Disappearing Microwaves

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.

nevada house oak kitchen cabinets

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. 

white kitchen wood flooring

hidden microwave in cabinet

remodelista

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.

hidden microwave behind cabinet

better homes & gardens    

hidden microwave and appliance pantry

better homes & gardens 

gray cabinets with appliance storage

better homes & gardens

hidden microwave in kitchen

atlanta homes mag  

hidden microwave in upper cabinet

terra cotta properties

  

Creating a cubby with hinged panels or doors that swing up is another option.

microwave cabinet

hammer & hand

hinged micro cabinet panel

mullet cabinet

  microwave cubby with hinged door

leslie ann interior design

 

Below the counter is yet another alternative, either exposed or hidden behind doors.

below the counter microwave

better homes & gardens

hidden microwave on shelf

southern living

While we don’t have an island in our kitchen, hiding it there is another creative solution for those that do.

microwave in island

kitchen cabinet concepts

 

this old house

 

Or perhaps a sideways installation nested into the tall pantry cabinet?

sideways microwave

conceptual kitchens

 

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.

microwave hutch

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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?

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86 Responses to “Disappearing Microwaves”

  1. Mallory says:

    My husband and I actually haven’t HAD a microwave for about 5 years. I know, that sounds crazy, but our last house didn’t have one, we lived there for about 2 years and didn’t miss it(much) and the home we live in now has a very small kitchen, but we were already used to not having a microwave that we didn’t bother to buy one!
    Someday I’m sure it will be a necessary appliance, but for now we just kind of like surprising people when they notice we don’t have one!
    I will say, however, that the only time I REALLY miss it is when I need to melt butter for baking!

  2. Jennifer K says:

    Our microwave is over our cooktop. I don’t like it there, but it was the concession we made when building our kitchen seven years ago. It just didn’t fit anywhere else conveniently or where DH and I could agree. I still think about remodeling our kitchen and where else it could go. The leading option is putting it on the island. DH still isn’t sold on having it below the counter, but I’m working on him. :) The problem with ours is that our cooktop is wider than our mic so the upper cabinets extend just a few inches over the cooktop, which is a (small) problem for putting spices and baking supplies in those cabinets. The steam and heat make a mess out of Crisco and coconut oil, and lessen the freshness of the spices. We just really need to redo that whole wall where our cooktop/mic/frig is. Someday.

  3. Jessica says:

    We put ours inside one of our lower cabinets. We came from an apartment with basically no counter space, so when we moved into our home I wanted to enjoy as much counter space as possible (we inherited just a hood over the stove). I’ve noticed we use it much less this way, but it is still useful occasionally. Someday we may lose it completely, but for now I love it out of sight.

  4. Laura says:

    We are fortunate to have a large walk-in pantry. We had our builder add a shelf and an outlet to the corner and have our microwave in there.

  5. Emily says:

    We just built a new home and hid the microwave behind cabinet doors at countertop level. You can see our kitchen tour here:
    http://www.timelesspaper.com/blog/?p=5407

  6. Molly says:

    We do not use our microwave that much. We redid our kitchen 2 years ago and I put ours in the pantry closet. Love it!! I too, do not love the look of it always out. It was really one of my better ideas. I actually use our toaster oven more and I even created a pull out shelt to hide it in the kitchen.

  7. Kristin says:

    We were lucky enough to have room for a walk-in pantry in our new home so that’s where the microwave lives. We could not live without it and that’s a great solution for us as I don’t like them visible.

  8. Amanda says:

    When we built our home I had the electrician add an electrical outlet to the pantry so that I could keep the microwave out of sight. The pantry has a long counter that holds the microwave, toaster oven, food processor with shelving above for canned goods.

    Here is a link, although the pictures are not the greatest! :)

    http://lifeonthebaybush.blogspot.com/2012/11/chalkboard-paint-pantry-my-big-idea.html

  9. CRystal says:

    Our microwave broke 5 or so years ago and we never replaced it. I can safely say I haven’t missed it except for a quick bag of popcorn. But then again, I’ve read microwave popcorn isn’t good for you – so I guess we are doing ourselves a favor :)

  10. Sheila says:

    I have double wall ovens and would like to replace them with a triple stack of microwave/convection oven, convection oven and warming drawer. I’ll have to give up a drawer under the ovens for the warming drawer but I think it will be worth it.

