Would you turn my enclosed WD area into a hutch?

texasgal47December 7, 2012

I'm at the end of a remodel of a small kitchen and suddenly converted from an OTR microwave/vent to a vent hood. However, now I'm casting about for a place to put a microwave. A tiny one could be put on the counter as I have the space, but hate the appearance of that. I do have a washer/dryer(WD) enclosed by louvered doors which forms one side by the breakfast table. (The table is at the end of the U-shaped kitchen.) What do you think of removing the louvered doors, enclosing the front of the WD with a false front of cabinet doors, installing a counter, and putting the microwave in a designated nook in cabinets above the WD? The cabinets would match those in the kitchen, and the counter would be a dark stained wood. My kitchen counters are brownish black granite and wood accents are in the area so I think the dark wood would go. I know everything would need to be easily disassembled for maintenance and repairs. My hesitation involves the following:
1. I would leave the white painted door frame. Do you think this would look odd? Even with the frame removed, do you think it would look odd? The door opening is 80"h x 60"w. The enclosure is 67"w x 36"d x 96"h. My WD are 37.5"h, as are the kitchen counters, so think height would be OK.
2. The WD are the older style Maytag with controls at the top, and the washer is top loading. They're staying as they are made in the US by the original Maytag, are in great shape, and built like a tank. I'm thinking about appliance garage type flip-up doors to hide the controls and give good airflow when machines are in use. I could have a lift out wood insert for the washer lid with a tray for a coffee bar resting on that. I'm wondering how all of this would look when assembled. Any thoughts or other ideas out there. Perhaps I should leave well enough alone and keep what I have. Opening this up would make the kitchen look a little larger. The Cons are: (1) Added expense; (2) the noise is a factor, but I live alone and wash only once a week, and (3) a tiny micro by the cooktop would be more convenient. I use my microwave a great deal to rewarm and cook vegetables and hot cereals. However, the kitchen is small so it wouldn't be too inconvenient for an improved appearance and a larger microwave.

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I forgot to add one important factor. Immediately outside of the WD enclosure, the ceiling is vaulted at 10 ft. with two skylights in the ceiling which add about another 2 ft. of height. Therefore the area really does look like a small enclosed alcove compared with the area beyond it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Can't imagine the alcove-like space, but chispa posted a nice pic on drybean's thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: drybean's laundry thread

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Fouramblues, thanks for your response. I saw that thread and chispa's wonderful photos. That's what put me onto this idea. By "alcove," I mean that inside that door frame where the WD are, the ceiling goes up to 8 ft. so the wall surrounding the door frame makes an enclosure. It's like putting something inside a wide, 3 ft. deep closet. I haven't seen any photos of this type of situation, even on houzz.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Can you post some photos?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:50AM
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