The heart of a home

I had the pleasure of installing a range hood for a client, recently. Early Saturday, I pulled up to the home, which is also a certified wildlife habitat right in the middle of the city. The garden, 3 dogs, a beehive, and lushness everywhere had me take a deep breath before entering. 


We all know the kitchen is the heart of any Louisiana home. This one is no exception. It has golden walls, lots of artwork, and KRVS playing all day long. Herman Fusilier and the Zydeco Stomp makes work just a little bit lighter and a lot more fun. 


The hood seemed to glow from within. It was handmade in Mexico using recycled copper. The craftsmanship showed in each round spot where the hammer fell. At around 100 pounds, making sure it was safely installed was the priority.

In the spirit of the piece, I brought in local blacksmith, Sam Riehl, to forge a secure mounting system. Sam is an amazingly talented young man who is not afraid to take his trade into uncharted waters. We worked together on a previous home to create custom light fixtures. I measured. He checked. I measured again. He checked. We stood with our arms folded, heads tilted. Measured once again, and then I cut a vent hole in the exterior wall.


The hood was a challenge for us both. There was quite a bit of laughter and a little bit of good natured teasing as we figured out how to hold up the vent while Sam attached it to the wall. The day ended with a piece that looks like the kitchen was built around it. 


As we packed our tools to leave, and I passed through the serene space of the backyard, I wondered what would be cooked underneath the glow of that beautiful hood.




Sam Riehl, Blacksmith: 

Range Hood: Coppermano.

Photographer: Jackson Schneider: