When it comes to appliances in your kitchen, there’s one you probably use often but want to hide away the most. We’re talking about the microwave!
For many years, this appliance was used above the range as a hood/microwave combo. As we’ve found after talking with many of our clients, this does not work well. Not only does the microwave not vent as well as a hood, but it’s also not the safest spot if something hot is on the stovetop.
When designing kitchens for our clients, our goal is to figure out the best spot for the microwave where it’s not in plain sight but also works well for their lifestyle. While hiding it in a cabinet works for some, others want it more accessible. Today, we’re going to walk through five places to incorporate your microwave, so it’s not the focal point in your kitchen.
Hidden Away in an Appliance Garage
In Morgan & Jamie’s kitchen, they went the route of putting their microwave in an appliance garage. Since they weren’t looking for a state of the art microwave and only needed a small one to get the job done, this is the perfect spot. Hiding it away makes the look not as important, which helps keep the cost down.
The GE microwave below is only $350.
The benefit of hiding away your microwave is that it’s not seen if it’s not in use. It also saves space on your counter or in your island for more storage space since they’re typically smaller sized microwaves when in a cabinet. You can usually also get a less expensive microwave since it’s only for function and doesn’t need to match all your other appliances when it’s hidden away.
Typically, microwaves have to be on the smaller side to fit in the cabinet. So if you’re someone that microwaves everything, you may want to consider something larger. Also, if you’re using the microwave a lot, having it behind doors probably isn’t the best solution for your kitchen.
In food blogger Greens & Chocolate’s kitchen below, our clients were looking to hide the microwave away with a drawer microwave. You access these microwaves by buttons on the top and a drawer that slides out. With this design, you do not have to bend down to open the door. Since these microwaves are more complex, they are more expensive than other options but make a big difference in functionality.
This Sharp drawer microwave comes in a little over $1,000.
The benefit of a drawer microwave is that it’s hidden under the countertop and out of sight. It also has great functionality by being able to be opened by the touch of a button and a mechanism that slides it out. You can also access it by pulling on the handle as well. The controls flip in and out, so they’re not in sight when the microwave isn’t in use, making it look modern and seamless.
The main con of a drawer microwave is that the cost is higher due to the extra mechanisms of it sliding out.
In The Island
We love being able to incorporate microwaves into the island whenever possible! It’s a great spot to hide this appliance, but still have it very accessible. For this cabin kitchen refresh, our clients got a completely new island that was designed to have optimal storage and functionality. The microwave was built into the island, but instead of a drawer function, it’s the same as if it would be on top of the counter. It keeps it at a lower price point, but also looks higher-end incorporated into the island than just sitting on the counter. This LG counter microwave is only $220 but has a sleek and modern look.
The great thing about hiding your microwave in your island is that it’s below your sightline, so it doesn’t become a focal point in your kitchen. It also frees up space on the perimeter for other storage and appliances. Incorporating it into the island provides a more built-in look as well.
If you have kids, this is perfect for their height, so it may be a problem if they want to mess with it. Also, if you do not want to bend over to open the door or get your food, you may want to consider a different option.
Built Into Cabinetry
Another great way to incorporate your microwave is to build it in as part of your cabinets. This makes it at a height that’s easy to access and can be incorporated into a tall cabinet, making it look more custom. In this lake life inspired kitchen, our clients went with a countertop microwave with a trim kit, which gives it a more finished look and allows it to tie into the cabinet seamlessly.
For this kitchen, our clients had limited space for the layout of their kitchen, and by incorporating their microwave into the cabinet, they were able to free up countertop space. Below the microwave is a cabinet that sits on the countertop and houses smaller appliances like a toaster and coffee maker.
The benefit of a built-in microwave is that you can incorporate other appliances below, allowing them to be hidden away, giving the kitchen a clean look. Also, you can have all of the taller elements of your kitchen in a row like a fridge, pantry, and microwave cabinet. The height of this microwave is easy to access as well.
With this microwave, it’s more in your sightline since it’s not below the counter or hidden in a cabinet. Also, you’ll want to buy a trim kit in addition to the microwave to give it that finished look.
If you’re looking for a high-end look, the oven and microwave combo is a great fit. This especially works well if you have a cooktop on your island or separate from your oven. With these microwaves, you can get more features, like a convection oven that provides more options for cooking as well. In this main level remodel, our clients went with an induction cooktop and wanted to incorporate the microwave on the end cabinet with the oven, and it looks stunning.
This KitchenAid microwave/oven combo runs around $2,800, but that includes both the oven and microwave price.
The benefit of this microwave/oven combination is that it has a luxury look and fits into your cabinet, giving it that built-in look. These microwaves often come with convection, providing additional cooking options.
Since it’s a combo unit, it can be more expensive, and you’ll have to have the space to be able to have a cooktop, plus a microwave/oven combination.