Last weekend The Guardian reported new research that shows that Cooking Sunday roast causes indoor pollution 'worse than Delhi'. Air pollution is way worse than we knew even a short time ago and in particular our kitchen exposes us to a heavy toll of dangerous particulates, similar in effect to diesel fumes and worse than the most polluted cities.
This matters to everyone and is something I take very seriously as a designer. Key to keeping safe is effective extraction of air contaminated by frying, toasting and roasting, all activities we cannot imagine ever giving up. Even so, the kitchen is a place where health and wellness come first.
Here at Johnny Grey Studios, we know that we all must have a powerful extractor fan over the hob that gets rid of smoke and smells rather than recirculates them. It's up to us as the designer to make that an attractive kitchen feature.
From our experience we know that noise reduction is important, fanning mechanisms might need to be ducted outside the kitchen itself or well contained within a soundproofed gantry. The housing for air extraction is a design opportunity. With creativity the gantry can be both sculptural and practical. New models are available that are slim so less obtrusive by Westin, AirUno or Smeg, though I tend to add outriggers to them. In my kitchens it tends to define the shape of the island, echoing it at ceiling level and helping to establish the island as the key architectural feature in a kitchen.
Photo: a sculptural gantry and extractor. A common objection is that extractors make noise. However for a quiet life you can place the fan motor outside the room, inside remote ducting or on an outside wall.
Its position also provides the best location for suspending light sources for the cook. As a gantry is accessible it is easy to change bulbs or redirect the beam to where you want it.
Gantries can be semi see-through and all sorts of shapes. New extractor canopies are often thin in terms of height and do not take up too much room. You can use thin sections of metal to make them lightweight and interesting, leaving space between different functional segments. They can provide extra storage on top. Mixing wooden elements with narrow metal frames provides contrast and interest. Outriggers can be extended beyond the cooking area to allow the cook to hang easily accessible cooking tools like spatulas, box graters, ladles or even larger items like pots and pans, strings of garlic for convenient rusticity. So a well-designed extractor fan enhances the look and feel of your kitchen as well as safeguarding your family's health.
Contact us to help with your kitchen design and improving the quality of air in your kitchen.