Is it just me, or have range hoods gone over the top? Sometimes it seems as though a Rolls Royce has been parked in the kitchen. Granted, if I lived in a manor house, I’d probably be coveting a custom steel hood like this, that puts Cornue to shame. (I certainly love that cut marble backsplash.) But here in New York City, co-op living prevents most homeowners from venting our range hoods to the outside, and this brings things into a sharp new perspective, where range hoods stand on their design merits alone. Here’s a look at what I see.
The designer employed some skillful millwork in this gorgeous kitchen. If I lived in a country house with a traditional kitchen, this might be the range hood for me. But in our urban kitchen that will be open to the larger living areas, it would look a tad silly, even without the topiaries.
This style of range hood was a serious contender for me. So serious that I’ve actually downloaded tutorials on how to build it. Comment below if you’re interested, and I’ll share the links. I’m going to pass on this style for my kitchen, however. Even with the very simple shaker doors we’re going with, this hood would be all the eye would see from the moment a person walked through our door.
The Blended Awning
The next thing I considered was trying to blend a hood in with my backsplash. I do love this black and white kitchen, with white subway tile and dark grout. But when I’m reading on the sofa in my living room and gazing casually across the island, I somehow don’t want to be looking at subway tile. Maybe this is just a New York thing and it reminds me of my morning commute? I don’t know what it is. I find it dramatic and appealing as a design, but I don’t find it relaxing.
The Steel Chimney
When I was considering ultramodern slab fronts, this style range hood might have been a contender. I love the spare, industrial lines of this stainless steel box. However, now that I’ve settled on shaker fronts and a marble backsplash, it’s out.
As I noodled around with various kitchen designs, I strongly considered having my contractor build a soffit to contain the hood. Perhaps if I were going for open shelving like this, I’d spring for it. But weighing function along with form, it seems wasteful in a New York City apartment not to utilize what could be extra cabinet space.
The Integrated Hood
This line of thinking led me to the integrated hood. When I started to search for integrated hood inspo, however, I kept seeing this type of layout, where the hood is installed in a short cabinet. I totally understand that this is to maximize space above the cooktop, however, I just don’t like it. Unless the bump up can be completely centered on the wall, that short cabinet just feels unbalanced to my eye.
The Invisible Hood
This led me at last to consider the invisible hood. The designer of this kitchen on Houzz shared that he installed a Faber Cristal SS, integrated into a same-size run of cabinets. And he made it nearly invisible by applying a decorative strip the same color as the cabinets, just as you would integrate a dishwasher or other appliance with a panel. Folks, we have a winner!
I’m a big fan of the open concept kitchen, but this has been one of the biggest design challenges I’ve ever dealt with. When I’m relaxing in my living room, I want my eye to be drawn to the timeless beauty of a marble backsplash and the simplicity of shaker cabinets. When I’m doing dishes in my kitchen and gazing out across my living room, my restful eye will fall upon flowing linen slipcovers, bright accent chairs, a soaring wall of books, and artwork that I love. Oh, happiness!
It appears every home design show these days is enamored with knocking down walls, but I’m finding that an open plan comes with its own set of design challenges. Every room’s design elements need to flow in harmony.