The refrigerator should be placed so that there is adequate space for loading and unloading and so that it does not interfere with traffic patterns through the kitchen. The plan should allow at least 15” of clear counter space on the latch side of the refrigerator or on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator. An alternative is to provide at least 15” of landing space, which is no more than 48” across from the refrigerator. A kitchen with a side-by- side refrigerator should be designed so the countertop is readily accessible to the fresh food section. For convenience, when there is room for only one appliance adjacent to a countertop, the refrigerator should be the appliance placed adjacent to the countertop. If there is no safe landing area across from the oven, this arrangement may be reversed.
Courtesy of NARI CKBR education material