The Unsexy Yet Utterly Critical World of Hoods and Vents in Interior Design London

Let’s be honest, when you think of interior design, elegant light fixtures, sumptuous fabrics, and Instagram-worthy colour palettes probably come to mind before hoods and air vents. As a designer working in London, I spend a lot of time making spaces look their absolute best. But at the end of the day, creating beautiful rooms means nothing if they aren’t also functional and healthy environments to live in.

That’s where decidedly unglamorous elements like hoods and vents come into play. They may not be much to look at, but getting ventilation right is absolutely critical, especially in a busy city like London where indoor air quality can be a real issue. Whether it’s removing cooking smoke and odors from a kitchen or circulating fresh air into a bathroom, these workhorses keep the air we breathe clean and healthy.

Of course, as a designer, I can’t just plop an ugly vent cover in the middle of a stunning interior and call it job done. The real trick is making these necessary evils as discreet and integrated as possible so they enhance the design rather than detracting from it. It’s often a delicate balancing act, but one I’ve become quite skilled at over the years.

Take this kitchen remodel I did recently in the ultra-trendy Shoreditch neighborhood. My clients were a young professional couple who both loved cooking and entertaining at home. Right off the bat, a high-powered yet stylish range hood was a must for ventilating their open-concept kitchen and living room.

Rather than going for an industrial-looking eye-sore, we had a clean, minimal range hood custom built that blended right into the sleek wood cabinetry. Ventilation-wise, it was incredibly functional. Design-wise it looked great and didn’t disrupt the modern, airy vibe we were going for.

Placing the air vents themselves was another challenge in this space. You want them to be discreetly located for optimal air flow, but not so out-of-the-way that they’re basically useless. Through some clever planning in the layout, we managed to seamlessly integrate the vents into the baseboards, walls, and cabinets so they were virtually invisible yet still did their job brilliantly.

On the flip side, I recently tackled a luxurious bathroom renovation in Mayfair where the vent covers were a design opportunity rather than just something to be hidden. With such a small space, trying to conceal a typical builder-grade vent would have looked forced.

Instead, I collaborated with a really talented metalworker to create a custom perforated grille cover for the vent that also acted as a textural, almost sculptural accent on the walls. Installed seamlessly alongside some gorgeous Venetian plasterwork, it looked stunning while also providing excellent ventilation. Functional can absolutely be beautiful when you get creative!

At the end of the day, details like well-integrated vents and hoods are what separates good design from great design in my book. Don’t get me wrong, the aesthetics still have to be on point. But I’m also committed to creating interiors that don’t just look amazing in photos, but are actually comfortable, healthy living environments in real life.

Ventilation might not be sexy, but working it elegantly into my designs alongside eye-catching elements is just part of my obsession with functional perfection. I guess you could call me one of those weirdos who really does geek out over grilles and hoods from time to time! But hey, respiring fresh air is a modern necessity, so I make no apologies for it. Aesthetics and human health have to go hand-in-hand in good design – even for us interior designers London.

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