Friday, January 22, 2010

Kitchen Remodel Part VII - Officially in this Century

All right, it's official: our kitchen has jumped light years ahead - from 1960 to 2010. Okay okay, maybe not that far, but at least it's entered into the year 2000.

Why? On Saturday we tackled the intense project of installing and hanging an over the range microwave in our kitchen.

While an over the range microwave might be old news to some, for us it's the biggest thing since grilled cheese! Seriously, though, this is what we've been using for our microwave-able needs:

And considering that we lived without a microwave for awhile, this setup worked pretty well for us.

But it was no over-the-range microwave.

This past summer we had purchased a stainless steel microwave (on clearance!) at Lowe's for our kitchen, and it's been hiding out in the studio (currently doubling as a storage room) until the time was right for us to unveil it.

So this past Saturday we woke bright and early and eager to install our shiny new microwave. We whipped out the directions, and were fairly optimistic - until less than 5 minutes into it, we reached the second sentence in the Installation Directions: that you must attach the microwave underneath a cabinet. Uh oh.

Enter Obstacle: The microwave had to attach underneath a cabinet to help support it, but we didn't want to do that since we had bolted the cabinet to the ceiling, which would make the microwave sky-high (and we would have to use a step ladder just to reach it!).

Enter Solution: After much discussion, grouchiness, choice words and head shaking, a solution slowly took shape: we could install a shelf that the microwave would attach to, leaving open storage above for a wine rack.
So off we headed to Lowe's, in search of another obscure solution to our wacky problem. It had been so long (due to the holiday season and our trip to Florida) since we'd been there, that the employees actually missed us! (yes, sadly it's true). We promptly got a piece of wood that the employees assured us would support the weight of the microwave, and they even cut it to size for us, and 10$ later we had a wood plank that was the solution to our wacky problem.

Then we did some measuring to make sure everything fit nice and tight, was securely bolted to the side cabinets and the wall studs, and could take the weight of a microwave without sagging in the middle.

And Ta-da! Our homemade shelf, ready and waiting for the microwave.

While we were furiously working in the kitchen, Barley was supervising the process (and probably laughing at our home improvement antics):

After more installation reading (and testing of the shelf strength again), it was time to physically install the microwave.

Ta-daa! As soon as the microwave was on the wall and plugged in, we high-fived each other and did the happy dance! (at which point Barley gave up his supervising job and promptly joined us in celebration).

Doesn't that just look purdy? It fills up the empty space nicely, and frees up floor and counter top space by getting the microwave up higher, we were able to install the microwave a tad higher than usual (as we are both rather tall and wanted to be able to see the stove top dials while cooking) - and the wine-rack-to-be is a nice personal touch to our little kitchen. Honestly, we couldn't be happier with the outcome thus far. Ohh the adventures and misadventures of home improvement.


  1. It's a beaut, Clarke!! =) Seriously, though, it looks great. The perfect height for yal, and eliminates the need for the "roving cart" on which it presided all these months, giving yal more room in the dining area. I just can't wait to see the whole kitchen.
    Mom C.

  2. Yes - it's great! We LOVE our new microwave! Now we just have to find the perfect wine rack... of course, if we can't find one that's the right size we could always just make one ourselves. :)

    PS - we are almost done hanging up the cabinet doors. You aren't going to believe what it looks like! (and we still have to do the countertops and backsplash!)



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