This IKEA hack made a small kitchen look prettier by housing a clunky freestanding fridge – and it uses just two METODs
Who said a freestanding fridge can't look pretty? This simple IKEA hack turns tall cabinet frames into a built-in fridge panel
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Although freestanding refrigerators are convenient appliances, they're not the prettiest. For a truly beautiful kitchen built-in is usually best, but for some of us that's out of the question. The next best thing? DIY shelving that houses your fridge-freezer and matches your cabinets, just as this genius IKEA hack does.
The clever built-in kitchen idea is all down to the work of home renovator Hannah Otto (@theottohouse). While she's well well-attuned to a custom DIY, this one tops the rest as the most unique. All it took was some fluted baseboards, a sheet of MDF and a lick of paint to turn two tall METOD cabinets into a bespoke built-in fridge panel that looks right at home in her country kitchen. Here, she outlines the steps involved to make her pretty-in-pink IKEA hack.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. A personal fan of the Scandi-inspired interior, her job entails keeping up with everything there is to know about the Swedish powerhouse IKEA. Paired with her insight into the latest home renovation projects, she regularly shares IKEA hacks with readers to inspire their own DIY projects in home design.
Hannah of the Otto House (opens in new tab) wanted to create her built-in fridge idea to provide more storage in her small kitchen and give the space a more cohesive look. 'We'd pulled down some walls that were originally on either side of the fridge so that we could open up the space a little,' she explains. 'Since then I've wanted to "home" the fridge so it didn’t stand out as much.'
Hannah and her partner didn't have the budget for professional custom built-ins, so, naturally, an IKEA hack was the answer. The fridge panel consists of two IKEA METOD units (opens in new tab) (also sold as the SEKTION (opens in new tab)) placed on either side, which extend around a foot above the top of the appliance. Hannah took this as the perfect opportunity to integrate a shelf into the design to store her recipe books above the fridge.
A coordinating kitchen was important to Hannah, so she chose the METOD cabinets to match the flat slab doors on her other units. 'Our original cabinets have a flat surface like the METOD range, so now they all have matching handles, paint color and baseboards so that the IKEA hack ties in well with the rest of the kitchen,' she says.
To bring both of the cabinets together, Hannah used a sheet of MDF which she cut into a shelf. The dimensions were dictated by the additional height of the METOD cabinets and their total width. 'I then topped this with some wooden molding to give it a more bespoke look,' she explains. The added height helps to utilize the space above the fridge, reducing clutter with the additional storage.
Sherwin-Williams 'Charming Pink' Paint, Lowes (opens in new tab)
This earthy mushroom pink with grey undertones looks perfect in a country kitchen, full of character and charm. The HGTV Home collaboration works as a paint and primer too, helping to save you time.
Next, it was time to add similar built-in details to the bottom of the cabinets. 'I made the baseboards using moldings from Orac Decor, which match the ones I made for the units opposite,' says Hannah. She painted these in a brighter shade of pink called Red Sand by Dulux (opens in new tab). The two different tones really complement each other, making for a sophisticated yet playful pink kitchen idea.
Fluted baseboard molding, The Home Depot (opens in new tab)
For decorative baseboards, fluted molding is the way to go. These boards from The Home Depot are make the perfect foundation for you creative prowess. Prime and paint with your chosen color for ornamental fittings guaranteed to make a statement.
Finally, it was just a case of caulking and painting the shelving and cabinets to match the rest of her units for that fitted kitchen look. She painted using Mylands Wood & Metal paint in the shade Egerton Place (opens in new tab) to match the existing cabinets. The pale pink hue pairs well with the warm wooden tones of the shelving and window frames.
With her fridge panel finished, Hannah's charming cottage kitchen is now complete. 'I was dreading this project as I thought it would be really tricky, but it actually went quite smoothly,' Hannah says. 'I’m so pleased the end result looks exactly like I hoped it would.'
If you ask us, this is the sort of treatment any small kitchen deserves. A freestanding fridge never looked so pretty.
Lilith Hudson is the Junior Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news articles for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration that you need in your home. She discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. Lilith now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London (a degree where she could combine both) and has previously worked at the Saturday Times Magazine, ES Magazine, DJ Mag and The Simple Things Magazine.
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