices and bottled water to make your morning routine a little more relaxing. Almost any area of your home can benefit from one of these types of units, whether it is a lower-level game room, man cave or workout room, the possibilities are endless.

There are three types of cooling units that have become very popular in the last few years. The beverage cooler has a combination of shelves and bottle racks which can store a wide variety of beverages. A wine cooler has horizontal racks which are ideal for wine storage, many of which have dual temperature-controlled zones. The newest units to the under-counter cooling lineup feature double drawers that help organize beverages and food prep products. Some units also can have a small ice maker or even a freezer. Drawers also come in a combination of one refrigerator drawer and one freezer drawer.

All of these units are designed to be flush with existing cabinetry. They are available in stainless or panel-ready options with a glass inset so you can view the content inside. If you prefer not to draw attention to the appliance, you can cover the front with a matching cabinet panel, allowing it to blend seamlessly into your cabinetry. When shopping for these units, you can choose from different colors, materials and designs that will complement your room.

In some settings, an under-counter unit provides easy access for kids or people who use a wheelchair. They can easily open and take items out while seated if they have mobility issues or, for kids, without having to climb up on a chair.

Europeans have used under-counter units for many years due to their small kitchens. Today, this type of refrigeration is being used throughout the world because of its practical design and multiple benefits. With these units having many of the same features as a full-sized refrigerator, why not find a space in your home for an under-counter unit? The newfound space in your refrigerator might be a good place for more fresh vegetables or that fabulous steak that deserves not to have soda cans sitting on top of it.