You’ll Never Believe Where the Fridge Is Hiding in This Tiny Kitchen

published Oct 9, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Newly renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and white cabinets with black hardware.

When Crystal Maki, principal designer at Silverwing Interiors, planned the new design for the kitchen in Courtney Hammond’s 475-square-foot New York City apartment, she set out to find innovative ways to increase space. The designer soon realized that some traditional elements had to be reimagined to create more countertop surface area. 

Before the renovation, the kitchen had a traditional stand-up refrigerator, but knowing that Hammond likely wouldn’t buy food in bulk, the pair looked at fridges designed for small spaces. “We needed counter space,” Maki says. “It’s a part-time residence, so she didn’t need everyday storage, but she did need storage for drinks, some small stuff, and leftovers.” Maki chose the perfect small kitchen storage solution for the space.

How an Under-the-Counter Refrigerator Completed the Kitchen

Maki found the ideal fridge replacement in JennAir’s Rise 24 Inch Wide 4.7 Cu. Ft. Double Drawer Refrigerator and Freezer. Some small-space dwellers might be reluctant to sacrifice their traditional full-sized refrigerator, but not Hammond. “She thought it was a good idea to give her more counter space, and as long as it had a refrigerator and freezer function, she was happy,” Maki shares. 

The stainless steel under-the-counter refrigerator has two drawers: a regular fridge drawer and a freezer drawer (that makes ice!). Having an ice maker especially appealed to Hammond because she planned to host cocktail hours with friends in her space.

Although the new fridge isn’t quite as spacious as her previous one, Maki says it works for Hammond because she “has extra storage to store drinks in cans and bottles and rotates them in when space allows.” The small shelf lets her see everything in the fridge, too, which can help decrease food waste.  

Because of this hack — along with other smart renovations like tearing out a wall to create a peninsula counter — Hammond’s new kitchen feels super spacious, despite its small footprint. Of course, it completed the mission of creating more counter space, too. 

Those of us with smaller kitchens might also be interested in looking at fridge alternatives, like Maki’s choice, to create more space. And this isn’t the only smart design trick Maki accomplished in the 475-foot-apartment — to see more of how Hammond’s space fits her lifestyle more comfortably, visit the full house tour on Apartment Therapy