Kitchen design: ideas for hiding the microwave.
I am BAFFLED that I must have a regular oven AND a microwave oven.
How is it that humanity has invented APPS… but is too stupid to combine two HOUSEHOLD BOXES OF CONVENIENCE?
Who is deciding the priorities of the human race?
Short of the OBVIOUS AND SUPERIOR CONVENIENCE of combining two boxes used for heating squash; I guess we’ll just get a panel-ready microwave… I can live with that.
They don’t make those.
However! I CAN GET A PANEL READY TRASH COMPACTOR.
Amazing! Is this still 1982?!
(advance apologies to the people who are all— YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW GREAT A TRASH COMPACTOR IS.)
Then I spent a stupid amount of time trying to figure out how we could conceal a drawer-microwave with some kind of faux-panel… if you figured it out, let me know?
Although, I don’t actually WANT a drawer microwave… all the reviews are great and people seem to love them. EXCEPT for reheating liquid. (The opening and closing of the drawer/action, you can imagine is sort of slosh-y?)
And the thing for which we use the microwave MOST is Paul’s coffee routine.
He likes it BOILING hot… but he goes out to the garage or wherever, forgets about it, and when he comes back in, he needs to reheat it to 900 degrees.
He does this at least 12 times every Saturday morning.
I’ve suggested other systems, but this is the only one he will consider.
AND Paul does everything at warp speed, which means that it will take him less than five seconds to pull his cup out before the drawer is open fully and catch the lip of the mug and CRASH SPILL FLYING COFFEE EVERYWHERE.
He does this AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH WITH THE REGULAR MICROWAVE.
Then he gets mad.
Like he had nothing to do with it.
I bought bigger mugs… then I bought BIGGER mugs… then I bought THE LARGEST MUGS ON EARTH… thinking that if I could CONTAIN the liquid in a big enough container, it would not spill when CRASHED INTO THE MICROWAVE.
it still spills.
Just THINKING about it makes me mental.
It makes me SO mental, that I EVEN ASKED HIM TO STOP MAKING ME INSANE.
And you know what he said?
Why do you need to control how I make coffee?
The drawer would be like ASKING FOR MORE OF THAT.
Ok! now is when you tell me your secret perfect solution!
We do not need to have the conversation about whether the microwave should go over the stove… I agree that it is convenient and solves all the layout issues.
But visually, I don’t like it.
END microwave post… brief housekeeping.
I’m getting this questions a lot:
Have you considered repurposing antique furniture for the kitchen cabinets?
Short answer: YES… a brief selection includes:
1. Repurposed / Reclaimed / Nontraditional Kitchen Island Inspiration.
2. Actual STUFF I considered for a repurposed kitchen (the bank table still gives me FITZ. I still cannot afford it.)
3. In case you didn’t know that Pilar Guzman’s kitchen is my ULTIMATE DESIRE.
4. More antique wardrobes-into-kitchens
This post sums up: One last hurrah… giving up a repurposed kitchen design.
Long answer: if budget was no issue, this would have been a magical solution… and also my entire life would be magical and I definitely would not be writing this blog about MICROWAVES because I would be out frolicking in the magic fields.
MORE LONG ANSWER: the piano-into-island spoke to me so LOUDLY that I felt– YES. Whatever comes next definitely needs to incorporate THIS.
But that complicates the outer cabinets.. anything that goes on the perimeter needs to be an appealing complement to the piano… AND I have no idea what kind of perimeter-amalgamation-buffet-nightstands-bookcases-library-cabinets… would be incredibly appealing to ME… while also not being nine million dollars… while also being a compatible size AND construction.
Paul cannot just hack into anything.
Even I must acknowledge this.
Then I got the lady mirror… which… sorry I am getting into the word-weeds here… You can stop reading… Nothing important is happening.
I had sort of waffled on that Renaissance Revival auction mirror –I had thought that the straight sides would be better for accommodating some kind of open shelving… but writing this out reminds me that the lady head mirror SPEAKS to me in relation to the piano. So I’m calling that decision.
A very long way of saying: the perimeter furniture would need to complement many things, be affordable, and also be plentiful.
And also: I haven’t FOUND IT… despite LOOKING!
April 26, 2018 @ 12:09 pm
I actually like the pictures you’ve shown of a sort of swing-up cabinet door that goes over the microwave… wish I had that! When this is all done we need to have a (virtual) party in your kitchen! (And I’m with you – the lady mirror is the boss!)
