The Top of the Fridge

Top o' the Fridge Scapes

I styled the top of my fridge yesterday. I did this, then I did this later, which looks like this. It isn’t quite right yet, but it’s a start. This is riveting stuff here, I know! I started thinking about it though — what does one put above a freestanding fridge, assuming you do want something up there? Here are some of the options I’ve seen.

Dozens of apples in a charmingly rustic wire basket, with eggs. (Really, stylists? Really?)
Red Smeg Fridge

A lone gumball machine. (Again, really?)
Mint Green / Pale Blue Fridge

Vintage Cathrineholm bakeware. (This one makes more sense.)
Pale Aqua Fridge

A vintage Kaj Franck bowl. (This one seems appropriate, too.)
Amy Butler's Kitchen with Buttercup Yellow Fridge

A mismatched collection of feminine baskets. (Cute.)
Mismatched Baskets on Top of a Pink Fridge

And my favorite, a taxidermied peacock. (Of course!)
Taxidermied Peacock on a Teal Fridge

Basically, we can all put whatever we want up there. Free license!

I still need to play around with my arrangement a bit. I like the clock above the fridge (though I’m still waiting on this one, and may swap it out), and I suppose I’ll keep a plant up there instead of getting hanging planters. I’ll probably shy away from the peafowl, but that’s just personal preference.

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  • Valerie
    March 25, 2013 at 2:10 am

    What kind of plant is that with the geometric pot and orange vase?? Fiddle leaf fig?? So cute!

  • Hannah
    March 25, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Ha, some of these are odd but I actually do keep my fruit in a wire basket on top of my fridge… and my mixer as well!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

      I guess it would be more plausible if I could reach the top of my fridge comfortably. I have to stand on tip-toes to barely reach, and I would never eat fruit if I kept mine up there!

  • Betty
    March 25, 2013 at 7:02 am

    I don’t think it’s the styling you are really after but the cute style of fridge which is in almost all of the photos!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

      For sure, I want a cute fridge like those. If I get a book deal (I’m taking steps toward it), I’ll get one to celebrate.

  • Emily
    March 25, 2013 at 7:17 am

    This post made me laugh out loud! I have the same problem with the top of my fridge. Right now I just have a vintage danish cake carrier…but, i’ve had all sorts of weird combinations and nothing every feels right.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      If I had a vintage Danish cake carrier, it would definitely be up there.

  • Molly
    March 25, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I’m just enjoying pretending that it’s all because of me that you got that Bubble clock! And am I the only person around who stores boxes of cereal on top of the fridge? Right now we don’t have enough extra cupboard space for that stuff, so it’s our best spot. So yuck to look at, but it’s the best we can do for now.

  • Sarah
    March 25, 2013 at 8:53 am

    The peacock is great! I love that. Unfortunately, the only thing that makes it on top of our fridge is cereal…

  • alyse
    March 25, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I have a big stainless steel one much like you, and I keep a vintage picnic basket and my vintage sun tea pitcher on top of my fridge. I love seeing them up there!

  • Clementine
    March 25, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for this ‘real decorating dilemmas’ post. I have an ugly fridge with nothing on top that’s visible from the dining and living room and there’s nowhere else I can move it to. My current solution is a huge globe in pretty pastel colors. At least it’s more interesting to look that way now…

  • Ryan
    March 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I thought the top of the fridge was for haphazardly piling everything you can’t fit into your cabinets :)

    Love the clock.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Yeah, that’s a definite decorating possibility. ;)

  • Rachael
    March 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I live in an extremely small studio apartment and have a 5 foot tall fridge. I have 2 stacks of three books with little tchotchkes on top of them (old coca-cola bottle, piggy bank, booble head, etc.) and my key bowl on top of the fridge. Since the top of the fridge is in my direct eyesight, I like to see my stuff!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Sounds cute. I think that kind of thing works with a short fridge, but mine is so hulking that I think my little vases seem a bit lost up there.

  • Megan @ Monroe Makeshift
    March 25, 2013 at 10:02 am

    So the bedazzled handle of Captain Morgan that’s on top of my fridge is a totally legit kitchen decoration? Nice!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      I am so curious about this. Did you bedazzle it yourself, or is this an option off the shelf!?

      • Megan @ Monroe Makeshift
        March 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

        My sister bedazzled it and gave it to me for my Bachelorette. I’m pretty sure she bought a ton a jewels and glued them to the bottle. But it should totally be an option off the shelf!

  • anne fassnacht
    March 25, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I love that all of your inspiration photos have your dream fridge! I think when you reach your goal and get your fridge you will know exactly what to put on the top.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Anything I do now would look 10x better when (when!) I get a cute fridge.

