Need design advice: microwave in 28x40 upper corner space

rantontooAugust 28, 2013

In my small kitchen remodel, I do not want a microwave above my range and plan for a stainless, vented hood. My issue is finding a place for a small microwave (18-20 inches wide x 11.5/12 inches deep). I thought I had solved the problem by asking the designer to place it in an open shelf within a diagonal corner cabinet especially since I find the space in my current corner cab "frustrating"...I did not mind giving up the space!

The almost final plan has a corner cabinet 28" long x 12" deep. I have mocked this out on tag board; it is very large and will stick out 3 inches more over a right angled lower counter than my current 24" version. I nixed the idea of a corner appliance garage because I wanted useable counter space so I have issues about losing work space because of the corner cabinet's size. I am afraid a cabinet this size will also visually dominate. If I veto the larger corner cabinet, I need to find a place for a small microwave.

On one corner wall I am limited to 28" because of a window; on the other wall...there is 28" available, a 12" cabinet, a 30 " range, a 12 " cabinet, and a refrigerator. The designer will hate messing with the symmetry of those stove framing 12 inch cabinets but I see no other choice. I like the look of right-angled corners but agreed to the diagonal for symmetry. While I can "deal" with a blind upper corner, my husband HATES them and the easy door design because of scratching potential...definitely limits my options!

Has anyone ever cut down a corner cabinet to something like 18" or 16" wide x12" deep? This would leave space for a 24-22" cupboard available on the stove/ref. wall for the microwave. My idea was to use the corner space with an obviously small door for something like cookie sheet storage which would free up a lower 12" cabinet in my small island. The center of this size cabinet is deep enough to fit my cookie sheets but would this be functional?

Because my husband thinks this is the "stupidest" idea he has ever heard and maintains that I should just get over the 28" corner cabinet issue, any other ideas and input would be greatly appreciated. Is the loss of a 3" depth of workable corner counter space no big deal in a small kitchen with a small island?

P.S.: I have "lurked" here all summer reading and have learned a great deal from everyone's willingness to share their designs and give advice. I am sooo frustrated right now! This kitchen plan has been nothing but "What is the least worst option" and just when I thought all "issues" had been solved...

Corner cabinet looks huge on my tag-board mock up...cabinet is 28 inches deep from front to the back corner. Will a corner cabinet this size all the way to the ceiling over-power the space visually? As you can see, I have only two spaces larger than 12 inches other than the corner (The area next to the sink has a trash/recycle pullout) so I am very reluctant to give them up: the upper cabinet next to the sink and two 30 inch pullouts in the island where my pans will go. The lower corner cabinet is a bank of three fairly narrow drawers which I am excited about since it will eliminate a lazy-susan with an easy access door that constantly gets banged into the stove handles and the face frame of the corner cab. This is why my husband is against the same kind of doors in a 90 degree upper blind corner cabinet...sigh!

This post was edited by Ranton on Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 23:21

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Honestly when I was faced by this issue in my super small kitchen, I decided the best solution was to put it on the counter in the corner and have an outlet that would be covered by it. The depth of the corner is not space that we ever used much because of reach, and if we were in serious need of extra counter (SO is pastry chef) we move it easily. That was a GE Spacemaker, 24" wide.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 2:50AM
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Can't you place the MW in the 28" long 12" deep corner cab? If my math is correct
256+256= 512 and square root of 512= 22.62", i.e. enough opening for a MW with a width of 20".

You'll loose some storage place around the MW but if you can have doors to that corner cab from the window side you may regain some of it back (another stupid idea for your husband-:))

Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz link

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 8:10AM
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MW's are deeper than 12", thus requiring more clearance around that corner cabinet. They waste a lot of space when you try to put them in a corner. The best thing would be to just put in on the counter in the corner. Or, somewhere close to the fridge, maybe in a base cabinet.

If you'd post your layout, you'll receive more suggestions.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Actually the GE Spacemakers and others made to sit on an upper shelf can be 12" or below in depth. But they are wide and would need a lot of frontage.

