No Range Hood or Vent? No Problem!

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No Range Hood? No Problem

No range hood/vent in your kitchen? No problem! It’s the perfect place to install a makeshift pot rack and a little shelf…and make it work for you. Really.

For years decades, we’ve lived without a range hood/vent, and we’ve lived to tell our story. We haven’t always lived without one…in fact, our very first home when we were married was brand spankin’ new. Pristine. All the amenities you could want including the ever elusive range hood. And it was great…we loved it.

Backwards in Time

And since that time, close to 27 years ago, we’ve gone backwards. Backwards in time with our homes…purchasing older homes, the fixer-upper types…the homes that have “charm” and their own unique quirks. I’ve loved those homes equally well. To me, homes are like people…you can always find something to love! Always.

Anyways, I digress. I do that sometimes…it’s just me. I’m a sucker for a backstory…whether it’s about people, homes or things. Back to the subject at hand…

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There she is in all her glory…my Frigidaire, glass-top, electric stove that’s been with us for about 15 years. This gal is a hard worker…and doesn’t care that there are newer, sleeker, shinier models out there whose charms could make her pale in comparison…she’s fed a future PhD chemist, a future Nurse Practitioner and a still-at-home high schooler…plus scads of kids through the years that have come through our doors. She just keeps on doing the job she was intended to do, regardless of changing trends and fads. She’s functional and she’s here to stay…though a mini-facelift is in the works for her this summer!

Ranges without Hoods/Vents…It’s Barely Civilized

A range without a hood? Gasp! It’s barely civilized, I know.  I even questioned it myself…for a long, LONG time…this business of going sans a range hood. I also spent hours scouring the internet, trying to figure out how we could install a hood vent to the outside…and when realizing that could not happen without a renovation, in which I wasn’t interested, I set my sights on figuring out how we could just install a vent that would recirculate the exhaust. I scrapped that idea, when I learned they were mostly ineffective. Why bother?

That’s when I started to question the absolute need for a range hood. Hmmmm. I should have just done that first and saved myself a lot of time. After all, we had been cooking for a good amount of time without the vent…with absolutely no problems. Sure there were a few burnt less than perfect cooking experiences, but opening a window was a no-brainer during those times. Surprisingly, cooking smells do not linger, either. Scouts honor! Turns out, I’m not the only one without a range hood. Read 10 tips to manage life without a range hood by kitchn HERE.

If you are questioning my judgment on this one, or still scratching your head about the vacuous space behind and above your range, I highly encourage you to read this very entertaining post by Victoria Elizabeth Barnes on the issue of range hoods. I’ve read it several times…and also drooled over some of the way cool kitchens that are also minus the behemoth that is the range hood.

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On Being Civilized

I like to think I’m as civilized as the next person, but the actual need for a vent was starting to escape me. When I dug deep to figure out my obsession with installing a vent…it became clear that things just didn’t look “right” to me. The truth is, it looked like a vacuous hole above the stove. That was the problem…totally cosmetic. Things just felt “unfinished”.

I never hung anything on the wall behind it, because I was sure it would become coated with spaghetti sauce and grease. No question. But guess what? The knotty pine wall behind the stove rarely got anything on it all. Statistically speaking, it was insignificant how seldom things splattered on that back wall. Not even worth mentioning.

Still, I was perplexed by it for years. Not perplexed enough to do anything about it, mind you…in fact, I was so busy raising kids and commuting from one sports event to the next, writing and working, that I barely even paid attention to the lack of an exhaust vent above our stove. At the end of the day, we were a happy family…sans range hood and all. Worked for me.

Back to the Vacuous Space

Fast forward to the season of life where we are on the cusp of becoming empty-nesters…and I have time to pay attention to things like the vacuous space behind and above the stove…and I set off to find a solution. It wasn’t a stretch to find a quick and budget-friendly…15-minute solution. The answer came in a makeshift pot rack, a la curtain rod and small pine shelf that had been left in the house long ago.

I’m sure this space will change over time…I’m thinking of swapping out that pine shelf with a longer, white shelf…maybe.

Until then, I’ll just enjoy the rustic history of this corner of my kitchen…unpainted knotty pine walls and all. They’ve grown on me through the years…though I’ve done battle in my head (and had discussions with friends) about painting over the wood. Wanna know why I haven’t? You can read all about that HERE. Besides, cooking in this quaint, rustic corner makes one feel like a real pioneer woman (with modern conveniences)…and after all, I live on a real frontier!

You can also read more about the makeshift pot rack HERE or click image below.

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We hope you find ways to embrace your old space, too! If you have, we’d love to hear about it!

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Wendy Young is a mom of 3 who loves the farmhouse/eclectic/vintage/shabby vibe and maintains this site for fun. By day, she is a child, adolescent and family therapist, is the founder of Kidlutions: Solutions for Kids, creator of The Joyful Parent and the co-author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids, along with multiple workbooks for kids. Her total readership is in the millions via her online and social media venues.

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