Designing The Microwave Into Your Kitchen
The microwave is often the trickiest appliance to design into a kitchen. Here are some tips to consider during the design process which might bring one closer to the perfect placement of the microwave in the kitchen.
Over the Range – These microwaves were made for small kitchens. While an over-the-range microwave may not be the best first choice of most kitchen designers, they are very popular and in demand. Look for a child lockout feature. Match the finish of the microwave to the color of your range. Take care that large pots will fit adequately under the microwave yet be careful the microwave is not placed too high – look at its placement with a critical eye. A turntable is great for even heating.
Countertop Microwaves – As the name says, these microwaves sit right on the countertop, anywhere in the kitchen. A good tip for microwave placement is to place the microwave near the refrigerator. Typically, one takes a food item from the refrigerator and pops it into the microwave. Convenient placement of the microwave to the refrigerator makes sense and saves steps, especially for that midnight snack reheat. Countertop microwaves are ideal for universal design principles – good access for people of all ages.
Built-in Microwaves – A designer’s dream, the built in models can be built in at any height for great access and design flexibility. Over or under a full size oven, built into a section of all cabinetry, the look is one which says “style” and super function. Here’s a tip: note the depth of the microwave. Some models work best paired with an oven and some models work well built around your upper wall cabinets. Take note of the manufacturer’s instructions for building in the microwave as specifications vary.
Speed Cooking – The latest in technology, the versatility and speed of convection or a combination of cooking modes adds real flexibility to your cooking and prepping. Due to the flexibility of these speed cooking appliances, I’d recommend these ovens be situated anywhere in the kitchen design. Will you use it most often as an oven for dinnertime meals? Design its placement near the larger oven. Prep and reheat use? Anywhere that is convenient. Again, take note of the depth to avoid the sacrifice of precious countertop space.
Microwave Drawer – Microwave drawers are a super solution for universal design. Ergonomically, this type of microwave is comfortable for most anyone to use. Keeping the microwave off of the countertop, especially in open plan kitchens, allows for the kitchen design to flow just a little bit better.
With such great options in today’s microwave and speed cooking ovens, the style and function are already built in to blend with your kitchen design. I’m a believer that having more choices for designing an appliance into a kitchen offers a much better chance of meeting one’s personal aesthetic and functional needs.