I don't think that any of them are shallow enough to close behind a door on a standard upper cabinet, though.

It seems counterintuitive to use counterspace in a small kitchen but the depth of the corner adjacent to the stove is not that useful as workspace, only countertop storage, for the most part.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 10:12AM
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I bought a little corner microwave to sit on the counter in my new kitchen. I've been using it all summer, and while it isn't very big, and the controls are super simple (read "hardly any options"), it has worked just fine for us. I did bring one of our dinner plates to the store before I bought it.

I'm putting it in a corner that has a diagonal super susan cabinet below, so I'm really not losing counter space. I have an easy-reach corner above, which I like a lot better than the cavernous diagonal upper that I used to have. Best of all, I have a new range hood that vents outside!

Here is a link that might be useful: corner microwave

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 11:30AM
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I am new to this site so I will try to scan my layout and figure out to post the proposed design. I appreciate the comments and suggestions. Is there a way to directly respond to each posting or is posting like this the only way?

I had really hoped to avoid having the microwave on the counter because my current counters have basically been "unusable" for decades because they are storage space instead of work space. The model ankh posted is interesting: it might eliminate the need for a 28 inch corner cabinet. My big concern is the size of that cabinet especially after I drew it out on tag-board.

There are several models that will fit on a 12 inch deep current one will, and I am okay with the lack of options in a small microwave. My husband is the one with "issues" with the blind corners and corner access in a 90 degree corner. I have read all the threads on them here. I was hoping to find a solution that would appease him and eliminate a 28" wide corner cabinet because of my concerns about its size.

Does anyone have a corner cabinet this size? Does anyone have a corner cabinet that is 16-18" wide? Does anyone have a microwave in a lower cabinet...mine would have to be in the small island...I only have two places other than the corner with more than 12 inches of space. I need some input on how these option work and effective use of space.

Today was my first day of back-to-school; I have a meet-the-teacher open house tonight but will try to post scanned plans when I get back.

This post was edited by Ranton on Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 23:24

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Holly- Kay

I have the same corner micro that Annkh has. It is small enough to fit in my appliance garage. I love it!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 8:41PM
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I'm putting mine in a base cabinet; for the same reason I want a real vent and not the one with a microwave over the range.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 8:52PM
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What an AWESOME idea for a counter cabinet! It would make more of the space "user friendly" in a normal corner cabinet, and a 12 inch cabinet door is not too expensive. If the microwave is in the cabinet, there is very little room on the side, but the area above the microwave would be much more user friendly! I could also see the side door providing access to something like divided cookie sheet storage. I am "going to look at my "mock up" corner cabinet to see how this would function. If I had this in my current corner cab., I would not dislike the space so much!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Hey Ranton, this is actually what my original plan was; a flip-up and slide-in door revealing a 21" microwave inside.

I've since made some changes and wanted the space to be ready for a Wolf microwave drawer (24" width), so now there won't be a door and the cabinetmaker is making a cut-out for my microwave to sit in (the microwave will look built-in).

This post was edited by FoxCrane on Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 22:04

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 10:02PM
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FoxCrane: Thanks for the diagram. I finally figured out how to add pictures to my original post.

I don't microwave cook enough to justify the loss of space to a microwave drawer, but have thought about giving up the space in a set of 12 inch drawers in the island; I would face the small microwave toward the stove. Does that seem functional?

I have never seen a microwave in person at that height...why did you change to a drawer unit...would you have been happy with just the microwave in the cabinet?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 11:35PM
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I *rarely* use the microwave; I actually cringe when I see microwaves in restaurants. I intended on not even having a microwave, but my friends talked me into having one. The reason why it's going in the drawer unit is because I can forsee myself changing it out for the Wolf microwave drawer that slides out and you load it from the top.

I was also stuck with the drawer unit due to the very limited size of my kitchen area (I'm in a 625sqft 1bdrm condo.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:06AM
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