Designer Spotlight

Jillian Harris shares the inspiration behind her designs and how a farmhouse project became a labour of love

Jillian Harris

At Elmira, we have the great privilege of crossing paths with some of the most creative minds and talented interior designers in the industry. When Jillian Harris, television personality and designer extraordinaire, expressed interest in using Elmira Stove Works appliances for several of her projects, we knew our products would perfectly complement her classic yet feminine design aesthetic.

Jillian has become known for transforming her clients’ homes, but this time the project was personal, as she was looking to outfit her 1900s farmhouse and corporate headquarters with an extra touch of vintage charm.

With an illustrious career in front of the camera, Founder of Jillian Harris Design and The Jilly Academy and Co-Founder of The Jilly Box, and helping others in need, to say Jillian wears many hats is an understatement. The multi-hyphenate entrepreneur shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Jillian has created a lifestyle brand that reflects a deep commitment to her team, customers, and community by championing diversity, transparency, and a drive never to stop learning. Though Jillian takes great pride in her work, her family consisting of her son, daughter, fiancé, and two boxers, is her biggest passion.

Recently, we had the chance to catch up with Jillian about her farmhouse renovation, her love of pink, and her take on interior design.

Q. Can you share a little about yourself and how/when you got into design?

I’m the founder of Jillian Harris Design and The Jilly Academy, Co-Author of Fraiche Food Full Hearts, and co-founder of The Jilly Box. I’d say I’m most well-known from my Bachelor/Bachelorette days and being the Co-Host of HGTV’s Love It or List It, Vancouver. 

I attended the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), which ultimately led me down the path of restaurant design. In fact, before my TV days, I worked at Browns Restaurant Group and Cactus Club, where I not only helped to design the restaurants but also oversaw project management of new restaurants, along with many other things. If we go way back, I was passionate about interior design for as long as I can remember, whether it was redecorating my bedroom or selling my parent’s outdated furniture without their permission! LOL!

Q. How would you describe your overall approach to interior design and your aesthetic? What inspires you?

My overarching approach to interior design is a mix of traditional, timeless, light and airy with a touch of femininity. If you’ve seen photos of our current house, you know I like to add little pops of colour (hello pink chairs and headboard), but not too much!

On the other hand, the farmhouse renovation we just completed is VERY different. I wanted to pay homage to the 1900 build by keeping the overall design vintage-inspired, and we totally nailed that in the kitchen with Elmira’s 1950 – 30” Bottom Mount Northstar Fridge and the 1954P – All Electric 30” Northstar Range! As we begin designing our forever home on our farm, I’ve been really inspired by what I would call “European-esque” design. Picture woods, stone, darker tones, lots of texture, less stark white and more beige.

Q. How do you approach kitchen design, in particular?

That really depends on the project. For example, in our farmhouse – with a limited budget and wanting to just do a facelift – I pretty much kept everything that was already existing in the space. We painted the cupboards and ceiling, added a vintage cherry wallpaper, and the cherry on top (pardon the pun, ha ha) was our state-of-the-art Elmira Stove Works appliances, which really tied together the entire space to give it that vintage, yet elevated feel! 

Q. Design trends that look to the past are becoming more popular now. What do you think makes trends such as nostalgia and cottagecore so appealing for interior design?

For our new build, I’m really gravitating to a style that is fairly similar to “cottagecore” and brings in rich texture and warmth. I personally love the character involved in the design and think it’s so appealing because it truly is timeless while still providing a welcoming, homey feel. 

Q. You used Northstar appliances in your farmhouse project. Why did you choose Elmira products? Why did you select Bisque appliances?

When we took possession of the farm, I didn’t see the potential in upgrading the farmhouse. I only ever envisioned building a new home here and camping on the property in the meantime. But, after a few glasses of wine with my mom and cousins, they saw potential in the space and convinced me that I needed to give it a quick and dirty reno, which instantly got my wheels turning! 

I really took to the project, and it got my creative juices flowing. I wanted to redesign it without making it feel like it was a totally new interior.  I also wanted to be able to use the space to host and cook, and I was on the hunt for retro appliances to match the rest of the interior. When I discovered Northstar appliances, I knew I had to have them. I went with the Bisque colour because the kitchen is tiny, and it was already very busy with the yellow cupboards and vintage cherry wallpaper. I knew I didn’t want stark white because I wanted the space to feel more “vintage.”

