Under Cabinet or Wall-Mount Range Hood? (Where You Tell Me How to Improve My House: Part 4)

Alright, folks; we have a winner!


84% of us voted to put Betty against the wall between the fridge and the sink. Whether we were motivated by the desire not to obstruct the window or because we want to jump naked out of a cake for Greg remains unclear and is, frankly, irrelevant.

Our conclusions are clear:

  1. Betty goes against the wall between the fridge and the sink,
  2. I’ll have to move the dishwasher further to the right so it’s not too close to the sink, and…
  3. We need to buy a really, really big, hollow cake, approximately the size of Rhoad Island so a) we all fit and b) Greg becomes too distracted to check our bank account ever, ever again. I just want to clarify that we are very egalitarian in these parts so the naked cake-jumping is not limited to a single gender; please begin mentally preparing yourselves now for close, sweaty, naked quarters inside the cake cave and to champion all body types, because we will shame no one for skinny or fluffy bodies, and to explain to your well-meaning friends and relatives that just because we’re sans-clothes together does not imply anything sexual or untoward. This is simply the World’s Best Distraction technique which is required in order to serve a Higher Purpose; namely, Helping Greg Through a Very Difficult Time because we care about him to the moon, and we don’t want him to have a heart attack. So really what we’re doing is Heart Attack Prevention, and when they ask if you’re crazy, you should ask if THEY’RE crazy for wanting people to die of heart attacks.

Incidentally, the other 16% of us aren’t necessarily opposed to putting Betty against the wall. We just wanted to be sure we’d explored all the options first. Some of our ideas included building Betty an island, putting Betty where the hutch or fridge are, or keeping Betty in the current stove spot but using a retractable hood or downdraft vent. These are all technically possible, but, in the end, there are various reasons I rejected them: the bulkiness of a downdraft unit, the fact that Betty’s high back would block its effectiveness, my dislike of a heat-sucking downdraft next to a stove, my adoration of our farm table, the desire to stay married to Greg and not drive him away with a full kitchen remodel, and, ultimately, the appeal of leaving the window totally unobstructed by Betty’s back or a pull-down hood. Those factors combined with a whopping 86% in favor of the move make the choice straight forward. But I like the creative way we think! We are going to need to keep this up as we go forward.

So we have a decision! Hooray!

What we do NOT have is Greg freaking out.

To emphasize, Greg knows what our decision is, and he is not looking nauseated or sighing excessively or curling his lip in that particular Beth Insists on Using an iPhone Even Though I TELL Her and TELL Her an Android Is Cheaper look of disdain.

This is the same man who wasn’t sure we needed to purchase a $30 Ikea laminate bookshelf because he had a few leftover 2x4s and some scrap plywood in the garage, so he thought we could put some combination of that on the wall, instead. Hahahahaha! No. Nope. No. Looking back, Greg and I should’ve known that bookshelf was a Slippery Slope to other Big Ideas. Greg must have had an inkling, though; you’ve never seen a man fight so hard not to spend $30.

This current Not Freaking Out behavior is, in other words, very, very strange and obviously due to one of two things. Either:

  1. Greg watched your comments come in, knew which way the wind is blowing, and these two factors somehow magically bypassed his usual response to my Grand Schemes, which is the same as the 5 Stages of Grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, OR, and this is my big fear…
  2. HE’S BEING WILY and TRYING TO FAKE US OUT and we must be very, very wary, friends. On the lookout for sabotage. Watching our backs.

Although I suspect the reason for the Non-Freakout is #2 because Greg is getting Very Crafty in his older age, if the reason turns out to be #1, and you have Magic Powers, we will heretofore be making ALL life choices together. Consider yourselves warned, friends.

And, with that warning that we’ve gotta be on our game, it’s time to move to our Next Decision.

The Next Decision – HOORAY! – which is this:

The Range Hood

Since Ms. Betty is going against the wall, we must decide what range hood will go above her. It feels important to note at this juncture I am thinking we will most likely cover our exposed kitchen walls (not a lot of space, actually) with white subway tiles. This is something you will rubber stamp for me later or force me to change my mind, but I’ve been in love with the look forever, it adds to the farmhouse industrial thing we’ve got going on, and my friend Emily says it’s inexpensive to do. So you’d have to present me with some compelling information (like you did about putting Betty in front of a window) to change my mind.

What I’m primarily after with the range hood decision is the BEST FRAME FOR BETTY. We have tons of cupboard space in the kitchen. You can’t see the double pantry around the corner past the hutch, but it’s floor to 9′ ceiling, 64″ wide and 24″ deep. Tons and tons of space. Even with losing the upper cabinet above Ms. Betty’s new location, we’re fine on space. So what I really need to know as you look at this is which looks better; option 1 or option 2?

Given that info on white tiled walls and the what’s-prettier parameters, I’ve pulled some pics from the internets to show our range hood options, as follows.

ONE: A wall-mounted range hood, left plain without cupboards above, which might look something like this…

RangeHood1Photo Source: maybe Michael Robinson Photography – that’s as far as I could track the pic 

RangeHood2Photo Source: unknown — let me know if you find out so I can properly credit this

RangeHood3Photo Source: A Diary of Lovely

*ahem* Note the stove faucet on that last pic. SO unnecessary with Betty next to the sink, but SO lovely I think we should consider it anyway.

