Thrifty Decor Chick · Aug 21, 2015

Microwave in the Island! (Finally!)

Hey all! Welcome to the weekend! I had to share this quick project with you because it means I'm completely done with the island makeover! I was pretty much there back in February when I shared the nearly completed project, but we've had an open spot at the end waiting for the microwave since then.
Well now that we've taken the old one and some of the cabinets down, it was time to finally finish up the island! I'm so thrilled about this, I can't even tell you. Love it.
I showed you how I extended the island and I was left with this open space at the end:
To add the shelf I started with supports. They were just scrap 1x2 that I secured to the inside with screws. I made sure they were level and also made sure to mark where I wanted them to hang towards the front. I was going to finish it up with some trim along the front of the shelf so needed to make sure it would be flush with the front.
You'll notice my supports didn't go all the way to the back. I made the shelf a few inches short in the back to allow for some air flow. Otherwise I'd normally add a support to the back too.
Next I placed the shelf on top:
You want to make sure to predrill your holes for the screws in everything. If you just screw them in without doing that the wood will most likely split. And that's annoying. :)
You've got yourself a shelf!:
Isn't this EXCITING?? It was for me, not gonna lie. Make sure to sink your screws in if you'll see them at all. I usually use nails for this part but had the screws right there so I just went with those. Either is fine but nails are easier to hide. :)
I added the trim to the front to finish it off. This is why I had to be careful where I placed the supports -- too far front and the trim would stick out. Too far back and it wouldn't be flush:
I painted it out in my favorite gray, Peppercorn, and placed the microwave inside when it was dry:
We went with a Samsung microwave -- it was on sale and the power is the same as our older version. I wasn't concerned about the smaller size, I just wanted it to heat stuff up as quick! We don't use it much anyway, just smaller dishes and reheating.

There is plenty of space behind the microwave for ventilation and some on the sides as well. I did a lot of research on placing a regular microwave in an island -- I went ahead because I've seen it done a million times and have a few friends who did it as well. They've had no problems at all. I would definitely recommend doing what I did with the shorter shelf or adding ventilation of some kind though:
We barely spent much on this between selling the old one and it being on sale, and I had all the materials for the shelf. This was a pretty inexpensive project all in all!
So far I LOVE it here. It is so nice to not have it as the focal point in our kitchen. It's been easy to use, it just takes some getting used to. We don't really have to bend down too much to get stuff in and out and we're tall. We bend down much more often to get things out of kitchen cabinets every day. I already love that I can put hot items right on the island instead of trying to get them safely down from over the oven.
If you have small kiddos you may want to make sure there is a lock feature if you do this. :)
I will definitely keep you updated on how we like it! I am pretty sure I will love it. I know I love how this gets it out of the way:
Here's a view of the island as it started out earlier this year (it didn't always look like this, we had to tear it apart to move it during our renovation):
Those squiggles are lines of glue from the numerous makeovers the little island had gotten. ;)
Here's the end during the process. I used cheaper plywood for this part because I knew we wouldn't see much of the inside when I was done:
And here she is completed! Finally!:

It feels so good to knock things off the kitchen reno list! Have you considered moving your microwave? Do you have one in your island as well?

Have a great weekend! :)

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