New Kitchen – the Plan

Last year I wrote about re-designing our kitchen well finally, finally we have the money to do it!  We did consider knocking down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, and although it would look gorgeous we’d also have the expense of the following:

Knocking out the wall, steels, structural engineer,  Moving the door of the dining room and kitchen down the hallway, New flooring for the whole of the downstairs as the lounge, hall and dining room have the same laminate, Taking out the fireplace in the dining room to make space for an island, Replacing the patio door and bricking some of it up to make space for more units, Bricking up the back door to make space for more units.

That worked out to somewhere between £6,000 to £10,000 with fees and taxes and that’s before I’d picked out a kitchen! This isn’t our ‘forever’ house, upstairs isn’t big enough 2.5 bedrooms and 1 bathroom means that we are going to have to move in the next 3 years anyway.  So spending a massive amount on a kitchen really when we thought about it seemed a bit daft.  I want something that is functional and looks much better than the mess our kitchen currently is. Violet Posy hint NEVER PAINT LAMINATE CUPBOARDS AND THEN GET A GIANT PUPPY – seriously it’s not a pretty site!

So we thought about it, and thought about it some more and what I …sorry we….really want is:

A Dishwasher

Better more accessible storage

Microwave off the worksurface

New Oven & Hob

Access to washing maching & tumble dryer as it’s in a outside cupboard.

So here’s my plan


I think the new layout will be more spacious and practical and shouldn’t cost an awful lot to do and by losing the cupboard on the right (I don’t even know what’s in it to be honest!) I get a dishwasher and a better space for Betty’s bed which is currently in front of the sink.  To solve the washer/drier issue, we’re going to brick up the door outside and knock through from the hallway and pop a door in reversing it so I don’t have to go outside for the washing – hurray!

On a side note, I’d like to ask your advice…..

Now these little gems seem to be used a lot in US kitchens but not here, I have no idea why?.  I give you the combination extractor and microwave to go above the hob.

This one is made by Whirlpool and the only model I can find sold in the UK – does anyone else have one or know where else they are sold in the UK. And I’d like to hear from US & Canadian readers who might have one – are they any good?  It just seems like such an obvious thing to have in a tight space. Thanks!

*Update* Click here to see what it looks like midway through the makeover

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  1. Oooo… reno!! In my rental apartment we have a microwave/extractor combo and it breaks quite a bit. Since it’s built in, fixing it involves trying to access all the parts and pieces while it’s still mounted to the wall. My landlord finally gave up on fixing it (it works now with the exception of the spinning carousel thinigie) and said in future apartments he’ll never install them again. Higher price tag than a standard microwave and not worth the hassle. But I do like that it’s off the counter. That said…I don’t microwave! 🙂 But the mister does, so we have a tiny one at the shorehouse.

  2. Never come across a microwave/extractor combo, seems like a great idea. Your kitchen looks very similar to the one in my marital home. We concentrated on coming out from the corners, in one we had a door that split hinged, and the other we had a magic corner (contraption that pulled out with the door), both making great use of space otherwise unused. Also, have you considered a 45cm dishwasher? They do the job, and it is surprising how much you can get in one for a run.

  3. Laura – thanks for the info, I was really hoping they were good because I have nowhere else I can get one in cupboard wise….well I’ll have to talk to the kitchen designer to see if he can get one in somewhere?

    Ian – magic corners, I’m so having one of those! My two corner cupboards….well who knows what’s in them at the moment?? I hadn’t considered a 45cm dishwasher but I will do now. It would give more cupboard/draw space under the sink – great suggestion thanks 🙂

  4. We have just returned from the US and lived in a villa for 2 weeks with said microwave above the cooker. I thought it was genius and perfectly placed.
    Have nagged my husband senseless about having one but he just tuts and rolls his eyes.
    Had never come across them until I went to America and they seem pretty standard there. Can’t imagine why it would break down much, no more so than a regular microwave anyway.

  5. Tara – I’m so pleased you liked them as well, they just seem so obvious. I’ve looked high and low here for them and all I can come up with is the Whirlpool one and it’s quite expensive. I just didn’t know why they’d not have them here, maybe the kitchen lady will throw some light on it when she comes to measure up Friday.

  6. Speaking as an ex-pat living in the US for 12 years, we have a microwave/fan above our oven. They are very popular here and cheap! Although I am thinking of going back to having a small microwave as I find having it located above an oven has drawbacks. I have 2 kids who are old enough to use a microwave but it’s too dangerous for them to get the hot dishes out as it’s too high and also they have to reach over the gas rings. I also find it too high if you need to stir something half way through cooking. If you do get one installed make sure it’s eye level, that’s what they recommend here. It would certainly help with freeing up counterspace. Mounting it on a strong shelf is an idea, they sell microwave shelf/cabinets here! Sorry! I can send you a photo of ours if you want.
    Good luck!

  7. Hiya

    Loving your ideas for your new kitchen….we have a teeny tiny dishwasher and as SPD says you really can fit loads into it & good thinking about the smaller sink – you wont need a big one to wash dishes anymore coz you will have your new dishwasher!

    I too struggle with our big old microwave and have tried putting it in different places – the best (& worst) was ontop of the fridge, great because it was out of the way, bad coz I was too little to reach into it properly, so getting out bowls full of hot liquid turned into an extreme sport!

    A magic cupboard also sounds good, we have one and it fits loads in there – you can get a Lazy Suzy fitted in it, which is like a two tiered shelving system inside the cupboard which can be spun around so you can easily access everything inside the cupboard…

    Anyway am sure you are savvy on all of these things 🙂 BTW the flowers on the windowsill are bootiful 🙂