Guest Blog Entry #24, Entry #277, September 16, 2010
Kitchen hoods are one part of a kitchen that can be a focal point, or can blend right into the surroundings of the kitchen. If you have the opportunity to make a statement in your kitchen, adding a dramatic kitchen hood is an option.
Guest blogger Joseph Freenor from CFT411 – Cabinet and Furniture and Information, joins me today to talk about a new manufacturer of beautiful fume hoods.
One of the newer players in the field of kitchen hoods is also one of the more innovative. Gutmann is a German manufacturing company that was founded in 1997, but it has immediately shot to the top insofar as both design and function are concerned. One of the things I find myself particularly enjoying about their designs is simply the innovation with which they have approached one of the older and more insistent problems in kitchen design, namely the evacuation of fumes, smells, steam, kitchen greases, and in our home, smoke, lots and lots of smoke!
Paradoxically enough, though, one of the major problems with hoods is, in some respects, the inspiration for the many innovative shapes they have assumed in recent years. The problem with a hood, of course, is that in order for it to do its job correctly, a number of factors need to be present. It must be powerful-which brings up another paradox, because we don’t want it so powerful that it makes a lot of noise!-and it must quickly and effortlessly vent to the outside. Some people don’t vent them to the outside, but I have never been particularly enamored of that particular setup. In order for the hood to do its job correctly, though, the unit itself must have a fair amount of size, and the other part of the problem is that it must have a six to eight inch vent pipe to efficiently dispose of all the nastiness in the air.
So, that’s the bad news about kitchen hoods-and also the good news-they take up a lot of space. Really, we only have two choices: we can hide the wasted space, or we can transform it into a wonderful design statement, the focal point of the kitchen. And that means, in turn, that the cheap alternative, the standard under-cabinet range hood with a pipe that runs up through the upper cabinet above is really not much more than a poor man’s stopgap measure, there because he was willing to pay only a few hundred dollars on the hood.
That cheap hood does two things, neither of them especially helpful to good kitchen design. Because there’s a rather sizable vent pipe in it, the cabinet itself is not particularly useful for storage purposes. And the hood itself looks like nothing more than what it is, something cheap. But think it though a bit. If you’ve just spent tens of thousands of dollars on your new kitchen remodeling, is that really what you want in your kitchen, something that all but screams cheap? And with that we can turn to the subject of today’s blog, Gutmann Manufacturing, because the moment you begin to think in terms of a design statement, as opposed to something to tuck under a cabinet as unobtrusively as possible, the kitchen hood transforms itself from necessary evil to glorious design statement.
The one thing I most look for in kitchen hoods, after I’ve satisfied myself that they will do the job for which they are intended, is how they look. I must say, though, that Gutmann seems to have outdone themselves. Each of the kitchen hoods they have created has about it something that is unique. It was done by design, actually. In entering a crowded market, Gutmann has sought to at once put some distance between themselves and the competition, and they have achieved this by means of their kitchen hoods high degree of appeal and their outstanding technical performance. Quite frankly, each hood is a work of art, recognizable in design, shape and color. Gutmann has a passion for details, and it shows.
On their website, Gutmann points out that their kitchen hoods “are the result of progressive ideas, decisive service orientation, and a distinguished sense of style,” which is the sort of verbiage one tends to find in those vapid corporate mission statements, but with them it is definitely more than just words. It’s what they do.
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