*** CHECK OUT OUR NEW KITCHEN! ***
So far, we've talked about kitchen design trends that we're contemplating for our new kitchen, and also some appliance choices that will help free-up our counterspace. In choosing our kitchen appliances, I also emphasized how we wanted to hide them from view to achieve a more streamlined look. Maybe this idea of hiding appliances came from the daily HIDE and seek games with the little man at around the same time we were researching for appliances. I'm almost certain about that. But one thing that started our design of a streamlined kitchen was the want to hide the range hood.
Here's another look of our kitchen layout.
As you can see, the island faces the stove. I pictured myself looking into the kitchen from the island. Do I want the range hood and stove to be the focal point of the kitchen? Not unless it's an immaculate setting. So my first design attempt was to hide the range hood, using a hood liner with custom cabinetry, in similar designs as these:
Notice the red lines along the bottom of one cabinet, to the higher line at the range hood, and then down again to the adjacent upper cabinet. The more I browsed through photos of beautiful kitchens on Pinterest, the more annoyed I got by these up and down lines. I mean, it's a normal look for most kitchens, and we've all grown used to it. For our new kitchen, where the direct view of the stove is open to the rest of the floor, I would rather have a nice quiet background that is the stove area, without the distracting "up and down" lines.
I had an idea, but I wasn't sure if it was possible. Can I just hide the hood in a cabinet? Similar to a hood cover, but in place of that would be our existing cabinet doors. I forgot what keywords I used to google my idea of "level range hood with cabinet" or "hidden range hood ". I was beyond myself when I found these possiblities, and I immediately showed them to the Mr.!
It only makes sense that minimalist design is best suited for small kitchens. Hiding the hood may be much ado about nothing, but this streamlined minimalist look will work well for our open concept floor plan. The design of a muted open kitchen will bring the focus to the kitchen-facing living room and the adjacent dining room.
If these designs exist, then there must be hoods manufactured to be hidden away. For that, we turned to our appliance expert, who we had been bugging since the week after we bought the new house.
She quickly found us the brands that make these INTEGRATED hoods and gave us some options. Not surprisingly, they're mostly made by European companies. Modern living quarters in Europe/ Asia are in abundance, and streamlined kitchen designs are most popular with their small kitchens. A built-in hood would do away with the bulky look of a conventional hood range, streamlining cabinet design for a clean look. We're not going the modern route, but a minimalist kitchen is exactly what we're after!
Here are several options she recommended with at least 600 CFM (cubic feet per minute, a measurement of the volume of air extracted by the range hood):
The design of our kitchen will have the upper cabinets installed a bit higher than normal, to accommodate for the minimum distance between the range hood and the stove. Here is a rough rendering (using the IKEA Kitchen Planner Tool) of how our kitchen will look like, incorporating some of the trends and appliance choices we talked about in the previous posts. Sorry for my attempt in creating the marble slab backsplash... yikes!
The upper cabinets are level across the kitchen, to avoid that "up and down" look at the stove area. I love the open feeling brought about by the glass doors and the light that's reflected through them. The fridge and freezer drawers on the side wall frees up the counterspace that would have otherwise been taken up by a conventional fridge unit. The microwave drawer and dishwasher are located on either side of the sink at the island.
The kitchen is the heart of our house. Like most families, the kitchen is the last room we're at before we begin a busy day, and the first room we head to after coming home from work. A well designed kitchen and one that functions well would make our lives that much easier! We hope that our minimalist design will give our kitchen the efficiency that's crucial for a small kitchen, while feeling roomy. We very much look forward to starting our daily mad dash in our new kitchen, and ending a busy day prepping some yummies on the mile-long counters.