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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The pesky Microwave and where to put it?

As a kitchen designer, I am constantly faced with design challenges.  One that constantly comes up is this question, "So, Kristen, where is my microwave going?"

The correct answer is; what works best for your space and for you needs, and below are some of the many options to consider for your kitchen.

  • Option 1: Creating an upper cabinet with space below to house and trim your micro out nicely creates a seamless look. Having a counter top below makes prepping and re-heating a snap. Keeping it near the refrigerator is also quite functional.*This a key element; being most items that need to be microwaved come straight from the refrigerator, it's a time saver to keep it near by when possible.
  • Option 2: The microwave seen below, is installed underneath the built-in coffee machine, to the left of the refrigerator. This built-in microwave also functions as a second oven and in this application fits nicely in this large tower cabinet and is easy to access. 
  • Option 3: Placing the microwave in a lower base cabinet and trimming it out nicely creates a separate work zone. This application is wonderful for families with children over 7 yrs old typically, so the children can access the microwave SAFELY and when trusted to do so.  *Another key note is I prefer to lift hot microwaved items out and up on to a counter for stirring, etc, rather than pulling from above toward the face. 
  • Option 4: The microwave seen below is most typical. Having a microwave hood proves practical and functional when tight on space.  This application can also function as a hood fan (either recirculating or venting out). The height allows the microwave to be out of younger toddler's hands and off the counter tops.  For the at-home 'chef's' this can prove to be a time saver too by keeping all cooking elements together.
  • Option 5: Many of my clients are now choosing a more natural approach to food and are eliminating the daily use of a microwave, enabling me to place it behind closed doors, seen below.  This proves to be beneficial when you DON'T use it daily.  A great benefit to this design is it's atheistically pleasing while still housing the microwave. *This is a great design when you aren't wanting to invest a lot of money in a high end microwave and it's easy to replace because you aren't locked into one size microwave.
I hope these ideas inspire some creativity...and boy, am I craving some microwaved popcorn! :) 

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Modern Beauty

Who doesn't love a great "before vs. after?"

Here are a couple of "before" shots of the kitchen:

Featured below is the newly redesigned lovely kitchen for my wonderful friend, who also happens to be an interior designer (as if you can't tell!):

Don't you just love the light fixture over the sink? 
I think we succeeded in hitting their budget while achieving a beautiful chic kitchen that showcases her great taste.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Custom desk for teens

We can all remember how hard it was to sit down and do our homework.

Perhaps this will make that daily chore a little more inviting; a custom desk area in your children's or teen's bedroom.  A place of their own to study, read, and stay organized.

Here is one design done in our 'Quality Cabinet' line, in the beaded white 'Nantucket' door style.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Suspended seating

Being a kitchen/bath/cabinetry designer, I get to see so many cool products!

Take a swivel on this one: Suspended seating! 

Creates a whole new look for your kitchen island,  perimeter or desk area!