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.

pantry2

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.

More Ideas for the Dining Room

Patterned Tile Floors in the Kitchen - Black White and GoldJessica Helgerson Interior Design

I‘m finally back to share more ideas for the dining room! So sorry for the delay, I was all ready to post and then BAM! Technical difficulties. Also, many of you might have missed a week or so of posts. If you receive my posts via a Comcast email address, there have been periodic glitches over the past year that occasionally keep your posts from being delivered and I don’t realize it until someone emails to let me know. Hopefully you are back now!

When I shared about our dining room last week, I talked about the option of adding built-in bookcases. We are still very interested in the character that built-ins will provide, but we have several other options we’ve been thinking about as well, so I thought I would come back and share a couple more ideas with you.

While there are a lot of great ideas we might love, our main objective in this house will be to spend the least amount of money and get the most bang for the buck as far as additional charm and personality.

So my daughter Courtney and I had seen a photo of a dining room looking into a kitchen that really intrigued us. You can see it above. Of course, we love the kitchen in the inspiration photo. But what we also loved was the archway between the two rooms. An archway is always charming. We’ve lived in several homes with arched doorways between rooms, so we were instantly in love. In a house that is very boxy, a little curve could make a real difference in its cozy and friendly-factor.

At first we told ourselves you can’t do an arch in a house like this. Perhaps you are thinking that, too. But then we said, WHY NOT? It’s so easy to be derailed from what you would love and what would look great in a house by worrying what the “right” thing is to do, and fearing doing the “wrong thing.”

Some of you may be purists who feel this home should have only straight openings for doorways. Certainly there are houses where you want to preserve architectural accuracy, but in our opinion this is not one of those times :). Our goal is to add charm, not create a time capsule. Interestingly when we looked around our house, we noticed that our interior doors all have a double arch moulding. We do love that another arch would tie together what is already a feature in the house.

But we really wanted to visualize it, so we brought in some painter’s tape and framed out a new look for our doorway just to see what an arch might feel like. So while this is only one idea among many we have for this space, we instantly loved how much charm and warmth even just one arched doorway could bring.

Dining Room - The Inspired Room - Before

We also put the table back into the corner to simulate a possible built-in banquette. What if we built in benches around the corner walls and slid a table up next to it? That idea was intriguing too, as it created a cozy niche to sit on a bench and look out at the water, or to enjoy a family dinner. Having a table in the corner also helped balance out the weight of the room and in real life it makes the room feel bigger as well! It’s also a great arrangement for allowing plenty of space to walk through to the kitchen.

We could also include built-ins on the window side of the room to make it a very functional and cozy space.

Below are a couple of banquette inspiration pictures so you can get a visual of what it might look like to have a banquette (not necessarily the exact style, but more of the concept).

Banquette Dining Seat - Studio McGeeStudio McGee

Corner Banquette Dining Seat - Plaid FabricTraditional Home

The Inspired Room - Dining Room Before Photo
Right now we just have random furniture sitting around the room so all of that needs to go to streamline the space. If you missed our post with our kitchen window seat idea, see that post here! We think that window seat in the kitchen would be an adorable sight to see through the doorway (whether we have an arch or even just an opening).

Dining Room Before - The Inspired Room
A couple of you have asked for room measurements and floor plans so I’ll try to get the room measured soon, so you can better imagine the space. It’s a nice sized dining room. Not huge at all, but not too tiny either. But since you definitely have to walk right through the room to the kitchen and it does feel a bit tight when the table is in the center. A banquette would solve the space issue, plus of course add personality.

If we built in a buffet under the window (where that random sofa table is sitting) we’d have an extra surface and storage space underneath which would be really nice with a smaller kitchen.

The Inspired Room - Dining Before Picture

There are lots of charming possibilities for this corner for character-building!

We have also thought about removing part of the kitchen wall in the dining room, perhaps creating a half-wall, to make the kitchen a little more open to the dining room. This was an idea I shared before we bought this house (above). It might not work due to the arrangement of our kitchen, but I always love this inspiration pic (below) so we aren’t ruling out the option of removing all or part of the wall. In all likelihood though, we are going to preserve the layout of the kitchen which would mean living most of the wall intact. Thus, the appeal of the arch.

Glass Window Room DividerCrazy Mary

Dining Table In Center - The Inspired Room

Another possibility is to keep the dining table in the middle and raise the ceiling, possibly even just the center part of the room like the ceiling in our old dining room. The ceilings here are normal 8 foot ceilings, but a little vault or a boxed ceiling with wood on it might be a charming addition as well. We have an attic above so we could do some sort of vaulted ceiling, but we aren’t sure we will invest in that project, at least at this point.

You might have noticed that we removed our ceiling light fixture. It was too distracting to have it off center as we are moving furniture around, and we wanted to be able to better visualize our options! It really helps to take things away so you have less for your eye to have to compensate for as you reimagine your room.

So, those are a few more ideas that we’ve been tossing around. We have so many projects to attend to all over the house that we really want to weigh each option carefully to make sure we choose what makes the most sense, not only to our eye, but to our wallet :).

I love having a more clear vision for this house. I’m so excited that even a few simple changes could add so much personality and make it a very cozy and charming home!

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