My stove/oven is in a freestanding island. The range hood and cabinets hang from a soffit above the island. I'm trying to remove as much of the cabinets/range hood housing as possible to create a view from the kitchen to the dining/living room. I removed the back paneling and can see now that the range hood (30", basic) is supported by an inverted T-shaped cabinet. It appears that I can break away the cabinets to each side of the range. I plan to install another basic range hood: black, 30" (would just do without but will have to install before selling in a few years.) The range hood is vented to the outside through the ceiling. 1. Is there some support the cabinets on each side of the range hood cabinet provide that I may not be seeing? (The cabinets appear to be just glued side by side.) 2. If I remove all cabinets including range hood cabinet, can I simply mount the new range hood under the soffit without a supporting/hiding cabinet? It may look ugly but I could hang something like a stained glass panel behind it to camouflage it, and I will paint the duct black to match. 3. If I can mount it on the soffit, would I still use the long chimney duct or could I use a shorter duct and raise the hood up a bit? (If I can raise it I could build a canopy that would hide the hood; the height it is now would make the canopy nearly as wide as the current cabinets.) 3b. Is there any code about how far a range hood and stove top can be from one another? I'm in CA and have been unable to find this info. Thank you for any and all advice.