Letís face it, vintage is in right now. Websites like Etsy.com are exploding with popularity, and there are vintage markets popping up everywhere. Many fashion forward people are following suit with their home purchases and renovations, rejecting the standard refrigerator models on the market today for more obscure and unique brands that embrace streamlined retro feels. Even in the most modern kitchens, a vintage refrigerator can provide a splash of color and personality that the typical white box just cannot. Maybe a vintage fridge is just what you need.
Step One: Get Inspired!
If you are considering investing in a kitchen makeover or constructing a new home and leaning towards that nod to vintage, do your research and get inspired. 101 Kitchens by Julie Savill devotes an entire illustrated chapter to going vintage, including a directory of suppliers. Or a book like†101 Vintage Kitchen Decorating Ideas by Krissy Falzon could prove that you donít need to take the leap of purchasing retro inspired appliances to complete the look your going for. Even a book like Judith Wilsonís The Vintage Home: Clever Finds and Faded Treasures
, though not wholly focused on retro kitchens, can provide inspiration, sources and reassurance that the purchase of a vintage fridge is the right move for you.
Step Two: Investigate Brands
Once youíve decided that yes, you do indeed want to invest in a vintage fridge, the price tag may hold you back. Perhaps the most well advertized brand known for their retro obsession is Big Chill. Big Chill fridges start at $1,695 and thatís for the tiny one! However, their vintage aesthetic is undeniable, and the range of color choices is delicious. You may be surprised to find the Big Chill units to be your most economical option in the world of vintage fridges. Northstar shares a similar aesthetic at a slightly higher price. Another company embracing classic 1950ís retro is Smeg, probably the best known of the vintage refrigerator brands. Although their prices are a little harder to find (youíll need to contact an authorized dealer) you can believe they are certainly the next step up on the price scale. They may be financially unattainable for some, but colors like lime green and the pastels, paired with the glamorous lines put the Smeg 50ís Retro style fridge at cult status. If money is not a consideration, and you are looking for something truly unique, go custom. Robeys creates ďrefrigerators youíll instantly warm toÖĒ with designs throwing back a little further in history, all the way to the ice box in fact. Their cabinet-like units are completely customizable, and at a pretty penny you can be sure.
Step Three: Consider Refurbishing
An alternative option to buying new is to refurbish an original. Refurbishing a refrigerator is no small undertaking, and under no circumstance is it recommended to just plug in a genuine vintage refrigerator and expect it to function as your household refrigeration. Authentically vintage fridges are dangerous energy hogs. Current wiring and cooling technology has progressed so far beyond what it once was, and itís a lot of work to update a vintage fridge. Not to mention the horror stories we have all heard about kids getting trapped while playing hide and seek because the latches are inoperable from the interiors.† Hire a professional to make sure your fridge restoration will leave you with an efficient and safe machine. They will reinsulated, rewire and refit with a modern refrigeration system that eliminates environmentally destructive refrigerants. For pricing youíll need to contact a professional restorer for an appraisal. There may not be one local to you, which will involve shipping costs in addition to the restoration. A well-known company out of Georgia is Antique Appliances and they can include a calculation for shipping.
Good luck to you as you take the plunge into vintage. If you decide to purchase a vintage fridge youíll be honoring an era gone by, while simultaneously embracing todayís technology and culture. Remember it is a long-term investment youíll live with many years to come. Youíll be honoring an era gone by, while simultaneously embracing todayís technology and culture.