1. Lisa
    December 22, 2016 @ 10:01 pm

    You do not need a hood. I read a thing a while ago that said most people do not use it properly in the first place, rendering it useless. Why buy a useless and expensive appliance? Sometimes, they’re pretty. But mostly, I’d rather have more cabinet space, or pretty French bistro shelves, or some gorgeous light fixture. I plan to die in my house, though, so there is no point designing for anyone else.


  2. Jennifer
    December 23, 2016 @ 12:33 am

    Ha! I know that interwebz. They can be a little crazy sometimes. It’s easy to spend other people’s money as if you had endless funds yourself while generously heaping piles of…advice on other people you will never meet.

    That being said, I cook many pounds of lamb. And fish. And sometimes burn things. That’s why I have a hood.


  3. Candice
    December 23, 2016 @ 3:06 pm

    Confession: I don’t even know WTF a range hood does. Living in small town midwest, no house I’ve ever lived in has had one. The only houses that have them here are either newer builds, or the kitchens have been gutted and re-done and cabinet space was sacrificed for the hood.


  4. Melissa
    December 24, 2016 @ 11:00 am

    Sorry that I am late to this party… But I do have an opinion and, of course, must share (per interwebs commandments). Anywho, we bought a house with – gasp – no vent hood. The range is a JennAir and has the downdraft fan. I really like it because I hate food smells and it does an efficient job in getting those odors out of the house. I know the cost of that duct work can be pricey, but everything I like is more expensive (seriously, you could blindfold me and I would find the most expensive thing in a group of things).

    I will still love you and read your blog even if you choose not to this option 🤓


  5. Bonnie D
    December 26, 2016 @ 5:29 am

    I never used the event at my parents house growing up. I think it got turned on 3 times in the 20 years I live there… And that was one something burnt. When I bought my 100 year old antique home I didn’t even notice there was no vent until about 10 years later, when someone pointed it out to me. I answered… There’s a window. I love your design ideas Victoria! !!!! 🙂 you are fabulous!


  6. Lyra
    December 26, 2016 @ 11:05 am

    You don’t need one!! You don’t eat meat! We had this same reaction when we renovated our hood-free kitchen some time ago and continued to uhhh not have a hood. I think this works because we’re vegetarians so there’s no animal grease, and this is cooking 1-3 meals per day for 4-12 people (normally more like 4-6) for several decades.

    We do have a small fan because sometimes things get burned.


  7. Laura
    December 26, 2016 @ 6:21 pm

    I’ve never had a vent hood. I cook a lot of delicious food everyday. I’ve always lived in homes built before 1920 and so never felt the need to destroy them to install an ugly hood. My home is very clean save for a little cat hair here and there.


  8. Jennie
    December 27, 2016 @ 3:33 pm

    We renovated a four square farmhouse near Pittsburgh about 14 years ago and I never even thought about a hood for our gas stove top when we installed the kitchen island! I was probably too young to even think about it, but am so glad we skipped it! We gutted and re-framed the entire main floor (the kitchen was a 1920s addition) so it is all open concept. I can cook while my children do homework at the island and I never have to duck to see anyone while I’m cooking! Yes, the house occasionally has lingering smells of what we cooked, but better that than the stench of my 5 children, 4 dogs and farm-life! The light fixture does get a little greasy but nothing that dawn dish washing liquid can’t clean. I’ve learned to use a splatter guard when I fry or sautée and nothing seems worse for the wear. Follow your heart! You are the only one that has to live with the results.


  9. Sharon Roderick
    December 27, 2016 @ 4:42 pm

    I had a Jenn air down draft in my island cook top. When I put a new kitchen into the space 3 years ago I skipped the vent. I don’t fry food, and just crack a window when cooking seafood. So glad I didn’t waste the money and ruin the look of my Victorian new old kitchen. The only time I miss it is when I can and I have 3 huge pots of water bubbling away all day. I wouldn’t give it to the hood tyrants.


  10. Kristina
    December 28, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

    I cook CONSTANTLY. All manner of fish and smelly things and I only use my range hood if I accidentally burn something and the house is filling with smoke, but opening the doors and windows does a better job of clearing it out so I sometimes even skip that. I live in a tiny 900 sq ft apartment and it only smells like food when I’m cooking. Go rangeless! The world will not end and your house will not smell.