  11. Cari Skuse says:

    We use our microwave all the time and couldn’t do without one. Ours is out in the open right now (and taking up a lot of counterspace!) that I wish I could use for something else, but there is no where else to put it.
    In our next house — we are currently in the design phase — I plan on getting a microwave drawer. That will keep it off the counter, but still close by.

  12. Our microwave migrated from the kitchen counter to the counter in the butler’s pantry, just thru a doorway arch from the kitchen. I love having it there — out of the way!
    Microwaves are useful, but they will never be mistaken for kitchen jewelry.
    Cass

  13. Maria says:

    We got rid of our microwave in 2008 and haven’t looked back! We actually eat better because we’re less inclined to buy foods that can be microwaved. It was tough those first few months, but we honestly have no intention of ever owning one again. Good luck! Can’t wait to see the kitchen!

  14. We had in in a lower cabinet in my last house and I loved that. I also really like it stacked above thew wall oven like my daughter has.

  15. Ari says:

    I had the same issue when we renovated our kitchen. There was no place to hide it behind a cupboard so we ended up putting a microwave drawer in our island. I wasn’t sure if I would like the drawer, but so far I love it. You push a button and it slides open. It is more expensive than a regular microwave, but it was the best fit for our kitchen!

  16. Kristin says:

    I haven’t had a microwave for 10 years, and have never missed it. I just heat things up on the stovetop or in the oven. It takes just a bit longer, but food usually reheats better. I really appreciate not having to dedicate cabinet or counter space to another appliance!

  17. Melanie says:

    I would love to have my microwave concealed, but I worry about what the heat/steam venting will do in the cabinet. It may just be the particular microwave I have, but I heated a stouffer’s lasagna (the bigger ones) in there one time and things were not good. All of the steam vented out the side as it was supposed to but then went up INTO my wall cabinets and formed condensation on the dishes. Totally blew my mind.

  18. Wendy says:

    Let me start by saying we don’t use our microwave much ~ a couple times a week maybe. We use to have our microwave above our stove. A few years ago we did a kitchen remodel and purchased a new ~ in cabinet microwave. It is built into our island and has a pull down door similar to an oven. Our designer also mentioned having a microwave in an upper cabinet (or above the stove) poses a burn risk especially to children and older adults. Example… pulling down a hot cup of boiling water for hot chocolate… or reaching up to the microwave and touching the hot stove… but with everything in the kitchen, there are risks :) I do like the look of a simple hood above the stove though.

  19. Kelly H. says:

    When we updated our kitchen two years ago, we took out the micro/hood over the stove and put a microwave in the upper cabinet next to it. All of the upper cabinets are 15 inches deep, which made it pretty easy to fit the microwave inside. I love that the microwave isn’t the first thing we see when we walk into the kitchen anymore! We leave the cabinet doors open when we use the mw and haven’t had any problems with the ventilation. I wish I had thought of putting retractable doors on that cabinet, though.

  20. Centsational Girl says:

    We are going to try to live without it for six months Kristin, Maria, and Crystal and see how it goes :) I have to evaluate if and where we will put it for the future !

  21. Centsational Girl says:

    Wow so beautiful Emily (your entire kitchen!) thank you for sharing!

  22. R Young says:

    Yes! I can live without a microwave and we did for 9 months when our micro hood broke and then my husband just could not stand it any longer. I have decided I hate micro hoods because of canning. They just don’t leave enough space above the stovetop.
    I ended up installing a shelf in our pantry and buying a small $50 microwave that fit perfectly.

    And I LOVE having it out of the kitchen and out of sight!!

  23. Kim says:

    We are also microwave – less. We got rid of our microwave over six years ago and we haven’t looked back. We do have a toaster oven for reheating just so we don’t have to heat up the whole kitchen for a small meal. I enjoy the novelty of using the microwave the other people’s homes, but don’t miss having one in my house at all

  24. I love the appliance pantry! Thanks for sharing your Nevada house remodel, I love watching the process. House flipping is my dream job!

  25. Laura says:

    We don’t have a microwave either; and I don’t think we’d use it that much if we did have one. We don’t often have leftovers because we always found that they would just go to waste. So, we just learned to plan accordingly and cook just enough for one meal. If, for example, we do have any leftovers, we like use the vegetables in a quiche or use the meat in tacos or a soup. I really like the appliance pantry, however, and would love to incorporate it in our (someday) kitchen remodel!

