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CENTURY 21 New Millennium

Trend Alert: Retro Kitchens Are Today's Big Thing

For some of us, retro is just another term. But for those who recall Grandma’s aqua-blue fridge, it brings to mind a simpler way of life, even if it meant that some poor soul had to run out for blocks of ice. The bright color brought the space alive and made you happy to be in the kitchen.

Now, as a trip to some of the larger home stores will attest, appliances are going back to the ’50s, and it’s one of the hottest trends around.

It may have started with Big Chill, a Colorado company that got off the ground when a man named Thom Vernon wanted a retro-style fridge for a vintage house he was building. Vernon approached his nephew, Orion Creamer, a recent graduate of product design school with a passion for old-school style. Orion and his uncle built a prototype on the front porch of Creamer’s home. The rest, as they say, is history—or perhaps history repeating itself.

In any case, the company today produces a wide variety of ranges, hoods, refrigerators and more that bring back yesterday’s eye-opening color with all of the modern conveniences. Available in as many as nine hues—from buttercup yellow to pink to candy red—along with the well-remembered aqua, the company’s products bring their vintage cousins back to life. See them online at

Another company with a similar passion and product line is Elmira Stove Works, a Canadian company that adds textured black, bisque and quicksilver to its line of vintage favorites. American homeowners can find them online at

You can even find a red, white and blue fridges, made by a European company called Smeg, available at or

While you’re at it, check out the unbelievably colorful Dolce & Gabbana line of mixers, toasters and other small appliances at Williams-Sonoma and other retailers.

It seems like everything old is new again—but sometimes, new is better.