Kitchen Island, Butler’s Pantry & More

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A wine cooler might seem like an indulgence if you’re not a connoisseur or collector. But these little appliances–along with their cousin, the beverage cooler–can do a lot for the design and functionality of your kitchen.

Storing drinks in a spot that’s separate from your fridge gives you more space to keep fresh food in there, and it redirects the flow in your kitchen. When someone’s thirsty, they don’t have to step into the cook’s path to get what they want and potentially create a traffic jam.

When you look at it that way, these appliances start to look less like a nice-to-have and more like a savvy design decision. Now that we spend most of our time in the kitchen, we want different zones for different activities. Consider a wine fridge or beverage cooler is the heart of your entertaining zone.

And that entertaining zone doesn’t have to be huge to function well. In our design partners’ work and that of other interior designers, we’ve come across ultra-creative ideas when it comes to fitting them in, whether they’re full-size columns or undercounter wine or beverage coolers.

Keep scrolling to see some of the best spots we’ve seen, and get ready to chill.

1. Flanking the Fridge

Two twin Sub-Zero wine columns frame a wall of pro-style dedicated cold storage.

Design and photo via Sub Zero (@subzeroandwolf)

Tell your guests you know your wine without telling them you know your wine by installing two twin Sub-Zero wine columns, part of the company’s Integrated Designer series of appliances. One could be for reds, one could be for whites–or they could both be tuned to the exact temperatures of the varietals you love to collect. Set right next to two refrigerator columns, these appliances give you easy access to your favorite bottles at happy hour or dinner time. You’ll love that there’s no need to leave the party to grab another round.

2. Twinning with the Fridge

Bosch French door full-size refrigerator and Bosch French door beverage cooler
A Bosch French door beverage cooler is the perfect complement to the full-size Bosch French fridge that’s just to its left.

Design by Villafane Design; photo by Designer Appliances/Kristyna Saja

A French door fridge is many homeowners’ holy grail because its doors take up less space (since they’re less wide) and give you wider shelves for storage inside; they also let you store all your fresh food at eye level, as opposed to an old-fashioned freezer-top fridge. Plus, we just love the modern look. This Bosch refrigerator is a great example. So why not double down? A French door beverage cooler has all the same benefits and looks elegant underneath the counters.

3. Escaping to the Island

Marvel beverage cooler built into kitchen island
A Marvel beverage cooler placed at the end of this island, near the adjacent bar, chills mixers and other drinks.

Design by Maggie Mangano of MAM Designs Inc.; photo by Kristyna Saja/Designer Appliances

An extra-long island replaced what had been a peninsula in this kitchen. Designer Maggie Mangano then placed a kitchen island table at one end, right across from a coffee station, and a Marvel beverage cooler at the other, adjacent to the wet bar. The resulting flow works perfectly, morning and night.

4. Sidled Up to the Counter

Wine fridge in kitchen island idea
A slim 15-inch wine fridge slid right into this multipurpose kitchen island.

Design and photo by Emily of Project Ivel (@project_ivel)

Think you can’t fit a wine cooler anywhere in your kitchen? Consider taking away one barstool. That’s all the space you need at your island for one, as the photo above shows. There’s even space for an extra storage cabinet and drawer to the left, ideal for stowing wine openers, cocktail stirrers, napkins, and all your other essential host gear.

5. Lounging in the Laundry Room

Sub Zero beverage cooler in laundry room with Samsung washer and dryer
A full-size Sub-Zero beverage cooler fills out this Samsung-equipped laundry room, along with an auxiliary dishwasher

Design by Nikole Starr Interiors (@nikolestarrinteriors); photo by Colleen Scott (@collscottphoto)

This laundry room designed by Nikole Starr Interiors does double duty as a tucked-away party zone. There’s a full-size Sub-Zero wine fridge and beverage cooler (great for soft drinks, beers, and wines), plus an extra full-size dishwasher that’s ideal for guests’ pint and wine glasses you can’t fit into the one in the kitchen.

6. Luxuriating in a Bathroom

Sub Zero undercounter beverage cooler in primary bathroom
A Sub Zero undercounter beverage cooler completes the spa-like feel in this calming bathroom retreat.

Design and photo via Sub Zero (@subzeroandwolf)

Take inspiration from your favorite spa, and build a bathroom vanity around an undercounter beverage cooler, like in this Sub Zero design. You can use a Sub Zero beverage cooler to chill not only bottled water (or rose) and face cloths but also favorite eye creams, sheet masks, mists, and stone facial rollers. They feel even more like a treat when they’re cool.

Check out our exclusive video review to find out what sets Sub Zero undercounter appliances like its beverage and wine coolers apart.

7. Getting Dressed in a Closet

Sub Zero undercounter wine fridge and beverage cooler in a closet
A Sub Zero undercounter wine fridge (left) and beverage cooler (right) make this the ultimate modern closet/dressing room.

Design and photo via Sub Zero (@subzeroandwolf)

This Sub Zero equipped closet could give Oprah’s dressing room a run for its money. In addition to the wine and beverage coolers, there’s a built-in coffee maker for espressos and frothy coffee drinks. The only question is: Why would you ever want to hang out anywhere else?

8. Maxing Out a Mudroom

Uline beverage cooler in mudroom
A panel-ready Uline beverage cooler blends right into this busy family’s mudroom, making it easy to grab a drink on the way out the door.

Design and photo by Bischoff Cabinetmaking (@bischoffcabinetmaking)

This mudroom by Bischoff Cabinetmaking has everything a busy family needs: shelves and hooks for jackets and bags, a bench and undershelf space for shoes, closed cabinets to hide the stuff you don’t want to see, and–in a stroke of genius–an undercounter beverage cooler installed at eye level. Just grab a bottled water or sports drink, stick it in your bag, and go. Brilliant!

9. Hanging at a Home Bar

Beverage cooler in home bar
An undercounter beverage cooler holds all kinds of drinks in this elegant home bar–and blends in beautifully with the surrounding cabinets thanks to its matching frame and hardware.

Design by Campell Minister (@campbellministerdesign) and Stonington Cabinetry & Design (@the_brothers_stonington); photo by Mike Van Tassell (@mikevantassell)

The components of a classic home bar, as shown in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, features off-white closed and glass-front cabinets, wooden countertops, brass hardware, and a mirrored backsplash. The simple undercounter beverage center provides cold storage for all types of drinks and a few bottles of wine.

10. Under an Appliance Garage

Undercounter beverage cooler in kitchen
A strategically placed beverage cooler keeps milk and creamers directly under this hidden coffee station.

Design: Stonington Cabinetry & Design (@the_brothers_stonington); photo by Chris Veith (@chrisveithinteriors)

First of all, we love a removable ladder. But that’s not even the best thing about this beautiful kitchen. Just to its left, there’s an appliance garage with slide-in doors, ideal for hiding countertop appliances like your coffee maker. And right underneath? A beverage cooler for the milk and creamer. It’s a setup that streamlines every morning.

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