A vitally important kitchen aid is the extractor fan which will remove food smells, steam, and perhaps most important, help to prevent condensation. This can take the form of a relatively inexpensive fan unit set into a window or outside wall, but far more efficient is the built-in extractor unit comprising fan and hood which can be set above the cooker or, best of all, concealed in a cupboard unit overthe cooker. Ducts will take all fumes awayto the outside, but if for some reason ducting is not possible, a fan unit fitted with carbon filters can be used and in this case the air is recirculated with most of the fumes being extracted as they pass over the carbon filters – not so good but infinitely better than nothing.
There are sadly few good-looking taps on the market, that is unless you like shapeless and slippery blobs of acrylic for handles, faceted and complicated shapes and a general absence of thought or reason in the design. Taps are also shown in the bathroom section of the book, but of the very few sensibly designed ones, those suitable for kitchens – which includes swivel mixers to use with double sinks are shown here. Incomparably the most handsome are the range designed by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, and as well as being sold in polished brass or with a chrome finish, they are also available in a marvelous range of colours, around one of which you could build whole kitchens. But they are expensive. At the other end of the scale are two good ranges of plastic taps. lt is a pity that one of these has been modified and marred since it won a Design Council award several years ago, but the design is still better than most. I have always liked the old-fashioned cross-head taps and apparently, lots of other people do too because some rather second-rate modern copies are selling well. Very beautiful and exact reproductions of these taps are also on the market but they are expensive.