Appliance Arrangement in the Kitchen

The Inspired Room Kitchen - DIY Wood Island

In our old house, one of the most frequently asked questions was about where we put our microwave when we remodeled. It used to be one of those built-in microwaves above the stove. In theory, a microwave over an oven is probably an efficient use of space in some ways, but we really didn’t like how crunched it felt for multiple people work at the stove with that appliance over our head.

We actually rarely use a microwave so we almost didn’t replace it at all. But sometimes it is nice to have one when you have a big meal and need an extra oven to heat something up or we just want a quick snack, so we set one up in our pantry during the remodel.


And that led to another frequently asked reader question, wasn’t that location inconvenient for a microwave? The truth is I actually much preferred the microwave in the pantry! It was just a few steps from our island so it was just as close and convenient as anywhere, but it also saved counter and cabinet space in our main kitchen area which is where we spent the most time. It worked out great for us to separate out our appliances so there could be many cooks in the kitchen without bumping into each other.

english style kitchen on a budget

In our old English Tudor (above) we had a separate cooktop and then right next to it there was a wall oven and a microwave. I loved having a separate cooktop and a wall oven and a microwave, even thought they were pretty close together.

Kitchen Before Picture - The Inspired Room blog

One of the most frequently asked questions about my new kitchen is in regards to the appliances, particularly that vintage oven! Even thought it’s old, it is pretty cool to have the double oven, I’ll admit. I’ve had several emails from people wanting to buy it, so no matter what we decide to do it will continue to be well loved.

The stove/oven combo takes up most of one side of the available counter and wall space. The microwave that was left in the house was very old and sat on a chair. The microwave bit the dust a couple of weeks ago (joining our dryer in the appliance graveyard, ha! And of course, the sewer was already in line to be replaced. We also had a kitchen sink leak so we disconnected the garbage disposal for now. We’re on a roll here!).

Now as we are contemplating our kitchen design and how to best remodel it to suit our needs and style preferences, we are of course thinking about appliances. It is sometimes a puzzle how to best arrange a kitchen to be efficient as well as to allow the most storage and counter space. And if we open up that left wall at all, even to widen the doorway, it will leave less space for an oven and countertop.

My thought right now is to leave all the appliances in the same place, not only to save money but because they seem to be efficiently located.

If we eventually get a new gas oven we’d need to have the gas line brought in, so that’s something to think about too. I would also want to install a new exhaust fan as the one here currently doesn’t function. I really don’t like smelling food all over the house (sensitive nose here) and you need a good fan especially for gas cooking.

So even when you do try to keep appliances in the same location to save money, there will be work involved to get anything new. One thing always leads to another when it comes to kitchen remodels. Am I right?

Samsung HotBlast Smart Oven

I work with Samsung as a brand ambassador and they sent me some photos of a pretty cool looking new convection microwave called the HotBlast Smart Oven which would be neat to have if I can squeeze one in somewhere. Their new convection microwave (model MW8000J) offers several special features that sound amazing:

  • HotBlast™ – a brand new way of cooking that reduces cooking times significantly
  • PowerGrill Duo – to enjoy perfectly grilled foods, much faster
  • Grande Turntable – to cook on a much larger scale using the significantly wider turntable

We for sure won’t be keeping the chair and microwave arrangement in our kitchen :). I’m thinking if we do add the window seat I mentioned, which I would LOVE, we could still fit in a cabinet to the left of it to hold our coffee maker (a must) and if there’s space, we could fit in a microwave. If we had room, that convection microwave would be wonderful! I’m keeping it on my list of possibilities.

Even though I plan to remodel my kitchen, I have intentionally been spending time living with it and using it as is so we have the opportunity to really think about what the best plan will be. I don’t like to spend money unnecessarily so usually it pays off to think a bit before you tear it all apart! Taking that time to get to know the kitchen and our home has already given us quite a few clues as to what the best arrangement for this space will be!

So, what layout do you currently have for your kitchen appliances?

I am thrilled to be a brand ambassador for Samsung Home Appliances and this post was created as a part of my partnership, but my experiences and opinions are my own.

Vision for the Kitchen – Part One {My New House}

Kitchen Window Bench with Cafe Table - Jenny Wolf InteriorsJenny Wolf Interiors

Greetings, friends! Hope you all are having a great week so far!

If you are new here or just catching up, you may be surprised to find out we moved from the house that we’ve lived in for the past six years, the house that is in my newest book! We loved so much about our house and leaving it was hard. We’ve only been away from it for a couple of months and there are so many things we miss.

But while it’s always hard to close a chapter of your story, there’s really so much to look forward as you turn the next page. Even if your home isn’t your dream house, you just have to remember how blessed you are to be where you are and even though there may be work to be done or things you don’t like, there’s potential in every house! I’m excited about my adventure here and I’m glad you guys are along for the ride.

You can catch up on our story by scrolling back in these posts, and see the preview video tour of our new house here. *UPDATE 2016* scroll through these posts for the latest updates to this house!

So today I thought we would finally talk a little more about our galley kitchen in our little 1950’s ranch. It’s ready for some updates. I know the kitchen is the room so many of my readers always love to dream about. It’s the room that I have been the most passionate about and love working on the most.

I’ll share some before pics and some inspiration pics, but keep in mind that the inspiration pics aren’t necessarily exactly right. The layout, style or colors or size might be different than what we have or will choose, but they do help us to visualize possibilities.