TWO: An under-cabinet range hood which might look something like this…


Photo Source: Birmingham Home and Garden


Photo Source: unknown — let me know if you find out so I can properly credit this

Back to you!

Which of these options — #1 Wall-Mounted Range Hood WITHOUT Cabinetry OR #1 Under Cabinet Range Hood will look better with Ms. Betty? 

AND — follow-up question — HOW MUCH do you care? I tend to like both and can easily be talked into either, but if we find out one option is significantly less expensive than the other, can we make this decision based on cost? Cheaper wins? This might assuage Greg’s future freak-out (which may never come because of Magical YOU) and give us some street cred to use later when Things Cost More Than We Anticipated, which is inevitable, though we should never tell Greg we admitted that aloud.

I love you very much for not making me do this alone. WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER, VILLAGE.





P.S. Speaking of being naked, which we haven’t spoken of since the beginning of this post, paragraphs and paragraphs ago, but I’m bringing up again now anyway… I dreamt last night I got my hair cut at a new salon full of naked male hairdressers. Not, like, the cultural definition of HOT naked males or anything sexy, you understand. Just ordinary dudes with sparse body hair in strange patches and paunches and dangly bits, which was strangely hot because these men OWNED IT. They were all, We are naked male hairdressers. What are YOU staring at? Like my staring was my problem and not theirs, which was kind of rad, actually, and felt like the most true part of the dream. Long story short, I got my hair cut while babysitting my hairdresser’s toddler because he couldn’t find a sitter, and my hair looked GOOD. The End.

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
  1. […] This means he’s not being crafty or wily or luring us into complacency before he springs his trap to dera…. […]

  2. Option 2. It looks like it would fit the style more, plus the cabinet can hide any cent pipe which could save money and look nicer than option 1. And don’t put anything on that wall behind the stove. You’d have to lean over the stove (open flame) and that seems to be asking for someone to catch themselves on fire. People with those kind of spaces must not cook or have kids…..
    We have the vent hood with the cabinet and I love it. I tried to take a picture but I can’t figure out how to attach it here.

  3. Option one is very nice, and at first I thought I could say both were equal but I really do think option 2 is a better fit for Betty. And for the placement and general view from the living area.

  4. Whichever is cheaper. But don’t lust over the pot-filler faucet… total waste of money, and you can count moving the pot of water from sink-to-stove as a workout 😉

  5. I have a glass splashback behind my stove. I constantly wish I had made it a bit wider as grease just seems to splatter everywhere and we don’t even fry much. So, don’t put any storage under the extractor fan – the bottles will get greasy and, as someone else commented, the heat will make the herbs and spices degrade faster. The people in the photo actually had their personal chef cook in the servants’ quarters; the kitchen in the photo is for show 🙂

  6. Option 2.

    Also, I may know a local baker who can create your cake. I have connections. Just sayin’.

    Good luck with the not-freaking-out!

  7. I am so distracted by your dream that I can’t think straight so give me a minute…..okay, option number 2. Reasoning is, it seems more traditional looking versus the more contemporary number 1 option.

  8. While Option #1 would definitely show off the tiles, I see lots of angles that would get greasy and dusty and which, in my own house, I would NEVER clean. If you have enough cabinet space (is there such a thing?), you wouldn’t even have to put a cabinet above the hood in option #2–notice that in the photos it’s really just a soffit and not The Place Where Cookbooks Go To Die, which is what I have. So I vote for Option #2, for ease-of-care’s sake. HOWEVER, if the difference in price is significant, by all means go with what’s cheaper. Both are winning looks, for sure, and staying married is really the goal of all home improvement projects, right?

  9. Option 2. Your vent pipe will need to pass between ceiling rafters no matter where Betty is located. If you need to make a little jiggety-jog to align the fan vent with the rafters,the cabinet will hide the jog in the vent pipe. Option 1 would be fine with new construction when the range location is not pre-determined. Both look lovely.

  10. I think I’d have to vote for the “win points with Greg and go whichever way costs less” on this particular issue since both actually look quite nice. The “cabinet” version offers you little in the way of truly usable space since the vent is still *in* the cabinet, thus using a good bit of the space, and probably too high to be really practical for you. But they both look good so this is one time where saving money can be the guiding force, helping to offset the times where “I don’t care that it costs more, I simply must have it” is the guiding force.

  11. OPTION #2!!!!!! I love the under cabinet idea because it utilizes the space and would fit much better with the rest of your kitchen. I put cookbooks above my stove and it seems to work really well (I am also vertically challenged, but I have an awesome step stool from Costco name Fred who helps me out on a daily basis).

  12. I love option 1! So pretty, but if push came to shove, both are good options so I might be inclined to go with what’s cheaper if that gave me wiggle room in the budget elsewhere.

  13. Ours looks like it has a cabinet above it but it is actually just hiding the vent that remains exposed in option 1. So it’s really only an aesthetic choice. Seems to me if you have high ceilings, option 1 would look more appropriate. otherwise, just blending into the cabinetry may make more sense. I’ll post a pic of our kitchen to show a low ceiling look.

