Though they are essential in the modern-day kitchen, range hoods can be an eyesore. But choosing the right model that matches a kitchen’s style can elevate them from design headache to design opportunity.
According to the 2020 U.S. Houzz Kitchen TrendsStudy, range hoods were one of the top five best selling categories on the Houzz website. Over half of renovators chose to upgrade their current range hood, with the appliance category ranking just below ranges and above garbage disposals, cook tops, and wall ovens for most upgraded features.
“Kitchen range hoods help to improve your indoor air quality by reducing moisture, smoke, and other impurities that may be lingering in the air due to regular meal preparation and cooking,” custom range hood manufacturer Range Craft says on its blog. “Since a range hood is quite useful, you need to make sure that the hood you have in your kitchen looks amazing too.”
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Builders can choose from a range of styles and designs: Range Craft offers 21 styles to choose from on their website, including baroque and custom, and a variety of finishes such as brass, copper, stainless steel, and a powder coating.
Nicholas Kaess, lead design consultant for NYKB, says that the function of all range hoods is the same. The power of the range or cooktop underneath determines the size and power of the hood needed, but there are still choices builders must make. One is whether they want to install a standard bent-out venting range hood or a ventless one, which filters the air and then blows it back out into the room, according to the New York City-based designer.
Besides keeping the air clean, the smart Kitchen Hub is a range hood that allows users to talk to their family, watch a show, or follow along with a recipe right on its built-in touchscreen. With the range hood, consumers can also control other smart units such as a laundry machine or thermostat.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing the type is that a ventless range hood may require more maintenance, according to Range Craft. “While duct-free filters trap some of the grease and odors from normal cooking, the humidity, smoke and heat will all be re-circulated back into the home,” Range Craft says on its website. “If the duct-free filters are not regularly replaced, eventually the grease and odor catching effect will no longer protect your home from impurities.” Ventless may be the only route to go for a condo or smaller home, however. Kaess says that the range hood often comes in the form of a built-in ventless hood under the microwave due to the home’s size.
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Despite the standard function of a range hood, Kaess says that builders can turn the frequent design painpoint into a showpiece by working with the client to know what they need in terms of function and aesthetics.
“Range hoods tend to be very obtrusive and bulky, and a lot of people would rather not even have them all together,” Kaess says. “However, in a lot of cases, range hoods can now act as the focal point of the kitchen design.”
Kaess says the right range hood can greatly improve a kitchen design as long as it matches the style of the home, be it traditional, modern, contemporary, or transitional. One way builders can achieve this look is by specifying a custom wood hood and insert liners and fans within it, which he considers the ultimate look.
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Another option for a range hood is a pop-up hood for efficient ventilation, according to Kaess. These unobtrusive hoods will pop up when they turn on, and when placed by a window, they can downdraft into a basement or out of the home. Because of their pop-up design, the hoods are perfect for those who want a sleek rangehood that isn’t the center of attention and have the space to accommodate one.
For those who want a sleek design that doesn’t take up too much space, Elica designed this hidden downdraft range hood that homeowners can hide when not in use. When in use, the hood measures 14 inches.
Once you know a client wants a range hood, matching the design hood to the kitchen’s style is key, says Olga Gomes, owner and principal interior designer of OG Design Studio. After determining a price point, the popular Youtuber finds an option that fits the kitchen’s overall look.
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ZLine Kitchen & Bath
The Designer Wood KBAR features handcrafted wood. Inside of the hood is stainless steel for easy cleaning and durability.
“Is the kitchen modern versus traditional versus a combination/transitional style? A modern kitchen may have an opportunity for an exposed range hood, showcasing the stainless steel finish and sleekness of that style of vent,” Gomes says. “A more traditional kitchen may be better served by focusing on the cabinetry and having a hidden vent or insert within cabinetry.”
But the style isn’t the only factor to keep in mind, according to Gomes. The location of the range hood is an important part of the kitchen layout.
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“The range and range hood can sometimes become a focal point in the kitchen. If so, I then start thinking about how that range hood is treated, how much space it takes up, sizing and finish,” Gomes says. “That’s when I start looking at the actual product that will best fit within the design. I usually ask my product vendor to provide options based on the design with particular attention to budget and quality.”
Now offered in a new hand-hammered brass finish, custom ranges by Thompson Traders are ready in 10 to 12 weeks. Builders send the company a sketch, choose a finish and texture, choose a range hood insert, and then approve the final design.
This wall-mounted ventilation hood in the new Victoria Aesthetic by Smeg includes four fan speeds, two lights, and three aluminium grease filters. Consumers can choose from cream, black, white, or stainless steel.
With its under-cabinet design, the 36-inch Pro-Style Wall Hood can tuck itself under the cabinetry for homes that are tight on space. The hood includes three stainless steel filters and an adjustable top or back air outlet.
Best Range Hoods
The Cirrus 431/4 -inch brushed stainless steel range hood with external blower is one of Best’s built-in range hoods that can be installed into the ceiling above a range. Because the stainless steel panels lie flat, the company says it is perfect for open-concept layouts.
With its curved glass canopy, the Broan Elite Ei59 Series island range hood is designed to be a showpiece above a kitchen island. Control features include a delayed off and a filter clean reminder, and the range hood can detect excessive heat and automatically adjust the fans.
The Inca Smart Stainless insert is a stainless-steel range hood made to be discreet, fitting in a cabinet as small as 12 inches deep, according to the company. Builders can also install it into custom hoods.
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