  26. Nancy says:

    Mine’s in the pantry. I bought the house new and had the builder put an outlet in there specifically so that I could put it out of sight. Getting rid of the over-the-stove bulky micro in favor of a sleeker hood just feels so good!!

  27. Heather says:

    We went through a major kitchen remodel last year, and went with a drawer microwave. It is amazing and I would never go back to any other kind again. It opens with the push of a button, and makes it much easier/safer to lift out hot items, or stir something halfway through. It also keeps it out of the way, and becuase it is built in, has a very sleek look. We love it!

  28. Michelle says:

    When we designed our kitchen I opted for more storage/drawer space over finding a spot for the microwave. It’s in our laundry/pantry and when we build that out it will go in a bottom cabinet without doors. We really don’t use the microwave except for the occasional heating up leftovers or defrosting a bagel straight out of the freezer. It may not be appealing for other people whenever we decide to sale the house and move but that wasn’t a big enough excuse for me to include it in the kitchen design.

  29. My favorite thing ever was buying a microwave that is also an oven. Truth is, we don’t use the microwave part very much, but doubling as a mini convection oven, it’s what we use the most in our kitchen. We use it almost every day. For baking, cooking, re-heating. It heats up in less than 10 minutes. And it looks more like an oven. In my next kitchen I would do double mini ovens and only one large oven instead of what we have now: a regular double oven (which we use almost never) and this mini oven.

    You can see what it looks like here:
    http://shiftctrlart.com/Blogpost/ukg1/IKEA-Kitchen-reveal-before-and-after-pictures-of-our-kitchen-remodel—how-it-all-came-together–Part-V

  30. MEgan says:

    I hate when they are above the stove and I get scalded from steam when stirring big pots. When I remodeled my kitchen there wasn’t a good spot for it so I didn’t put it in the kitchen. The small vintage sewing tables (they have a top board that flips open and the machine rotates up) are the perfect size. Mine sat in the dining room for a while. I moved it to the laundry room recently and love that it is completely out of sight. I use it less than once a week, so it’s not inconvenient at all. I plan to have a special buffet built to fit it and look nice, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

  31. Deena says:

    We have a microwave over our stove, came with the house. Standard 90s almond color.
    It

  32. Jaclyn says:

    We are looking into a steam oven since most of what we reheat are leftovers. But we are thinking about either a drawer microwave or hiding a microwave in a cabinet or pantry for things like popcorn and things than can’t be reheated by steam.

  33. This post has so many other great ideas. I personally love the appliance pantry. It keeps the bulky microwave out of the way and hidden.

    -Sayeh, The Office Stylist
    http://theofficestylist.com/

  34. tiara says:

    This is currently the great debate in our house. We have a large kitchen overall, but not a lot of storage. I’m leading towards placing it in the island.

  35. Lisa C says:

    I would prefer to have it hidden. I would prefer to have my Kitchaide mixer hidden. Those two things will happen when we redo our kitchen. Currently we don’t have anything that will hold the mixer and a plug’s not convenient to any cabinet that would hold our microwave. I’m not a fan of the built-in microwave because when you need to replace it, it’s a pain finding one the correct size. Can’t wait to see what you end up with in the microwave department.

  36. kelly says:

    We moved into our new house last fall and I wanted nothing to do with a microwave that could be seen in my new kitchen so we put ours in the pantry. My husband was convinced I was insane but it’s worked out well and we love it in there. Our toaster and other small appliances are also in there. Handy but tucked out of sight. :)

  37. Aaron says:

    We tossed our microwave around 3 years ago, and never regretted it. But before that, we had the microwave in many locations in the kitchen: the range hood combo, counter top, within a base cabinet, atop a free standing table, on and on. I’d have to say the most convenient is still sitting on the counter. Not the most attractive however.

  38. molly says:

    We too got rid of our microwave about 5 years ago and haven’t missed it at all. Good luck with your six month trial!

  39. Centsational Girl says:

    Love your kitchen design Katja! Beautiful!

