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Kitchen Hood Design Decisions

Deciding on the best style hood for your kitchen is a golden opportunity! If you have the space and budget to include one in your design plan, high five to you! While kitchen hoods serve an important role for function, they can also be an important design element much like an island. A well designed hood can become a beautiful focal point crafted from a variety of shapes, sizes and materials.

To begin the process of figuring out what style hood is right for you, here are a few key points to consider:

  • Size

  • Power

  • Materials

  • Features

  • Cost

The size of hood you need depends on how much space you have and how your hood will mount. You can choose between a wall mounted or ceiling mounted hood that floats over an island. In general, wall mounted hoods are either the same size or 2-4" wider than your cooktop and sit anywhere from 24-30' above it unless otherwise specified. I personally love to design hoods that make a STATEMENT, so the bigger the better! Especially if you have 9' or higher ceilings. The larger the hood though, the more potential cabinet space you give up so there has to be a working balance.

Let's talk about a few technical details that will help explain how powerful your hood should be to clean the air in your kitchen. If you are going with a stainless style hood, the mechanics will be built in. If you are wanting a decorative hood, it will need to house a vent insert aka liner. If you buy your appliances from a professional showroom they can assist you in calculating all this but if not here's the math. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. A vent with 1000 CFM can clean the air in a kitchen @ 10 x 10 x 10. (That's ceiling height x width x length of your kitchen). So begin by calculating the volume of air in your kitchen and back into how many CFM's you need.

Hoods can be designed from a number of materials including wood, stainless steel, copper, tile, tempered glass, aluminum and stucco to name a few. I often use contrasting materials in the hood and island design to create design interest and texture. You can layer materials on your hood like the one shown from a coastal kitchen project I designed about 2 years ago. I suggest saving photos of hoods that you love as design inspiration to work into your new kitchen.

In addition to cleaning the smoke and odors in your kitchen, vented hoods offer a few other handy features like lighting over your cooktop. Having lighting level options is especially nice if you ever use the night light feature like when you're up with you littles in the middle of the night :) Auto shut-off and heat sensors are upgrade options that you might also like to consider.

Last but not least is the old budget. How much your dream hood costs needs to be determined by your cabinet supplier or wherever you are sourcing your hood. Many prefab cabinet makers offer in-line hood options but you can always upgrade to another line or have one custom made to create the perfect hood for your dream kitchen. This is one area where I suggest splurging a little.

Join me in my new FB group Kitchen, Baths and Mudrooms by Design! Each week I will select a member's design challenge to solve on a FB live for the whole group to see. Get in early and see you there!

If you are working on designing your own kitchen grab my Free Guide while it's available!


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