Kitchen Clarity Adventures in Kitchen and Bath Design

Oh, no, it’s that microwave again

04.27.2010 · Posted in Kitchen Calamities

Okay, this picture is old, maybe you’ve seen it before? But I just came across it here, and I’m disappointed. It’s Michael Kors’ New York kitchen, and it demonstrates my favorite bugbear – the focal point microwave oven.

See, I just don’t get it, whoever actually designed this kitchen – what were you thinking  …. you are designing a totally sleek  black and white kitchen, you even go to the trouble to make all the cabinet doors as close to the same width as possible, then, what, you just shrug your shoulders and wreck it all with a microwave/hood combo? Does it look good to you? Or do you just not care?

Say it ain't so, Michael

Nice flowers, by the way. But they’re not enough of a distraction. And if you don’t ever cook there, all the more reason you don’t need that monstrous microwave.

The reason why?

I just want our style gurus to set a better example.  Maybe I am too obsessive? Should I just tell myself to chill about this?

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14 Responses to “Oh, no, it’s that microwave again”

  1. That would have been lovely too! There are literally idea, after idea to give this kitchen the oomph it requires. Perhaps the design team and MK just slammed together this stock look for the sake of getting it done in a hurry. Who knows? Oh well.

  2. Clarity says:

    Laurie – you must be reading my mind. It’s easy to be a critic without offering a better solution. Those Cheng hoods would be fantastic. I was thinking of giving them an induction cooktop on the island with an Elica “Star” or “Wave” hood, since they don’t cook much anyway. I need to make time with my rendering package ….

  3. Maybe I am obsessed with this too. I was stuck in traffic and I was thinking what would make this kitchen less blah and more in keeping with the sensational style suited for a famous clothing designer such as Michael Kors. Yes a bit obsessive I know. But you see the issue I have is that we are quick and maybe a bit judgmental with knee jerk reactions about all things in life on “what we don’t like”. So the question I have been obsessing about is what design elements would make this “so-so” minimalist kitchen in white a sensational example of minimalist design. Anyone care to play along? I say the design is too flat. The kitchen can use more dimensional to it with finish and scale. I would start with the hood and replace the microwave with a Coquille or the Okean hood by Cheng Design. The microwave would be a Microwave Drawer. What would you do differently?

  4. Well, we could go back and forth forever on this, I suppose, but to me this kitchen is so blah that it really doesn’t matter what they do with it, microwave or not. To me there is just nothing there. I hate our current kitchen, but honest to goodness, if, when I do remodel it, I were to come up with a design like this one, I would feel obliged to go out and hang myself!

  5. Hi Joseph – yes, quite blah, but without the MW it could at least have been clean and looked intentional. This is blah and “I don’t care”.

  6. Oh, microwave location depends, I suppose. My wife and I rented a place for nine years that had one over the stove, our first microwave, actually. For us the location was fine, but we don’t have children. I do think the comment about it being a possible disaster for those with children is correct.

    My main objection to the kitchen itself is that it is totally blah. The cabinets are common-as-dirt European-style, and it’s appears that they simply purchased as many units of the one size as they would need to fill the space.

    I love minimalism and write about it all the time on my blog site, but this particular design just strikes me as boring. It is better than the kitchen I currently have, but trust me, that is not high praise! MAN, is our kitchen in need of a remodeling!

  7. Hi Evelyn – how right you are. Kind of like nuclear weapons, they never should have been invented. Well perhaps not quite that bad, but I’d be happy never to see one ever again.

  8. If you have children (short people) a microwave over the stove is an invitation to disaster.

  9. Hi Karen, really, you like it? It makes me shudder, but I’ll try to let go…

  10. Julie – yes I’m obsessed. I know it’s perfectly practical most of the time. But I still hate the way it looks. I can’t help it!

  11. Hi Laurie – perhaps so. If you never really cook, the NW might be more useful than anything else?

  12. I also find your obsession with microwave/hoods funny. I actually like that it breaks up the space a little bit. I’ve never had a microwave over a range, but it’s not that horrible of a design idea.

  13. Many people DO love their over the range microwaves. I personally am more interested in your obsession with them, haha.

  14. laurie b says:

    Let me play kitchen detective. If we look at the height between cook top to bottom of the wall cabinet, it appears the cabinets were designed for a 9 or 12″ wall hood. Could this be a case where the client did not follow the recommendation of the designer? The microwave is dangerously too high. I resist allowing o/t/c microwave,but alas some customers insist.