  11. Joanna
    December 28, 2016 @ 5:23 pm

    OMG, I am having the same crap thrown at me…you MUST have a vent hood! But, if I don’t eat meat, only fish, and I cook very “cleanly”-no spatters, no grease, etc., then why do I need to spend all this money on a vent hood? I have a large window less than 2 feet from my stove top…I keep it open most of the time when home-does this not suffice for circulating the air? And, quite honestly, one small piece of salmon once a week hardly justifies any odor-mostly just veggies and noodles being prepared and they smell quite nice. I would rather have open shelving with plants, great pottery bowls, cups, plates, and other visually stimulating wares than a vent hood that I will probably never turn on…I realize for resale that most will want the big range hood over the big oven with pretty red knobs, but if you are in your home for a long time, why not make it they way YOU want it?


  12. Elaine Miller
    January 1, 2017 @ 2:54 pm

    We live in a rent house with a vent hood installed by midgets. My husband and I are on the taller end of the scale. I cannot tell you the number of times I have walloped my head against that damnable piece of overhead rubbish. The only time it comes in handy is to rest my forehead against it when I’m stirring, and to suck away all the moisture when I’m boiling marmalade for 4 hours. Generally I don’t like them because of the noise and the fact that they’re in the way. Stand strong.


  13. shand
    January 3, 2017 @ 12:19 am

    I once lived in a little efficiency apartment and the “direct vent” was a tiny enameled fan mounted into the wall and to turn it on you opened the little covering door. It was so sweet. I like a vent hood (not a fan) but only if it is vented outside because it does seem to cut down on the amount of smoke hanging about when browning meat. And helps the fire alarm settle down faster when I set things smoking. I’m sure whatever you choose will be perfect and entertaining.


  14. kefg
    January 3, 2017 @ 3:21 pm

    I never thought I’d be pro-range hood, but I’ve changed my tune for 2 reasons:
    1) When we got a new, not fancy, Samsung gas range our smoke detector started going off about half the time when I cooked without the fan on. Wasn’t an issue with the Ikea range we had before. The fan doesn’t always prevent the smoke detector, but it certainly helps.
    2) The bigger reason I’ve come to love it is the number of neighbors who comment on how good it smells to walk by the house around dinner time or a weekend breakfast. And the dinner guests who come in raving about how everything smells just from walking up to our house. And the near strangers who know me as someone who cooks well even though they’ve never eaten at my house (and honestly I’m not a star cook, I just start at lot of dinners by sauteing onions and garlic.)

    Of course one day I’ll renovate my kitchen so that my wallpaper doesn’t match the kitchen in the movie Matilda, and when I do that I’ll upgrade to a vent with the fan mounted on the exterior of the house so I don’t have to shout over the fan when my kids want help spelling things on their homework.


  15. Kathleen
    January 3, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

    I can only imagine what people would say if they knew I had a COUCH in my kitchen. (I’ll send a pic if you want 😉 )Not ten steps away from the stove mind you. Non-vented BTW! POS broke approximately ten minutes after it was installed.


  16. julie lynn
    January 4, 2017 @ 3:31 pm

    Hello, Love your blog. I too am a lover of all things old. I completely appreciate your energy for style, re-use, uniqueness and beauty in a kitchen. I would recommend installing a fan for function but finding a way to disguise it in something old and beautiful. I grew up in an old home country kitchen without an exhaust fan, in the months where the weather was nice and the windows were open, not a big deal. However, in the cold winters when we cooked the smells permeated textiles. So for example, when I would find my self in a new venue but very much smelling like roast beef…. Overall I find having a good fan leaves my kitchen and the rest of my home smelling fresher and the kitchen less greasy. Find a vintage piece you love and have a fan mounted inside of it would be my recommendation.


  17. K
    January 6, 2017 @ 11:29 am

    There just mite be a vent hiding above stove in first picture SWEETIES! Because my kitchen has high ceilings the vent is covered t match my mindful grey cabinets… Much rather look @ backsplash hung w antique cutting boards than a low hanging vent OR a microwave door! But THE SOUND OF THAT VENT IS A 747 IN FULL SPEED AHEAD DEAFENING TAKE-OFF
    PIERCING BLAST!!!! Why did we not have turned on when at kitchen store??? Therefore the tank is rarely used???!!!!# love this blog


  18. LibraDesignEye
    January 6, 2017 @ 5:12 pm

    One factor that has not yet been addressed is the opinion of your handsome fella. Only if this is important to Paul should you install. If it is important to Paul, consider a thru wall pull chain powered flywheel that has the charm of the house’s Victorian era, will not require placement in conflict with your tall ness, or any other beautiful element of this ongoing mystery of beauty. That will address the delightful obtuse persistence of his pragmatic balance to your love of fanciness. I thought of you today and thought! Oh My, I haven’t been there in ages since we lost Elvis (love the new kitten pumpkin fluffalorium fostering) and I bet I get to see the kitchen progress!!! Not yet, patience for beauty, eh? Whatever you decide, decide already and finish! We love the previews!!!


