Adding a Range Hood? Ask Yourself These Key Questions First!

New homeowners going through kitchen upgrades these days will more often than not add a range hood, according to a recent study done by Houzz. However, when you have a number of options to choose from, things can get overwhelming. If you are one of these homeowners, use this post as a guide and make everything a little bit easier for yourself.

kitchen design with hood range

Do I Need a Range Hood?

In short, no. They aren’t required by any building codes or safety regulations and are therefore not absolutely a must-have in your kitchen.

When we design kitchens at In Stock Kitchens, the range hood is usually an extra add-on if the budget allows for it.

An important question to consider is, what’s the current state of natural ventilation? If you have lots of big windows around the kitchen space, a range hood may not be necessary. Additionally, you should consider how often you cook and what you will be cooking. A lot of people microwave the majority of their meals!

Do I Want a Range Hood?

Although you may not see the smoke the steam while you’re cooking, oil particles actually get spread through the air. In other words, the grease from the pans slowly covers the room, unless you have a suction to get rid of that air. If you’re a serious chef, you definitely want a powerful range hood.

Where Should My Range Hood Go?

Seems like an obvious question, but one that often times needs to be answered. The range hood should go directly above the source of potential steam and smoke. However, what most people don’t know is that range hoods need to ventilate, so we always recommend placing them by a nearby exterior wall. The less distance air travels to get outside means the less powerful your system will have to work in order to be successful. This ultimately saves homeowners money on energy, equipment, and utilities.

Types of Range Hoods

Standard Over-Range Hoods.You are able to choose from two standard range hood forms: undercabinet hoods that are partially enclosed in cabinetry or a wall-mounted unit with no surrounding cabinetry. You can run these through the ceiling or roof, or also vent back through the walls.

Island range hoods also fall into the standard category. These types, however, are much less likely to have any cabinetry surrounding it. If an island does include a range and range hood, it is often featured in the room.

island kitchen range hood

You can find high-tech looking range hood styles that are much less intrusive into the kitchen space and make a very unique and interesting statement. Although these are still standard over-range hoods, they usually use a more powerful suction. As a result, a more airy feeling and headroom while you cook your meals.

Built-In Over-Range Hoods.These hoods are typically disguised in kitchen cabinets, which avoids the range being a focal point of the kitchen design. In nature, these hoods are generally not finished and look ugly, so they will need to be covered to hide all of the insides. Although you may not be able to uncover the panels, you can easily swap them out should you change your kitchen cabinet style.

built-in over-range hoods

Pop-Up Vents.These vents are also referred to as the “behind cooktop hoods” or “downdraft vents” because they aren’t really hoods at all. They are smaller, slimmer vents that apply suction directly at the source of smoke and steam and pull it into the floor rather than the ceiling. The name “pop-up” comes from the fact that the vents “pop-up” into place only when needed and are then drawn back down into the counter when not in use.

Pop-up vents are most appropriate when the ceiling over the range is incapable of housing ventilation ducts.

Although they seem visually appealing and provide a very open feel, pop-up vents are by far the least powerful option. More serious chefs may find the pop-up vent to be insufficient in meeting their needs.

pop-up range hood

Microwave Combo Hoods.Range hoods can also be combined with microwaves to handle two different functions in a very small space, which is very ideal in a compact kitchen design. The combo unit typically has about the same power as a standard hood, but the microwave combo hood is better for small home cooking or for those who use the microwave a lot.

microwave combo range hood

Style Ideas

Homeowners can integrate their range hoods in many different ways without being paneled. Try selecting a white unit over black to stainless steel. This allows the unit to blend much cleaner with the white cabinetry and provides a really nice atmosphere and feel. Also, don’t be afraid to have the range hood differ from the rest of the design. As long as it is not mismatched with any other appliances, you should be good to go.

different color range hood

If, however, your kitchen includes a lot of stainless steel, a simple stainless steel hood will simply blend in with the rest of the kitchen décor.

stainless steel range hood

You also can add a really specialized backsplash that runs just from the range to the range hood is a great way to avoid grease stains. It also brings together some beautiful detail that becomes one main feature in the kitchen.

