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, because of the small area, they tried to use each square meter with maximum benefit. Architects of the sixties squeezed the maximum out of even a small kitchenette, so they arranged the space under the window as a refrigerator. In those years, not every family could boast of household appliances, so this decision was simply necessary. In some apartments, the niche under the window in the kitchen is empty, there is a place left for a heating radiator.

Niche under the window

Kitchen design with a niche under the window.

A feature of the niche 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, a low temperature is maintained in it. Like the housing itself, the winter fridge looked simple and unpretentious: rude casement doors and a shelf painted in blue. Modern owners, if they leave a recess as a cold cabinet, try to ennoble its appearance.

Niche in the kitchen.

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 can be safely attributed:

  • low temperature even in the summer;
  • the ability to show design abilities during dismantling.
Fridge in the kitchen.

Fridge in a niche under the window in the kitchen.

Of the disadvantages:

  • a draft of cold air due to a vent;
  • unsightly appearance;
  • the doors when opening interfere with the movement, hit the legs of the table due to cramped spaces.
Niche under the window.

In addition to the refrigerator, today designers find other solutions in the niche under the window.

Possible Niche Uses

Now that you can choose a refrigerator for your taste, people often try to use the Khrushchev's “inheritance” differently. What are the design and application options?

Cold cupboard

The easiest way is to leave the space under the window as a closet. Do not insulate, but replace the rear and side walls, shelf, doors with wooden or plastic. Sliding doors are ideal. Firstly, they are more tightly closed and exclude the penetration of cold air, and secondly, unlike swing, they do not occupy 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 indoors.

Niche under the window in the kitchen.

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:

  1. Given the dimensions of the brick, dismantle part of the wall to the desired size.
  2. Plaster the inner surface of the recess. Prepare a cement mortar with sand, not putty, as moisture will penetrate through the cracks in the outer wall, which will freeze in the winter and tear off the putty.
  3. Finish the inside with ceramic tiles using frost-resistant glue.Condensation will appear on the walls of the improvised refrigerator, and the tiles will not cause trouble in leaving.
  4. Doors can be mounted directly to a tiled surface or to a wooden frame. Metal-plastic constructions that can be ordered according to the necessary parameters are most tightly closed.
  5. To keep the cool inside the structure, the doors must close tightly.
Fridge under the window.

The refrigerator compartment under the window can be easily created by yourself.

Additional Information! Part of the wall below the window sill is not a bearing; it is made by the method of well masonry. To save building materials and warm 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 masonry, leaving about 15 cm. A heating radiator will be conveniently located in the recess, while not taking up valuable space. It is necessary to lay the hole formed with a brick, and not sheathe drywall. If there is empty space behind the casing, 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.

Radiator under the window.

Heating radiators in a niche under the window.

Important! It’s not without reason that building codes require a radiator to be placed under the window, because the warm air from the battery rises and blocks the movement of the cold from the window.

The fireplace in the house is a blue dream. It is quite possible to translate it into reality if you got housing with a “legacy”, because there is already a place for a fireplace. Hearth in the small kitchen is unlikely to be needed, but during the redevelopment, you can rebuild it into a small cozy nook with a fireplace. The window opening will have to be laid with brickwork, but the troubles are worth it. If the fireplace is decorative, then enough dense rolled curtains or blinds. The large depth of the niche allows the fireplace to look realistic. Calculate the dimensions of the future hearth and choose a decorative option or with a heating function.

Washing. Owners of the kitchen, which is difficult to turn around, can adapt the free space of the window sill for mounting the sink there. If such an idea interests you, make the windowsill flush with the headset.

Kitchen with a niche.

A sink under the window in the kitchen.

Note! Splashes will fall less on glass if the window frame is positioned slightly above the previous level. At the same time, the upper part will remain there, from below 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, in addition, the work surface will increase. Communications will be hidden below, there will also be a trash bin.

Kitchen interior with a niche.

Kitchen in Khrushevka with a niche under the window with a modern interior.

The French window is another variation available. Such a decision will require coordination with the relevant authorities, 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 block the opening.


If you do not fundamentally change the purpose of the recess, it makes sense to remake it in a cupboard, especially if there is no balcony where you can remove unnecessary utensils.

Wardrobe in a niche.

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 masonry. This will not significantly affect the depth of the box, but it will reduce drafts by closing the through hole.
  • To prevent condensation, use a moisture-proof insulation and take care of hermetically sealed doors.
  • It is most convenient to place here objects and utensils that you do not use every day.

Important! To maintain a unified style, order cabinet doors of the same color and material as the sets in the furniture company.

A cupboard in a niche.

To avoid condensation, you need to insulate a niche before remodeling it into a cabinet.

Other options

There is no reason to be upset if there is an unnecessary winter wardrobe of Soviet times. 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:

  1. A secluded place for a safe.
  2. A minibar in which drinks will always be kept cool.
  3. Drywall decorative shelves - not practical, but pleasing to the eye.
  4. Work that is more complicated 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.
how to hide a niche in the kitchen.

In addition to the above methods, modern design offers many more options.

Which is better to choose

Every meter is important on a modest area, this is the reason why people most often choose practical solutions: storage of dishes, products, and washing. The tight room warms up during cooking, therefore, most likely, an additional radiator will not be needed. But it makes sense to arrange it correctly from the point of view of physics - under the window.

Niche in the interior.

Proper design of window sills will help 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. You decide how to transform the free space, because the choice will depend on the following factors:

  • The number of people living in the house: many residents - many utensils that need to be stored somewhere.
  • Financial opportunities: not everyone can afford hiring specialists, coordinating a project for mounting household appliances or a French window. The cheapest thing is to bring in what is appropriate.
  • Fantasy: perhaps you have your own design ideas that are awaiting implementation.
Fridge in a niche in the kitchen.

A refrigerator in a niche under the window is a reasonable and economical solution.

Interesting options in the interior

The window sill level is omitted, which will allow it to be used for 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 an ordinary cabinet of this kind.

The wall under the window looks like a continuation of the headset, without violating the integrity of the design.

Plasterboard partitions give greater freedom in decoration.

The main reason for remaking the refrigeration cavity is that now it is rarely needed for its intended purpose, but you do not want to lose valuable area. Thermal insulation is another reason for 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 to benefit from a relic of the past.

Video: Niche under the window in the kitchen

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