  • Holly
    March 25, 2013 at 10:34 am


    ITA about the taxidermy. The top of my fridge seems to always be dusty, and I can’t imagine dusting a dead peafowl.

    Before we renovated our kitchen and and put a cabinet above, I used pretty storage containers to store things I didn’t want my then-little kids to get into.

  • Hannah
    March 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

    You are really selling me on the SMEG fridges. So gorge.

  • Trish
    March 25, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Ours is the ‘safe zone’ and you can find baskets of super glue, pointy scissors, and most importantly Sharpies. Not very pretty or stylish but Google “red sharpie of death” sometime and you’ll understand why!!!

    • Jules
      March 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Hah! If you are talking about a certain little boy who scribbled all over two sofas, the floor, and an entertainment system with a red sharpie while his mom was painting the kitchen, she doesn’t have to google it. That was me, and I’m one of her closest friends. :)

      • Making it Lovely
        March 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        Oh, yes. I know all about that red Sharpie incident! Jules is infamous.

      • Trish
        March 27, 2013 at 10:13 am

        My life was never the same after reading about that! And the PICTURES! It should be in a handout that every new parent receives in the hospital :) Pleasure to ‘meet’ you.

  • mellou
    March 25, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Smeg fridges-awesome! I don’t have a fridge-scape because we have cabinets right above.

  • jenny
    March 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    In a space like this, I prefer one large, rustic basket. Plus, it would be functional (I use mine for dirty kitchen towels and pot holders, then just carry it off to the washing machine at laundry time). I just find it pleasing to the eye to have one big block of texture, versus a smaller random vignette (esp. when it’s up higher like that).
    Then, you could hang the clock above the birds near your cookbooks, which would make it more eye-level.
    *Two cents! :)

    • Jules
      March 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

      I was going to suggest this. Specifically, a vintage picnic basket. Those are cute and practical.

      Actually, a better suggestion is to buy nothing and stick with what you have. Your Smeg is coming soon, and you can buy stuff then.

      • Making it Lovely
        March 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        Anything I do now, I’m doing with an eye toward the new fridge. I’m not running out and buying something new though for the sake of decorating up there — that seems silly.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I know that what I have now is too small, and too fussy. I don’t know about moving the clock to where the birds are, because I like that area so much as it is already, but I am still waiting on a larger clock to arrive that has been on backorder forever. The scale may be better (though the bubble clock is awfully cute).

  • susanne
    March 25, 2013 at 11:27 am

    ooh! i love this game.

    what about just a couple (big/small) simple vintage birdcages in black (or a fun pop color?)? or i also liked the other gal’s option of a vintage cake carrier (maybe white with black lettering?)

    i love how your kitchen is so clean and simple now, it seems like echoing that on the top of the fridge would coordinate well and help fill the height. it also seems most of the photos you like have only one object or statement item. :)

    hope that helps!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      I do feel like what I have now is too fussy. I liked the idea of a clock, a plant, and a big bowl, but not in the combination that I tried.

  • Erin
    March 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Wow – You know, I kind of LOVE that peacock on the fridge :) My kitchen is lacking in any kind of storage space at all, so the top of the fridge doubles as counter space. Also, my nuwave oven sits up there. I hate appliances like that but love how it cooks so I can’t part with it. Not stylish, but functional.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Function has to trump mere decoration. Styling the top of the fridge is admittedly a frivolous problem to have!

  • nicole
    March 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I have a giant ugly 80s fridge that we painted pistachio. I’ve got 2 vintage wooden crates on top of it for extra storage.

  • bree
    March 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

    i have a gumball machine on top of my fridge! but only to keep it out of reach from two 7-year-olds ;)

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Maybe that’s why it’s up there in the other photo, too!

  • Christina | Little Victorian
    March 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

    See, though, anything is cute on top of a Smeg!

    Our kitchen has a built in cubby in the middle of the room just for the fridge–not connected to anything else (bought the house that way). So I don’t think it matters what I put on mine, it would only be a momentary distraction from the weirdness of the whole thing.

    But I do have an extra-wide banana leaf basket on top that I keep seldom used kitchen thingies in.

  • Alisa
    March 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I think the big difference is when you get your new fridge (see? I said WHEN!).

