The top of the refrigerator invariably sits either unused and dusty or jammed with flotsam and jetsam. Neither adds to your cheery kitchen’s décor, so you search for ideas to decorate the area and put it to good use. Clean the top of the fridge to get it spotless and ready for its new look.
How do you create the ideal fridge top decor? In short, you organize items you store there prettily and add a plant or faux vegetation. Let’s explore a few ideas.
In This Article
Decorating Unused Top of the Refrigerator Space
If your fridge top typically goes unused and simply collects dust bunnies for your kitchen, put it to good use. This area works wonderfully as a storage area for pretty pots that you almost never use.
Those who purchase pretty copper pots and pans or a set of cookware in a festive color like purple or yellow can use the area to store one or two of the less often used pots. Typically, the double broiler goes here, and the waffle iron.
Add a real or faux plant, or faux greenery, such as a pumpkin in the fall, but a cactus in the summer. Faux plants or plants like cacti that need little water and can live without direct sunlight do best.
This area also affords an ideal space to store cookbooks. How often do you actually use that copy of “The Joy of Cooking” that you received as a wedding gift? Put it to use every day as décor. If you’re like me, you own between 10 to 20 cookbooks and never crack them open. All of your recipes now come from your Dinnerly subscription, so there’s nothing to look up.
Purchasing an open-top bin of a pretty weave provides a spot to toss gloves, hats, and scarves when people come in through the backdoor. This basket can also offer a spot to store kitchen odds and ends that you rarely use, like a flyswatter. Either use puts the space to work, but when you glance up at the top of the fridge, all you see is the front of the pretty basket.
Reorganizing In-Use Fridge Top Space
Growing up, my parents used the top of the fridge to store a small stack of paper bags used as the large trash can liners, the cereal boxes, and/or seasonal food items that came in a box. If it didn’t have a permanent kitchen home, it went on top of the fridge. After the first few hurricanes of my childhood, my dad added a Maglite.
Since you took everything down from the top of the fridge to clean the area, survey what you have to organize. Some things may get assigned to a permanent kitchen storage home that doesn’t include the fridge top. What that sits there do you use frequently? That stays on top. What you rarely use finds a new home in a cabinet.
The top of the fridge can provide the ideal space for large items you need to access frequently, like my folks’ trash bags and the Maglite. Forget the plastic organizers at most department stores.
Visit a hobbyist store like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby to find three or four various-sized, matching baskets. These often come in a set at these hobbyist supply shops that also carry décor items.
Into these baskets, plop the items you regularly or rarely access. Any item you can’t fit into one of these bins either gets stored in a cabinet or camouflaged with a cover.
Decorating the Top of the Refrigerator
Perhaps you just remodeled your kitchen and don’t want to store items on top of the fridge. Instead, you want it to offer the same decorator look that the rest of the room does.
Start from scratch by deciding on a theme. Your theme should have a few colors that naturally match your kitchen’s new paint job. For example, a bright, sunny yellow kitchen could easily integrate a desert motif. Using terra cotta and sand-colored pots, display a range of cacti or other plants (real or faux).
If you use real plants, remember that they need to require little sunlight to thrive there. Locate the larger potted plants at the rear of your grouping. The front row of plants should use one medium-sized potted plant and two small pots. Variation in size creates visual interest.
To cover the whole area with one item, use a large swag of faux flowers. This covers the entire fridge top and creates a garden look without requiring you to water anything.
What Should Not Go on Top of the Fridge
Home renovation guru Bob Vila addressed this question from the perspective of home safety. As it turns out, some of the items that my parents and probably yours, too, stored on top of the fridge should never go there.
The fridge doesn’t just need ventilation at the back, hence the six-inches from the wall rule. The fridge needs an airy top area for ventilation, too. This ventilation and air circulation make the top of the fridge the ideal place for mold growth on food.
Vila says to avoid placing bread, cereal boxes, candy, and medications on top of the fridge. Bread goes in the bread box and the rest can either go in a cabinet or in the fridge, in the case of the candy and some medications.