Q. We noticed you use lots of beautiful pink hues in your designs. What is it about pink that you love so much?​ 

I always joke that if I could have a full pink house I would, but I have to compromise because I don’t think  Justin would love it! When it comes to pink, there is a very particular soft blush colour that I gravitate towards; I like how it adds a little bit of a feminine flair, without being too much colour. I would say that, in general, I am moving away from pink. But I do love how it acts as an accent colour but is also a neutral that goes with almost everything. 

Q. Speaking of pink, we understand you purchased a pink microwave. How did you incorporate it into your design? Was it for your primary residence or the farmhouse?

Because I couldn’t have a fully pink house, I made sure that our Team Jilly HQ had as much pink as my heart desired! From the pink wallpaper to the pink kitchen and even a pink feature wall upstairs, we sure added a lot of pink in such a small space. In fact, the pink kitchen just wasn’t complete without a pink microwave from Northstar.

Q. What do you like most about Elmira Stove Works appliances?

Where do I even begin? First and foremost, I love the vintage design of all of the Elmira Stove Works appliances. They fit perfectly at our farmhouse and even at our Team Jilly HQ. Secondly, I love that all of the appliances are made in CANADA! I don’t know of another appliance company that is designing their products in Canada but manufacturing them here too. Finally, I just love the Elmira team – every conversation I’ve had, every phone call, every email, the team goes above and beyond for their customers! 

Q. Your brand vision and values emphasize the importance of giving back and community. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Growing up in Peace River, Alberta, my parents were always so passionate about their community and giving back, and reinvesting in various local organizations. I’ve carried that with me throughout my life and always want to give back as much as I can. From Cameos to partnerships, our 12 Days of Giveaways Campaign, and even a new initiative, “Jilly’s Closet,” we’re always brainstorming ways in which we can reinvest into our local and surrounding communities! 

We’d like to thank Jillian Harris for taking the time to chat with us. It is always a treat to speak with those who have a passion for design who also love working with our products. They help us keep our finger on the pulse of the industry and inspire us to continue pushing the limits of our designs. You can stay up to date on Jillian’s latest projects at www.jillianharris.com.

Make sure to follow Jillian on Instagram at @jillian.harris.



Enjoy Classic Cocktails with a Contemporary Twist

Spring is here, and with warmer temperatures emerging in the forecast, people are ready to get outside and socialize. And nothing goes better with a good time than a fun cocktail (or “mocktail”) to set the mood. Although everyone has their own personal preferences, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic concoction. Many of the trendy beverages we consume today, such as an “Old Fashioned” or “Manhattan,” are creations from decades ago.

With timeless appeal, Elmira’s Northstar and Antique appliances have a similar charm to the cocktails of yesteryear. Their reimagined interpretation of appliances from the 1950s and 1890s makes them feel familiar, yet new at the same time. Just one glance at the stylish renditions and you’ll feel the comfort of the past while enjoying the ease of modern functionality. An Elmira Stove Works kitchen is the perfect place to create and enjoy your favorite beverage (Cosmo anyone?) with a fresh twist.

Here are some of our favorite classic cocktails to try this season.


Martini

The Martini is quite possibly one of the most recognizable cocktails worldwide. Despite the beverage’s immense popularity, its “creation” story is up for debate. The original recipe consists of gin, vermouth, and an olive garnish. Throughout the years, people began using vodka in place of gin to achieve a cleaner finish. This led to countless reimagining of the beverage into variations that suit any palate.

For a colorful rendition of a classic, try the Aviation Cocktail. First, add ice into a cocktail shaker. Then add gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de Violette liqueur, and lemon juice, and shake until chilled. Finally, garnish a chilled martini glass with a fresh lemon twist, and strain the mixture into the glass. The curious grouping of flavors results in a striking violet cocktail that is just as beautiful as it is tasty.

Aviation Cocktail

Old Fashioned

As the popularity of bourbon and American whiskey once again rises in North America, it’s not uncommon to find a rendition of the Old Fashioned on the menu of just about every bar and restaurant. The recipe originated at a private social club in Louisville, Kentucky in 1881 and has been a mainstay ever since. The simple bourbon cocktail is a blend of sugar, spice and – well – everything nice.

