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Fantastic Vent Hoods

Written and produced by Amy Elbert with Lucy Fitzgerald
  • Vent hoods are vital with today's high-powered ranges and cooktops, pulling hot air and odors out of your kitchen. They also can play a major style role, serving as a room's stunning focal point or defining a cooking zone.

    Basically a ventilation system uses a powerful fan to deliver hot air, moisture, odors, and carbon monoxide to the outdoors via a duct, making your kitchen a safer and more pleasant place to be. Most systems have removable filters that catch grease and particles that could build up in a duct system and lead to fires. A hood should be at least the same width as your cooking surface, according to the Home Ventilating Institute, and mounted 18 to 30 inches above the burners.

    Now that you know practical fan basics, take a look at some custom and semicustom hood designs that are simply fantastic.

  • Traditional white beadboard covers the face of this vent hood, complementing the kitchen’s clean blue-and-white palette. The classic pattern blends into the ceiling above, wrapping the entire room in simple lines and crisp white.

    Photograph: Francesco Lagnese
    Producer: Pamela Abrahams

  • A custom vent hood by Babcock Metal Works looks industrial with bold rivets along the seams and a hard-working Wolf range below. The cabinets’ steely blue hue helps the stainless steel vent hood harmonize with the rest of the space, which is grounded by neutral stone tiles.

    Photograph: Emily Followill
    Producer: Lisa Mowry
    Kitchen design: Design Galleria

  • Textural elements play in this stunning kitchen, designed by Tish Key for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. The oversized marble mosaic Waterworks clock with metal hands serves as a dramatic, moving eye-catcher under the kitchen range’s existing large brick hood. Black marble countertops and dark wood floors contrasted with cabinets painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Super White.”

    Interior designer: Tish Key
    Photograph: Philip Harvey
    Producer: Heather Lobdell

  • Polished stainless steel makes a modern impact in this beautiful white kitchen. The stainless steel of the custom vent hood extends down to the countertops, transforming the entire range into one cohesive area. A marble backsplash cascades down to the range, cleverly concealing a spice rack behind its panels.

    “A custom-designed hood is a relatively small financial investment compared to the visual return it can provide,” says designer Mick De Giulio. “A unique hood creates an artful composition around the cooking area.”

    Kitchen designer: Mick De Giulio
    Photograph: Werner Straube 
    Producer: Hilary Rose