Kitchen Photo Before

I’ve had a couple of tiny kitchens in houses before so even though this one is little, I’m just excited about the opportunity to work on another small kitchen! Sometimes little is the best of all. Yes, I miss my old kitchen. I loved the colors and choices we made. But it served us well for several years and I’m ready for a new challenge.

I gave a little preview of a project we are planning in this kitchen when I shared about the Dutch door. You might want to take a moment and read that post if you missed it. You will see in that post that our house really wants to be more of a modern cottage. She has big dreams of being spiffed up a bit, she doesn’t want to be a time capsule house. I’m OK with that because I’m kind of an eclectic modern cottage girl myself so, we will get along pretty well. :)

Kitchen Before Photo - The Inspired Room

Even though this is a pretty small kitchen, I have a lot to say about it. I know, right now you are probably sarcastically thinking “What? You? Have a lot to say?” because when do I not have anything to say? Right? I DO HAVE LOTS TO SAY. That’s why I’m still blogging. I’m not done yet. Ha. Anyway, that’s a rabbit trail. What I wanted to say is that even though it’s a small kitchen, kitchens are something you want to ponder and get right. You don’t want to just slap one together and hope it turns out right and on budget. I want to create a kitchen my family will enjoy and any new owners down the road will have a crush on, too!

But in order to fit in all my ideas, talk about all the options and inspiration pics for the kitchen, we’ll have to just take this one side of the room at a time. I’ll show you my ideas and then we can ponder all the thoughts about other things in this kitchen over time.

You already know about the Dutch door, so now we are going to go to to the other side of the kitchen and talk about the view side. I can hardly believe I got a house with a view of Puget Sound! I’m still surprised, that was such an unexpected gift.

Kitchen View - Puget Sound

We have a nice large window looking out to the backyard, the water and the most glorious sky and sunset views. That’s a big plus in this house, it has really lovely views all across the back of the house, which is where the living room, dining room and kitchen are located.

There is a lot of light coming from that kitchen window, the big corner window gives you a sense of being more open to the outside (which in a galley kitchen is a big deal) and of course there’s the view! But, you don’t have wall space when you have a window. And below that window is a counter that isn’t the same height as the rest of the kitchen because of the placement of the window. The window is in the right spot, it matches the rest across the back of the house. It’s just lower than the counters.

Kitchen Before Picture - The Inspired Room blog

So essentially that counter in question is like a desk, too low to really work at unless you are sitting. As we’ve lived in the house for the past two months, we know something about that space now. It’s a clutter magnet. Dog food, recycling, stuff that doesn’t have a home, all the things end up there…on the counter and below. Remember what happens to clutter magnets at our house? We took out a breakfast bar in our old house because that’s what it became.

The question in this house is, do we leave that shorter counter because it offers more counter space (perhaps redesigned to have built in storage below, so we don’t see all the things under it), or do we do something else with that space, like add a bench seat with drawers below? Or do we just remove it entirely? It’s not a big enough space to add a table, nor would we need that because we have a table right outside that dining room door.

We for sure will be removing the cabinet that is hanging on the wall to the left, and replacing it with some sort of useful built in cabinet and/or counter where the microwave is set (currently on a chair). Walls will be painted, floors changed, lighting, cabinets and counters all updated. And yes, we’ll discuss the fate of the appliances in a future post. :)

Kitchen Before Photo

Whatever is in that corner under the window will be seen from the dining room (I’ll come back and share the grand idea for the doorway and dining room that I alluded to in this post), so we definitely want it to look nice and be as streamlined and clutter-free as possible. Counter space in a galley kitchen isn’t generally something to take away, but I just don’t have a lot of patience for clutter magnets. I’d have to be convinced it was worth keeping because so far we haven’t once used it as an actual space to prepare food. It’s just another surface.

Galley Kitchen with Window Seat and Cafe Table - Jenny Wolf InteriorsJenny Wolf Interiors

Kitchen Window Seat
beach-style-dining-room Collins Design and Development

Ultimately what we will do comes down to how we feel to live in it. You’ve got to take the time to live in your space to really know what will work best. I’m glad we haven’t rushed into anything in the 8 weeks we’ve lived here because we have changed our mind a few times already! But I think we are zeroing in on a good direction and that is starting to make us so excited about making this house our home!

I’ll be sharing more about the kitchen in another post, and we’ll go back to the dining room next so I can tell you my idea :).

*UPDATE 2016* scroll through these posts for the latest updates to this house!

15 Helpful Tips to Maximize Kitchen Space

15 Helpful Tips to Maximize Kitchen Space - The Inspired Room blog

Do you ever dream of upgrading your small kitchen to a large one that would not only be designed to your taste, but would also feature a lot more cabinets, an excess of counter space and more than enough dedicated pantry shelves? Sounds out of reach and expensive, doesn’t it?

While a new kitchen would be a dream, the reality is maybe you don’t need such a big kitchen after all. If you are organized, a small kitchen can be very efficient and easy to work in! Whether you have a small kitchen or one that is overflowing with necessities or extras, you’ll want to make sure you’re using every square inch to make the most of your existing space!

Today I’m over at The Decluttered Home sharing 15 helpful tips to maximize kitchen space.

Come on over!

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