To make this classic drink with a modern twist, add to your favorite highball glass a spoonful of sugar, a few dashes of Angostura bitters, a slice of lemon and orange, and brandy-infused cherry. Muddle the ingredients until blended fully. Add ice and two ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey, depending upon your taste (bourbon has sweet notes while rye is more peppery), and shake well. Pour the beverage into the glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel.

Old Fashioned

Moscow Mule

The story behind the Moscow Mule is one of ingenuity. The well-loved drink was first created in 1941 when restaurateur and entrepreneur John “Jack” Morgan formulated a recipe for ginger beer. At the time, Mr. Morgan was struggling to get people to catch on to the bold flavor. He met John Martin, president of a spirit company, who was also having trouble finding people to consume his new product called Smirnoff Vodka.

The two men bonded over the similarity of their circumstances, which led to the idea of creating a cocktail by combining the two drinks. They added ice and a wedge of lemon to the drink, and the Moscow mule was created. Today, the drink is very trendy, with creative variations everywhere you turn. A fun rendition to try at your next social gathering is a blood orange and pomegranate Moscow Mule. It starts with the traditional recipe, then adds two ounces of blood orange juice and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Garnish the mug with a blood orange wedge and a sprig of mint, for a tangy twist on the beloved mid-century cocktail.

Moscow Mule

Negroni

The Negroni is an Italian aperitif, created in 1919 at the request of Count Camillo Negroni. A classic Negroni consists of three equal parts of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth garnished with a twist of lemon. The classic beverage is a riff on a cocktail called an Americano, which uses club soda instead of gin for a fizzy, refreshing sip. Negronis remain a drink of choice for cocktail enthusiasts around the world.

For an innovative take on the original, try a Pink Negroni. Just add ice, gin, Campari, lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and a few dashes of hibiscus bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake ingredients until well chilled, then strain into your favorite glass and finish with a hibiscus bloom or sprig of tarragon. You are sure to love this elevated version of a classic cocktail.

Negroni

While the Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, and Negroni are timeless beverages, perfect in their authentic form, they can easily be modified to fit the ever-changing palates of today. With a few simple steps and ingredient substitutions or additions, you can transform a legendary cocktail into a mixologist-inspired creation with a personal touch.


The art of blending old favorites with new ideas will never go out of style. After all, there is always room to make a classic even more interesting than the original.

Artfully Merge the Old and the New with Newstalgia Design

It’s true what they say – that everything comes back in style. It seems like every other day, you hear about reboots of old TV shows and movies. Or the resurrection of classic cars like the Ford Bronco and the upcoming Volkswagen Bus, with new modern features. The same trend is happening with interior design. People are looking to the past for inspiration and bringing elements of nostalgia into more contemporary spaces, with “newstalgia” design.

Newstalgia is one of the biggest interior design trends of the year. Not to be confused with “cottage core,” which is described as grandma chic, newstalgia is defined by an eclectic blend of old and new, filled with character and colour. On one hand, the design aesthetic feels nostalgic and approachable, while on the other hand, it includes the conveniences of today – the comfort of the past plus the convenience of the present.

Newstalgia design is an excellent option for those who don’t want their homes confined to just one style but rather are drawn to a collection of styles from different eras that complement one another.

Here are just a few ways you can incorporate elements of newstalgia design into your home.

Living Room

Capture the newstalgia look by including antique furniture with modern or contemporary pieces to create a unique and balanced look. A local thrift store or antique shop are great places to find old furniture in good condition. You can take it a step further by refinishing vintage pieces with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware to update their classic design.

Make a statement in the living room by adding a velvet sofa in a dramatic jewel tone like Emerald Green. The bold and lush fabric brings an element of timeless luxury into a space. If you prefer a throwback look, a tufted velvet sofa may be a fun option to incorporate into a newstalgia aesthetic. Complete the look with a revamped, vintage coffee table or end tables and a stylish contemporary floor lamp or chandelier.

Kitchen

A chic way to channel newstalgia style in the kitchen is to add retro-inspired appliances like those from the Northstar line from Elmira Stove Works. The 1950s-inspired kitchen appliances include ranges, refrigerators, microwaves, and more. A Northstar refrigerator in Robin’s Egg Blue, Mint Green or Candy Red would be the perfect conversation piece in a kitchen. The distinctive look will add character and give the space a feel that harkens to the past, while the technology and high performance features will provide the functionality today’s homeowners expect. Not to mention adding a cheerful pop of colour!

