A Small Beverage Cooler for the Upstairs

Welcome to the 417th Metamorphosis Monday!

I’ve often thought about adding a small refrigerator to the upstairs for those times when I’m in the mood for a cold drink but reluctant to stop working to go downstairs. Also, going downstairs makes it a little too convenient for snacking, one of the dangers of working from home.

Adding a Peloton Cycle to my dressing room just off the master bedroom, gave me one more reason to consider adding an upstairs fridge.

More than once I’ve hopped on the bike for a spin class, only to discover about 10 minutes into the class that I’ve forgotten to get my water bottle from the refrigerator downstairs. You can’t “pause” a class once it’s underway and taking a 45-minute spin class with nothing to drink is not a great experience. It definitely impacts your ride.

Peloton Bike


So I finally went for it! After doing a fair amount of research online, I ordered a small beverage cooler. Since having the cooler here in my exercise space, aka, dressing room, I haven’t forgotten my water before starting a spin class even once. So, it seems to be working well for helping me remember.

I’ve also discovered I love it for grabbing a drink first thing in the morning. You’re so dehydrated after 8 hours without water. In the past, I was bad about going straight into the office and starting work right away. Now I grab a cool drink and by the time I’m done checking email and approving comments that have come in overnight, I’m alert and hydrated. This little refrigerator is fast becoming one of those “how did I live without it” additions to my home.


I had quite the struggle deciding on the size beverage cooler I wanted for this space. I was worse than Goldilocks trying to pick a bed! At first, I thought the smallest 48-can size would be perfect, but after looking at it more closely, I realized it wouldn’t be right for my needs. I wouldn’t be needing a lot of storage for canned drinks, instead, I would need space for taller beverages.


I ordered the mid-size, 78-can cooler, but by the time it arrived, I had already decided to go with the larger, 115-can size. The 78-can size has three shelves, but one of those would need to be removed to accommodate taller water bottles, leaving me with only two shelves for storage. Plus, the bottom shelf is already a bit smaller due to the design of the cooler.

I also began realizing how handy this cooler would be for the holidays or anytime I’m having a party and need extra cooling storage. When the 78-can cooler arrived, I returned it without even opening it. So the one you see below is the one I ultimately chose, the 115-can size, which is 3.2 cu. ft of storage.


The door hinges can be moved to the other side, so the door can be adjusted to open either direction. I thought about doing that, but I think I like it this way best.


I have the light on inside for these photos, but most of the time it remains off. Refrigerators/coolers have gotten so efficient. This one only costs around $30 to run per year. Definitely worth it to me for the convenience it adds.


The cooler came with four shelves. I removed one (it’s sitting on the top of the cooler) and rearranged the shelves to hold the drinks I want to keep on hand. Thanks to Nicole for suggesting Kill Cliff in THIS previous post. It’s a “recovery” drink that was created by a Navy Seal who wanted a healthier (and better tasting) alternative to the sports drinks that were already available. It’s slightly carbonated and I really like it. I purchased it here: Kill Cliff

Being a new toy, I couldn’t wait to load it up! lol Doubt it will normally be this well stocked, but it was fun filling it with some faves for this post.


I was curious to see if it was cooling down to the temperature I had chosen since a few folks had complained that the refrigerator wasn’t getting as low as they wanted. It’s supposed to cool all the way down to 33 degrees if needed. I purchased a thermometer to test it.

Tip: To make sure I had a fairly reliable thermometer, I compared several while standing in the store and narrowed it down to the those that were all saying the same temperature for the store. Some were several degrees off. This one came with suction cups, but I like it hanging here on the front.

The cooler did easily reach the 40-degree setting I had chosen. I bumped it down to 38 degrees and it had no trouble reaching that, too. In this photo, the thermometer is showing higher because I had the door open for a while taking photos.


Here’s how it looks with all the lights off in the room, and the light inside the cooler turned on. Kinda pretty! I leave the light off the majority of the time, but I have to admit, I do like seeing it on while I’m riding. It’s the carrot in front of the horse theory–I can see the treat that awaits, once I finish my class. lol  The Kill Cliff really hits the spot after a 45-minute spin class.


I’m very much enjoying this little cooler. It’s quiet as a mouse when running, so I’m pleased with its performance thus far. The brand for this one is Insignia and I purchased it from Best Buy. If you prefer to shop on Amazon for free shipping, you’ll find similar beverage coolers available here: Beverage Cooler.

