Interior design is something that most people don’t think about until there comes a time when they need to work with it. Additionally, a lot of people don’t realize exactly how important interior design becomes until they are working on designing a specific room, such as the kitchen.
You may not realize it at first, but there are actually quite a few “rules” that you need to follow when designing a kitchen if you want to make sure that everything works the way that it should. For example, one of the biggest issues that people have is putting the three main appliances of a kitchen (the sink, stove, and fridge) too close together.
As a general rule of thumb, these appliances should never be right beside each other. Each has their own reasons as to why they should not be near each other, and there are problems that can arise if they are too close.
For that reason, if you are looking into interior design for your kitchen, you should never place the stove next to the refrigerator, unless you want both of them to have problems.
The Problem with the Refrigerator and Stove
The problem with the fridge and the stove being too close to each other is rooted in the fact that the functions of these appliances are direct opposites. The stove, and subsequently the oven, are designed to heat up foods to eat, while the refrigerator is designed to cool foods down to store and preserve them properly.
If you place them too close to each other, the stove is going to interfere immensely with the fridge’s function, leading to a lot of spoiled foods and a lot more money spent on replacing those foods. Nobody wants this to happen as this can quickly become a money sink.
Additionally, with the way that refrigerators work, it is always recommended that they have some degree of space around them so that they can take in the air around them and can cool the food down inside.
If the stove is too close to the refrigerator, the refrigerator is going to end up taking in only hot air, which will take a lot more energy to cool down to the temperature of the fridge, becoming a bleeding source of money in your electricity bill.
There is also the problem of space within the kitchen. The three main appliances are often referred to as the work triangle. Especially if you have multiple people in the kitchen who are cooking at once, you are going to want to have adequate space for everyone to use their appliance of choice.
Someone who is getting food out of the refrigerator will likely get in the way of the person cooking food on the stovetop if the two appliances are right next to each other, causing problems for everyone in the house.
But, speaking of space, what happens if you don’t necessarily have a lot of kitchen space to work with and you aren’t entirely sure how you can space your appliances out right? Thankfully, this is a common enough issue that there are more than a few ways to solve the problem.
Working with a Limited Kitchen Space
It is recommended that your fridge have at least five centimeters of space on all sides of it and about ten centimeters of space above it to properly allow for airflow and for the fridge to work to the best of its ability.
Besides this, you should have at least one counter space between the stove and the fridge, although most people would recommend more so that multiple people in the kitchen won’t get in the way of each other.
In a sense, you should try to have an equal triangle of space in your kitchen with the distance of the three main appliances being the points of the triangle, so to speak. This assumes that your kitchen is a square or rectangular part of the house as well.
A good amount of space to have between the stove and the fridge is going to be two counter spaces, but in certain house setups, this amount of space may not be possible and it might mean that you have to have one countertop’s worth of space between your refrigerator and your stove.
When this happens, you may simply have to be mindful of people working in the kitchen and be mindful of any potential increases in the electricity bill.
If your kitchen is long and against a wall of your house, you can also get away with having one countertop’s worth of space between the refrigerator, stove, and sink as long as you are willing to accept that this will mean that the kitchen will be more cramped and that it may be more expensive if the stove and refrigerator are close.
When designing a kitchen with limited amounts of space, you should do what you can to have the stove and the refrigerator on opposite ends of the kitchen so that you can minimize the problems that come from having them too close to each other.
Unfortunately, there are some situations where you may not be able to feasibly accomplish this and you will need to focus more on trying to make adaptations to the kitchen that you have.
Insulating the Stove and Fridge
If you are in a situation where you absolutely have to have the stove and the refrigerator beside each other, there are a few ways that you can try and insulate the space between them so that the heat and cold from them do not affect the other as much as they could.
Doing this will help save you money on energy bills, depending on how well insulated you can get the items between the stove and fridge.
One of the best items to place between the stove and the refrigerator is going to be the dishwasher. The dishwasher is a relatively dense appliance, fills the space you would need between the other appliances appropriately, and helps to mitigate the transfer of heat.
Do keep in mind that because some dishwashers put off heat of their own, this might mean that your refrigerator works slightly harder than it normally would, but the difference in electrical usage between having your stove there and having the dishwasher there will be noticeable.
Another object that you could put between the stove and refrigerator is going to be a kitchen cabinet, preferably one that is filled with items that can help absorb some of the heat so that even less of it gets to the fridge and affects how it works.
Be mindful that you use this kitchen cabinet for items that will not degrade in heat, such as utensils, pots and pans, plates, and so on, rather than food or items that will go bad when exposed to the increased heat that the stove will put off.
Whenever you are installing anything to put between these two appliances, you would want to be able to have the amount of space the refrigerator needs to work well so that you can still ensure that your food is being adequately chilled.
These are some of the most important things to pay attention to when you are taking care of the design of your kitchen.