Where should I put the microwave? Any ideas?

robo (z6a)March 4, 2013

If I can't find a good place for this thing I'll get stuck with an OTR micro just like DH wants. Originally I was going to wedge it in the pantry but pantry size has been reduced due to giant fridge cavity.

SO I was thinking of sticking it beside the range. But IMO this mockup looks pretty unattractive:

So maybe on opposite wall? Either in the upper on left or the cabinet underneath (blind corner)?

Underneath it would be at right angles to the dishwasher - I'm assuming that's a huge no-no, but it's the least wasteful version -- that cabinet useless anyway so I wouldn't mind voiding the corner. Would I kick myself every day for locating it so inconveniently? We use the micro about twice a day.


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Wow. You and I have similar issues... except my kitchen is smaller than yours. Have you considered a MW drawer next to the fridge bar? Alternatively, you could put it in the 24" upper cabinet for the mugs and coffee. How often will you have the dishwasher open when you need to use the microwave? Or you could always leave it on your counter. How deep is that 12" door cabinet (right by your patio door)? Could you fit a small MW on that counter?

My kitchen is smaller so I keep on going to back possibly putting in an OTR hood. Yuck. I know.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:44PM
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I like plan b, tucked under cabinet in corner. Your design shows baking and coffee mugs, two items which often utilize a MW. Sharp makes a nice over the counter 24" size btw.

For twenty years I've walked in my kitchen to be greeted by two double ovens. Your island seating is nice, and perhaps the view of same length cabinets flanking your range, without the MW, will be long appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:03PM
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robo (z6a)

I think you guys are right. It definitely seems less obtrusive there. I could potentially sacrifice a drawer in my tupperware base! I love the look of a microwave on a shelf. But hate to lose the drawer space. I just realized I'm lacking a dish towel drawer and wrap/tinfoil drawer, both of which I basically require to be a functional human.

NYMK ... I think small kitchens and OTR microwaves go hand in hand! There is an OTR microwave in my MIL's million dollar house, which otherwise has a large and beautifully functional kitchen -- she doesn't mind it at all. Do you have a plan posted? I like seeing small space solutions.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Robotropolis, I like plan B as well, if the microwave is going to be exposed. Can you get a cabinet with a door hinged at the top, so you can close it off when you aren't using it? if so, either location you showed might work.

Even though our kitchen isn't big, I'm ditching the OTR in favor of a decent range hood, and putting a little microwave in the corner. I have a 1000-W one in my office; I'll bring it home after the remodel to see how it fits. If we feel like it takes up too much space, I'll get the one in the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: corner microwave

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:01AM
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robo (z6a)

That Whirlpool is adorable!!

I'm starting to feel a little hutchy around that back coffee corner. A little appliance garagey. Although it will cut off the peninsula prep area from the sink a bit.

Kitchen design by Minneapolis Kitchen And Bath Vetsch Custom Cabinets

Edit: mocked up the hutch and don't like it at all, too closed off! But under the cabinet still works!

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 9:45

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:32AM
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I like plan b better or go with the drawer -although I don't particularly like MW drawers as you have to squat to push the controls.
Maybe I will invent one with remote controls - or do they have that as an option now?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm not a fan of mw drawers as we cook oatmeal in it and have to watch it carefully...I don't want to be on my knees to do that. Mother's was mounted under her cabinet and it was a good height.

While the 2nd plan is less obtrusive, I'm not sure that plan A isn't more functional in terms of location....

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:12AM
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robo (z6a)

* I could bump out the cabinet in plan A to better accommodate a microwave. I agree it's very functional right beside the fridge. I'm not sure how the transition to the fan cabinet would look or work in that scenario.
* I could steal 12" from the left of the stove and put to the right in order to have a cabinet in between microwave and fan.
* Or steal 6" from either side and re-expand the pantry. If I steal from both sides my pots n pans bank goes down to 27" which could be ok. If I remove the tray nook (left side only) my uppers will be asymmetrical.
* I'm really surprised they don't make more microwave drawers with the controls on top like a dishwasher! MW drawer would be a bit of a budget buster for us but MW on lower shelf would basically accomplish same thing.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 11:57

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:56AM
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I would do plan B.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:44PM
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robo (z6a)

Thanks for all your feedback! Plan B it is.

