Trends on the kitchen’s #1 focal point

Design and interior trends in recent years have shown a significant shift away from ornate details, such as carved onlays, fluting, and intricate door styles. But in many Traditional and Transitional home styles (like mine!) it is completely out of place to move to Modern, Industrial or Contemporary themes. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen with the minimal style trend is in the ventilation source; aka the wood hood or vent hood. This week, I’m talking about hood options that work with the latest trends, from Contemporary to Transitional and of course, Farmhouse style.

Techno Fashion

As we know, technology is a constant evolution of refined engineering, and we’ve seen some amazing improvements in ventilation that have opened up new possibilities for designers to specify just the right shape, style, and function of venting in residential projects. Surprisingly, the stainless steel hood has become a staple for many style themes…both in wall and island installations.

But as styles become mainstream, Trend Setters are always looking for something new and different. Fortunately, brands like Best® have developed fashionable looks as well as fully concealed ventilation that work best in today’s minimalist style trend. First a bit on fashion:

These atypical hoods are designed to mimic lighting rather than ventilation. As you can see, they do a great job of playing the part while being subtle eye catchers. I hate to say there’s a downside, but with beauty, there may come sacrifice…these hoods recirculate through washable filters, rather than drawing the cooking aromas up and out.

Check out this video to see it in motion!

For the open concept kitchen, and when sightlines are a concern, there are some great options in place of an island hood. One of my faves is the fully concealed telescoping downdraft, Cattura™ by Best®. Beyond the typical downdraft, this model is highly effective in pulling odors and it’s low on the noise scale, too. Plus, it’s rather entertaining to see in action!

In addition to downdrafts, there are sleek overhead vent systems, ranging from models where you see simple panels like this, to those that are mostly concealed and have a slide-out visor made of glass. Cirrus™ by Best® is designed for ceiling installation, which is great over islands and peninsulas, while the pull-out units install on the wall.

KitchenAid’s slide-out hood is tucked discreetly below the wall cabinet while the blower unit is concealed within. 

In addition to the semi-concealed hoods above, there is also the option to go completely invisible on a wall hood; where all you see are baffles or filters, metal and lighting on the bottom of the wall cabinet. The rest of the hood’s functions are concealed inside the wall cabinet, which keeps the lines consistent in the design.

Wood Hood Fashion

Metal hoods are definitely the right thing for some designs, but wood hoods continue to be a highly requested feature. For this reason, we added a couple of new styles to the already extensive list of wood hoods in our product line, providing you with even more options for specifying the right shape and style wood hood into your designs.

Curvy and sleek

Introduced at KBIS, this focal point was sometimes mistaken for a metal hood due to the surprising new shape but also because of the finish. Many were touching it and asking “what is this made out of?”

At KBIS, our new Curved Hood in Dove Appaloosa was the focal point of our Coastal Luxe Platinum kitchen.

The beauty of this hood is evident in any finish, however, when you truly create a wood hood focal point, the finish you specify can take it  from “oooh!!” to “AHHHHMAZING!!” This hood has a bit of a chameleon shape making it look great in almost any style theme. Above, the traditional look of inset cabinetry is juxtaposed with fresh finishes and of course, the feature hood, resulting in a Transitional overall look.

Here is a design showing the Curved Hood in Safari Classic paint, paired with floating shelves and a bold graphic tile backsplash which moves the look towards the Contemporary side of Transitional.

The Curved Hood also gives you the option to use a stainless steel accent band on the mantel section, for an edgy contemporary flair that also ties into other stainless steel appliances and fixtures in the design.

Overall, I think you will find this hood great to explore within your designs – and as you define the width, height, and finish, I’m sure you will find that the mix-n-match options will give you precisely the perfect fit for your client’s focal point.

Tapered and Tailored

Another fabulous new addition is the tapered and angled hood, also making its debut at KBIS in the shiplap option. Shiplap is such a wonderfully versatile detail that adds dimensional texture, and like our curve hood, depending on the wood species and finish chosen, it can go very clean and bright for a Coastal or Cottage theme, or become woodsy and rich; tying to light Industrial or Rustic themes. (Think knotty alder with Buckskin Appaloosa!) Here we went with a fresh take on Farmhouse, with accents left and right of Catania doors in oil-rubbed bronze for a sleek industrial accent.

The tapered hood is also available without shiplap, so planks or no planks, it’s your choice! The plain tapered hood offers a beautiful shape, with a smooth finish in the species specified. I think you’ll find that this shape offers a great deal of versatility for almost any design style.

An update on a classic

Along with great new styles, we also updated our most popular wood hood based on your input!

The Box Hood received a simple rename and some new options to make it even more designer-friendly!

Update on Classic Hood 1Update on Classic Hood 2

Unlike the curved and tapered hoods, the box hood allows for cabinetry to be placed directly adjacent to either side. Updates include:

  • New ledge profile option
  • New Shaker molding option
  • Additional heights, widths, and blower units
  • Deluxe panel update on 48″-54″ widths for the best proportional aesthetic
  • Modification to adjust for install of crown molding to face (AFCM)

One other quick design note: The tapered, curved and box wood hoods include multiple blower-liner options, and the ability to have a metal edge installed to the underside of the mantel for compliance with heat output on cooktops; as per the manufacturer’s requirements. As an industry standard, we recommend using a wood hood that is 6” wider than your appliance for ample clearance.


So, as you can see, there are more options than ever for hoods and ventilation in your design! Whether you want to create that central focal point with a metal or wood hood or make it almost invisible, there’s really something to fit any space and any look.

What trends have you seen in hoods? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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