Niche under the kitchen window: advantages and disadvantages, use cases
The modern layout of the apartments allows the owners to have a large area, have a spacious bathroom, living room, dressing room. But this does not apply to the Khrushchevs, in which, due to the insignificant area, they tried to use each square meter with maximum benefit. The architects of the sixties squeezed the maximum even from a small kitchenette, so they equipped the space under the window as a refrigerator. In those years, not every family could boast of household appliances, so such a decision was simply necessary. In some apartments, the niche under the window in the kitchen is empty, there is space for a heating radiator.
Kitchen design with a niche under the window.
A niche feature is that part of the brickwork in this area is missing. In the case of an installed refrigerator, almost the entire thickness of the brickwork is missing, with the exception of 1 layer. Due to this and the presence of a ventilation hole, it maintains a low temperature. Like the dwelling itself, the winter refrigerator looked simple and unpretentious: rough folding doors and a shelf, painted in blue paint. Modern owners, if they leave the recess as a cold cabinet, then try to improve its appearance..
Kitchen design in Khrushchev with a niche under the window.
Main advantages and disadvantages
The most common option is a Soviet refrigerator under the window. Its advantages include:
- low temperature even in summer;
- the opportunity to show design skills during dismantling.
Refrigerator in a niche under the window in the kitchen.
- draft of cold air due to the ventilation hole;
- unsightly appearance;
- when opening, the doors interfere with movement, hit the table legs due to tightness.
In addition to the refrigerating chamber, today designers find other solutions in a niche under the window..
Possible niche use cases
Now, when you can choose a refrigerator to your taste, people often try to use Khrushchev’s “legacy” differently. What are the design and application options??
The easiest way is to leave the space under the window as a cabinet. Do not insulate, but replace the back and side walls, shelf, doors with wooden or plastic ones. Sliding doors are ideal. Firstly, they close more tightly and exclude the penetration of cold air, and secondly, unlike swing ones, they do not take up space when opening. You can store vegetables, cereals, homemade canned food, and more on cool shelves. The air temperature in it at any time of the year will be lower than in the room..
Kitchen design with a niche under the window.
If there is an empty niche under the windowsill, deepen it, and then learn tips on how to make a seasonal refrigerator under the window in the kitchen:
- Taking into account the dimensions of the brick, dismantle part of the wall to the desired size.
- Plaster the inside of the recess with plaster. Prepare a mortar of cement with sand, not a putty, as moisture will penetrate through the cracks in the outer wall, which will freeze in winter and tear off the putty.
- Tile the interior with frost-resistant adhesive. Condensation will appear on the walls of an impromptu refrigerator, and the tile will not cause trouble in leaving.
- The doors can be fixed directly to a tiled surface or to a wooden frame. The most hermetically sealed metal-plastic structures, which can be ordered according to the required parameters.
- To maintain coolness inside the structure, the doors must close tightly.
The refrigerator compartment under the window can be easily created by yourself.
Additional Information! The part of the wall below the window sill is not load-bearing; it is made by the method of well masonry. To save building materials and insulate the walls, slag is poured into voids resembling wells. For this reason, it is possible to partially disassemble the masonry in depth..
If there is no need to store food and utensils in the “refrigerator”, dismantle it and lay it with brickwork, leaving about 15 cm. The heating radiator will be conveniently located in the recess, without taking up valuable space. It is necessary to lay the resulting hole with a brick, and not sheathe it with drywall. If an empty space remains behind the casing, then condensation will begin to accumulate at the junction of cold and warm air flows. As a result, dampness and mold will appear, which will destroy the wall..
Heating radiators in a niche under the window.
Important! There is a reason why building codes require a radiator to be placed under the window, because warm air from the battery rises and blocks the movement of cold from the window.
A fireplace in the house is a dream come true. It is quite possible to translate it into reality if you got housing with an “inheritance”, because there is already a place for a fireplace. A hearth in a small kitchen is unlikely to be needed, but when redeveloping, you can rebuild it into a small cozy nook with a fireplace. The window opening will have to be laid with brickwork, but the hassle is worth it. If the fireplace is decorative, then thick roller blinds or blinds are enough. A large niche depth will allow the fireplace to look realistic. Calculate the dimensions of the future hearth and choose a decorative option or with a heating function.
