Although one could argue either way for a kitchen without a microwave, I find mine invaluable for the way my family cooks and enjoys HOT beverages. The dilemma with today’s kitchen design is where to place this appliance! I have broken down the most common choices, with pros and cons for each space. Ultimately, you may be limited by the size of your kitchen, budget or age of your children. Depending on the make and model, a new microwave can cost you upwards of $2,000, so consider your options before making the plunge!
This is the most popular spot to place a microwave.
PRO: Easy access, no construction required to retrofit a cabinet, etc.
CON: Takes up valuable counter space and can interrupt the flow for meal prep.
IN THE ISLAND
Some kitchen layouts afford the opportunity for an island which has an “end” near the kitchen nook or dining space. Some designers make that space idea for cookbooks, homework station or microwave oven shelf.
PRO: Great for kids for ease to reach, it does not take up valuable counter space and can easily be replaced because it isn’t “built-in”. An added benefit, it can be out of sight, depending
CON: Because it rests on a space – rather than built-in, it can move around a bit with aggressive opening/closing of the door.
OVER THE RANGE
Often used in smaller kitchens when space is at a premium. This is not ideal for a high-end kitchen because it is a bit of an eyesore.
PRO: Microwave and hood-fan combos are sometimes the only option and provide ventilation and microwave in one location.
CON: In this position, access and visibility are limited for young family members or shorter cooks. The efficiency of the hood ventilation is limited. If one of the cooks is tall, there is the issue of head clearance, which is a nuisance and painful to keep clonking the head while cooking!
BELOW THE COUNTER
Microwave drawers are more common now and offer some great versatility in the layout of the kitchen.
PRO: Ease of use for soft touch open and close technology. Saves valuable wall space and counter space by placing out of sight, below the counter.
CON: These are a bit larger than most counter versions AND for very little children, can be a hazard for catching fingers or forcing shut. Best for a slightly older family with kids 8 and over.
The modern kitchen has made way for modern conveniences like a spot for coffee and beverage prep. This is a logical spot to either install a microwave on an open shelf at eye level or below the counter.
PRO: Takes the traffic out of the work triangle in the main kitchen. Allows those making coffee to heat it up in the same location.
CON: This requires a larger space or having space just off the kitchen work triangle, can be problematic for spills and mishaps.
Need interior design help for your Westport CT or Fairfield County home? Give me a call today at (203) 677-1161 to discuss your design challenges.
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