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Blog – June 2017

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Vanessa has been designing in the Kitchen & Bath industry for over 16 years and is a new addition to the Deslaurier team. “I find every space has its challenges and that’s what I love about designing kitchens – finding that solution that will work for that client… It’s different every time!”

 

To Microwave, Or Not To Microwave? That, Is The Question.

 

What is that one appliance that either takes up prime countertop or cabinet space, or is staring you right in the face while you are cooking?  It’s that darn microwave!  How often do you really use it anymore?  Heating up the odd thing, melting some butter, defrosting some meat…

Let’s face it, when we do use our microwave to heat up leftovers – does it ever do the job that well?  We usually end up with third-degree burns, still have cold food, and a mess that needs a chisel to clean off!  Wasn’t the microwave supposed to replace our ovens, make life simpler, and be able to bake and cook these amazing meals?  After 30 years of complaining about this awkward appliance – that never does what we want, looks awful, and never allows us to feel safe when we stand in front of it – why do we keep it?

As designers, it’s always that one appliance that you are trying to hide.  As a homeowner myself, I got rid of it!  Stashed it away in the basement…  My mother-in-law would sneak down and plug it in to reheat her coffee, but it slowly made its way back upstairs once I had kids…  So close!  It’s so hard to let go…

Over the last year, I’ve noticed when I sit down with a client and we begin to discuss the different options for the placement of the microwave, that the client will sometimes make that jump and say “That’s it!  Let’s get rid of it!”  It’s a happy occasion and what a difference it makes in the design of the kitchen.  Now there is more prime upper cabinet space available, more space around the range, or imagine – more countertop space!  Sometimes, it’s making a few small adjustments in how we cook – using our range to heat up food or planning our meals better so we don’t have to defrost. 

It’s such a big step, but maybe not for all of us.  Life with children, work, cleaning and cooking, there just isn’t enough time!  That’s where this microwave was supposed to help us…  Now it just takes up space and inherently becomes another thing to clean!

Speaking with our wonderful friends at Universal Appliances in Ottawa, they have been seeing an increase in speed ovens and steam ovens as a replacement for the microwave.   We had a special evening at Universal Appliances, where they had several different appliance manufacturers on site to give demos and update us on what was new and exciting.  We enjoyed filet mignon, cooked to perfection, for 8 minutes in a speed oven!  The same oven can even bake a loaf of bread, defrost or pop popcorn, to name a few things.  Steam ovens are also a wonderful, healthy alternative to a microwave.  I couldn’t believe everything you can do with a steam oven, plus it keeps most of the nutrients in the food; imagine that!  These appliances are a great alternative to a microwave.  They are integrated into cabinetry to give a ‘built-in’ look and can be used as a second oven. 

There are appliances we need in our kitchen and there are those that we don’t; ones we should maybe give a little more thought to or do a little more research on.  When starting a kitchen renovation, there are so many details to think about and the microwave is often a last thought.  By putting a little more thought into how we work in our spaces and how we would like our spaces to work for us – that little detail, that little afterthought, could make a big difference in the end!