Update: I know some folks may be wondering why I didn’t place this cooler underneath the dressing table in this area. All the beverage coolers I considered were too tall to fit under the dressing table. The only one that would have been short enough was the small, 48-can size, and I didn’t want a cooler that small.

Also, I like that it’s hidden where it is and only visible when you are actually inside the dressing room. It’s not visible at all from the bedroom. Having it on the counter makes me feel a bit better in case it was to ever leak a little condensation, although from what I’ve read in the reviews, this hasn’t been a problem. I may look for one of those little trays that you can place underneath appliances, just to be extra safe, but again, I don’t think that will be a problem since it’s just a beverage cooler and not a refrigerator with a freezer.


Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Oh yea, you’re definitely gonna wonder how you ever managed without it! Now you can work out and look right into that glass door front and decide which drink you want next! Great addition. Thanks for hosting us, Susan, and have a great week.

  2. Thanks for the party, Susan! I think your new fridge is awesome. I totally get it and can see why it would be so advantageous to have one on the floor. When my daughter brought her mini fridge (not nearly as stylish as yours!) home from college, we left it in the basement. My husband works there and the exercise equipment is there, too. Plus the kids hang out with friends in the basement family room. All in all, it was awesome to have. πŸ™‚

  3. Great set up! Thanks for hosting!

  4. Susan, you are going to love your beverage fridge. I put one in our butler’s pantry about a year ago…just for storing beverages. I love it! It frees up so much space in the main fridge. Thanks for hosting the party! I hope that you enjoy your day!!!

  5. What a great idea to add a beverage fridge to your work our area! Thanks for hosting this party!

  6. It looks great there and I am sure you’ll always love it being so handy now to get a cool drink especially when summer heat hits!

  7. Your cooler looks great! You have it adequately stocked, too! I know you will really enjoy this cooler for a long time. I bought an RTIC cooler tumbler a few months ago and it stays permanently attached to my left hand. It keeps my water cold over 24 hours. I have a Brita pitcher in my fridge so I just refill my RTIC as needed and I always have cold water. Having water handy is a good thing!! Maybe I will progress up to a cooler like yours one day. Enjoy it!

  8. It’s always great to have a beverage cooler in a gym area or in a room that you spend lots of time in….We have a refrigerator in our little kitchenette and thinking of changing it out to a beverage cooler. Great for guests and steps away from my hubby’s office. Will have to tell him about the Kill Cliff! Thanks for hosting Susan and have a wonderful week!

  9. Susan, can you post the make and model of the beverage fridge you purchased? I want one just like yours!!! πŸ™‚

    Many thanks!

  10. Margaret Robinson says

    Hi — Think this is ideal and will serve you well! A question – why didn’t you have it put down below where some of the drawers are? It would have been out of the way and not bumping into the picture. A friend of ours has a similar set up as you (a cycle in the dressing area and a small fridge), but had hers put into some cabinetry so it was available, but didn’t stand out.

    On the other hand, glad you’ve got a fridge and now you will be enjoying the proximity of it. All the items you stocked it with make me thirsty!

    • That’s a great question! Unfortunately, it’s too tall. Even the smaller 78-can size cooler was too tall. The only one that would have fit down under the desk/dressing table area would have been the tiny 48 can size cooler, and I didn’t want one that small. I also feel a bit better about it being on the counter, just in case it ever leaks a little. I also want to add one of the spill trays underneath it, although I don’t anticipate it leaking since it’s just a beverage cooler and not a refrigerator with a freezer. I don’t mind seeing it on the counter because it’s only visible when you’re inside the dressing room, it’s not visible from the bedroom at all. I like that. πŸ™‚

      • Margaret Robinson says

        It always takes so much thought to put in the smallest things, but results are really great! Better perhaps you can see the frig and get to it easily.

  11. Susan, it’s so pretty! LOL! Didn’t think I’d be calling a fridge pretty. Great idea. I’m sure you’ll love the convenience of it. Thank you for hosting.

  12. Look at you with your mini “sports spa!!!” You GO GIRL!! franki

  13. The 417th Metamorphosis Monday! I do believe yours is the longest running party I’ve heard of! Thank you for hosting and keep it going!