  40. Marsha Sefcik says:

    We chucked our microwave five years ago and have not looked back. We were only using it to make popcorn and now we just pop corn on the stove top…so much tastier and healthier for you. We were shocked to learn that microwaves has been banned in some countries. Food for thought…

  41. Cindy says:

    When we redid our kitchen last year, we moved ours from above the stove as well. We had an old (and gigantic, but use what you have, right?) Sharp Carousel that we pulled out of storage and set on top of a freestanding cabinet unit. It’s in plain sight, and it’s huge: two things I don’t prefer, but both are far, far better than the old one above the stove.

    My main recommendation would be to make sure the microwave is easy for your kids to access. My youngest can make popcorn by himself, which is awesome, and I would not want anything to get in the way of him being able to do that. If you were to hide yours behind a door, I’d just make sure it’s easy to open all the way so that the microwave door didn’t ram the cabinet door by less-than-careful users. :)

  42. i think that the main function of microwave is to have quickly something hot, and that’s why i think the best thing is to have access quickly to to the microwave, now there are many good designs of microwaves, and i need just to choose the good design to be beautiful in my kitchen, to have a beautiful color and design to be good in the decoration in my kitchen. you can have a beautiful kitchen with full and quick access today !

  43. Nicole says:

    My husband and I ditched our microwave back in 2008 and haven’t missed it at all. Like the poster above, we make our popcorn on the stove top (thanks, whirley pop!) and it is much, much tastier! Sometime I wish I could cook a potato quickly, but not enough to even think about getting a microwave.

  44. hill says:

    I am so surprised to see many others commenting that they don’t have microwaves. My husband and I got rid of ours in 2006 when we were still dating, because research out of the EU shows they alter food at the molecular level (also interesting- they gave someone a blood transfusion with blood that had been microwaved to the proper temperature, and it promptly killed the patient). I’ve NEVER met someone else who didn’t have a microwave and am so glad to know we aren’t the only family. We use a toaster oven for most of our reheating, and that poses some of the same design dilemmas. We bought one in the same color as our appliances (black) and it sits on a shelf fully exposed.

  45. Jennifer says:

    I have thought of several areas my microwave could go because I really want a wood vent hood, but I still haven’t done it. The biggest reason is my microwave is also a convection oven and made to go over a stovetop. I really need that second oven because our new wall oven (GE) has been a lemon. I really need two ovens since we host a lot of parties.

  46. Robin says:

    I absolutely use my microwave everyday. I can’t wait to see the reveal. I’m glad to hear you’re going with white appliances. It’s weird that white is now different with everyone’s obsession with stainless. I’m curious to know what you decide for your hardware. I just recently did a post on Aerin Lauder’s take on gold metals http://residencesbyrobin.com/2014/07/designer-profile-aerin-collection/. Her grandmother Estee had quite an influence on her design aesthetic.

  47. Tracie S says:

    We have a tiny kitchen with very limited counter space. A few years ago, we put our microwave in a hutch that we had put in an awkward part of the kitchen to add more storage. We use it almost daily, but I love that we were able to reclaim some counter space.

  48. Great post, Kate. I’m with you that I don’t love seeing the microwave (ours currently sits on the counter). I like the hidden behind cabinet doors or pantry options. Over the stove just seems really inconvenient to me. Under the counter is great because you can’t see it, but I feel like it also might not be the most convenient being so low down. I’ll definitely be referring back to this post when we finally are able to do our kitchen renovation. Thanks.

  49. Patty Marker says:

    I just moved mine off the counter and under our island top. It took my family a few days to get used to it but I love it hidden from sight. We have tried to do without one but we missed it after a while. A necessary evil in our house.

  50. We were VERY close to putting ours in the pantry because I was adamant it not be above the range when we built our house. At the last minute, we ended up adding in wall oven with a microwave built into the same wall unit. So it’s still in view but completely built in. I was thrilled with our last minute decision!

