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Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

Wine Fridge Design & Why Hidden Hinges Are a Must

Wine Fridge Design & Why Hidden Hinges Are a Must

Posted by Weber Knapp on Jun 19, 2024 12:14:51 PM

wine fridge hinge

Consider an upscale restaurant on a busy Saturday evening.

This isn't the kind of place where patrons just walk in and grab a seat.

It's stylish. It's elegant. It's popular. Reservations are a must – that is of course unless you happen to know the right someone.

By all appearances, the restaurant's ambiance has been curated with great intention. The lighting, the decor, the music – everything works together to create a luxurious dining experience. And that extends to the other elements of the eatery that might go unnoticed, from the napkin rings to the appliances in plain view. 

For wine fridge manufacturers looking to have their product find a place in any carefully designed space, it requires coming to the table with something that's also carefully designed.

What can easily elevate your wine fridge's design so that it can stand out while blending in?

An element that is meant to be unseen: hidden hinges.

What Are (Refrigerator) Hidden Hinges?

This one has a simple answer, as the name practically says it all.

Hidden hinges for a refrigerator are essentially unseen at first glance. Upon closer inspection, you'll find the non-visible hinges installed within the body of the appliance. When its doors are closed there's the visual illusion that they've been perfectly attached to the unit without requiring any hardware.

Compared to traditional hinges, which are mounted on the exterior of the fridge, hidden hinges offer a sleeker and more seamless appearance (more on that later). Additionally, concealed hinges can upgrade a refrigerator's functionality (also more on that later) regardless of its size.

Why Hidden Hinges Are a Must for Wine Fridge Design

What's one of the worst pieces of feedback any designer could hear about a product they created?

It sticks out, and not in a good way.

The product making for a poor user experience is a close second.

To that end, concealed hinges are practically a must for wine fridges, especially those in plain view in places like an upscale restaurant or the tasting room at a winery. With hidden hinges integrated into its design, a wine cooler sees aesthetics and functionality work together seamlessly.

Let's dig into both elements a little more.


Even for residential use (think: home mini bar), wine fridges are used for more than keeping wine(s) cold. They can also contribute to a space's overall appearance.

Hidden hinges help achieve a clean, minimalist look for any wine fridge. Without visible hardware, the focus remains on the sleek design and finish of the appliance.

Speaking of appearances ... With hidden hinges, wine fridges can easily blend in with the rest of the cabinetry, creating a cohesive and high-end look. This is particularly important for built-in wine fridges incorporated into kitchen or bar designs. The hidden hinges allow the appliance to be recessed and flush with the surrounding cabinetry, creating a streamlined and cohesive look.


Concealed hinges also offer practical benefits for wine fridge design. One major advantage is that they allow for a wider opening angle of the wine cooler door. This makes it easier to access and organize your bottles of wine, especially if you have limited space in your kitchen.

Hidden hinges are also more durable and sturdy compared to traditional visible hinges. They can support heavier doors without experiencing significant wear over time. This is especially important in high-use applications where the door is opened and closed frequently (think: a busy night at a popular wine bar).

In addition, through motion control technology, concealed hinges make for smoother opening and closing, ultimately improving user experience and safety.


Using counterbalancing, this wine cooler part manages the weight and movement of the refrigerator doors so that it’s fluid. .

In terms of safety, the controlled motion of these hinges minimizes the effort required to operate them and reduces the risk of pinched fingers, effectively addressing common hazards associated with exposed hinges.

Choosing the Right Hidden Hinges for Your Wine Cooler Design

Let's go back to that upscale restaurant we started at.

Suppose the owner was looking to swap out the hinges on all the cabinetry throughout the entire facility – from the front of the house to the kitchen cupboard where the toothpicks and other odds and ends are kept. 

Choosing new cabinetry hinges wouldn't be a matter of going down to the local hardware store and buying whatever the associate recommends or what looks good. There's more to that decision as the cabinet doors throughout the restaurant are not identical.

In the same manner, choosing hidden hinges as a wine fridge accessory requires careful consideration. When selecting hidden hinges for your wine fridge, there are several key factors to consider to ensure optimal functionality and aesthetics:

  1. Size – For this consideration, think of it like choosing hardware for the front door to your home vs. the one for your linen closet. It's not uncommon to have larger and heavier doors at all entrances, which means corresponding oversized hinges that can support the extra weight when opening and closing. Conversely, your linen closet door is probably lighter and won't require the same heavy-duty hardware. The same applies to wine fridges: bigger units require stronger and more durable hidden hinges.
  2. Weight Capacity – As mentioned earlier, concealed hinges are known for their ability to support heavy doors without significant wear over time. Make sure to check the weight of your wine fridge door(s) and choose hidden hinges with a suitable weight capacity. But also keep in mind that even if your fridge door isn't excessively heavy, it might become heavier if it can hold wine bottles. Even a few full bottles of wine quickly add up to an increased weight load that’s a lot to handle.
  3. Materials –  The material will directly impact the hinge’s durability and resistance to wear. For wine fridges, stainless steel or other strong metals are recommended for their ability to withstand frequent use and heavy weight.
  4. Opening Mechanism – The primary function of a hinge – hidden or otherwise – is to open and close. But how it opens and closes is another thing entirely. Remember, your fridge is holding wine, so its hinges should allow for smooth and controlled opening. Not only does this enhance user experience, but it also prevents sudden movements that could disturb the sediment in wine bottles.
  5. Installation Location – Stepping away from the wine cooler itself in a sense, the location of your appliance is worth considering when choosing hinges. Whether it's a built-in wine fridge or a freestanding one, make sure that you select hidden hinges with an appropriate opening angle range for its installation position to ensure maximum functionality. This is especially important for recessed wine fridges and the amount of wiggle room available for their reveal.
  6. Neighboring Amenities – Piggybacking off of our last point, make sure to consider any nearby cabinets or appliances. For example, if your wine fridge is next to a wall or other cabinets, you'll want to choose hinges with an opening motion that won't bump into them – or outright obstruct them – when fully opened.
  7. Material and Finish – Most are made from stainless steel due to its durability and rust-resistant properties, making it ideal for applications involving moisture (like a wine fridge). As for finish, choose one that complements the overall aesthetic of your wine fridge.

Upgrading Your Wine Fridge Design With the SI.2 Wine Cooler Hinge

One more time back to that restaurant.

For the owner, there's no question that whatever appliances are brought in must be in line with the restaurant's modern, sleek aesthetic. What's more, they must also deliver on function and not take away from the staff's time or a diner’s experience.

With our SI.2 Wine Cooler Hinge, your wine fridge will have no problem checking those boxes with ease. 

Designed with Vectis motion control technology, this American-made hinge is the newest addition to our Slim-Integrated Appliance Hinge Series. 

Like its predecessor – the SI.1 Hinge – the SI.2 Hinge harnesses the benefits of motion control for a clean, modern aesthetic.

Boasting the same style and functionality as the SI.1 Hinge, this wine fridge component remains hidden from view. Not only does this create a sleek look, but it also allows for the wine fridge to be easily recessed into a wall or made flush with surrounding cabinetry. Through its integrated motion-control technology, users get upgraded control and performance when opening a wine fridge door.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind – In a Good Way

Whether it's in a restaurant, a winery, or your own home, the last thing anyone who owns one of your wine fridges should worry about is how the appliance fits in – in both a literal and figurative sense.

With hidden hinges integrated into your wine fridge design, the appliance can meet and exceed expectations for both appearance and functionality.

Curious to Learn More About the SI.2?

Find out more here:

Topics: Design, Appliance, Hinge, Hidden Hinges