If retro isn’t your thing, perhaps you will enjoy the look of something even more seasoned like Elmira’s Antique line of appliances. You can capture newstalgia design in the kitchen with an 1850s-style range for a fresh take on traditional Victorian style. Choose a non-traditional colour such as Liberty Blue  or Cayenne Pepper Red to beautifully mesh the elements of old and new.

Bedroom

Mixing furniture from different periods works well in the bedroom too. You can get the newstalgia look by adding an old dresser, side table or vintage mirrors and artwork to give the space a one-of-a-kind feel. Again, use your creativity to update the pieces and make them your own. This will allow you to put a personalized spin on a traditional design.

Or, if you prefer not to get your hands dirty, consider purchasing replicas of classic furniture such as an Eames chair and ottoman for lounging in style. Tie everything together with modern touches to achieve the perfect newstalgia aesthetic.

No matter how much time passes, we always find a way to look back upon days of old with fondness. By bringing items – or design elements – from a bygone era into a new time, we can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Newstalgia design is an excellent way to combine looks from different eras to create a cohesive look that cherishes the past and present.

Holiday Baking Tips for Delicious Results

The holidays are upon us, and it’s the time of year when we look back at seasons past to reflect upon the great memories created. Many of those memories are so wonderful because they include both family and food.

So, why not take some time this holiday season to continue sharing those good times with loved ones by pulling out your favorite recipes of the season and baking up some sumptuous treats. But, before you get started, it’s always a good idea to refresh your culinary knowledge. Baking really is as much science as art, and each recipe requires its own set of rules.

Here are some of our tried-and-true tips for achieving “baked perfection.”

Read before proceeding. It probably goes without saying… but always begin by thoroughly reading the recipe. This will ensure that you have a complete list of ingredients, are familiar with the techniques and tools needed, and know how much time the process requires from start to finish.

Measure up. Prepare your ingredients by carefully measuring or weighing them to confirm that you have the precise proportions needed for baking. Even a slight error in measurement can mean the difference between a great tasting cake or pie and one that (literally) falls flat.

Ingredients for success. The temperature of ingredients is an essential factor in baking and can significantly influence the texture and appearance of baked goods.

When baking cookies or cakes, eggs and butter should be at room temperature. Not only will this create a smoother batter, but cakes will be fluffier, and cookies will be crunchy around the edges with a chewy center. When preparing brownies or muffins, melt the butter to achieve a moist, decadent texture.

When making biscuits or pastry dough, butter should be as cold as possible. Always make sure to factor in enough time to chill the dough before baking. This will harden the fats in the dough, which helps to maintain the structure of the pastry and create a rich, flaky result.

TIP: Try one of our colorful Northstar refrigerators to chill your dough. These cool fridges look like they belong in the 1950s but offer the modern conveniences and high performance of today.

On the other hand, recipes that contain yeast need to rest at room temperature to rise. A cooled oven is a great place to store resting bread dough. Keep in mind that some bread recipes require two periods of rest and rising before baking.

Take your temperature. Cooking baked items at the correct temperature is a crucial – and often-overlooked factor. Many people assume their ovens are displaying accurate temperature readings, but the truth is each oven is different and temperatures can vary. Invest in an oven thermometer to determine whether you need to adjust your oven settings when baking.

To ensure your oven is up to temperature before baking, allow it to preheat for an additional ten minutes after the indicator signals it has reached temperature. True convection ovens are excellent for baking multiple sheets of cookies. They provide terrific air circulation to ensure that the top rack is the same temperature as the bottom rack – no more burnt cookies on the bottom sheet!

Additionally, opening your oven too frequently while cooking can lower the oven’s temperature, and lengthen cooking time. Only open the door when you think the item is ready to prevent the oven from losing heat and to help ensure an even bake.

TIP: You can make your favorite childhood recipes in cozy fashion with an Elmira Fireview range. Available in three models, this 1890’s styled wood-burning stove includes a fire-viewing window, oven, warming compartment(s), and optional gas side burners.

Level set. When preparing cakes, make sure to level the batter in the pan before placing it in the oven so that it bakes evenly. This will make it easier to layer the cake for decorating and creates a more aesthetically pleasing result.

Get the scoop. For cookies, use an ice cream scoop to portion out cookies that are uniform in size. Fill the scoop with dough, scrape the excess off by using the edge of the bowl, and press and release onto the baking sheet.

