Design statement: Consider a custom range hood?

Range hoods are a great place to make a design statement and really catch the eye of viewers in your kitchen. (Submitted photo)

Range hoods are a great place to make a design statement and really catch the eye of viewers in your kitchen. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by David Decker

Although it’s not always seen as flashy or exciting, a range hood is actually one of the most important appliances found in the kitchen. Range hoods typically consist of two parts. First, there is a canopy or overhang that works to capture the smoke, steam, heat and air pollution caused by cooking. Then, a fan or blower extracts all of those pollutants and pushes them out of the kitchen and through the ventilation system. Many range hoods also feature lighting that can aid with cooking tasks.

Without a range hood, cooking in the kitchen becomes a big hassle, as all of the byproducts of your tasty meals, such as heat, steam, smoke and grease, stay trapped in your home. A powerful hood is designed to create a source of fresh air to flow into the kitchen, while also vacuuming up cooking contaminants. They leave your kitchen with improved air quality, and less of that sticky buildup around the cooking area that becomes a pain during cleanup time.

But you don’t need to be a professional chef to install a high-quality range hood. In fact, many homeowners today are choosing to install custom designed range hoods that function both as an integral part of their day-to-day cooking, while also adding a touch of style or elegance to the overall look of the kitchen.

If you’re considering a custom-built range hood, there are literally thousands of designs that you could use as inspirational starting points. Range hoods come in a variety of construction styles. However, it’s important to remember that full-sized hoods often have more suction and power than the smaller models that fit underneath cabinetry. In the case of range hoods, the larger, higher quality models are often well worth the investment. Remember, any oils or cooking debris that is not captured by the hood can end up on your cabinets, countertops and flooring.

Range hoods can be constructed from nearly any material imaginable. That’s where you have the freedom to get creative! Many homeowners choose to design custom hood designs that match the material or style of their kitchen cabinetry. You could also choose a material that really stands out against the rest of your kitchen.

David Decker is president of the Affordable Companies, which include Affordable Kitchens and Bathrooms and now Affordable Custom Flooring. They are based in Carmel (575-9540, E-mail home improvement questions to

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