Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#3 I'm Shopping for... A Range Hood

We're presenting a design to our clients for a kitchen redo in a couple of weeks & I'm really excited about it.  This kitchen needs to work with the other spaces we've already designed in the home so it will be sort of a relaxed natural-feeling space with a little graphic edge   It will have lots of textural elements that you just want to touch and a big mix of materials & finishes for a casual practical & warm vibe. I'm now getting down into the details of the kitchen design and an important one that truly affects the mood of the whole kitchen is the range hood. 

{Kitchen by Darryl Carter = looooove!}

When perusing through images of kitchens whose range hoods appeal to me, I noticed that many of them had range hoods that stood alone vs. ones that were flanked on both sides by cabinetry, which is what we'll need for the kitchen we're redesigning.  While I think stand alone range hoods are A-mazing (on my personal wishlist one day) they don't always fit into existing kitchens because of space & storage needs, so I've been on the hunt for a pretty yet practical solution for our range hood that will need to be flanked by cabinetry.

One of the things seen a lot in "real life" kitchens is the microwave with exahust fan below it over the range:

{image source here}

While this is completely functional & works for a lot of people (I've had it myself in the past & I think almost everyone in my family has it too) it doesn't create that gorgeous focal point we need for the kitchen & the vibe is totally different.  It doesn't have as much of that "working kitchen" feeling we're after. (And the small cabinet above the range hood isn't really adding a ton of storage space.)

Another thing seen a lot in typical kitchens is the mini vent hood above the range topped with small upper cabinets:

{image via pinterest}

Again, I think it's really functional, (and looks great here in the adorable kitchen above) but it still doesn't have the same impact as a full fange hood.

...Although I have to say that in the high-ceilinged kitchen below with the larger cabinets above the hood, it's making a pretty big statement but I think it's more due to the massive wall of cabinets & the impact they're making.

{image via houzz/ pinterest...  couldn't find original source}

...But anyway, in the kitchen we're working on, I'm really looking to do a full hood that will be flanked by upper cabinets.  I've been collecting inspiration images & thought I'd share.  The first group up is of angled metal hoods.   For this kitchen, because we want to mix a variety of finishes, I like the idea of doing a metal hood.

Below is a picture of a shorter hood mounted up at the ceiling.  This kitchen actually looks like it might be shorter than 8 feet to me...

{Image from}

Here's a photo of a hood mounted at the ceiling again, but this one is longer.  I think for our clients' kitchen that the longer look will work better as I want the hood to make more of a statement.


 This curved copper hood flanked by glass cabinets is gorgeous: 

{Southern Living}

I also really love the curved sides of this hood (below) but our clients' kitchen isn't quite big enough to handle this:

{image via pinterest}

The next group of metal hoods swoop down in an arc & I think would work beautifully even in smaller kitchens.  Here's another copper one:


I love the look of this kitchen.  The hood is perfection to me.
{sooooo gorgeous by Jim Howard featured in House Beautiful}

Here's a shorter version...  SO beautiful, but again, I think we need a bit more length in ours:

{image via}

This hood (below) has a little stainless stell shelf below it which is so pretty, especially with the lights on:

{image via}

This hood blends right in with the wall & I think it could work for a seamless look between cabinets:

{ }

This angled wooden hood is really interesting:


 Again, I love these massive  hoods (below).  They look particularly good when inset into the wall like this.  I love how they carried the hood over the countertops too instead of just the range.  Interesting trick to get some drama without the height.

{Hosue Beautiful}

Here's another inset beauty, except this time in wood:

{Better Homes & Gardens}

 The next few hoods are painted wood to match the surround cabinetry.  It's a classic look:

{image via}

Looooove this curve:

{Kitchen by James Michael Howard}

...And don't pot fillers just make a kitchen look so perfectly practical?  "I want that!"

{image via}

I love all of these wooden hoods, but like I mentioned, for our clients' kitchen, I think we need a separate material for the hood.

{image via}

The standard chimney hoods would work perfectly.  I think they look amazing between cabinets: 

{image via The Decorista}

This one (below) is narrow and I love how this style calls attention to the tile backsplash:

{Better Homes & Gardens}

Here's another one and I think they work beautifully for smaller kitchens:

{House and Home....  mm mm mm!}

..And one last one in black, which would work perfectly for us.

