A cheap and fairly easy way to add an expensive look to your kitchen is to frame out your fridge.  Create a built in if there isn’t one.  Custom homes have a space for every appliance.  Everything is built in and usually covered with moldings.  We added both to our kitchen on a budget.  This post covers the DIY refrigerator enclosure.  Read about adding moldings here.

My wheels were turning as soon as I stepped foot in our kitchen.  During home showings I am constantly planning and plotting.  I started researching on how to fix the huge white box that demanded your attention when you walked into the space.  There had to be a way to make it look like it belonged in the kitchen and not just shoved at the end of the cabinets.

 


 

 

I saw several people on the blogosphere built enclosures for their refrigerators and added it to the current cabinetry.  GENIUS!!

  Here is an example of what I am talking about.

Just add a box…simple right.  BAHAHA!!!!!   I should know better.  The problem with a project like this is no matter how good the tutorial is or detailed the pictures are, each situation is different.  My cabinets are a different size, my refrigerator is a different size (I purchased a counter depth), my ceiling height is different….you get my point.  I had to come up with a strategy for my situation.  It wasn’t too bad but it did not turn out exactly as planned.

My first problem was most of the tutorials had a set of cabinets to use above the fridge that matched the current cabinets.  This made it look like the box was built with the cabinets.   I tried to take my current ones down and they wouldn’t  budge.  The cabinets were built off of each neighboring cabinet.  Meaning, I coudn’t get the cabinets above the fridge down without hurting the ones next to it so I had to scratch that idea.  We improvised.  The small cabinets were covered and I put a shelf over the fridge instead.  I now have a convenient, out of the way home for my cookbooks.

 

Here are some progress shots.  We used two sheets of medium grade plywood to make the two sides, shelf, small top front piece and backing to cover old top cabinets.  Small moldings were used to cover the front cuts on the plywood, the moldings used to cover the furr down were continued onto the enclosure as well as where the end of the new enclosure meet the wall. After that,  lots of caulk and filler.  All nail holes, imperfections on the plywood and areas where the trim didn’t meet the wood perfectly were filled with puddy.  Large seams and along the moldings were filled with caulk.  Then everything was sanded well and painted with the cabinets.

 

I used my handy dandy Kreg Jig to make all the connections hidden.  This also helped with the braces we put along the back and gave me a way to secure the box into the floor.  For me that was the scariest part….drilling holes into my new flooring.  Talk about a measure 10 times, drill once kind of situation.
 After:

 

 I. LOVE. IT.  Other than the paint color, buying a counter depth fridge and having it boxed in has totally changed the room.  It feels so much bigger!  Thank you to my husband for trusting me with this idea and helping me with it.  Sometimes I can tell he is not so sure about my crazy ideas (not sure why) but trusts me anyway and helps me when I ask for it.  Thanks, babe!

Click here to see the kitchen’s before and after pictures.

 

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