Washing. The owners of the kitchen, which is difficult to turn around, can adapt the free space of the window sill for mounting a sink there. If you are interested in this idea, make the windowsill on the same level as the headset..
Sink under the window in the kitchen.
Note! Splashes will be less likely to hit the glass if the window frame is positioned slightly higher than the previous level. In this case, the upper part will remain in the same place, from the bottom it will be necessary to raise the level with bricks. With this layout, natural light will decrease, so it will be necessary to supplement it artificially. The design will look harmonious, and the work surface will also increase. Communications will be hidden at the bottom, there will also be hidden a trash can.
Kitchen in Khrushevka with a niche under the window with a modern interior.
A French window is another option for an affordable change. Such a decision will require approval from the relevant authorities, the development of the project. Since the thin rear wall below the opening does not carry a load, you can remove it and extend the window opening to the floor, which will significantly add light to the room. Such an architectural solution requires careful planning, because you need to decide how the furniture will be located so as not to close the opening..
If you do not radically change the purpose of the recess, it makes sense to remake it into a cupboard, especially if there is no balcony where you can put unnecessary utensils.
If the depth allows, then you can equip the cabinet in a niche under the window.
Some recommendations for rebuilding:
- Since a low temperature is not needed for storing dishes, it is recommended to make another row of brickwork. This will not significantly affect the depth of the box, but it will reduce drafts by closing the through hole.
- To prevent the appearance of condensation, use a moisture-resistant insulation, and take care of hermetically closing doors.
- It is most convenient to place here those items and utensils that you do not use every day..
Important! To maintain a consistent style, order cabinet doors in the same color and material as the headset from the furniture company.
To avoid the appearance of condensation, you need to insulate the niche before converting it into a cabinet..
There is no reason to be upset if you have an unnecessary Soviet-era winter wardrobe. There are many options for using this space, choose according to your liking.
In addition to the above, you can equip the area as follows:
- A secluded place for a safe.
- Mini-bar where drinks will always be kept cool.
- Decorative drywall shelves – not practical, but pleasing to the eye.
- More complex work from a technical point of view – installing a dishwasher or washing machine will require careful insulation work and changes in the electrical and water supply of the room.
In addition to the above methods, modern design offers many more options..
Which is better to choose
On a modest area, every meter is important, this is the reason why most often people choose practical solutions: storage of dishes, food, washing. A cramped room warms up during cooking, so you probably won’t need an additional radiator. But it makes sense to arrange it correctly from the point of view of physics – under the window.
Competent design of window sill niches will significantly save usable space.
There are a lot of options for using a winter refrigerator in the kitchen under the window, some will radically change the room. It’s up to you how to transform the free area, because the choice will depend on the following factors:
- The number of residents in the house: many residents – a lot of utensils that need to be stored somewhere.
- Financial opportunities: not everyone can afford to hire specialists, coordinate a project for the installation of household appliances or a French window. The cheapest way is to bring into a proper form what is.
- Fantasies: you may have your own design ideas awaiting implementation.
Refrigerator in a niche under the window is a smart and economical solution.
Interesting options in the interior
The sill level is lowered to allow seating. The boxes below can be filled at your discretion. Due to the light color of the surfaces, the room visually looks more spacious.
A full-fledged refrigerator installed in a niche looks aesthetically pleasing. It is also possible to install lighting devices in a similar cabinet..
The wall under the window looks like an extension of the headset, without violating the integrity of the design.
Plasterboard partitions give great freedom in decoration.
The main reason for reworking the refrigeration cavity is that now it is rarely needed for its intended purpose, and you do not want to lose valuable space. Thermal insulation is another reason for the intervention, because if you do not use the area for its intended purpose, it is better to concrete a hole in the wall than to let in cold air. A huge selection of building materials and imagination will help you benefit from a relic of the past.