{Elle Decor...  We are including very similar wood tones in our clients' design & I looooove this!!}

Anyway, I think adding the right hood can really make a kitchen and take it to the next level so I want to be sure to get just the right one.  What do you think?  What's style of hood would you pick for your dream kitchen? 
xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

ps-  If you are in the DC/ MD/ Northern Virginia area, our good friends Eddie Ross & Jaithan Kochar are coming this weekend for the DC Flea!!  They have a few spots left & I had the most amazing time when I went a few years back.  It's sooo worth it & they are so much fun.  They are some of our most supportive & loyal friends and if it weren't for my husband & I going on that flear market tour with our then-baby-Christian, we might never have connected with these amazing guys.  To read about the flea market tour & sign up, click here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mapping progress of NBN rollout

National Broadband Network (NBN) is a government initiative to build a national, wholesale-only, open access broadband network to all Australians, regardless of where they live. The aim is to connect 93% of homes, schools and workplaces with optical fibre providing superfast broadband services. The remaining 7% will be connected using next generation fixed wireless and satellite technology. You can monitor the progress of work, and where the network is being rolled out, using NBN Rollout Google Map.

Over the next ten years over 200,000 km of fibre-optic cable will be deployed across the country and up to 6,000 homes a day will be connected to the new network. Users of the map can search by address, postcode or suburb and find out if NBN work is underway or planned to commence soon in their area. Some areas on the map may not appear on the rollout plan, as the map only shows areas where plans for the national network have been announced so far.

The application has a very simple interface that will be very familiar to previous users of Google Maps. Colour-coded markers show indicative locations and status of work, while polygon overlays provide more details as to the extents of geographical coverage. Overall, it is quite informative and straight forward to use.

First spotted on: Google Maps Mania

Palatability, Satiety and Calorie Intake

WHS reader Paul Hagerty recently sent me a very interesting paper titled "A Satiety Index of Common Foods", by Dr. SHA Holt and colleagues (1).  This paper quantified how full we feel after eating specific foods.  I've been aware of it for a while, but hadn't read it until recently.  They fed volunteers a variety of commonly eaten foods, each in a 240 calorie portion, and measured how full each food made them feel, and how much they ate at a subsequent meal.  Using the results, they calculated a "satiety index", which represents the fullness per calorie of each food, normalized to white bread (white bread arbitrarily set to SI = 100).  So for example, popcorn has a satiety index of 154, meaning it's more filling than white bread per calorie. 

One of the most interesting aspects of the paper is that the investigators measured a variety of food properties (energy density, fat, starch, sugar, fiber, water content, palatability), and then determined which of them explained the SI values most completely.

Read more »

Monday, February 27, 2012

Soda-Free Sunday

Last Thursday, I received a message from a gentleman named Dorsol Plants about a public health campaign here in King County called Soda Free Sunday.  They're asking people to visit and make a pledge to go soda-free for one day per week. 

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), including soda, is one of the worst things you can do for your health.  SSB consumption is probably one of the major contributors to the modern epidemics of obesity and metabolic dysfunction.

I imagine that most WHS readers don't drink SSBs very often if at all, but I'm sure some do.  Whether you want to try drinking fewer SSBs, or just re-affirm an ongoing commitment to avoid them, I encourage you to visit and make the pledge.  You can do so even if you're not a resident of King county.

Race Retro 2012 Report

On Saturday 25th February, powered by the squidgy energy of choice Soreen, I travelled off to Stoneleigh Park for Race Retro. This is the first time I've attended this event and it's a whopper of a show. Four Halls filled with historic and classic race cars along with some motorbikes too. Along side the bustling exhibition halls there was also a classic rally stage that benefited from the great weekend weather. Here are my sketches and other highlights from the weekend.