I tried mocking up plan C, adding a cabinet for microwave beside fridge, but I think it squeezes the stove/sink run too much.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 5:36PM
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I have the little Whirlpool corner microwave. I have to add about 30-60 seconds to standard cook times, but I don't see that as a real negative since it does what I need it to do. That said, you'll be stuck using round things in it due to its design. It basically holds a dinner plate or smaller cooking vessel. We are only a reheating in the micro family, so I can make due with that limitation. It's something to consider. We have the black one and it basically vanishes in the corner.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 5:41PM
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I was thinking about A with the microwave cabinet lowered the same as the one on the left of the hood.

I think the newer Sharp drawer tilts the controls upwards, but I haven't seen one in a while.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 5:47PM
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robo (z6a)

I'm thinking about a micro shelf as per plan b and asking my contractor if he can recess it into the wall a bit. He's tearing the crud out of the wall to demo the rest of it and between that and electrical a lot of the drywall will be off anyway I'm sure. It's a former exterior wall so who knows what's in it but it is nice and deep....although it will contain a post somewhere...

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 18:04

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:02PM
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We have two microwave units. It fits our needs. One is over the range and it is an awkward reach for large dishes. The second is at the other end of the kitchen next to the fridge. It is above the counter in a cabinet. Ikea takes a standard wall cab and splits it in half horizontally. It is a normal 30" H x 30" W cab with 1/2 length doors. That leaves about 14 inches for a microwave.

We placed the second micro next to the fridge to make a breakfast and re-heat area. It is available to warm coffee or leftovers from the fridge. The coffee maker and toaster is right below it. The reach for that micro is easier than over the range. Oh, and we have a really narrow cab just like the one next to your range. Great for baking sheets and such.

It would not be too weird for your kitchen to put a microwave high up between the range and the fridge. It would abut the range hood, but that's OK. Realize that range fans in OTR micros are not very good. You could have a hood that was actually functional.

If it works well, then it looks good.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Oh, er, I just realized my suggestion fits your first drawing.

If you lower the range hood like an OTR micro would be then the hood would be below the level of the cabs and the micro and it would be more in proportion. The closer the hood is to the pots, the better it works.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:19PM
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Sharp MW drawers (all MW drawers are made by Sharp) do have the controls tilted up. I'm 5'8"ish and have not found it an issue at all to read or push buttons. I've used a regular MW under counter and found those horrible inconvenient to use. THOSE do require stooping and bending over all the time. I love my drawer.

Mine was a factory refurb/recon from Ebay so much less expensive than regular retail.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:40PM
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robo (z6a)

DH DOES love gadgets. All gadgets but especially kitchen gadgets. But it would have to be one heck of a scratched and dented drawer microwave to fit in my micro (2 senses) budget! Especially when he's looking over my shoulder like "an OTR micro is only $300!"

Yours is super beautiful though, as is your kitchen!

Thanks to all for your very helpful feedback. I really appreciate it. Trying to nail some things down while (STILL) waiting for contractors to call me back.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:23PM
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I like your plan B, too.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:38PM
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My drawer was only $500. Not scratched or dented.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Hi Robotropolis. I'm not a big fan of MW drawer either. I can't get over the cost (go breezygirl for getting such a good price on it), can't get used to the idea of sitting a bowl of soup in a MW drawer (yes, I am slow to change), and the handles also stick out a bit. In my small kitchen, I don't think I could handle something else sticking out (frig is sticking out, possibly DW handle, etc...).