  14. only concern with option 1 is cleaning – dust on those sloping bits!! This is why I went with under cabinet option in my kitchen, but without the shelf option, which looks good but also involves more cleaning – hope you are seeing the pattern here!

    1. I have a hood just like option #1. It hides the dust/grime pretty well. Being quite allergic to housework, I only clean it once or twice a year. I only admit that because I know this is a community of non-judgers.

  15. I don’t know that I have a strong opinion either way this time around, though I lean slightly towards the under the cabinet option. I just like the way that hood style looks the teeniest tiniest bit better, but I don’t know if it’s even enough to count my vote.

    That said, please please PLEASE don’t be building in a shelf and putting your spices above the stove!!! The heat isn’t good for them and will make them go bad more quickly. And they will get grease build up on the bottles. And, if you are like me – and you are, that’s why I like you! – you won’t be bothered to take them down and clean them. Oh, you will mean to, you may even add it to your list, but you won’t actually do it. Better to keep them in the large pantry that I’m now coveting or safely tucked away in a nearby cupboard. You’re welcome.

  16. I think both range hoods look good, no personal preference either way, but consider 1 thing – in the pictures of the stand alone range hood, it is always centered symmetrically between 2 cabinets, 2 windows, etc. I’m not sure it would look the same without this visual balance. The under cabinet version may be the better bet. Thumbs-up on the subway tiles. 🙂

  17. We have a cupboard above the range — my question is, if you do that, would you be able to reach the cupboard? Cause I have to stand on tiptoes to pull stuff out of ours, and if you already have lots of cupboard space (unlike us) that it might not be worth it.

    1. Nope! I’m 5’2″. I can’t reach upper cupboard EVER.

  18. I love option 1…it lets you see more of the gorgeous tiles!

  19. I’m indifferent to both of these options. More cabinet space is always a plus in my mind and I liked the spice shelf idea for storing things you often need close to the stove. However, I’m also worried any shelving would be One More Dirty Thing and more cabinets sounds like more money. So if we had to cut something for costs, I would sacrifice the cabinets for and go option 1. If we have extra in the budget, option 2 is pretty if we keep ease of cleaning in mind.

  20. Can’t tell you how much I love this little project! I like option 1 for the hood slightly better, but 2 is lovely as well so if it’s cheaper, go for it!

  21. Have you thought about shifting the fridge over and consolidating your counter space, which means you could move the stove over by one rank of cabinets, which means you wouldn’t have to move your dishwasher. It looks like it would just be a matter of moving the existing cabinets around, which you’d be doing anyways since you’re moving the stove, but it’d be cheaper since you wouldn’t have to move plumbing (way more expensive and fussy). Plus, I think it just makes more sense visually and space-wise. I have no opinion about hood. You could do something rustic wood encased a la Fixer Upper, but I think it boils down to cost and your personal aesthetic.

    1. Like this fridge/stove/dishwasher save money on plumbing thought!

    2. Yes! This is such a good idea!!

      1. Also, option 1 will look amazing with subway tile. That’s my vote! And if we save money by moving the fridge instead of the dishwasher? Hot dang.

        1. Unfortunately, all those cabinets are single solid units, and as such can’t be broken up into smaller pieces. I wish I’d thought to ask for them that way in the beginning! It would definitely give us more options to consider without adding much cost.

    3. Amber and Beth, I made a suggestion for giving up some of the window on yesterday’s post but I really see this idea as a doable cost saving option, too!!! The waterline to the fridge would need a bit of plumbing but it wouldn’t be hard to do.

      1. If you move Betty to the fridge wall, I think the under cabinet would be more aesthetic. If she stays on the right hand wall, wall mount would look better.

  22. Option 1. Lazy me says putting shelves btween grease creation and extraction equals more cleaning- or realistically, more grease and wishing I had’ve cleaned it every time I pick up a greasy bottle. Also, anything you’d put there- spices sauces etc. tend to degrade in the heat, so Hygiene and Health and Guilt Prevention say Option 1

  23. My Grandma was named Bettye (yes with an e on the end because her parents wanted her to be different, she read that as cursed) and I always loved her name and lamented that I wasn’t named after her, and while my hubby would not let me name our oldest daughter Betty, he did let me name her Bethany. So, short answer long, I love the name. <3 By the way, I've had to drive through Newberg twice since moving to the coast, both times I've scanned the streets on the off chance I could bump into you. So yes, you have a stalker now. And I'd be so willing to actually help in some sort of physical labor type way, when this project actually happens.

  24. I’d go with the “whichever is cheaper” idea. Totally a good time to build up “I love you, and that which is important to you matters to me” points! Both options look really good. Also, I have kitchen envy–especially the idea of the double pantry!

  25. Option 1, wall mounted with no upper cabinets looks awesome-er. And it’ll be flippin’ sweet with the subway tiles. But if for some reason option 2 is cheaper (no idea why it would be if it includes cabinets additionally) just do that. This is definitely a cheaper wins choice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.