Making air flow sexy: Modern-Aire’s new look

Okay, let’s talk ventilation – specifically, hoods today.

An Old-Timer gets a New Look

If you’ve been in the kitchen business for a long time, you’ve heard of Modern-Aire hoods. If you were on the West Coast, you may even have remembered more than a few of 1970s kitchens with snappy Avocado Green and Harvest Gold glory. At the time I saw them, they were anything but custom, and each of them went straight to ventilation heaven while we paved the way for modernity.

So when I heard that they would be part of the show and part of BlogTourNYC, I have to admit my first thought, “Oh dear. Old company tries to keep up.”

I was wrong.

Modern-Aire Ventilating, as they’re called today, actually goes back before the 1970s – all the way back to 1956. Today, they’re still a West Coast brand but they’ve retooled their line and are reaching all over Canada and the U.S. This is a family-owned business, 3rd generation, with the owner, Jeff Herman, making some welcome changes to the family business.

(At least welcome to those of us in designer-land. *grin* Having been in the family business, let’s just say it can be a tad…challenging bringing new ideas in any established family firm.)

I wouldn’t have known a thing about them if they hadn’t been one of the BlogTourNYC sponsors and I saw them at the Architectural Digest Show in New York a couple of weeks ago.

Powder-coating and stainless curves at the Architectural Digest Show, New York, 2012 (Photo credit: Modern-Aire on Facebook. Also note Bornholm cabinets by Susan Serra)


 Curved hoods are a weakness of mine – love that shape


You might say, “Kelly, this is nothing new. In fact, some of this seems a bit traditional.”  Good. Modern-Aire isn’t about to reinvent hood fan design – what they’re offering is design customization for trade professionals with a turnaround time of approximately a month.

To understand what a bonus that is, you’d have to be in a room of designers to see the conversation still and ears perk up. Customization and quick turnaround?

We’re used to custom pieces taking months, not weeks.


Kitchens aren’t and should always be cutting edge. Many are going into homes that have been around for a century or two, where the last thing anyone wants is a sleek contemporary hood…especially if there’s a period stove in the picture like the one below:

(Photo credit: Modern-Aire)

“But,” you say. “Can they do modern?” Of course they can…whatever a designer can come up with that doesn’t fit the usual suspects, like adding another tier, or perhaps a curve to the mix:


Modern-Aire modern custom stainless hood
(Photo credit: Modern-Aire)

There are also powder-coating options available, which I was happy about: easy clean-up and minimizing of fingerprints. For the “basics”, Modern-Aire offers 18 wall hoods, 7 island hoods, 4 insert models, over 200 choices of color and metal finishes in 30”, 36”, 42”, 48”, 54” and 60” sizing.

You won’t find these in stores, but you will be able to find their website here.



*FTC Disclosure: Modern-Aire is a #BlogtourNYC sponsor who made my trip possible. All words, thoughts, and ideas are solely my own.

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