When remodeler Soren Jensen was asked by his clients to hide all the appliances in this kitchen remodel, the one item that proved to be most difficult to cover was the microwave. Because the formal living room is adjacent to the kitchen, the owners wanted the kitchen cabinets to resemble built-in furniture and hide the appliances.

Jensen, the owner of Danish Builders in Rockville, Md., hid everything behind sleek maple and mahogany cabinets that were made in his cabinet shop.

It turned out that difficulty bred creativity, and the sleekest disguise is the door that covers the problem microwave. The lift-up door has closure hardware operated by a hydraulic pump usually used on commercial projects. The main problem was that the cabinet door was larger and heavier than the specifications offered by the manufacturer. "A larger pump size did not exist, so it made the installation more complicated," Jensen says. It took some inventiveness to install it so that it operates smoothly.

As expensive and time-consuming as the pump's installation was, Jensen says it's an example of the company's philosophy of building exactly what its customers want. But if he had to install the hardware again, Jensen says, he would charge more than he did on this job.

Courtesy Danish Builders