5 Vintage Kitchen Appliances You Should Have For Your Kitchen

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Whereas bedrooms need to be relaxing, bathrooms clean, and family rooms a robust canvas for whatever adventures are around the corner, kitchens evoke memories of comfort and sustenance. According to Uswitch Limited, "vintage," in kitchen design, is one of the top pins on Pinterest posts, with nearly 400,000 pins as of late 2021. A full kitchen remodel can be expensive and stressful; however, Old House Online says one of the most effective ways to generate retro vibes in your kitchen without calling the builders is to invest in vintage kitchen appliances.

If you are committed to vintage authenticity, you can buy simple appliances from your favorite year, restore them yourself, or with professional help. In some cases, these models can be more energy-efficient than modern equipment. Justin Zerwekh, a vintage fridge restoration expert, said to the Orange Country Register, "Vintage manual defrost fridges are actually much more energy-efficient than a modern fridge. Your energy bill goes down. You're trading an energy bill for a half-hour of work every month to defrost it." That said, vintage repairs are often harder to come by and more expensive. This is why many vintage kitchen enthusiasts opt for retro-looking appliances or new models from old-school brands. See the five essential devices to give your kitchen a retro upgrade.

1. Old-school ovens

A range cooker is the dream kitchen appliance for many home cooks, and a vintage range is a next-level flex. Not only do these behemoths make a design statement, but they can also become the focal point of the kitchen, if not the entire home. Whether you opt for an oven manufactured decades ago or a new model designed with those standards, a vintage-style kitchen without a vintage-style oven feels hollow. According to Kitchn, the major difference between modern and vintage range cookers is the build quality. Julia Child's stove from 1956 is still in working order in the Smithsonian Museum, and older ovens' heavy cast iron and steel construction makes them excellent at storing heat. The flip side of that equation is that they tend to be more expensive and smaller than modern ovens, with fewer features than the average customer expects.

No oven says vintage like an AGA, and no countryside kitchen is complete without one, at least according to the British landed gentry, via Food Republic. These heavy cast iron range ovens are always on and radiate heat into the home all winter. There are solid fuel, off-grid versions, and high-tech, induction-plated, app-controlled AGAs, so vintage style doesn't have to mean vintage performance.

2. Fridges from former times

If the oven is the kitchen's North Star, then the refrigerator is its Southern Cross. More than simply a cooler cabinet, the vintage fridge trend has been characterized by bold colors that inject personality and style into any kitchen. Although, as stated already, an adequately maintained vintage fridge can be more energy efficient than modern models. But it's possible to buy an older model and retrofit it with modern power and cooling. Still, according to LoveToKnow, this comes with high cost and hassle, especially with so many excellent vintage-style modern refrigerators available to buy right now.

Smeg is the most iconic of the retro fridge brands, the enameled metal style being synonymous with bold, minimalist, '50s Italian aesthetics. According to The Irish Times, it might surprise you that these units went on sale initially in 1997. The company has been making kitchen appliances since the post-war era, so authenticity and build quality, combined with the look and modern efficiency of the fridges themselves, explain their runaway success. Smeg does come at a premium, though, and other brands have a similar aesthetic at a lower price point. For example, this FRIGIDAIRE EFR756-CREAM EFR756 unit is less than half the price of a similarly sized Smeg fridge and has a clean, classic 1950s diner look.

3. Classic coffee makers

No appliance is more emblematic of the 20th Century than the coffee maker. According to Perfect Daily Grind, the first espresso machines were patented in Italy in 1901. Thanks to the popularization of the coffee break in the offices of the 1950s, coffee makers have been a part of our lives since that era. Italian style in the 1950s is synonymous with efficient designs created by the factories of the post-war generation, Vespas, for one, and the Bialetti Moka Pot, for another, via Atlas Obscura.

Most countertop espresso machines are designed in neutral gray, black, and silver tones. According to Bean Ground, vintage-style units are a popular choice amongst espresso-heads who want a bit more color in their coffee machine, and these SMEG units are mainly popping with vibrant options. Going retro doesn't have to mean European, though, and you can drink your favorite diner coffee every morning with the right drip-filter coffee maker. Get the convenience and comfort of drip coffee without the office breakroom vibes by indulging in this T12-cup Nostalgia Electric coffee maker.

4. Ceiling Fans for vintage cooling

When it comes to climate control, the old is new, and the new is old. Eco-conscious buyers are aware of the energy-saving benefits of ceiling fans for home cooling, putting them among the top five upgrades to make your house more energy efficient and sellable, according to Homelight. Ceiling fans are significantly cheaper to run than air conditioning and have the added benefits of being an evocative retro option for designing your kitchen.

Ceiling fans disperse more than just heat; their continuous airflow will manage odors and insects in the kitchen also — just make sure to place it far enough away from gas flames that it doesn't interfere with the hob. Not all ceiling fans are made as sturdy as others, especially when standing up to humidity in the air. According to The Lighting Outlet, steam from pots and pans will surely test a kitchen ceiling fan that's not adequately equipped for indoor-outdoor use. Fans also frequently come with adjustable lights, such as the dimmer switch enabled in this beautiful antique teak and bronze fan from Amazon.

5. Throw fun events with a fondue set

Sometimes the vintage life requires you to go beyond the surface level and have some vintage life experiences, and this final kitchen appliance sets you up to walk the retro walk where others only talk the old-fashioned talk. Fondue is so retro as a cliché, and you may balk at the idea of a single-purpose appliance. But these communal hotpots can be used for much more than cheese and chocolate. According to Clever, other uses for a fondue set include keeping warm festive drinks, baking bread, and braising stews. Besides this, Japanese-style shabu-shabu and Chinese hotpot are broth-based communal eating options for the fondue pot that don't come with such a daunting amount of dairy!

Le Creuset creates cast iron cookware with timeless looks and a build quality that is second to none. This fondue set designed by them is iconic and retro but also durable enough to be used for many different functions in the kitchen.