Dorm rooms, apartments, and condominiums are known for having small kitchens. Even some single family homes however have kitchens that can make meal preparaton difficult due to overcrowding and limited counter and cabinet space. Refrigerators are a necessity in most kitchens, but they are often guilty of taking up a great deal of useable space.
Whether you are designing a new kitchen or remodeling, getting the right refrigerator can help to reduce it's foot print and leave you more room for food preparation and cabinet storage.
Certainly if you are dealing with a limited need, such as adding a refrigerator to an in-law suite or game room, or you just want to make cold food storage available in an apartment or dorm room for one, a compact refrigerator may be sufficient. These refrigerators may provide less than 6 cubic feet of storage, but for storing just a few items, or food for one, they may be quite sufficient.
Some compact refrigerators are under counter models which will leave all of your countertop open for other purposes. On the otherhand, users potentially lose cabinet space in the area where it is housed. One of the most popular undercounter designs are refrigerator drawers. These are generally higher end models that carry a higher cost as well. However, they do offer some advantages, such as easy viewing of contents. Although they are compact, they aren't just for small apartments and condos. Larger families sometimes select them to supplement the storage offered by their full sized refrigerator. They can be used for storing frequently used items such as beverages and snacks.
Another refrigerator that can help reduce crowding in the kitchen is a counter depth model. These are made by every major manufacturer. Counter depth refrigerators are designed to sit flush with your counter. They assure that your refrigerator won't intrude further into your kitchen floor space. They don't really save on counter space or cabinet space, but the look of the room will be cleaner, less cluttered, and floor space will be a bit more open.
A third possibility for saving space in your kitchen is a freezerless refrigerator. These appliances won't work for everyone, but they may be perfect in a number of situations. Certainly if you eat fresh foods versus frozen they are an option. They are also worthy of consideration if you have space elsewhere for housing a separate freezer. A freezerless refrigerator will be significantly smaller than the average traditional refrigerator with freezer. However, they can actually have more space for refrigerated storage. Some freezerless refrigerators do offer an ice maker for convenience.
Built in refrigerators are popular as well but will actually take up as much space as any other model. They will however, make the room appear less cluttered and crowded. If you are striving to make your kitchen have a cleaner look, they are a good option, but if you physically need more space, they don't really provide a viable solution.
There are many other consideration when dealing with the problem of a small kitchen, but carefully considering the refrigerator you buy is a good first step in creating a workable solution.