These compact kitchens—all under 175 square feet—have turned to the fridge for style and pizzaz. Why? Because this kitchen staple was coming to the party anyway, so why not make it a star?
www.flippingdiaries.com, original photo on Houzz
1. Turquoise Treasure in a 1950s Home
Kitchen size: 100 square feet (9.2 square meters)
Why this fridge: The 1950s home had its original turquoise wall oven, and James Judge of Flipping Diaries instantly fell in love with the color. “The project was all about preservation,” he says. With that in mind, he searched for a matching refrigerator and found a new retro-style Big Chill one in the same color as the existing appliances. When people typically think about appliances, they don’t think color, Judge says. But “color can be a good choice for small kitchens,” he says, “because it makes them feel special, and sometimes that’s hard to do in a small space.” The fridge, which is 33½ inches deep, sticks out slightly because Big Chill doesn’t make counter-depth options, and companies didn’t make them in the 1950s either, Judge says. Thankfully, the walkway is large enough that this extra bit of fridge has never been an issue.
Overall design: In addition to keeping most of the appliances, the design team kept the peach tile counter. They added simple colors — gray and white — throughout the rest of the kitchen to make the appliance colors stand out. “The colorful appliances are everything to this kitchen design,” Judge says. “They are the showstopper for the house, because they instantly draw your eye and put a smile on your face.”
Williams Ridout, original photo on Houzz
2. Splash of Red in a Gray-and-White Space
Kitchen size: 65 square feet (6 square meters)
Why this fridge: The clients wanted to inject color into the neutral palette, says Joe Ridout, principal designer at Williams Ridout. The design team turned to a red Smeg refrigerator to give the room a large block of color.
Overall design: The neutral elements come from pieces such as the Twyford sink, custom countertop made of DuPont’s Corian in Cameo White, and cabinets painted in Mercury from Fired Earth. The design team also added smaller splashes of red throughout the rest of the room, such as in the wall art and other small appliances.
Aria Stone Gallery, original photo on Houzz
3. Green With Kitchen Envy
Kitchen size: 90 square feet (8.3 square meters)
Why this fridge: The homeowner wanted a different and unique kitchen, not the ubiquitous style of stainless steel appliances, neutral-colored cabinets and granite countertops. The design team used a jadeite green Big Chill refrigerator that adds visual impact in the small kitchen; it has become the focal point, says April Graves, vice president of Aria Stone Gallery. “Its bright and bubbly color adds a feel-good element to the room while keeping the room feeling bright and airy,” she says. The everyday kitchen appliance brings in a wow factor.
Overall design: The design team worked with the homeowner to design a fun, nostalgic space. The pastel appliances and cabinets allowed them to be more adventurous when picking out stone colors for the countertops and backsplash.They picked a White Jade Onyx backsplash, a Chateau Blanc quartzite countertop and a custom Onyx Emitis table.
Magleby Construction, original photo on Houzz
4. Burst of Red Inspiration in a Rustic Art Studio
Kitchen size: 60 square feet (5.5 square meters)
Why this fridge: A red undercounter fridge from Big Chill made sense because there was only a total of 60 square feet to work with in this art studio, says Pierrette Tierney-Magleby, vice president of business development at Magleby Construction. A bright color — whether on an appliance, wall, backsplash or cabinet — can make a space feel more open, cheerful and inspiring, Tierney-Magleby says. The design team chose a vibrant red because it felt unexpected and draws the eye to the space, making the kitchen feel like a focal point, not an afterthought.
Overall design: The art studio has a rustic aesthetic. Reclaimed wood covers the walls and ceiling, making the space a neutral color throughout. The fridge “brings in a bold pop of color that inspires the space,” Tierney-Magleby says. “Small kitchens need something to make them unique.”
GR8 Interiors, original photo on Houzz
5. Baby Blue Beauty in a Cottage Kitchen
Kitchen size: 161 square feet (14.9 square meters)
Why this fridge: Nigel Jenkins, director of GR8 Property Services, wanted to use it as the focal point in this small kitchen. To do that, he guided the clients toward picking a colored option, something that’s not typical. The clients loved the idea and chose a baby blue fridge to serve as the star. “The fridge brought life to this kitchen,” Jenkins says.
Overall design: The back of the home and a wall were opened up to make room for the kitchen, and the design team gave it a diner feel. They chose a Crittall metal-framed door and windows, subway tiles and reclaimed-wood surfaces.Those changes along with the colorful refrigerator make the space feel larger, Jenkins says.
becauseracecar, original photo on Houzz
6. Orange Racing Stripes for a Stunt Driver’s Kitchen
Kitchen size: 108 square feet (10 square meters)
Why this fridge: Sera Trimble, a professional stunt driver for film and television commercials, remodeled her kitchen and chose an orange, powder blue and white color palette, as a nod to the Gulf Racing livery from the 1960s. She wanted to add a splash of color and chose the warmer option, orange, for the fridge and other appliances. (This Big Chill refrigerator looks larger than it really is because of the wide-angle lens used to get both walls in the picture.) The fun retro fridge adds shape to the small space, Trimble says. It gives what could have been a clean, white box a focus. “It never fails to be a talking point when people see the kitchen for the first time,” she says.
Overall design: Trimble used white subway tiles as a backsplash to make the space brighter. The powder blue color appears on the accent wall behind the fridge, where you’ll also find more racing accents. She added a Gulf clock to the accent wall and gave the window seat cushion a number and a racing stripe.
Content by Brenna Malmberg of Houzz.com. Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts, and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.