    I think anything on that fridge currently is going to look tiny… but I love all the ideas above!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      When! I’m working on it, I’m working on it…

  • Christina W.
    March 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I really like that JA for JCP turquoise pedestal bowl in action. Pretty much cements my plan to pick it up. I don’t put a whole lot of thought into the top of my fridge, though. I specifically picked up the cutest stoneware mixing bowls I could find (very vintage-y avocado green ones from Stonewall Kitchen) and a mid century wooden bowl for holding bananas, then called it a day. If I tried to put much else up there I know for sure that I’d knock it off getting the mixing bowls or bananas down, but I’m in a rental so I don’t have the amazing built in shelves that you are blessed with. If I had shelves I’d have a whole other pretty-things-in-the-kitchen situation. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      A little more info on the JA bowl: It is pretty, but I was a little underwhelmed by the quality (a few bubbles where the base of the bowl meets the pedestal — buy maybe I’m being nitpicky?). I bought it to use as a fruit bowl, but it isn’t food-safe! I don’t love it on top of the fridge either, so I’m returning mine.

  • Amanda Young
    March 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

    In my itty-bitty little house, I don’t have the luxury (yes, luxury!) of designing the above-fridge space. It is dedicated solely to pot & pan storage (gasp!). But, I enjoy living vicariously and entertaining the idea of planning something up there. Also, what’s not to love about all those smeg fridges? ;)

  • Christina W.
    March 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Oh I forgot to ask, where is the little orange and white vase from? I’ve been meaning to ask about that forever (since I saw it in the laundry room makeover) but it’s been so long since you featured it that it became kind of an awkward question lol.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      I think I bought it from The Curiosity Shoppe, which is now gone. I looked at the bottom of mine, and it’s by Anna Elzer Oscarson. I think the pattern was just called “harlequin.”

      • Christina W.
        March 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Thanks! Hopefully I can find something in that line on eBay. I thought it was going to be Ferm Living or something, but now it’s a challenge!

  • Ashly
    March 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I vote for more taxidermy on refrigerators. Someone get me a jackalope, stat!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      I think Brandon’s mom has one up in Wisconsin!

  • Laura K
    March 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    What a dilemma! Our fridge is under the stairs in our kitchen, and therefore completely drywalled in. To me, it’s a bit of an eyesore, but I guess I should count myself lucky that I don’t have to worry about decorating the fridge? I love the look of the cathrineholm on top though. Too cute.

    Also, is that a PINK espresso machine in the third picture?

  • Erin
    March 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I have a tiny kitchen with an old, ugly fridge visible from the lr/dr. I have two dark baskets on top for things I use & don’t want too packed away but don’t have cabinet space for. Right now, one large basket holds my bakeware and a smaller basked holds my dish towels. Neat & functional.

  • Emily W.
    March 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I have a vintage, wood Dr. Pepper bottle crate on top of my fridge. I love the cheery Dr. Pepper logo over the yellow paint, and it also has the city of bottling plant (Waukesha, WI) printed on it, which is my hometown. It makes a great place to store cereal boxes!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Cereal on top of the fridge seems to be prevalent, but your old crate sounds like a cute way to corral the boxes!

  • Hege
    March 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    The peacock is a bit scary, but cool at the same time.
    I like your plant on top of the fridge.
    I’ve got a plant on my fridge too.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      Your entire kitchen is gorgeous.

      • Hege
        March 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

        Thank you so much!

  • kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS
    March 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I love that clock – have one in my office!
    I think since your fridge has a recessed spot, it’s important to prop them up or use larger pieces. Also, I can see using all white sculpted pieces that blend in but add dimension… or vase and leafy greens like a fern :)

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      I had a fern up there and swapped it for the rubber tree plant, but it could come back. I agree though — larger pieces are needed.

  • sunny
    March 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I would love that pink refrigerator!!!

    Here’s a simple display on top of a refrigerator – although my eye is drawn more to the clock above it.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      I don’t even know what that is, but I like the kitchen as a whole!

  • Amanda
    March 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    So … I shouldn’t have a taxidermy peacock on the top of my fridge? Oh … but I really love it Nicole! (HA!)

    I have an apartment size fridge so I keep my HUGE cutting board (that can fit perfectly over my sink for more counter space if I ever need it) on top of the fridge & some cook books.

  • Laurel
    March 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    It’s not really “styling”, but I leave all my coffee brewing supplies on top of my (tiny) fridge. There is a cupboard that I need access to occasionally, so having stuff up there that I use all the time is easier to negotiate. Plus, Chemex coffee makers are beautiful! I love having that, the scale (my husband is a total dork about exact measurements with coffee) and beans all on display.

    Am I the only one that finds the peacock creepy? Taxidermy in the kitchen freaks me out….

  • Lily
    March 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I have cookbooks and a Tivoli radio above mine. The radio acts as a bookend of sorts.