April 26, 2018 @ 12:12 pm
Also ref micro wave position I have found that waist height or lower chest height is the safest for hot food/container transfer, and monitoring. I hate microwaves at shoulder or head height .. so dangerous for spillage and just grasping and moving the hot containers.
I’m sure you have your own preferences on this, but as a short person it is one of my kitchen bugbears.
April 26, 2018 @ 12:17 pm
When I remodeled my kitchen, I too was flummoxed as to microwave placement. Then I realized I only use it for reheating and I was mildly concerned as to health ramifications. Solution: no microwave. I do not miss it at all. My regular oven does just fine. As for Paul – buy him a really good thermos that keeps liquids hot.
April 26, 2018 @ 12:18 pm
And my friend has just moved to Paris for a few months and in her apartment is a combination oven/microwave. I assume it is an appliance common in small European apartments (just like 40-45cm wide washing machines are common in HongKong and Japan). Maybe you need to go to Paris for a holiday to buy your appliances?
April 26, 2018 @ 12:29 pm
First, how much do you actually use you microwave?
Are you willing to keep going out of your way to use it?
AISI, hiding it in a cabinet seems to be the ideal solution. My personal fav is the one where the doors slide in at the sides. (I have a feature like that for other purposes, elsewhere.) My second choice would be the false front that flips up.
April 26, 2018 @ 12:32 pm
oh my friend, I HEAR YOU! We just remodeled our kitchen and this was my conundrum for a good six months before we even started – we have lived without a microwave (very happily, I thought) for our entire six-year marriage, but my husband adores microwave popcorn (I don’t understand – I have even showed him how easy it is to make you own on the stove and he agrees it tastes better but still, stubbornly, prefers microwave) and his only request for the new kitchen was that it have a microwave. I could not figure out how to conceal it within the drawer/cabinet area, since we had space constraints. And FINALLY – I realized since we only needed it for popcorn, it could be very tiny (.7 cu. ft. Black and Decker EM720CPN-P is what I ended up buying), and I could just reserve a spot in the pantry for it. We had planned to do an “old-fashioned” pantry – basically a 3×4 closet with six U-shelves from floor to ceiling and double doors on the front (skinny ones). So I had the electrician put a plug in the pantry at the level of the shelf that would hold the microwave (around shoulder-height). We’v had it for about five months now and it is PERFECTION. The electrician thought we were crazy but once he saw it all together, he had to concede we have a point 🙂
April 26, 2018 @ 12:35 pm
My microwave is in a little cubby in the island — a spot made specifically for it. It can’t be seen from the most important angles and I love that it is hidden, yet still readily available. And I spill my coffee just like Phil. It’s a curse, I think.
April 26, 2018 @ 12:37 pm
You DO need to buy Paul an insulated mug, but not in exchange for the microwave. Just give it to him because you love him, and want him to be happy. They are a wondrous gift for coffee lovers. I got my husband one for his daily commute and 12 years later, he still raves about it. It would be delightful if your gift negated the need for the microwave, but that shouldn’t be your ulterior motive. Hi happiness should always be your motive, as yours is for him.
Our microwave is in the garage, but our garage is attached to the house, and opens directly in to the Man Cave. We really do not want the god-genius who is Paul to have to trudge out to the garage 12 times every Saturday to reheat his coffee, and I suspect that the garage is stuffed full of GFTs anyway; no point in giving him any more reason to be out there questioning their validity.
Could the microwave live with your washing machine? Or in the new shelving Paul put up while you were in NM? Or a bedroom somewhere? A microwave in the bedroom for popcorn making whilst snuggling during movie marathons is not a bad thing. Especially if there is also a mini fridge to keep the champagne cold.
April 26, 2018 @ 12:37 pm
Only you and Paul can determine the level of your need for a full size oven. If it is rare that you would use one, like to roast a huge turkey for the holidays, then buy one of those big roasters for those times. Then get a simple combination microwave/convection oven that you can hide behind a cabinet door or in your pantry. We have a Sharp R-930AK with inside measurements 16″W x 16″D x 10″H, that works great for 95% of our heating/baking needs. A 13″ x 9″ pan will fit, as well as 2 round pans stacked using the racks included, and could even roast a smaller turkey. It also has a broil function. Ours was made in 1997 and still going strong! When it eventually dies, we will most definitely get another, possibly like this one: http://m.sharpusa.com/ForHome/HomeAppliances/Microwaves/Models/SMC1585BS.aspx
April 26, 2018 @ 9:11 pm
I have one of these Sharp combination micro/convection ovens too. Just soooo soooo awesome.