  19. Lissa
    January 7, 2017 @ 7:33 am

    Oh VEB you never disappoint! I love your goal of monopolizing the GFTs. This house is already you being you doing what you love. Don’t change now for Pete’s sake!
    Do I have a direct vent hood? Yeppers. I live in Houston. Not going to open a window between March and November because it’s hell + rainforest out there. AND I’m southern (We fry. I leave it at that.) AND I want to be able to make fajitas where I throw them on the skillet and get a big cloud of steam!


    You’re the best Barnes.


  20. the gardeners cottage
    January 8, 2017 @ 10:43 am

    the only thing above my viking range is an oil painting of yosemite and a chandelier.


  21. Karlye
    January 8, 2017 @ 9:10 pm

    Ha! This is gold. I don’t really care whether you go hood or not. And I hope you don’t cop flaming cannon balls with chains.

    Personally I’m not a fan of the big industrial range hoods either – I think they stand out like dog’s balls! But I do like the smell-sucky action they provide…so I like to opt for hiding them in an old fire hearth like à la french provincial.

    I would like to say regardless of whether you go hood or not, please, for the sake of my OCD, don’t go a beautiful ornate gold mirror for a splash back like in that GORGEOUS pic above. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. It’s GORGEOUS…but my god woman, think of the grease and spatter. You’ll send Windex stocks through the roof!!!


  22. Jamie M
    January 9, 2017 @ 4:25 pm

    You could wire and plumb for it now (use the biggest diameter round ducting you can fit in there… some vents require 8″ or more for a wide stove with lots of vent space) while your walls are open, then it’s easy to add later and selling point for your next buyer.

    We don’t cook fish or meat, but used to, and fish can be smelled throughout the house for days if we didn’t have the vent on while cooking.

    If not a vent, you need nothing for the first 5 or so feet above the stove height. Because it will be dripping with grease even from just the oil pan frying and soup-making we do. (So will the vent, if you don’t turn it on).

    Our vent also adds heat lamps, just above fold-down wire racks, which is useful for keeping things warm. And the regular lights are at the perfect angle so you don’t have any shadows when cooking.

    Overall, I’m a fan (get the pun?) but you could make do without. I’d still rough it in for the future buyer, or possibly if you change your mind.


  23. Sarah
    January 9, 2017 @ 10:23 pm

    I just wanted to comment because I love that this entire post is really about those people … the people who need to have their internet taken away. Why are there so many people out there that care SO MUCH about what other people they’ve never met and probably will never meet, are doing in their own homes…? We will likely never know.

    Good luck with your kitchen remodel!


  24. Emily
    January 10, 2017 @ 10:51 am

    Absolutely without a doubt admire your humor. Well done. You are a Master.
    I think it is the matter of what you cook that should be considered. Several comments mention grease and frying and fish. Ummm….yeah…flesh smells when it is cooked so get a hood fan if you must. One woman mentioned smoke and grease and smoke alarms. She doesn’t need a hood fan. She needs cooking lessons.
    I don’t use a hood fan and am also not putting a freezer in my kitchen when we remodel in two years. I love to cook. Im vegan – for the animals and Mother Earth. My husband and 3 children eat chicken but very little of it. i mostly make fresh quick meals for us. The roaster for the twice a year holiday bird (I don’t eat it) and the crockpot cook in the garage because the delicious smells are torture. I learned I had to keep it in the garage because it can cause odors to linger for days not to mention cause me to stuff my fat face for 8 hours. I see no need for a hood fan or freezer in our kitchen. Healthy vegan cooking produces the most wonderful sweet smells! Everything is fresh and unprocessed which makes a freezer mostly useless. We fill our small freezer with bags of bulk frozen fruits and veggies and beans. When we remodel, the fridge we have now will move to our basement pantry and we’ll install a sub-zero fridge in our kitchen. I do have Windows in my kitchen that I can open if necessary but I realize that is so 1800s.
    You do your thang, sweet lady. Oh and thank you for fostering. I have three adopted dogs a rescue turtle and 2 rescue canaries. How sad that we cage animals for our own selfishness. Im hopeful that someday there will only be empty cages in my home and around the world, but until then, I adopt the broken ones nobody wants.
    I’ll keep sharing!