  51. You’ve got to get a GE Advantium! World’s Greatest Appliance…ever. Well, almost. That bread slicer was pretty awesome. ;) This is my second one. (Second kitchen) I couldn’t live without it. It looks like a small wall oven. It is a speed cooker (amazing), convection oven, toaster, broiler, AND microwave all in one nice, neat package. It’s all you’ll ever use. You can get a peek in my kitchen remodel post.

    http://southernwilddesign.com/new-ikea-kitchen

    Looks like Katja and I had similar ideas! Best of luck in your microwave ponderings! ~Julie

  52. Bernie says:

    I dont feel the need to hide appliances. My micro is on a shelf, so it is off the counter. I cant tell you how many times I’ve found yesterday’s coffee cup in the micro, when I go to reheat today’s

  53. Shawna says:

    We needed to have ours within reach of our kids (6 and 8) so they could be a bit more self-sufficient in the kitchen. There wasn’t a great place to put it that was low enough in the cabinetry when we re-did the kitchen this past fall, so we got a nice-enough-looking one and just put it on the counter. No regrets.

  54. Kelly says:

    As an Australian, I’ve never seen the microwave hood. Most houses I vist have the microwave on the benchtop. When we built our house, we had a space built into the island bench (similar to your ‘under counter’ picture) and it works perfectly.

    The microwave door has a stainless steel finish and a mirrored door so it matches well with the oven. (Pure accident since I have had the microwave for over 10 years) It is a crisp and grill version so in my single days I used it everyday. Now that I’m married however, I mostly use it for defrosting meat.

  55. Saundra Curry says:

    Ever since I saw one in a high end model home, I have been a fan of microwaves in a drawer. No more reaching high with something that could easily spill. It is also perfect for those in a wheelchair or those who wish to age in place.
    http://www.sticksandstones.ca/aging-in-place-a-design-guideline/aging-in-place-kitchen-microwave-drawer/

  56. Nina says:

    When we remodeled our house 5 years ago, we put our microwave in our island, hidden from view. We rarely use it, and it is accessible to the kids, who use it much more frequently than the adults.

  57. Laura says:

    I built a cabinet using the bottom half of a dresser. It sits above a drawer with a piece of butcher block on top. I added baseboard and trim and painted it to match my cabinets. It’s perfect against the empty wall next to my pantry and fridge!

  58. My microwave is built into the wall next to my double ovens. This means I don’t have to worry about it taking up space, but replacing it when it died reduced my choices. My mom’s is hidden in a lower cabinet, and I have had some awkward moments getting very hot things out while crouched over. If it’s hidden, I would put it at least at counter height.

    I thought I didn’t use a microwave much and wasn’t in any hurry to replace it when it broke. After just a couple of weeks it was driving me crazy and I had to go on a quest to find one that would fit in the spot! I almost never use it for cooking, but we use it ALL THE TIME for reheating leftovers. I regularly cook a little extra for dinner, and my family has been well trained to eat the leftovers. Yes, you can reheat things on the stove or in the toaster oven, but the extra dishes and energy that used was a deterrent. I found myself spending more on sandwich supplies and throwing away more food than usual. The new microwave was definitely worth it for our family.

  59. We use the microwave many times each day for cooking and would have a hard time doing without it. I have a large countertop unit made for cooking that I really like. BUT in our recent kitchen remodel we sacrificed it for a microwave/hood unit over the stove so we could have more storage space. I love the additional storage space — but I hate the microwave over the stove even more than I thought I would. It is too high for short me to reach easily — but much closer to the stove than a simple range hood. I have a gas range so I need to make sure the burner is turned off when I reach up or I’m afraid (maybe not realistically – lol) that I will catch my shirt on fire. I don’t like the “black hole” look that dominates the small kitchen. But, the biggest problem is that an overstove microwave is made for warming and not cooking. The ones I found all had presets for heating beverages or prepackaged foods — but not enough flexibility to easily handle cooking — even simple things like melting butter. The old microwave now rests on the buffet in the dining room and still gets more use than the one over the stove! If I were to do things over (and we just finished the remodel!) I probably would build the more useful microwave into the storage unit.

  60. Jules says:

    We couldn’t live without a microwave, we have a fancy coffee maker (grinds the beans and all) but it is never hot enough for me so it gets used many times a day! We also use it to reheat left overs and cook vegetables. In the remodel we are about to undertake the microwave will not be in a cupboard or on the bench. It will either be in a stack with the wall oven or on shelf with the upper cabinets. Under bench is not practical in my mind, too high dangerous reaching down to pick up hot dishes. Currently it is on the bench and taking up way too much real estate!

