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Fridges: To decorate or not to decorate

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In the quest for design-forward spaces, have we spirited away all signs of real life from our homes?

You’ve seen them (and Curbed has photographed them): gorgeous, minimalist modern houses, their refrigerators free of the kinds of mementos and memorabilia we’ve all accumulated.

From birth announcements and wedding invitations to postcards and travel tchotchkes, lots of folks display them, mounted on the fridge with magnets of all kinds, but you’d be (very) hard-pressed to find them in the kinds of Stylish Spaces™ that make our pages and those of the glossy shelter magazines.

Why is that? What do design-minded homeowners have against ye old refrigerator decoration (and its cousin, family photos)? At the risk of sounding like a Better Homes and Gardens Carrie Bradshaw, we couldn’t help but wonder: Have we Kondo’d away any signs of real life from our homes?

To get some answers we asked Curbed readers.

Of nearly 150 respondents, 36 percent said they have minimal pics, event invitations, and other knickknacks around, while 29 percent reported having nothing on their refrigerators. (24 percent said their refrigerators are “drowning” in photographs and more and all we can say is if it sparks joy, so be it.)

We also took an informal poll of Curbed editors, many of whom sent photos of their own refrigerator decorations. Those for whom a sleekly decorated fridge is the goal had magnet recommendations to keep things looking sharp. Others took a more laissez-faire approach when it came to magnets—and general decor, too. And two other editors had absolutely no things whatsoever on their respective fridges, which seems draconian, but—different strokes.

This editor, for one, hopes that folks are just stashing away their cherished family photos when the photographers come over—and not forgoing them altogether. But if they are, do the photos end up elsewhere? We want to hear from you! What do you do with the myriad odds and ends mailed to you or acquired on vacations?


Are you team Clean Fridge or team Fully Decorated?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Fill it up! I like my fridge covered in things that remind me of my travels and the people I love.
    (195 votes)
  • 39%
    Keep it clean! I like a minimally decorated fridge.
    (125 votes)
320 votes total Vote Now