  25. Beth
    January 13, 2017 @ 11:10 am

    2 cents from an architect – having a range hood is not about smells, it’s about air quality, especially if you have a gas range. Every time you cook, you are basically making smog in your home. Just because you can’t smell it or see it doesn’t make it less dangerous to your health. This is why code requires them, not because they want to “ruin your home” with an ugly vent, waaaah waaahh.

    “They estimated that 60 percent of homes in the state that cook at least once a week with a gas stove can reach pollutant levels that would be illegal if found outdoors.”



  26. LinkyPearl
    January 16, 2017 @ 6:42 pm

    God. I LOATHE vent hoods. Besides being huge and ugly, the ones that are remotely decent cost as much as a used car. So, obviously, (since code where I live didn’t make me) I didn’t get one when I redid my kitchen. My ceilings are only 9.5 feet, and I do cook a really lot. Many years later, I am hunting for vent hood solutions, as well as procrastinating a thorough clean, prime and repaint of my ceiling, which is gross. Here’s the thing: depending on what you cook, grease and whatnot IS going to get up there. THEN, you’re going to cook a big pot of pasta, and when the water boils, the steam goes straight to the ceiling and sort of shifts around the (previously undetected) film of scum that’s up there. In short: I hate them all. I don’t have room. I would rather spend money on virtually anything else. And yet, I’m on the hunt for the tiniest vent hood in the world. (PS: Downdrafts don’t work.)


  27. Mary
    January 17, 2017 @ 9:13 am

    You don’t NEED it.
    Wish I knew how to post pictures here. My kitchen (in 1890 Queen Anne Victorian) has no hood. We purposely purchased a stove with a down draft I think it’s called. I have beautiful shelves above my stove that my husband built (we copies from a magazine that had shelves above stove). Also I HAVE A LIGHT ABOVE STOVE. So both offenses we have committed. Kinda looks like the picture of the Nantucket kitchen.
    I will say – I keep antique pitchers, tins and bottles displayed on those shelves andon the bottom shelf the items gets sticky from grease. I wash them maybe 4 times a year. Top shelf doesn’t get bad, the light (pulley style with white ceramic shade) is OK too. I hardly have to wash that. Wall is tiled up to the first shelf.
    I LOVE THE LOOK and that’s what counts.
    Oh yeah the smoke alarm occasionally goes off. So what?


  28. Cathie
    January 18, 2017 @ 7:44 am

    I’m not a morning person but this woke me up bc I can’t stop laughing! …throwing out the furniture, (and the CAPS) omg lmao 😂


  29. Jacqueline
    January 20, 2017 @ 5:04 pm

    I admit it! I do not like vent hoods. I think they ruin a kitchen. I haven’t had one for many years of my twenty-seven year marriage. I also think it has to do with how one cooks. I am certainly not deep frying foods or cooking smelly foods.

    I also do not like built in kitchen cabinets because I like to rearrange my furniture often. So I am planning an unfitted European kitchen for our new home. I already have several antique pieces of furniture I will use instead of traditional cabinets. I will top some of them with marble. I have marble now in my kitchen and can’t imagine not having marble.

    I also do not like upper kitchen cabinets because it makes a kitchen feel small. To make up for the loss of cabinet space I will use an antique armoire and another glass front tall cabinet.


  30. Deborah
    January 23, 2017 @ 1:08 pm

    I have a crummy, weak , cheap range hood that is the equivalent of having nothing & my entire kitchen & everything in it is coated in sticky grease-not the kind of grease that you can just wipe off either. It is gross. I read the other day that rubbing alcohol will get it off, so now I’ll be climbing onto a ladder wiping everything off with that. Just imagine your fabulous wood BFTs covered in sticky goo & I don’t think rubbing alcohol will be good for their beautiful finishes.

    Just my humble opinion.


  31. Queen Such and Such
    January 24, 2017 @ 1:14 pm

    Have a hood. I use said hood. Still have to open windows to avoid being screamed at by the stupid smoke detector. Still have to clean ALL THE THINGS because it is not direct vented and just mists everything with food gunk. Window and a small fan is my best option. Plus, why must is sound like a jet engine?! Why?!