April 26, 2018 @ 12:50 pm
Miele makes a “speed” oven that is a regular, convection and microwave. Expensive and wish I didn’t do it. I also have a small microwave made by whirlpool that tucks into a corner. It’s rounded in the back so it snugs in nicely. I use it mainly for heating my coffee, small popcorn or melting butter and occasionally thawing something I forgot to set out. It’s taller but not as deep as most so also fits well on a narrow counter out of site. And it’s only $99!!
April 26, 2018 @ 12:55 pm
How about cutting out the middle man / middle spill and installing it in the garage?
April 26, 2018 @ 1:09 pm
I recommend getting rid of the radioactive microwave (which isn’t doing his nether regions any good) and get him a cup warmer to put in the garage to keep the damn cup of coffee, which was made in the conventional way, hot. There are work arounds for microwaves. Something else for you to research. You’re welcome.
April 26, 2018 @ 1:16 pm
Not only did the video have an ad, it was an ad for pork. Not only was it an ad for pork, but it skipped and repeated itself several times.
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
April 26, 2018 @ 1:29 pm
I stopped paying to host videos (ad-free) because expenses/priorities/NOT wanting to write sponsored content… but having pork is definitely not a solution.
Thank you for letting me know.
April 26, 2018 @ 1:23 pm
I get your dilemma. I missed out on your love for GFTs (just as well, as I don’t have a “Paul”), but hate micros over ovens and pretty much any extraneous kitchen appliance.
My solution for a tiny galley kitchen? Rip out everything, tile the back wall and install vent hood over the range (induction! loved it!) and one open shelf, and installed a cabinet with a pull down accordion door with an outlet inside the cabinet. ALL my appliances lived there, including a very old very tiny microwave that took me forever to source because it had to fit inside this cabinet. (Why don’t they make very small microwaves anymore? I do not know, but would like an answer.) When the door was down, you saw nothing; when the door was up, I had easy access to my blender, food processor, coffee equipment, and microwave. No lip, no door waving around, simple and clean.
I did use upper cabinets, since I couldn’t do without the storage, but mounted horizontal short but wide(15″H x 36″W) cabinets with doors that swing up, not out. Best idea ever.
I would send you pictures, but I am not technologically sophisticated enough to insert a photo into this post.
I used Ikea cabinets; unfortunately, they’ve discontinued the cabinet with accordion door.
April 26, 2018 @ 1:41 pm
I solved this by not having a microwave. I know this would not work for everyone. I just hate them.
April 26, 2018 @ 1:55 pm
Thank you for introducing me to a brand-new problem I did not even know I had—along with so many wonderful inspiration photos to help solve it.
All this time I’ve had my microwave out on the counter FOR ALL TO SEE! It never occurred to me that this too could be hidden, and now I am obsessed by making this happen—post-haste!
April 26, 2018 @ 2:01 pm
I ran into the same problem in my tiny kitchen. I need the counter space but hate how microwaves look. I ended up taking the easy way out with a hood/microwave combo. I hate it but no there options for me. We use ours more than the regular oven so it’s a necessity. If money had been no option, I would have opted for the oven/microwave combo option and gotten rid of the ugly box for sure. You would think that after making cabinet fronts for every other appliance in the kitchen, they would consider adding microwaves. Paul is creative, have him make you a custom cover!
April 26, 2018 @ 2:02 pm
You should have a convection/microwave oven – you probably are aware that microwave ovens aren’t necessarily the best choice for cooking food. At least this way you will have options if you ever decide not to use a Microwave ove.
April 26, 2018 @ 2:18 pm
I am a lover of all things fancy, unfortunately my life also dictates that I must be practical (SOMETIMES) I have my microwave in a tall pantry so I don’t have to look at the ugly thing when I shut the doors. I used 2 of the 3 pantries for appliance garages and had an electrician come in and add plugs. I really do love this solution the best, its functioned well and because its chest height (visibility) it stays cleaner.
April 26, 2018 @ 2:22 pm
That microwave coming out of the side of the cabinet rocks my world. I agree. Those kitchen appliance designers need to step it up. Mine is over the stove- After all the tchotchkes are in place- No one even notices. But – not exactly my 1st choice either. One thing is certain-I’m not crawling around on the floor to reheat my coffee or squash ! Needs to be at eye level and CERTAINLY not below your waist.