Avoid these common baking blunders

Baking requires time and patience to achieve the desired results. Ensure that you create baked goods that are both visually appealing and delicious by avoiding these common mistakes.

Don’t get too heated. A common mistake many people make when baking is overcooking, leading to dryness and a crumbly texture. Keep in mind that food continues to cook for a few minutes after you remove it from the oven. Once the batter or dough has fully set and is a light golden brown, it should be ready to exit the oven and cool.

TIP: Consider using an Elmira Antique or Northstar range to create delectable, perfectly cooked baked goods in statement-making style.

Do a proper cool down. Resist the temptation to quickly frost or cut baked goods when you remove them from the oven. Cutting into a cake when it is too warm will make it crumble and, and applying icing to a warm cake will cause the icing to melt. Experts recommend waiting at least two hours to cut fudge, brownies or a pie, two to three hours before icing a freshly baked cake and about 30 minutes for cupcakes.

It is easy to forget small details when baking, but you can prepare for success by following these simple baking guidelines to help you whip up holiday goodies that everyone is sure to love… while creating memories for years to come.

Having trouble deciding what to make for the holidays? Check out the Elmira Stove Works Facebook page for great retro recipes!  

Designer Spotlight

Brittany Hutt shares her thoughts on kitchen design and why there’s always room for a touch of nostalgia

Brittany Hutt

There are times in life that, no matter how far away you may venture, something brings you back to where you began. The same is true for kitchen and bath designer Brittany Hutt, born and raised in Ontario, Canada, just ninety minutes from Elmira Stove Works’ headquarters. As a child, Brittany enjoyed visiting her family’s now-demolished country cottage that just so happened to include an original Elmira stove. Little did she know that Elmira would be a part of her life in the years to come.

In 2009, Brittany moved to Florida to pursue her education in design at the International Academy of Design & Technology, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. While in school, she discovered a passion for designing kitchens and bathrooms. Fast forward to 2018, when she won the 2020 Design Inspiration Awards in the Elmira Stove Works category – bringing her experience with the brand full circle.  

Today, Brittany’s design business in Tampa, Florida is flourishing, as she expands her reach as a virtual designer – allowing her to work with clients throughout the country.

We sat down with Brittany to discuss kitchen design, her experience working with Elmira appliances, and her love of all things vintage.

Q: Can you share a little about yourself and how you got into design?

While attending design school, I interned for a local interior design firm and started a part-time job in kitchen design. I began attending seminars and online classes to learn cabinetry basics, as I found kitchen and bath design was my true interest. After a few years of kitchen design, I started in-home consultations for kitchen and bath remodels and became involved in the installation and production process. I was soon able to manage projects and work one-on-one with clients and installers onsite – from project start to finish.

Q: How would you describe your approach to kitchen design? What inspires you?

I think it’s really important to gather information from the client. It helps me to create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but functional for everyday use. At the start of the design process, I ask my clients to share inspirational photos of designs they are drawn to and request that they create a list of goals for the space. Whether it’s a kitchen with plenty of seating for entertaining, or a kitchen with ample countertop space that caters to large appliances for plenty of cooking, I always want to make sure the result is well-suited for the client. I follow many design companies on social media to gain insight into the latest trends and styles.

Q: What attracts you to mid-century modern style?

I like to bring nostalgic style into my designs, so adding the Elmira NorthStar appliance series is a great way to achieve this. Mid-century to me is clean lines, a mix of paint and wood grains, and most likely a pop of pattern or color. It all leads to a fun and exciting design!

Q: What do you like most about farmhouse style?

I relate most to the farmhouse style. I appreciate the mix of rustic design accents with a modern functioning kitchen. I like the idea of architectural salvage by bringing in an old rustic door and installing it in a new kitchen. It not only brings in that rustic, reclaimed feel but also creates a conversational piece.

Q: What do you think makes retro-style and farmhouse kitchens so appealing?

Both the retro and farmhouse styles lead to giving something old a new meaning in a new space. As styles evolve, I believe we will always want to incorporate something old with something new – it just adds character!

Q: Can you share one of your favorite mid-century modern projects featuring Northstar appliances?

I love this design because it exemplifies the mid-century design style by using a mix of bright white paint and wood grain, and the slab door style leans toward uncluttered clean lines. I also added a mix of geometric patterns with the flooring and backsplash materials. The Northstar appliances add a bright pop of color in Robin’s Egg Blue and become the focal point of a gorgeous mid-century style kitchen.