1962 Cooper T59 Formula Junior
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Chassis number FJ 3962 was purchased from the Works by Bill McCowan who Raced throughout '62 until crashing at Monza. The car was sufficiently damaged to end McCowans' season. Repaired and raced during 1963 by Mike Budge who painted the car Blue with a bold orange stripe. There are records of the car being subsequently owned by Messrs Nicholson and Brockhurst but the car disappears from 1967 until it is discovered during 2002, dismantled and stored in the back of a derelict van, at a garage in Sussex a stone's throw from Goodwood. The bodywork was still in the Budge colour scheme. Restored by Grant Wilson the car has been raced regularly since 2006.

This Cooper was displayed on the Hall and Hall stand, for more information please visit their website:

Austin Healey 100s Endurance Car
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Officially the fastest naturally-aspirated Austin Healey 100 in the world
Built in 2008 to challenge the Enudurance Record of 132mph set by Donald Healey in 1954, this car not only broke Healeys Bonneville record but also smashed 17 others, including the UK's 100 mile standing start record. Built on what is believed to be the last known factory chassis this car is rivet for rivet identical to the original car SPL337B.

This car is currently for sale through The Old Racing Car Company:

TZ 350cc Cyclecar
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Currently campaigned by Trevor Duckworth, this beutifully insane headfirst cyclecar is the holder of the British National Records for the quarter mile, kilometre and mile. Both standing start and flyers it holds these records as a 250cc/350cc and some as a 500cc. Originally built by Des Heckle with a 250cc Starmaker engine ans scooter back wheel for Irene Scargill it held all the 250cc world and national records. Trevor bought it in the late 70's and modified it to take the tz engine and racing sidecar wheel.
This bike has probably held more world and national records than any other. Trevor will be running this bike at various Straightliners events as part of the championships this year and hopefully breaking more records with it. To find out more about the Straightliners championship head over to the wesite:

Ellis Ford #3 Replica
(digitally painted ink sketch)

The above Car is a replica of Ellis's 1965 World championship winning car. Mike Shirley also has the original engine from this car! It is built on an original LD chassis and is true to the era in which it raced. They tried to ban Ellis' cars several times - big motors, lightweight wheels, bare minimum bodies, Ellis was always tweaking the authorities. You could hear Ellis from miles away with those pom-pom exhausts - usually on booming 427 ford V8s. Mike told me that the Replica has the same V8 that they used in GT40's, I'm glad the engine is still in this fantastic stock car.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these BRISCA Heritage cars tucked away in the corner. For me these were the highlight of the show. I'm always impressed by the pure fun approach of stock car racing, of course yes it is a seriously competitive sport but there is something to the bravado and ingenuity of these cars that brings a smile to my face. More info on the history and fixtures please visit the BRISCA Heritage website:

Clive Beales 722
Based on a 1949 Ford Pop and runs a 100e engine with a down draft Webber carburettor.

Brian Owen 886 F2
The Pop body is believed to be from the 1965 world winning car. The car finished 2nd in the 2011 shale championship and 2nd in the points at Coventry and Bradford.

RPD 4 first appeared as a Cotton special owned by Rex Chappell who used it to win the BTRDA Gold Star in 1953. Impressed by the new cars being made by Mike Cannon, Rex ordered a new car to be built; he called it Cannotton and used it to win his second gold Star in 1955.

More information on the Cotton trials cars can be found on the Historic Sporting Trials Association website:

Silverstone Auctions had a huge array of cars up for grabs
here's a couple that caught my eye.
1958 Mercedes Benz 190SL

1964 Ford Falcon Sprint

The Classic Rally stage had a huge range of entries here are just a few of them.

Austin Metro

Yes an Austin Metro!


Citroen Visa

Lastly I'm always like a big truck. Based on a left hand drive export Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster LRT 3.1 Chassis with a 150bhp underfloor engine. This beautiful transporter was built in 1959 by Marshall Motor Bodies Ltd of Cambridge to the design of the engine development division of Rubery Owen & Co. Ltd the Builder of B.R.M. racing cars. With the capacity of 3 Racing Cars, the transporter was constructed of hardwood with exterior panels of hand beaten aluminium.

If you missed it this year I'd fully recommend attending next year as there was a lot to see and I've only covered a small section of what was on show. For more information please visit the Race Retro website: