If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I have a thing about microwaves. Especially microwaves placed in the kitchen so that they accidentally become a focal point. Like this one, beautifully centered in the cabinet, with no visible landing space in reach:
I think they are useful, alright, I just don’t think they are that beautiful. I know I’m obsessive, especially when you consider all the other appliances we have to fit into kitchens these days – steam ovens, speed ovens, warming drawers, built in espresso machines… I should just get over it. To that end, I thought I’d share a few photos with microwaves that are in the right places. Think of it as talk therapy, for me.
Here the microwave is between the refrigerator and the sink. That’s a spot that makes a lot of sense, creating a snack and breakfast work area that’s convenient, yet separate from the main clean up and cooking zones. The only worry I would have here is the height – the bottom of the microwave should be no higher than the user’s armpit for safety (the rules say the center of the chest – I think the armpit is more memorable). This would be fine for a tall family, but as the microwave is usually the first cooking appliance that children start to use for themselves, it’s worth thinking about how yours will work out when those rug rats you currently have are making popcorn for the entire fourth grade!
Here’s another example – you can just see that microwave on the right hand side. I really like to put the microwave on a shelf like this - no major rejigging required should it fail and have to be replaced. Just make sure it has the required clearance for air circulation, of course:
Here’s another great place to put your microwave – just above counter height, sideways in the corner. It’s tidy, it’s unobtrusive, and it’s easy to reach – of course you can’t really keep a big utensil jar right in front of it like this, or if you do you’ll have to keep moving it! This particular example is better suited to a one cook kitchen – more convenient as an additional tool for a busy chef than a separate snack station for the kids.
Another similar placement (below) – definitely more space there for the breakfast work-station. Again, you have to consider the height of the users – many times it is better to bring the sides of that corner cabinet down to the counter, to make the microwave easier for smaller people to reach:
Of course, whether on the counter or at cabinet height, this only works in right-handed corners – in the other orientation the controls would be hard to see, and get at, and you’d have to reach around the microwave door to remove your heated foods, definitely not a good thing. Not a good thing in the example below, either, where the microwave door, though at the perfect height, would always be between the user’s body and the available landing space on the counter:
Wouldn’t it be nice if manufacturers would give us the choice of left or right swinging doors for our microwaves? Anybody listening?
While we’re on the subject, click here for the ugliest microwave location I have ever posted, and here is an earlier post with my absolute favorite outside the box solution – demonstrating, I think, that I am not alone in this obsession.