Modern Conveniences

It’s been a while since I’ve shared an update about our kitchen remodel.  But if you follow me on Instagram, you know that we recently had a little addition to the space.  This baby arrived a few weeks ago and has been a pretty big deal in our lives.

New LG Microwave | Storypiece

The reason for the fanfare is that we didn’t have a microwave…. for four and half years.

It’s not for any noble or environmentally conscious reason; we just didn’t have one.

We used to have one.  When we moved into our home, there was no built-in and so we purchased a cheap counter top microwave.  Our intention was that “someday” we would install one above the stove.

Counter Top Microwave | StorypieceSometimes that “someday” can take awhile.  Eight years later, we were still living with our “temporary solution” when there was a small fire in it.  Thankfully no one was hurt and the fire was contained to the oven itself.  At the time, money was tight and replacing it wasn’t high on the priority list.  So I learned to cook without a microwave.

And we got used to not having a one.  Honestly, it really wasn’t that difficult since I’ve never been a big microwave user.  We mainly used it to heat water and make popcorn. So we bought a kettle and an air popper and we were content.  The only time we even noticed it’s absence was when we would have friends or family over and they needed to warm something.  Well…. then and when we went out of town and I realized I was leaving our housesitters without a modern convenience.

Kitchen Corner - Before | Storypiece

However, someday has finally arrived.  After lots of research, we picked out a microhood and have begun demolition of our kitchen cabinets.

**This is probably a great place to note that while ALL of this was going down, I was at a conference.  This install was actually a three day process with numerous trips to Home Depot that I was in no way involved in.  This is going to look surprisingly easy because for me, it was.  Tyson would tell you otherwise.**

Removing Stove Hood | Storypiece

Part of the delay in tackling this project was that we knew installing a built-in microwave meant that we would have to customize the cabinets.  The upper cabinets that hide the vent tubing for the stove hood are the perfect height for the hood, but too low for a microwave.   We would need to cut and raise the cabinets by five inches.  We didn’t want to do that until we knew we were ready to actually paint the cabinets.

Customized Cabinet | StorypieceThe process included moving the power source up a few inches as well.

Moving An Outlet | Storypiece

**I’m suddenly realizing that with the big hole above my stove, there is no turning back, is there?  Yikes!**

Once the hood was removed and the cabinet cut to the size we needed, Tyson added a support bar across the back.

Support Bar | Storypiece

He also custom cut a new shelf for the cabinet.

Installing A Microwave | Storypiece

To allow for all of the vent tubing, Tyson cut out spaces in the support bar and the shelf for the duct to feed through.  He made sure there was a hole for the power cable to feed up through too.

Duct Work Installation | Storypiece

Then it was just a matter of following the manufacturer’s installation directions.

Microwave Out Of The Box | Storypiece

Once the microwave was installed, he changed out the vent with a transition piece and used duct tape to seal the exhaust system.

Microhood Installed | Storypiece

As for the microwave itself, we went with the LG LMV1683ST.  It’s brushed stainless steel like our other appliances and we came across a killer deal for it online.  It was the most bang for our buck, it’s pretty and it will cook things… all this girl could ever hope for.

Installed Microwave | Storypiece

We still have plans to add a decorative panel across the front where the two cabinet doors were.  The panel will still open to access the exhaust tubing and power source, but for all intensive purposes it will look like decorative molding above the microwave. That’s the next step and I can’t wait!

Are you working on any big projects that are steadily coming along?  Have you ever gotten comfortable living without something that’s pretty common place? Is there an appliance in your home that you could never live without?



  1. Gilit @ Shoes Off Please says:

    It’s beautiful! It’s so funny, when I don’t have a microwave (various points throughout college etc.) it made no difference, but when you do it makes all the difference! Also, that’s amazing that this all went down while you were away- enjoy!

    • admin says:

      You just captured our exact experience. We didn’t miss having one, but we are greatly enjoying it now. On the other hand, things like my washer and dryer I could never give up.

  2. ScrapAndSalvage says:

    that’s a sleek looking microwave, danielle! and way to time your conference so that tyson could feel like a man’s man and tackle this chore alone. you’re such a giver and i like your style. HA! 😉 that’s a cute pic of the kids!

    • admin says:

      Ha! I’m totally stealing that… “Baby, you’re a man’s man. You didn’t need my help; you got this.” Somehow I’m not sure that’s gonna fly. 😉

  3. Alex @ northstory says:

    Nice! we have friends who didn’t have a microwave b/c her husband refused to have one at home (for a whole bunch of scientific health reasons). Then they had a baby. And another baby. They have a microwave now.

    • admin says:

      As soon as we ordered it, everyone (unknowingly) started posting on Facebook about how horrible they are for you. We were like “Yay… we’re installing a death trap.” Timing is everything.

  4. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian says:

    You know what I took from this? You have trained your husband to take photos for your blog. WELL done. Paul did something last week, and I was like AHHH!! Did you take pictures???

    Alex wins comment award… too funny… no doubt you will re-adapt to micro-living in no time!!

    • admin says:

      Tyson is pretty good about taking photos for the blog. I think the part of him that is trying to get the project done finds it secretly annoying, but the designer in him wins out and he starts trying to capture the process from the same exact point in each shot. Tess actually took some photos for me on another project he was working on and they are pretty funny. Nothing like the perspective of a 13 year old. I’ll be sharing those soon.

  5. the home tome says:

    The kitchen looks great – love the skylights 🙂

    I lived without a microwave for about 10 years – we have one now and I use it more than I want to admit! Thankfully our microwave isn’t taking up counter space (it’s on a butcher block type stand) but I would love for it to be above the stove. Bravo!

    • admin says:

      So you know exactly what it’s like. We’ve enjoyed not having one, but we are quickly using it more and more. When you have it, you definitely use it.

  6. Amanda says:

    I’m curious. I am about to do this at my house but I have been concerned about the cabinet doors. What did you do about the doors for the cabinet you had to shrink? Did you have to get custom new ones or were you able to rework the previous ones?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Amanda! Thanks for asking. We had a new custom one made with http://raw We used them for the custom built-ins that we did in my husband studio too and really like their work. Super easy to order online and reasonably priced.

      Best of luck with your project and please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any other questions.

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