Q: What’s your favorite farmhouse kitchen design project featuring Elmira’s Antique appliances?

This farmhouse-style kitchen is the perfect way to feature Elmira’s Antique appliances, as it ties the color and vintage/rustic design accents together. I used a high-contrast black and white palette to accentuate the black Antique style appliances. Additionally, I added a reclaimed wood hood around the range to keep the range as the main focal point of the design. The black, white and warm rustic accents in this design create an inviting and cozy space.

Q: What first drew you to include Elmira Stove Works appliances in your designs? ​

I began designing with Elmira appliances in 2018 when I entered a 2020 Design contest. One of the categories was for kitchen designs featuring Elmira Stove Works. I created a farmhouse-style design, which ended up being the winner.

Q: Do you think kitchens with character / a touch of nostalgia are here to stay?

I do think kitchen design with hints of character and nostalgia will remain popular. While design trends tend to revolve, I believe the idea of recycling and giving items new meaning is always going to be important in the world of design. 

Q: Where’s your favorite place to find vintage items?

I love finding items with history and incorporating them into my designs. When I have a client who wants me to design around something antique or rustic, I am very excited! You can find great reclaimed items at thrift stores, antique shops, or online. If you have a home with some character and are looking to remodel, you should find a piece of furniture or material that interests you and add it to the new design. Whether it’s an old bar stool or a few bricks, it’s a great way to add one-of-a-kind character to your new space and give it a nod to the past.

We love speaking with industry professionals to stay on top of the latest trends in kitchen design. A big thank you to Brittany Hutt for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her thoughts and a few of her favorite projects featuring our products.

Make sure to follow Brittany on Instagram at @brithuttdesign.

Adventure is Calling – Seven Iconic North American Road Trips

Road trips remain one of the easiest ways to explore new places, and are especially popular for family trips. These fun journeys allow you to go at your own pace and enjoy as many (or as few) sites as you desire. Go “old school” and grab a map, or enter your destination into your GPS, and get ready to hit the road.

Here are some of our favorite road trips to take across Canada and the Unites States.

Cabot Trail

This two-lane road, which first opened in 1932, weaves through 180 miles of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Highlands National Park and across the magnificent Gulf of Saint Lawrence coastline – rewarding travelers with stunning valley and coastal vistas along the way.

The road passes through communities with both Scottish and French influences, where there is much culture to discover. Visit Black Brook Beach near Ingonish for a refreshing jump in the waves, a waterfall and a short hiking trail, or take a Highlands helicopter tour of the entire area for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Try your hand at fishing or spend some time learning about the history of the land’s longtime shipbuilding and transatlantic commerce.

Don’t forget to schedule a stop at Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck and make sure to book a behind-the-scenes tour to see and experience even more of Bell’s inventions. If time permits, take a hike in Meat Cove to enjoy the amazing views and book a whale watching cruise in Pleasant Bay.

Cabot Trail

Dempster Highway

This is the route for those who want to venture off the beaten path on their next road trip. The Dempster Highway, a 458-mile-long gravel road that connects Canada’s Southern Yukon Territory with Inuvik, the Mackenzie Delta and communities in the Northwest Territories, passes through some of the world’s most impressive terrain. The highway – Canada’s only all-season public road crossing the Arctic Circle – is an all-weather gravel road with two ferry crossings.

Start near Dawson City and travel north through the Northwest Territories to Inuvik. Go off track and explore the Klondike Gold Rush museum located in downtown Dawson and – in the evening, before heading off into the wilderness – kick your feet up at Diamond Tooth Gerties.

Experience dramatic tundra landscapes, mountain ranges, and plentiful wildlife all along the journey to the Arctic Circle. The area is home to caribou, moose, mountain sheep, grizzly bears, marmots and collared pica; along with golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and many other birds.

The best time for reliable driving weather is June through September, when the days are long and on the warmer side. As facilities are few and far between on this stretch of highway, make sure to carry a full-sized spare tire (or two), along with extra water and gas.

Dempster Highway

Trans-Canada Highway

Want to see a wide swath of Canada’s beautiful landscape in one road trip? Hop on the Trans-Canada Highway. The famed roadway spans 4,860 miles (7821 kilometres) from Victoria on Vancouver Island to St. John’s, Newfoundland, and stretches across all 10 of the country’s provinces (and six-time zones), a trip that could easily take three weeks.