  61. annmarie says:

    We removed our microwave from our kitchen over 5 years ago. We moved it into the basement for 6 months — if we needed it, it would still be in the house. We never used it once, so we sold it and have never looked back. Unlike some of the other comments, not having it encouraged us to eat more whole food and cook only what we needed for that meal. When we do have leftovers they are easily reheated on the stove/oven. And, I love the extra counter/cabinet space!!

  62. tVS says:

    I have my microwave hidden inside a floor to ceiling built in pantry, sitting on one of the shelves. We didn’t intend for it to be there, as it was suppossed to be exposed and built in beneath the counter. But when the contractors started building the kitchen they said it wouldn’t fit under the counter so we were left with leaving it on the counter (no!!!) or placed on the shelf inside the built in pantry since there was an electrical outlet. So it haphazarly found its home inside the hidden pantry, and I absolutely love it!

  63. Suzi says:

    The best way to really hide a microwave is a microwave drawer. This idea serves several purpose, as quita a few of the pictures shown above actually violate manufactures specification for proper air flow around a microwave. This does become a fire hazard as well as a warranty issue. Remember to check the specs first.

  64. Robin says:

    As a certified Kitchen and Bath Designer, I’m with Heather. My clients that install the microwave drawer absolutely love it! The OTR micro hood is my last resort for a microwave installation. Not only is is not particularly attractive, if you are shorter in stature, the ergonomics of reaching up above shoulder level to pull a hot dish out could be dangerous if it was tipped the wrong way. If it is installed inside of a cabinet, venting should be a consideration as well. Love your blog, and the remodel!

  65. Due to space limitations and the fact that I rarely use a microwave, we actually put ours in the basement kitchen. I’m actually considering giving it away when we move. We have discovered that reheating things on the stove doesn’t take much longer and usually it looks and tastes much better. I’ve noticed that Martha Stewart doesn’t microwave anything…or maybe she just has hers put away like you’ve suggested here. ;) If I were to keep a microwave, I think most of the options you shared would be terrific. Especially those that are counter level for children and preventing accidents.

  66. D.Gibbs says:

    Function before form. Personally, I don’t want to open cabinet doors to access the m’wave… an extra step added that detracts from the convenience. Plus, those doors are always hanging open. It’s an appliance…a large one. It isn’t a toaster or mixer. Most families that use their m’wave, use it often. It should be easily accessed. My townhome cooktop came w a vent/microwave…would I have chosen it? No. Am I over it? Yes. There’s no other place to put it in this layout.
    Another great option is a below-counter microwave drawer. My neighbor put one in his very glam kitchen and loves it! It’s handy, accessible, good-looking and functional…a conversation piece, in fact.

  67. Michelle says:

    I’m also in the no microwave category. My husband and I moved from a house with a built in one to a house with none. We kept saying, “we need to buy a microwave.” Well, two years later and we still haven’t, who needs one?!

  68. Wendy says:

    I stopped using my microwave when I found out what it was actually doing to the food. I haven’t missed it one bit.

  69. Linda says:

    They aren’t good for you – even if they are incredibly convenient for reheating, boiling water & nuking frozen food. I removed mine. I miss it occasionally but feel better NOT using it like I used to.

  70. I love these inspirations, but sadly we don’t really have an upper cabinet that will work, and I think putting it in a lower cabinet might be awkward sometimes. I’ve seen them placed in pantries though, and I think they work well there. Love the idea of an appliance pantry. Good luck with everything in the house! Can’t wait to see what you do!

  71. Marci says:

    I just purchased a new built in microwave, not because I use it but because the old one quit and the cost of a fan hood was equal to or more than a microwave. I think that when it comes time to sell (in a few years) that a built in microwave will be a selling point over a fan hood. I believe that the microwave alters the food molecules and make it unsafe to consume.

  72. KATHYSUE says:

    Hi Kate,
    I love the way you are thinking!! I pinned away, this just might show up in my next kitchen!! You are always inspiring me!!
    Kathlysue

  73. Dany says:

    We recently stopped using ours and are reheating food on the stove or our Breville Smart Oven. We moved into a new build a few months ago and I seem to remember asking about an outlet in the pantry and was told that it is against code (or was it on a tv show or online?). Anyway, we do not have an outlet inside the walk in pantry so the microwave is still there only unplugged.

    We do not usually make popcorn, or buy microwavable meals, so all we used it for was reheating food.

