You just purchased your dream wine fridge to store your favorite vintages and impress all of your guests when they come over.
However, you don’t want to lose the space in your living room by having it stick out like a sore thumb – not to mention you don’t want the hassle of making it fit in with the décor of your home! No worries, that’s what we’re here for! In this step-by-step guide, we’ll tell you how to make your wine fridge look built-in in 10 steps, so read on!
Installing your wine fridge
When it comes time to install your wine fridge, remember that it is better not to cut corners. For one thing, an improperly installed wine fridge can emit a loud buzzing noise or produce other kinds of distracting noises.
You also risk ruining any cabinetry that you install it in and creating safety hazards if you don’t do things correctly.
A professional electrician will know how best to handle these issues, so if you are unable or unwilling to hire such a person, consult with a company that provides turnkey service for all of your renovation needs.
Choose the right position
Before you put your wine fridge into place, decide whether you want it on an inside wall (ideal for those living in a humid climate or prone to moisture damage) or an outside wall. Next, choose a location that will leave enough room around your fridge and house electrical outlet so you can fit both easily.
And, of course, be sure there is plenty of space behind where you intend to place your wine fridge. Consider whether a window might obscure one side of your refrigerator when installed.
To make sure everything fits perfectly, lay out all components beforehand so that nothing is damaged during installation and delivery.
Step 1. Measure Twice, Cut Once
Lumber is heavy and it’s easy to make a mistake when trying to figure out how much you need. Use a tape measure and mark out where your wine racks will go and where you want to build in cabinetry. Buy one piece of lumber longer than necessary for each side, for a total of four pieces of 8 foot long 2x4s.
This ensures that you’ll have plenty of extra wood if anything goes wrong during installation or later on down the road if any boards warp or begin to crack.
Step 2. Take Out Cabinets
Begin with pulling out all of your cabinets. It may be best to remove only one cabinet at a time, allowing it to lean against another surface as you take it out.
Although some fridges come with attached doors that must be removed, others come with doors that can remain attached when removing them from their hinges.
If you have an appliance delivery team assisting you with moving your fridge, make sure they are aware of which type of door is on your refrigerator before they begin work on removing it from its current location.
Otherwise, plan for a single crew member (if possible) or multiple crew members (if necessary) who will be able to assist you by moving just one door at a time as it’s removed from its hinge and placed nearby until completely dismantled.
Step 3. Install Trim around the Edges
With your walls painted and dry, now it’s time to install trim. To give your wine fridge a built-in look, you’ll want it close enough to the wall that you can cover up any gaps with trim pieces along each edge.
Typically, that means sittinguate your unit 1/2 away from your walls and using trim as a barrier between it and empty space—such as a shelving unit or dining table. Since we wanted our bar top at 21, we needed a 1 gap so we could fit our 21 wood countertop on top of two 2×4’s for support.
Step 4. Plug it in!
If you are lucky enough to have an outlet nearby, then go ahead and plug it in now. If not, well, you’re just going to have to make sure you always remember your extension cord (which we’re going to show you how do deal with a little later).
If your space doesn’t have any outlets (for instance if your wine fridge is built into a freestanding cabinet), you can use a power strip so that you can still plug all of your devices into one socket.
To do so, plug an extension cord into a wall socket and then connect several cords for each device into the one extension cord—you’ll only need one socket on your power strip.
Step 5. Install an outlet (if needed)
Use an electrical outlet tester to check if you have power at your wine refrigerator’s location. If you do, great!
If not, use a multi-tool with wire cutters or a wrench to remove any excess drywall and make room for an outlet. Cut out your new hole by tracing around your new outlet box (or tapping into an existing circuit).
Remove any screws holding up your old receptacle, slip off its faceplate, pop out its wiring terminals, and remove it entirely before installing a new one. Secure all wires inside of boxes using wire nuts and push them back into place behind the wall until they’re hidden from view.
Step 6. Run Cords through Holes & Paint Through ‘Em
Now that you have installed your wine cooler, it’s time to run your cords through your new wine fridge. Follow these simple steps and you will have your cord holes looking clean and tidy in no time.
Simply drill 1/4 holes along the edge of a scrap piece of wood, sand down any rough edges, apply a coat of paint, and allow everything to dry. Now you can use an allen wrench to pass cords through their new home!
Step 7. Hang on the Wall!
Now it’s time to put our wine fridge on a wall! If you are putting your wine fridge into an alcove, make sure you build your frame larger than that of a normal refrigerator so that you have enough space around it.
Don’t forget that it will stick out from both sides at least 2 inches, and we don’t want anything getting damaged.
Take down your stud finder and mark off where you will be drilling into each stud. Then mark off where each screw will go and hang up your wine fridge on the wall. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now sit back and drink some more wine!
Step 8. Add Some Shelves + Cabinets Underneath For Storage
You’ve got a few options here. If you go with shelves, there are plenty of options available on Amazon that attach easily with just one screw. (You’ll want two per shelf.) I like these shelves by Kallax because they fit nicely under each door, offer great storage capacity, and take up very little floor space.
If you prefer cabinets underneath, we put together a comprehensive guide of what you can do. Of course, if your wine fridge came with its own built-in drawers and cabinets underneath, you should keep them! Either way, these pieces will add an extra layer of style to your wine fridge.
Be sure to measure out and check dimensions before ordering anything—you don’t want any surprises when it comes time for installation!
No matter how you slice it, wine refrigerators are cool. The problem with them, however, is that they’re often giant eyesores. That’s why it’s always a smart idea to make them blend in seamlessly with your kitchen decor.
You can mount yours under the counter or on top of an existing refrigerator. It should go without saying, but pick a location where it will be out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat or air conditioning.