If you’re working with a small, crowded kitchen, you know the struggles of trying to find space for all your essential appliances and tools. The countertops are stuffed, cabinets are overflowing, and forget about having any room left to prep a meal. But what if we told you there was an ingenious solution to add extra storage, workspace, and even a special spot for your microwave? Enter: the rolling kitchen cart with built-in microwave shelf.
This multitasking kitchen cart is designed to be a compact organizational system on wheels. It provides the benefits of an island cart for extra counter area and storage, combined with a dedicated microwave shelf that gets your appliance off the counter. The result? A streamlined way to maximize every inch of your limited kitchen real estate. Keep reading as we explore the many perks of a rolling cart with microwave shelf and how it can revolutionize your meal prep experience.
Benefits of a Rolling Kitchen Cart
Before we get into the specifics of the microwave shelf feature, let’s review the general benefits that a rolling cart offers any kitchen.
Provides Extra Storage and Workspace
The number one advantage of a kitchen cart is the amount of storage it provides. Many feature open shelving or enclosed cabinet space to store small appliances, cookware, baking pans, and more. This helps free up room in your kitchen cabinets and drawers by giving frequently used items a handy home.
In addition to storage, a cart also expands your usable countertop workspace. The flat counter surface gives you added room for food prep tasks like chopping veggies or rolling out pie dough. Some carts even come with a butcher’s block top for an ideal chopping station. You can use the extra space for serving food buffet style or setting up a drink bar.
For small, cramped kitchens, a cart can be a life saver by offering storage and workspace that would otherwise be missing. No more digging around in cabinets or trying to prep ingredients on the tiny sliver of counter you have left.
Mobility Adds Flexibility
Unlike stationary kitchen islands, a cart on wheels can easily be moved around your space as needed. When not in use, simply roll it against a wall or tuck it into a corner to keep the floor open. Then pull it out when you need that extra prep area or serving space during meals.
Carts with caster wheels even allow you to use them outside of the kitchen. Roll one into your dining area to use as a buffet server for parties. Or bring it outdoors to set up an outdoor kitchen for barbecues and events. The mobility makes it endlessly flexible.
Stylish and Functional Design
Kitchen carts come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and materials to suit any decor. Many feature sleek stainless steel, warm wood tones, or bright pops of color like red or turquoise. Beyond visual appeal, most are designed to be highly functional.
Look for options with extras like spice racks, stemware holders, and towel bars. Or choose one with a butcher’s block top for chopping tasks. There are even models with charging stations to keep your devices powered as you work. With so many design options, you can easily find a cart that adds function while matching your personal style.
Advantages of Built-In Microwave Shelf
Now that we’ve covered the general utility of a kitchen cart, let’s focus on the specialty microwave shelf feature. This integrated shelf serves one main purpose: getting the microwave off your counter.
Saves Precious Counter Space
Finding a spot for the microwave is a constant struggle, especially with limited counter real estate. It takes up a huge footprint that could otherwise be used for appliances or food prep. But a microwave shelf on a kitchen cart solves this issue by giving the microwave its own dedicated home.
By keeping the microwave on the cart, you free up critical space on your counters. This leaves room for organizing other small appliances like the coffeemaker, toaster, and blender. Without the microwave hogging space, you can fully utilize every square inch of counter area.
Convenient Access at All Times
Having the microwave parked on a cart also means you can keep it within arm’s reach at all times. No more shuffling appliances around or ducking down to reach a microwave hidden on a low shelf or in a corner cabinet.
The microwave shelf puts it front and center right where you need it most – near the prep area, sink, and refrigerator. You’ll save time and hassle with easy access when you need to reheat leftovers or melt butter for recipes.
Keeps Microwave Off the Counter
Elevating the microwave on a cart also helps reduce visual clutter in your cooking zone. Having it sit directly on the counter inevitably makes your kitchen look busier and more crowded.