I've posted my link for my original layout (I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but you asked). I am working on another draft of a layout since we've decided to knock on the wall between my kitchen and DR and extend the wall between my kitchen and LR by about a foot. Still considering switching my frig and pantry. Either way, I still need a home for my MW (UGH!!!). Not happy with putting it to the right of my stove in an upper cab. If you have suggestions, please feel free to comment and be harsh!

Here is a link that might be useful: NYMK - Round 1 Layout

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:37PM
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robo (z6a)

It could be the sleep deprivation talking, but I had some ideas! I feel like your layout is more functional than mine. Starting to get banquette jealousy. I posted in the second thread.

Move the fridge over and pull the cabinet beside it out?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:26PM
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robo (z6a)

breezy -- awesome deal! Sadly I am in Canada, land of ruinous shipping charges. But I will keep my eyes open.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:33PM
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I'm not sure I'm up to speed with the current prevailing plan, but I'd go under the counter with either a drawer or a standard microwave.

We don't find it awkward to use. Whatever you do, skip the OTR MW. You don't want to look at that all day. I much prefer looking at a slab of stainless steel over our range.

If it were me, it would be going in one of the 24" cabinets on the bar. As it happens, the single drawer under our MW holds our fantastically disorganized pile of plastic containers.

We have a relatively small 10 x 14 kitchen, and don't miss the cabinet space taken up by the MW.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:19AM
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BTW - you might get away with making the opening for a drawer MW, and then putting a regular MW in there till you can find a good deal on a drawer unit. My MW was a whopping $120 I think.

Oatmeal tastes better cooked in a pot anyhow ;)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:21AM
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robo (z6a)

Hmmm, I might have to start more fierce googling. I haven't seen anything near that cheap! Based on form, I'd love to have the micro right down beside the bar fridge.

Tim, I love your layout. How are you liking the U these days? Any words of advice on setting up a u shape?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:46AM
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We like the U, but my better half liked the sink where the range is better.

In the past, the window in our kitchen went to about 10" off the floor, and of course there was no counter there. The fridge was in the same place with a horrible angled pantry cabinet beside it. Then another angled cabinet/DW/sink/corner cabinet wrapping around where the range is now to the old range, which is now where the sink is.

We swapped the range and sink to a) make it easier to vent (exterior wall) and b) make it look better. We had also been toying with blowing the entire wall out where the sink is and having a peninsula there. We left the wall and just did a pass through above the sink, like a window.

So we always had a decent triangle, but the additional 3 feet of counter and base cabinet is a HUGE improvement. We also went from having 3 drawers in the entire kitchen to almost entirely drawers. Only spot there isn't drawers is the blind corner (LeMans) and under the sink.

The counter under the window is now the most used spot in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Are you sure you need a 21" bar fridge across the kitchen from your french door fridge? I guess you're trying to get the drink action away from the cooking triangle, but your layout shows plenty of room for drink-seekers to get to the big fridge without infringing on the work space. DH and I also struggled with bar fridge for a good while and finally determined to make it just a wine cooler and that drove it's location to a corner of the kitchen. Is there a similar thought process you and DH need to have?

If you get rid of the bar fridge I would suggest an under-counter microwave in the end of your peninsula, and I would think about having it open into the walk-space there, and not into the kitchen. We use our micro for reheating almost exclusively, and having it near the eating space works well for us.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:37AM
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robo (z6a)

Hi Karen, I agree the bar fridge seems a little excessive. If it were up to me, it would become a prep sink in about 2 seconds! However, DH is very invested in having entertaining-friendly setup complete with bar, and I do love my wine. It's one of the few fun things I can put in for him since it is relatively inexpensive. We do have a bar fridge now and use it a lot.

Originally we were thinking of having a bar setup in the DR and had a few discussions with our architect about it. However the DR is just a little bit too small for a fridge with a swing door.

You are making me think that I could shorten the peninsula a bit and shoehorn the fridge AND microwave over by the patio doors, though.

*less light from patio door to DR and DR (all interior) needs as much natural light as it can get.
* lose a stool off peninsula - but the other 2 have more elbow room.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 13:04

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:06PM
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