  • Tarah
    March 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I have the same fridge and same problem I am thinking of putting up a set of shelves.Maybe put some cook books and favorite bowls up there. Or wine rack shelve with a shelve below to hang wine glasses. A plant looks good too for some bulk.

  • Kelsey
    March 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Wait a minute! How come none of these refrigerators are featuring a loaf of bread, some bananas and about 3 bags of half-eaten potato chips?! That’s all the rage around here, in the land of Ridiculosly Small Kitchens ;)

  • Chelsea
    March 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Girl, you just need to buy yourself a Smeg already! I saw them in the West Elm spring catalogue this weekend and thought of you :)

    I have vases on my fridge. Gotta take advantage of all horizontal spaces in a small kitchen!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      I’ll buy a colorful fridge if/when I sign a book deal. Added incentive to make it happen!

  • Virginia
    March 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Ha! I love you calling out the stylists for their weird (EGGS‽) choices. When we bought our house, our kitchen had been remodeled a little awkwardly. There’s a custom-built fridge cubby with cabinets above it, but OF COURSE the fridge (bought custom for said remodel) doesn’t fit the cubby perfectly. It sticks out a few inches and has awkward gaps on the sides and above it where we shove random plates and brooms and a million dustballs I’m sure.

  • heidikins
    March 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    My free-standing, apartment-issue fridge is topped with–take note–the microwave. I didn’t want to use up the 6″ (ok, 2 feet) of counter space with something like a microwave, so up on top of the fridge it goes. I hate it, but again, counterspace > microwave placement.



  • bmerry
    March 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    i have a red anatomically correct red ceramic bull on top of my refrigerator.

  • Tina Slocum
    March 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Ok…peafowl is my new favorite word! On a moody day, you made me giggle to bits!
    I love your still life above the fridge. Adore the black tiled planter! Ialso love a clock above it, reminds me of childhood and kitchens as they should be ;)
    The baskets on the pink Smeg are pretty, but would read as clutter after a bit.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      The baskets are too much clutter for me, too. I’m happy to appreciate them in someone else’s home though!

  • Kim
    March 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Love the 2 ideas already mentioned, a vintage picnic basket or an old soda crate of your favorite brand or colors!
    We can always use more storage. I’m using beer cases right now. Stores a ton of stuff. I also had covered my fridge with pictures of family- nothing else. I’m thinking Instagram photos on the side if that topic is still open. :-)

  • Emily
    March 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm
    i like this style. there is a little shelf there so you can add art or trays etc.

    • Emily
      March 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      i was comment 69. giggidy giggidy

    • Making it Lovely
      March 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Ha! Cute, and I like those Orla Kiely canisters.

  • Making it Lovely
    March 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Hmmm. Just realized that this set of 12 vintage cups and saucers from my mother-in-law might be Kaj Franck. Maybe? They’re marked “Arabia — Made in Finland” on the bottom.

    Vintage Cup and Saucer

    This is mostly unrelated to the post. I was searching eBay for Kaj Franck, and realized that the style and shape are similar to a lot of what I was seeing.

  • renee
    March 26, 2013 at 8:10 am

    If you can cancel your clock order, I ordered a Newgate from Horne and it arrived really quickly. It’s huge and amazing, so quiet!

  • Andrew Schultz
    March 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Loved the post! Oddly enough, I was just trying to convince a favorite antique dealer to sell me her prized vintage taxidermied peacock for the top of my fridge. In the meantime I’m making due with 9 emu eggs under a huge cloche, equally ridiculous.

  • maja
    March 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Hey, different thing but perhaps it will help resolve your ‘fridge dilemma’… did you know that you can buy stainless siding for your fridge so you don’t have to look at a big side of black? We’re thinking about doing it in our own kitchen.

  • Sarah Smith
    March 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I have a nice pretty basket on top of my fridge.
    I also have a small kitchen and was storing cereal up there.. then it dawned on me to take the cereal bags out of the box and store them in my pretty basket.

  • Marie Vlasic
    March 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I actually own a taxidermy peacock! (found him at a yard sale) Never thought about putting him on the fridge, may have to try that!

  • Karen
    March 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I had stuff on top of my fridge for years. Now I love the look of a “naked” fridge. At the holidays I put stuff up there but the rest of the year… nothing. I makes my kitchen seem cleaner.

  • Becky
    May 3, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Such an interesting post. I never really gave much thought about what was on top of the fridge before. But I had to laugh about the gumball machine; I have one on top of my fridge! I also have some old candy jars (the clear glass ones with the metal lids) and a few old tins to keep it company. I sort of have an old timey candy store vibe going on and didn’t even realize it! P.S. That peacock is fantastic!