Rockhouse Barn conversion Shaker Kitchen with Smeg SYD4110 induction range cooker

How to choose the right extractor fan for your kitchen

The preference for open-plan living isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. Multi-use spaces that combine the functionality of a kitchen, living room and dining room are the norm, but to do this properly, you’ll need to account for a ventilation system that doesn’t compromise. 

With so many extractor fan options out there, we’ve selected some of the things to take into consideration. Of course, if you’re having your kitchen design with Sustainable Kitchens, your designer will present you with the perfect options to suit your space (you can ask about this by emailing or phoning 0117 961 6471). 

Ducted outside or recirculating? 

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend going for a ducted extractor as they’re far more effective for ventilating your space. It’ll need to be ducted to an external wall in order to work properly, so do bear that in mind. 

If your home has all the quirks and nooks that makes a ducted extractor impossible, recirculating appliances can still be very effective. Over the past few years, they’ve really upped their game (plus it means you don’t need to plan for ducting). Recirculating extractors work by filtering the air before exhausting it back into the room. Be aware that you’ll need to clean the filter every few months for in to remain effective. 

Noise and capacity 

By checking out the decibel rating, you’ll be able to work out how loud the extractor will be. Larger rooms will require a higher capacity extractor, but due to being more powerful, they can be a little noisier. 

Choosing your style 

Do you want your canopy to be understated, or would you rather have it as a focal point? Here are some examples of extractors we’ve included in our designs. 


Above, you can see a Shake-style canopy housing a built-in extractor fan. A firm favourite for our clients, the Shaker canopy is a classic design that complements Shaker furniture and cabinetry beautifully. What you see here is a simple, plastered box with a cornice. The extractor is cleverly concealed inside. By painting it the same colour as the walls, you’ll create a subtle, elegant extraction solution. 

The photograph you see above is no longer on our website, but you can browse our Portfolio to see plenty of examples. One of our favourites is the White Shaker Kitchen with Brass Worktop, which you can see here


We love experimental design in a classic setting. This lipped canopy is similar to the Shaker canopy, but we replaced the cornice with an oak lip. Quality wooden detailing can often be the thing that elevates a kitchen. Read about this full project here.


If your kitchen has a chimney breast, it’s an ideal place to tuck away an extractor fan. Here we see a traditional arrangement that takes advantage of the chimney breast by framing the cooking area. Read more about this project here.


A freestanding extractor often comes in stainless steel and can be used to create a focal point in the room. It tend to go better with flat panel, contemporary designs that have other stainless steel appliances and accessories. We like using them for island extraction, too. 

Contemporary kitchen with walk in larder and Seimens downdraft extractor in kitchen island
Contemporary Kitchen, Walk-In Larder

You might also want to consider a downdraft extractor, which are ideal for using over an island. When they’re not being used, they sit below the worktop height, creating a sleek and slimline finish. When they are in use, the extractor rises out of the worktop and sits close to the hob, making it an effective form of extraction. Thinking ahead is key: sometimes, we’re able to vent these outside, if we’re able to add ducting under the floor. If you’re having building works done, it can be built into the process as the floor is constructed. 

Perhaps it goes without saying, but this advice is just a general overview. When our clients undertake full kitchen designs with us, we design the perfect solution for their home. 

Find out more about extractor fans and having your kitchen designed by a dedicated team of experts by phoning 0117 61 6471 or emailing

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