August 4, 2014
Lately, I’ve been spending my hours just thinking about microwaves. Yes, I do that, I sit down in a chair, cup my chin in my hand, look up to the ceiling, and think about microwave ovens. About their placement in kitchens and *gasp* even their necessity.
The microwave oven as we all know has become a staple in the American home in the last 40 years, they are the most convenient appliance for a quick reheat and in my experience, they make a great baked potato. I’ve asked friends this question, "How often do you use your microwave?" For some the answer is "several times a day" for others "not much at all".
The reason I’ve been thinking so much about them is that I’m getting rid of the micro hood in our Nevada house we’re remodeling, at least temporarily, and for two reasons. First, it’s black, and I’ve decided to use all white appliances in this kitchen.
While I endorse the two tone cabinetry look, I do prefer that the finishes on appliances are the same, so the range is getting replaced with a white slide in to complement the existing dishwasher and refrigerator (not shown) and the black microwave is leaving. Both the range and microwave hood will be sold on Craigslist or donated to Habitat, and the cabinets will eventually be replaced, but not until winter.
Second, I’m not a huge fan of the micro hood. I do see its purpose in a smaller kitchen, it makes sense, but I do prefer the look of just a hood by itself above a range or cooktop and so I’m seeking ways to include a microwave in the kitchen’s new design but I want to make it disappear, at least from prominent view.
In my search of inspiring ideas I found many clever ways to hide the microwave so that it is available when needed but also hidden from sight.
A special appliance pantry is the most appealing idea, with doors that retract into the cabinet so they can sit inside while the appliance is in use.
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Creating a cubby with hinged panels or doors that swing up is another option.
Below the counter is yet another alternative, either exposed or hidden behind doors.
While we don’t have an island in our kitchen, hiding it there is another creative solution for those that do.
Or perhaps a sideways installation nested into the tall pantry cabinet?
And then there is option of just moving it out of the kitchen by using a separate freestanding hutch (build or buy) that houses the appliance close by.
Could you live without your microwave oven? Do you wish to or have you successfully hidden yours? What’s your favorite "out of view" design solution?