When Function Meets Focal Point | The Latest in Range Hood Design

Home trends are constantly changing; from lighting and hardware to wall coverings and flooring, changes in decor allow us to keep our homes looking fresh. One trend gaining traction is the use of the range hood as a design focal point in the kitchen. A unique and eye-catching hood can dictate the direction of a new kitchen remodel. Whether you want to go big and bold or small and understated, there are no shortage of ideas to match any kitchen personality. 

Decide on design
An easy way to dive into the design of a range hood is to start with the style of hood, then choose how to incorporate and customize it. There are four basic styles of range hoods: undercabinet, wall mount with exposed chimney, ceiling mount, and vent insert. All of these range hoods serve the same purpose: to hide the venting needed to remove smoke, moisture, grease and smells from your kitchen while cooking, learn about the Bi Fold Doors.

An undercabinet range hood is exactly as it sounds. It sits under your cabinetry with the ductwork hidden in an upper cabinet. It can be installed flush against the cabinets, or have an exposed hood over the cooktop. There is limited ability to alter this hood as many styles are offered in stainless steel. However, with the ever-changing look of appliances in the kitchen, the availability of different colors is on the rise. A wall-mount hood is a large vent with a long decorative flue that is attached to the wall and travels up to the ceiling, hiding the ductwork. Very similar to this is a ceiling mount, which has a long flue with a vent that hangs down over a kitchen island cooktop. Both styles feature a modern look, with clean lines and stainless-steel finishes. However, similar to the undercabinet hoods, more colors, styles and finishes are emerging as kitchen design evolves. The most versatile style of range hood is the vent insert. An insert is basically the mechanics of the range vent hidden behind any type of hood. Here is where homeowners can really make an impact with materials, color, size and style.

Wonders of woodwork
The use of woodwork and cabinetry to hide a vent insert is not new in kitchen design. However, what is new is varying the type of wood, the color or finish of the wood, and the style to make it more distinctive. Shiplap has become synonymous with the modern farmhouse aesthetic, however there are many other ways to achieve this look. Consider using reclaimed wooden beams for the entire hood or around the edges for a touch of rustic charm. Herringbone and chevron patterns are popular in flooring, but both will make a dramatic impact on a range hood. If your kitchen is more traditional, you can’t go wrong with custom millwork. Adding moldings, columns, corbels, paneling, arches or a mantel will elevate any wooden range hood. If left raw or unfinished, the wood detail will be a nice contrast to your painted cabinetry. Painting or staining the hood to match your cabinets provides a seamless and uniform look, while choosing something different can add a pop of color or sharp contrast (think white cabinets with a black hood) in an otherwise traditional space.

Mix and match metals
While stainless steel range hoods are extremely common, you don’t need to limit yourself to that if you’re looking to accent your hood with metal. Copper, galvanized steel, zinc and bronze have all gained popularity in kitchen design. Metal trim and other details can be added to any hood, and metals can be mixed and matched. Even the metal’s patina can be altered for a truly one-of-a-kind result. Often the curve of a metal hood is used in the design process to offset the straight lines of the existing cabinetry, resulting in an eye-catching focal point.

Splendid style with tile and stone
Think tile is just for the backsplash? Not anymore. Install your backsplash tile to the ceiling and incorporate the face of the range hood as well. You can either match it for a consistent, cohesive look, or use a different color tile or mosaic to make it stand out against a simple backsplash. Either way, the result will be impressive. Another way to disguise your vent insert is with a cast-stone hood. These large, heavy works of art are a beautiful way to add a bit of Old World-style to your home. Stone hoods can even run the length of the countertop, and instantly become the main feature of the kitchen.

Updated functionality
As with any trend, extra features have been added to range hood vents that may make you want to replace your old one, even if it’s still in working order. If you are going to replace your vent with a similar unit, you may only need to do basic electrical work. However, if you are looking at a different style, it may require cutting holes in the walls or ceiling and adding additional ductwork. In this case, you should consult a professional. New models now have varying fan speeds, heat sensors that automatically turn the fan on, timers that turn the fan off, and even remote-control options.

Whether you want to plan your entire kitchen design around a new range hood or just make some simple changes, there are numerous ways to update and freshen up one of the most important places in your home.


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