    Our Breville oven is another story, it is the most used appliance we have and worth every cent. It sits on the counter over a small granite slab, next to the stove. I’ve been looking into going to the company who supplied the kitchen cabinets to our builder and adding an appliance garage for it, one like this one

    http://www.amazon.com/National-Products-Straight-Appliance-Garage/dp/B0006NIM3S

  74. Laurie says:

    Hi Kate,

    Absolutely love the idea of hiding the microwave, mine is rarely used. I love the hutch idea as well! ….Someday

  75. Lynn says:

    When we remodeled our kitchen my husband built (to my specification) two armoire type cabinets that sit on top of the granite of our lower cabinets. Both “cabinets” have double bi-fold doors so they open wide and fold back. One cabinet holds the kitchenaide mixer, food processor and food saver, the other holds the microwave, coffee maker and toaster oven. Electrical outlets are inside both cabinets. Everything is out of sight when the doors are closed, but easily accessible. My husband added pretty plate storage to each side of one of the cabinets to break up the look. Love the clean look!

  76. Sarah says:

    I’ve never replied to one of your blog posts, but I felt compelled this time because I’ve been writing this same post in my head for months! I lie awake at night and google images on the best way to hide a microwave. :-) I need to find a smaller microwave to hide, for it to work in our house. Best wishes with yours!!

  77. Centsational Girl says:

    You have one great husband Lynn, that sounds like an awesome solution, hidden from view but easy to access, brilliant!

  78. Centsational Girl says:

    Thanks Kathy Sue and everyone for your thoughtful comments, I love reading about your microwave issues and solutions!

  79. Lelia Logan says:

    I have been looking into buying a microwave drawer. Sleek and out of the way. Win Win Good luck with your project.

  80. Ann D. says:

    I keep ours easy access and I don’t mind the look of our microwave but our kitchen has a lot of counter space. I really liked the look of the appliance cabinets you posted that have doors that push to the side so that you have the option to leave them open. I would like a little station with my blender and coffee maker all in one, but I probably would just close it when having guests over. Our microwave is used very often for melting butter, coconut oil and reheating any leftovers that are conducive to this method.

  81. Helen Peterson says:

    I bought Kitchen-aid appliances, and the microwave functions as a 2nd convection oven in addition to the microwave, so the oven stack is the microwave/oven/warming drawer. That warming drawer is the winner. I serves as a slow-cooker. I love the look of the stainless and black against the”furniture look” pecan cabinets.
    It is really interesting to read about people who go without. I guess during the week, I’m too much a heat’n’go girl.

  82. Ms.Lizzy says:

    Ours is in our pantry! Had them run an outlet when we did the remodel! We only use it to melt butter, soften ice cream, Pop popcorn and heat up left overs; so I found no reason to have it visible in my kitchen! I’m with you Kate!

  83. Jen says:

    Ours died six months ago, so we decided to just go without, and it opened up 1/4 of the countertop space in our kitchen! (Our kitchen is TINY). We haven’t really missed it much. We reheat things on the stovetop, and, very occasionally, in the oven. The only time I really miss it is when my coffee gets cold and it takes me 2 minutes to reheat it on the stovetop instead of zapping it for 20 seconds in the microwave.

  84. Shannon says:

    I haven’t had a microwave in 9 years and I’ve never missed it. Sure I have to plan a bit more ahead for defrosting and I use more pots when reheating but I can’t imagine ever having another one in my home.
    However, for renters….it’s like a dishwasher, expected.
    Although I haven’t had a dishwasher for 3 years and don’t miss it either.

  85. Vel says:

    I did the atlanta homes mag version and love that my microwave looks built-in into my kitchen!

  86. Kelly says:

    We have been microwave-free for about 5 years now. When we bought our house, which has a fairly small kitchen, I searched high and low for a compact microwave that was powerful, had a small footprint but was big enough to hold our dinner plates, and had good reviews. We found one, purchased it and 8 months later it stopped working. I called the manufacturer and they said it was out of warranty. I was so mad that I told my husband to throw it away and I refused to buy a new one. Honestly, we don’t miss it. I like having the extra counter space and I think there have only been a few times in 5 years that I thought it would be nice to have one. Mostly we bring leftovers to work for lunches and everything else can be warmed up on the stove or in the oven. Microwaves are really not necessary.

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