If you don’t mind sacrificing storage space, a big up and comping trend is the skip he upper cabinets and allow the range hood to be a sole feature. The room feels huge, you can add beautiful details at eye-level, and you have a ton of open space.

main range hood with no upper cabinets

Have you heard of the “Kitchen Work Triangle”?

The work triangle has been an integral part of the kitchen design layout as far as we can remember. It’s all about efficiency, with the stove, sink and refrigerator as the highlights to an effective kitchen layout. In route to these three major points in the kitchen should be a decent amount of counter space for the food preparation, preferably next to the sink. Actually the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) sums it up as: an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. As intimidating as this all seems, taking your time and methodically planning a clear path for the triangle will bring you years of enjoyment in your new kitchen.

kitchen work triangle

Where To Start Your Kitchen Purchase

Do you know where the average consumer starts when deciding to buy a kitchen? It stems from these 3 main categories:

  • Color – Is the first thing that comes to mind. People usually have a color in mind in the pre-design process.
  • Style – Whether it is pure simplicity or elaborate decorative edges, style is the next big driver in the decision making.
  • Design – Comes in third! The basic kitchen designs are a Galley, L-shape and a U-shape.

As you can guess by now, Cost comes in fourth, even though it is on every consumers mind from the start of the project.

kitchen cabinets

Kitchen Handles and Knobs

Choose The Right Kitchen Handle or Knob

kitchen handles and knobs

Choosing the right handle or knob is a crucial step in the final design process of your new kitchen. It literally can make or break a beautiful kitchen design.

When we design kitchens, we like to design for the long haul. What we mean by that is; we do not want it outdated in 5 years. That’s why classic styles like shaker and raised panels have had such longevity in the kitchen cabinet market. This holds true for color too, the old adage “dollar wise… penny foolish” comes to mind.

Pick a handle or knob that compliments the attributes of your solid wood kitchen cabinetry. As an example; a shaker is a plain cabinet style which allows you to get more detailed in your choice of cabinet pulls or handles. The reverse holds true for an intricate raised panel design. The varieties are endless as are the manilas they are made with, pewter, stainless steel, copper, brass, bronze and beyond!

The nice thing about handles, pulls and knobs are, they can be changed out down the road if your taste changes over time!

Design Your Kitchen Peninsula

Tips & Tricks For Your Kitchen Peninsula

The first thing homeowners have to consider with their kitchen peninsula is if they want the countertop material to blend with the rest of the kitchen scheme or if they want variation in it. The next important element is determining the functionality of the peninsula. Will you have bar seating or will it be used as additional dining space? One of the most important decisions you will make is deciding if you want the U-shape or L-shape design.

The L-shape peninsula utilizes two wall surfaces with kitchen appliances mainly placed on one wall. Alternatively, the U-shape kitchen peninsula features the use of three wall surfaces where the refrigerator, sink, and oven all utilize their own wall. Both of these layouts are beautiful and provide their own function in the kitchen. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want in your dream kitchen design!

u-shape kitchen peninsula

Kitchen Island or Kitchen Peninsula? The On-Going Debate.

How Should You Choose Kitchen Island or Kitchen Peninsula?

Bottom line, there is no real answer to this never-ending debate. It all comes down to the homeowners personal preference. However, there are many factors that can influence your preference. Personal needs, family size and kitchen size all play a major role in what the best fit for your kitchen is. If you need additional work-space, then the kitchen island would be an excellent decision for you. However, if space is limited in your kitchen, then the peninsula might be the better choice because of its natural smaller size. The only guarantee when it comes to selecting the island or peninsula, is that you will have a beautiful, trendy, and modern look with either option. If you find yourself having this tough debate and need an extra hand, In Stock Kitchens is here to help! We can provide an absolutely FREE 3-D kitchen design of your layout and determine what is best for you. We hope to hear from you soon!

kitchen peninsula pictureskitchen island picture

Pros and Cons of the Kitchen Peninsula

kitchen peninsula

Kitchen Peninsula… What’s That?

A kitchen peninsula is a set of cabinets that are connected to the rest of the kitchen, but only on one side. This design has become more and more popular and is now in fact included in most kitchen designs.