  14. Elizabeth Roderick says

    This is great! I know you will enjoy your cooler. Long before coolers or coffee pots I knew a lady who had both in her bedroom. She did this so she didn’t have to parade out to the kitchen in her robe. I thought it was a great idea then and even better now.

  15. Thanks so much for the party!!

  16. So glad I read this before I purchased a small fridge/cooler for the small “coffee bar” I plan to put in a spare bedroom I have made into a media room. I love the looks of this cooler and know if is going to be so convenient for you. Thanks for a great idea!

  17. This is a great diea. I wish so much we hadn’t given our treadmill away when we moved here. I love your little beverage coller and you have the perfect space. Thanks so much for hosting. XO

  18. Such a great set up. You put so much thought and research into your purchases–this blog is a prime source of info for me. And “mini sports spa” really does describe it well. Happy pedaling!

  19. Cyndi Raines says

    Looks great – like the night light! ha Glad it is working for you and I think it’s great to have it so close. I too have gone down stairs to do the treadmill, only to remember once I’m there that my water bottle is upstairs!

  20. your new cooler is perfect! i bet your gonna get a ton of use out of it. thanks for hosting. xo- maryjo

  21. My friend has one in her upstairs too. Besides using it for beverages, she has used it to keep sunscreen, skin spritzers and body wipes cool, as well as medicines so she doesnt have to keep them downstairs in kitchen refrigerator. They are super useful!

  22. Dear Susan,
    I hope your trip to Morrocco will be exciting’
    I returned from Paris this past September after a 14 day pilgrimage and am going to be planning another trip to Paris in the next six

  23. I love the refrigerator in your office. I just added a microwave in my work room and have been thinking a smaller refrigerator would be great. I have all of my cups of hot tea throughout the day, water, fruit and heat up food. Mainly a lean cusine, but my goal is to have healthier food items on hand and be able to focus on working without the temptation of going down stairs and getting off of track. I wonder how moving my treadmill upstairs will work. Any suggestions?

    • If you’ve got the space, I would do it. I think we tend to exercise more when we see the equipment than if it’s in a spot where we don’t see it very much. I really love having my bike upstairs. Sometimes I’ll take a spin class that morning, then right before going to bed, I’ll hop on and do a scenic ride through one of the national parks. I know I’d never do that if it were downstairs. I’m trying to eat better, too. So hard when you work from home and temptation is close by. lol

  24. I just love your idea! I somehow always forget to take my water before start using the treadmill and I find myself stopping the workout midway through it. You just solved my everyday problem! Thank you!! =D

  25. Hi Susan! Re: Insignia Bev Cooler…after much looking around and complaints on many coolers, I remembered your blog! My question is…do you still love this cooler? BB no longer carries the 78 can, only 48 and 115…love that it cools nicely. Thanks for any updates…thank you!!!

    • Yep, still going strong and I still love it! I keep it stocked because I used many times a day as I’m working upstairs. It’s truly one of the best little luxuries I ever gave myself. I’m ruined now, will always want a small fridge upstairs after having had this one. If you have the space, go for the 115. I think 48 would be way too small, you have to be restocking it every time you turned around.

      • Oh yes yes yes…thank you! We are definitely going w the 115! Our only concern is we are putting under a counter in laundry room and will have to have an outlet installed…darn…but for now can weave around to upper counter on on the right side of wall where it will be…maybe even an extension cord for awhile…I am sure the cord is only 3 ft or so on these. After debating many hours on a new french 4 door Samsung fridge w wayyy to many complaints, I said wait a minute…let’s just keep our newish fridge that works great and get this cooler…mostly beverages in there that take up so much room…see you plant many seeds at your party and I thank you!!!

  26. We bought this cooler to replace a danby mini fridge that just doesn’t cool beverages below 40 degrees. We wanted ice cold beer at the lake. We also bought 2 fridge thermometers to see how cold we could get this unit to go. Ours doesn’t get any colder than 40 degrees. We looked online for a unit that will actually get to the 33 degree mark and are returning this unit for an edgestar. Hoping that the addition of a fan that circulates the air and better compressor that we’ll have better luck.
    The manufacturers website says that the insignia internal temp can vary by 4 degrees from what it is set at – but when set at the lowest temp (33) we could only get to 40. Thought I’d share in case others are hoping for ice cold temps

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