cabinetry

What's the most under appreciated appliance?

We were just up at Poppy having dinner; a terrific Seattle restaurant.  Looking in at their kitchen you can see the huge commercial hoods required to keep the kitchen clean from micro particles of oils and smells.  Most clients don’t think about the importance of ventilation in their kitchen.  It’s not as interesting as wood finishes, stone counter tops or the range of your dreams.  This is the least understood infrastructure of your home. 

In the 1940’ and 1950’s your home was probably built with a ceiling or wall fan to remove odors from the kitchen.  It wasn’t until the 1960 and 70’s that hood fans began to be installed in most homes.  These first hoods were generally under powered and used small scale ducting made them noisy as well.

I believe most people didn’t like hood fans because they were loud and didn’t seem to do much.  The noise you hear with a hood fan is the movement of air though the restriction of the ducting itself.  The electric fan motor itself is very quiet.  With the popularity of commercial style ranges, induction cook tops and wok cooking, ventilation is absolutely necessary.  Steam is filled with tiny bits of cooking oil and odors that will stick to your walls, windows and ceiling if you’re not using your hood. 

The amount of air that needs to leave your home above your cooking surface is dependent on how many BTU’s of heat you’re creating with your range or cook top.  We calculate that as cubic feet of air per minute that is pulled out of your home; CFM’s.  If you’re cooking on an island, you’ll have more cross breezes than if you’re against a wall.  We add more CFM’s and increase the width of the hood.  Some clients don’t want to smell kitchen smells, so we’ll approach the hood as though it was above an island. How about if you’re tall; I hear this all the time about raising the hood up higher than usual.  There are ways to decrease cross breezes and increase CFM but the other important piece is to have make up air to allow your hood to work at its peak performance. This can be a system that comes on when you turn your hood on automatically or this can be as easy as opening your kitchen window. 

So… you need a hood but don’t like how they look.  I get that.  In some designs the hood becomes an integral part of the overall design, in fact a real feature of the kitchen.  I tend to like to build in the hood into cabinetry using a hood insert that most manufacturers make in many sizes.  Sometimes you just don’t wish to have another large stainless-steel appliance in your kitchen. 

Here are a couple of solutions I’ve used that feel open and more streamlined than the a stainless steel hood.

hood alcove

The hood alcove

Using a hood insert hidden in cabinetry.

This is open feel and yet the enclosure with the tall cabinets minimizes cross breezes and with increasing the CFM of the hood fan this will work for most clients. Increasing the width of the hood area can also be a factor when increasing the overall height of the hood installation.

Cirrus hood fan

Flush Hood

It almost disappears…

Another approach entirely is to use a flush ceiling hood as shown in kitchen above.  This hood also features concealed LED lighting.  It is activated by a small fob and it reaches 1,400 CFM.

Planning for ventilation can be complicated, where to vent and how to vent.  Confirming you have the room for the right size ducting and allowing enough room for turns and not traveling too far before exiting the home. 

There’s a lot more below the surface of a kitchen or bathroom design and remodel.  We look forward to working with you on your next project. Feel free to contact us to discuss ventilation or other aspects of design and remodeling.  206-523-1123

Tile, yes please!

Tile is so much more than functional, it's fun, it adds interest and texture and pattern. This bathroom with it's sophisticated finishes is kept fresh with the addition of this concrete wave It's projection and shape just makes you want to touch it.  The limestone tiles are also used on the entire wall and finishes the window jamb (seen in the mirror) instead of wood casing. There are some spaces that look terrific having the tile or stone fill the entire wall for a continuous element in the room.  

This 1907 home felt as though it needed true craftsman tiles in the back and shower. These striking tiles were made right here in Georgetown.  The floor is a basket weave pattern of Calacata marble and honed logos stone.  The shower pan was also done in this basket weave material. The cabinetry is Rutt Regency, a khaki stain on mahogany, glazed and then sanded back on the edges to show a hint of the burgundy wood. 

This 1907 home felt as though it needed true craftsman tiles in the back and shower. These striking tiles were made right here in Georgetown.  The floor is a basket weave pattern of Calacata marble and honed logos stone.  The shower pan was also done in this basket weave material. The cabinetry is Rutt Regency, a khaki stain on mahogany, glazed and then sanded back on the edges to show a hint of the burgundy wood. 

This 1907 home felt as though it needed true craftsmen elements with the architecture of the home.  These striking tiles were made right here in Georgetown.  The floor is a basket wave pattern of Calacata marble and honed logos stone.  The shower pan was also don in this basket weave (shown below). The ceiling of the shower matches the curb done in matching Calacuta marble tiles.  The cabinetry is Rutt Regency, a khaki stain on mahogany with a glaze and then sanded back through on the edges to show some of the burgundy color of the wood. The top coat is a flat ten percent sheen.  Pulls are from Sun Valley Hardware. The plumbing is Kallista Tuxedo with matte black reeded handles in a nickle silver finish.  They are stunning. 

The details make all the difference in the final look.  The single frosted shitake tile color is clean enough to work well with a patterned floor.  The shampoo niche has the added touch of a pencil trim mitered at the front edge all all sides.  The floor is heated for those cold mornings. Tile adds character, texture, it can be elegant or just fun like the floor shown below .  I haven't even touched on the prep work that goes into these beautiful rooms.  Dry packed shower pans, water proofing and specialized grout that never needs sealing. 

The small area shown below demonstrates how you can create a feature area in the kitchen.  I had the mosaics made in this pattern and scale from Calacata marble, clear and grey glass.  Each piece was cut with a water jet and pieced together to form the pattern.  When you stand to the side you can actually see the full edge of the stone.  Combined with the soap stone counter top and white Rutt Handcrafted cabinetry it was a beautiful project. 

prep sink.jpg