But keeping it on the cart shelf gets it up and off the counter entirely. This creates a cleaner, smoother countertop surface that looks more streamlined and minimalist. The only items left are those you use constantly like the coffeemaker and knife block.
Custom Fit and Support for Microwave
Specialized kitchen carts designed for microwaves have an engineered wood shelf capable of holding most standard sized models. It’s constructed to safely hold up to 50 pounds without sag or collapse.
The shelf width and depth are made to fit typical microwave dimensions in the 0.9 to 1.2 cubic foot range. However, always double check your particular model’s measurements before purchasing a cart to ensure proper fit.
Choosing the Right Microwave Cart
If you’re sold on getting a rolling kitchen cart with built-in microwave shelf, it’s just a matter of selecting the right one. Here are some key factors to keep in mind during your search.
Measure Your Space
First up is making sure the cart dimensions actually work for your kitchen’s footprint. Measure the height to ensure it fits beneath wall cabinets or under soffits. Also check that the cart’s width and depth leave enough clearance around doorways or high-traffic zones.
Ideally look for a compact cart around 30-34 inches wide and 16-18 inches deep. This allows you to tuck it out of the workflow when not in use. Just pull it out when you need that added surface area and microwave access.
Next, consider microwave size capacity. As mentioned earlier, most microwave shelves support 0.9 to 1.2 cubic foot models. Take measurements of your existing microwave or the new one you plan to buy.
Make sure the shelf footprint provides a few extra inches all around so the microwave doesn’t hang over the edges. This prevents it from feeling cramped or unstable.
Locking Wheels for Stability
Wheeled carts should have locking casters that prevent rolling during use. The last thing you want is the cart drifting across the kitchen when you go to push buttons on the microwave. Locking the wheels gives you a stable surface for tasks like chopping or mixing.
But the wheels should still allow the cart to move freely when unlocked. Test this in the store by rolling it back and forth to be sure the wheels glide easily.
Material and Durability
Standard kitchen carts come in wood, metal, or plastic construction. Wood and metal are strongest in terms of durability and weight capacity. Plastic is more prone to scratches over time.
Look for thicker materials whenever possible, typically 3/4 to 1 inch thickness. Review weight limits to ensure the cart can handle a microwave plus other stored items. And search for models with cross-bracing underneath for reinforcement.
Style and Design Options
With your practical needs met, the fun part is choosing a microwave cart design that matches your personal taste. Consider these stylistic factors as you shop:
Storage and Shelving
First, decide if you prefer enclosed cabinet storage or open shelving. Cabinets keep items concealed but shelves provide grab-and-go access.
Also look for options like drawers for utensils, extra racks or baskets. And check out the countertop material – butcher block, laminate, and marble are popular options.
Colors and Finishes
There’s no limit to the color and finish choices for kitchen carts. Stained wood carts in black, espresso, or driftwood are trendy. Or pick a color like sage green, fire engine red, or robin’s egg blue for a fun pop.
Metal carts open even more possibilities like stainless steel, antique bronze, brushed nickel or antiqued copper. Just choose a finish that complements your cabinetry and backsplash.
Industrial, Rustic or Modern
Finally, consider the aesthetic vibe you want the cart to give off. Industrial styles work perfectly in urban lofts with exposed ductwork. Choose one with black metal and wood shelves.
For modern farmhouse or rustic spaces, go for lighter wood tones and visible hardware. And polished carts with sleek lines fit modern and contemporary kitchens.
No matter your personal style, there’s a kitchen cart out there that aligns. It just takes some thoughtful browsing to find the right fit.
At the end of the day, a rolling kitchen cart with built-in microwave shelf offers the best of both worlds. You get ample storage, bonus counter space, and microwave access all packed into one convenient piece.
This multitasking unit brings organization, ease of use, and style to even the smallest, most crowded kitchens. Finding your perfect match is simply a matter of defining your needs and choosing a design that works with your existing space and decor. Just watch how seamlessly it fits into your cooking workflow!