Kitchen Peninsula Pros

The peninsula is an excellent choice for smaller kitchen layouts. It is extremely space efficient. If you’re worried about walking room, no need! A kitchen peninsula has three open sides for easy access. Peninsulas are also a great way to create a visual separation between the kitchen and other other living areas such as the living room or dining room. And the best part is that you do not need to close off the space with a wall. Similarly to the kitchen island, you get plenty of countertop space and additional storage. In fact, you often times get even more space and storage then an island! Perhaps you have a big family or entertain lost of guests, and you are concerned about the amount of seating. A peninsula provides plenty of space for barstools which allows you to optimize dining space. If you love to cook or are a professional cook, a peninsula is easier to transition between kitchen and appliance.

Kitchen Peninsula Cons

One major concern that goes with peninsulas is the bottleneck effect. With an attached counter, it can potentially cause heavy traffic due to family members running in and out, going to the fridge, going through cabinets, while you are prepping meals. The island, on the other hand, allows separate entry points into the kitchen versus only having 1 spot. No one wants to feel trapped or claustrophobic in their kitchen, so this is very important to consider.

Design Tips For the Kitchen Island

kitchen island design tips

As with any kitchen design, you will need to consider how much space you have in your kitchen and carefully plan how you plan on using that space. Do you want the kitchen island to simply be a place where you can hang out with your family and friends? Will you be storing essential kitchen equipment in the island? Perhaps you plan on using it for additional dining space for hosting parties. Each option will have its own design implications and determine the size of the island. You also will need to make sure that by adding a kitchen island, there is plenty of surrounding space to walk and maneuver. You do not want to sacrifice functionality! You will also need to determine the layout of the island to make sure you leave enough room for the rest of the dining area. Additionally, you also might want the island to match the entirety of your current kitchen design and lovely all wood kitchen cabinets. This means installing the correct stone and color palette. However, if you want the island to be the “center piece” of the kitchen and stand out, you can take advantage of this opportunity to add different aesthetics and “daring” or “bold” colors.

Pros & Cons of Kitchen Islands

Kitchen Island – What Is It?

kitchen island

Simply put, a kitchen island is a counter that is unattached from the main kitchen countertops and is easily accessible from all sides. Due to the fact it stands alone and is surrounded by nothing, the name “island” was easily created. It serves as a very practical, convenient, and functional design piece.

Pros of the Kitchen Island

By adding a kitchen island, you provide yourself with additional workspace and storage which allows you to optimize your kitchen for organization. In addition to workspace and storage, you can design sinks and appliances to be installed with the island. Perhaps most importantly, the kitchen island is a convenient place for family and friends to gather around to spend time together and enjoy good conversation. While your family and friends are surrounding the extra space in the kitchen, you should still have plenty of room to operate in the kitchen and continue preparing your meal.

Cons of the Kitchen Island

Despite all of its great advantages, there can be some disadvantages. If you have a small home, the addition of a kitchen island could make the space feel even more crowded. Additional, if you do have a small space, the island may be too small to support extra sinks or appliances and would limit the amount of seating. For larger families, adding a kitchen island may not be the best design for your kitchen because they may not be able to sit comfortably around the island.

Simple Bathroom Design Tips

Looking to freshen up that old bathroom of yours? In Stock Kitchens is here to provide some insight on how you can improve the look and feel of your home, and cost effectively too! Ready to rock that new bathroom design? Let’s go!

Those old shower curtains need to go! Try adding a tieback for the drapes to add some decoration to the bathroom.

Install a frame around the bathroom mirrors. Even if you have a full wall mirror, you can add moldings instead and still get the same high class effect.

bathroom light fixtures

Replace the bathmats and towels. That can give a completely new style to the bathroom. Couple that with a solid color that includes patterns.

Update those old light fixtures. Have fun with it and pick something that really stands out to add some pizzazz to the bathroom.

bathroom light fixtures

Refresh the windows that can go with those new beautiful mats and towels you just bought!

Put that significant other of yours to work and add a new coat of paint or put up some new wallpaper.

Most importantly, update the bathroom cabinets! Nothing screams new like fresh bathroom vanities.