Microwave drawer vs. wall mount

fishymomDecember 30, 2013

Now that my paint color for the range wall is solved, I am moving on to the fridge wall. I need to make a decision on the microwave and I am not truly happy with any of my choices. We currently have a microwave/fan above the cooktop on the fridge wall, but we will not be using the cooktop in the remodel. For the new cabinets, I currently have a 15" wall, 3x 30" wall and a 39" over fridge wall cabinet. This wall can be seen from our main living space and I love the look of the straight run of cabinets The thought of adding a microwave to the center of this run just makes me ill! My next option is to do a microwave drawer in the 30 inch drawer base that is centered on the wall, but I also hate the idea of losing two large drawers! I have read the reviews of the microwave drawers and they are favorable. To be honest, I would be perfectly fine with a small microwave tucked in the corner on the counter but since we will be relocating in the next 3-5 years, I need to keep a mind to resale. I have attached a photo of the cabinet style, ours are Mushroom colored wall cabinets with Cherry base cabinets in Rye. So what do you think is more important to preserve, the aesthetics of the full wall of cabinets or the functionality of the drawers? Would it be a mistake to just put a microwave on the counter? Thanks for your input!

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Annie Deighnaugh

We built a cavity for the MW above a wall oven with an outlet inside and nesting doors so it hides nicely. It also allowed us to put it at exactly the height that works best for us...we find drawers too low and over cooktops too high. This way too, we don't need a specific MW to fit a specific expensive surround...anyone will do that fits inside. Also, I didn't want SS appliances and most of the surrounds are SS. So this solution worked well for us.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 9:50AM
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sjhockeyfan325

In our previous home, we put a free-standing microwave (GE Spacemaker) on a shelf like Annie's, only without the doors. Except for being a tad too high, it was a great decision. This time around, we didn't have room for that (apartment kitchen with only one wall, and all other appliances and sink are on that wall, not be choice), so we went with the drawer microwave. It's an expensive option for heating things up, but it works great, and I love the fact that you look down into it (both the microwave on the shelf, and the OTR microwave we had in our temporary rental, were too high for my DD and for me).

As for resale, I think you'd have to hide the on-the-counter microwave, and hope that buyers don't notice you don't have one built in. I do think people expect that.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 1:23PM
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nini804

We have our MW drawer in our island. We really love it. I would NOT wall mount it in your pretty cabinet run, especially in an open kitchen (but I am a form over function girl, FWIW!) :)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 1:23PM
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chicagoans

I love Annie's solution, with the doors to hide the MW when not in use.

I love my drawer MW, but if/when it stops working it will be more expensive to replace it than if I didn't have a built-in.

Your cabinet style is lovely and will be so pretty in the mushroom color!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 3:28PM
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fishymom

Thank you for the replies, appreciate the input! Unfortunately, we wont have a wall oven in the new kitchen, we have opted for a slide in range instead. I may have come up with another solution though! I have to order one more base cabinet for the sink wall and we had planned on a 21 inch base, just replacing what was there. But if I go with a 24 inch base instead, I can use that for microwave. A possible wrench in the plan is that this cabinet is in a corner as seen in this drawing, with the wall to the right being the run of wall cabinets I don't want to disrupt. And I have room to add a couple of inches of fill on the corner end so that I will have plenty of clearance. I know it is not optimal, just wondering if that will be an ok spot for a microwave drawer.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 4:16PM
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