  32. Sheila
    February 9, 2017 @ 4:32 pm

    Well, if you ever fry something greasy, the smell WILL permeate your house and furniture, and cling
    to things like your drapes. Then when someone comes into your house, they will be smelling old cooking smells.
    Having said that, you need to do what makes you happy. What makes you smile when you enter the room. Whether that’s a pretty pitcher, or no range hood. It’s YOUR house. Do what you want.
    (I would have to draw the line at staring at myself in that huge mirror while I’m cooking though. {House Beautiful})


  33. Diane
    March 20, 2017 @ 1:50 pm

    Have a center island with stovetop on it. No rangehood. Have successfully lived in the house for over 9 years raising a family and cooking 3x daily on it. No issues and my ceiling isn’t even sealed with paint. I live with the windows open in the summer and put a bowl of vinegar out if something stunk a little longer than a few hours. I don’t cook with masses amount of oil just not part of my cooking culture. I don’t have greasy walls or ceiling. My life has not been adversely impacted for lack of a range hood. In fact it is one less thing to clean in the kitchen.


  34. Jamie
    March 31, 2017 @ 11:24 am

    Grew up without range hoods. There absolutely unnecessary and waste of valubale space. Built our latest home without a hood, had to battle the architech and jump through a few hoops but got it done. We have a 6 burner gas range and have never had a problem.


  35. Jac
    May 11, 2017 @ 12:20 am

    1)I love you. This post is PERFCTION.
    2) We don’t have a hood. By choice. Outcome? Total happiness. Regret? NONE. (And for the doubters: Frequency of cooking? 21(plus) times a week.)
    3) The only time our house smells? BACON (In the oven, and therefore not even ventable. And I think you’re vegetarian or something, so you’ll be fine.)
    4) I vote you forget internet crazies and enjoy your hoodless house. Cuz I enjoy your blog, immensely 🙂


  36. Jennie
    May 18, 2017 @ 3:23 pm

    Love your writing. So funny. I need more humor in my life, so I’ll keep reading.

    Found your blog because, like you, I do not like a range hood. But I do like a lot of glorious light. Instead of the in your face monstrosity, we might try something like that shown in your luxury kitchen manifesto titled “crisp architects.” A nice lofty cupboard-matching solution.


  37. Eric Williamsone
    May 28, 2017 @ 3:58 am

    Does having a real vented hood really make that much of a difference for air quality/cleaning the rest of the house? We certainly fry vegetables and meat somewhat regularly. Obviously, this would be nice if we had lots of money to play with, but we don’t, so we have to carefully prioritize. Thanks for any thoughts!


  38. JJ
    June 4, 2017 @ 1:20 pm

    Thanks for this article and putting my mind at ease :)! I own a condo and I’m knocking down a wall to open up the kitchen to the living room. Unfortunately, my stove is on the side that’s getting knocked down. I had to go without one because of the layout and my association won’t let me put a vent throught the roof to vent outside. Great article! People look at me like I’m crazy as well when I tell them this haha! I checked with the city and the building codes as well, no issue, hoods are optional here.


  39. Joy Clark
    June 28, 2017 @ 12:05 am

    Well, by now I imagine you already have an entire kitchen but just for chuckles I will remind you that you don’t need an oven hood (especially is you choose electric) for the same reason you chose the magnificent toilet in the hall bath. You clean it your self. I find people you have hoods sometimes DO clean them but it is actually just one more big honking chore. Who needs that. And the ones that don’t are exactly the reason I don’t want one (hood) either.


  40. Steph C.
    June 28, 2017 @ 12:07 am

    You’ve probably already made this decision but several years ago, we knocked out a wall that divided our kitchen from our living room which had a low cut-out in it (circa 1990’s) so that while I was cooking dinner, I could hunch over and watch my family enjoying themselves in front of a movie. The ugly, pointless wall had to go! And with it, out went the vent system that I never used anyway. I can tell you that I have never regretted it. I don’t set off the smoke alarm any more than I used to and my furniture certainly doesn’t smell. If my house fills with an aroma while I cook, the aroma is always pleasant because why would I be cooking something that wasn’t pleasant? There is only one exception to this which was when my husband made liver and onions and the smell lingered for several hours. If you like that smell, it would be fine. I hated it and now my husband has to make it in a skillet on our outdoor grill. Problem solved!

    I read somewhere that if we skipped the vent, we would have grease stains all over our ceiling but this hasn’t happened at all. Not a drop. I should disclose that we have vaulted ceilings in the kitchen so a lower ceiling could potentially be different but I seriously doubt it. I do think that certain types of vents actually look kind of nice, like the hammered copper variety for example. But those are prohibitively expensive for regular folks and even if they were cheap, some kitchen design styles just wouldn’t tolerate a bulky vent no matter what.

    So…stick to your gut and do your thing. Better to add something later if you end up needing it than getting it for no reason at all.


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