For a more manageable trip, we recommend starting your journey in Victoria, British Columbia, and then making your way east to Calgary. In Victoria, you can enjoy the history of Craigdarroch Castle, explore Butchart Gardens’ vivid floral displays, savor the pristine beaches and perhaps catch sight of a whale.

Next, head to Salmon Arm, an area ideal for fishing and kayaking that also boasts a host of wineries and restaurants along with arboreal forests and the breathtaking Margaret Falls. And no trip is complete without a visit to Glacier National Park. Check out Illecillewaet Glacier as well as Rogers Pass and the Rogers Pass National Historic Site.

Finally, make your way to Calgary, where you can visit sites such as Heritage Park, a recreation of a typical village from the pioneering period or Fort Calgary, the first outpost of the Northwest Mounted Police. If time allows, take a day trip from Calgary to Banff and famed Lake Louise, known for its dazzling turquoise waters framed by stunning snowcapped mountains.

Lake Louise

Overseas Highway

Traveling down from the mainland of Florida, it’s easy to understand why the southernmost leg of the U.S. highway system is often referred to as the “Overseas Highway.” This 113-mile-long highway stretches over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, connecting all of the Florida Keys to the mainland.

Cruise down the highway on your all-American adventure, as you pass small green mile markers and experience inviting views of blue green crystalline water. Start your journey in Key Largo, the northernmost mile marker, which is known for the John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park, which spans more than 2,900 square miles on both sides of the island chain.

Continue the journey with breathtaking views of the wilder terrestrial and marine life of the Lower Keys, where the bulk of the residents have four legs, fins, or feathers. This area, which is home to two national wildlife refuges and is recognized as the least “people-populated” region of the Keys, is ideal for a relaxing but adventure-filled day.

Cap off your journey with a visit to legendary Key West. Visit the home of literary icon Ernest Hemingway, which was built in the 1930s – don’t forget to look for the polydactyl (six-toed) cats. And no visit would be complete without enjoying the nightly Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square Dock, where arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, food carts, and thousands of tourists from around the world gather to watch the sun drop into the Gulf of Mexico.

Overseas Highway

Route 66

Get your kicks on Route 66, and kick up the dust with a road trip from Illinois to California via Route 66. No road trip bucket list would be complete without this massive cross-country American trek. This renowned route runs diagonally across the center of the United States, passing through eight states that offer some of the country’s most iconic roadside landscapes.

Route 66 starts in downtown Chicago and ends at the Santa Monica pier in Southern California. Begin your journey in Lake Michigan and travel 2,500 miles along one of the country’s first highways, as you follow in the footsteps of prior generations.

Along the way, stop and immerse yourself in a plethora of historic landmarks and quirky vistas. There’s America’s oldest church, St Joseph’s, located in New Mexico, the ghost town of Oatman in Arizona, and a fascinating art car installation at Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas. You can also check out the world’s largest rocking chair in Fanning, Missouri along with a slew of retro diners to keep you and other travelers well-nourished along the way.

Complete your journey at the Santa Monica Pier, where you can take a ride on the 1922 carousel, roller coaster and Ferris wheel, and try your skills at the arcade before grabbing something sweet from the soda fountain.

Route 66

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) runs along the California coast, connecting San Francisco to San Diego and spanning more than 600 miles of California’s rugged coastline.

Buckle up for a leisurely journey filled with no shortage of picturesque spots. Pull off at scenic overlooks to take in the mountains, towering trees, expansive white sand beaches, and boundless sky. The route also offers a wonderful opportunity to experience all of the character California has to offer, including pioneer outposts, farm fresh foods, surfing villages and local wines.

Begin at the Golden Gate Bridge and weave your way through the mountains, with their magnificent sheer drop-offs and stunning vistas. Visit the many tiny towns peppered along the way for a touch of local cuisine or a refreshing libation. Explore Big Sur’s rocky mountains, which are covered in magnificent redwood forests and lead to a stunning coastline.

Continue south to Cambria, a quaint seaside community with rocky shorelines and abundant sea life where you can visit the Piedras Blancas Friends of the Elephant Seal rookery. It’s also worthwhile to spend a day on the water in Morro Bay, where you may see blue herons, monarch butterflies, hummingbirds and sea otters.

End your trip in sunny San Diego, home to the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum, and the historic Coronado Hotel.

Pacific Coast Highway

Extraterrestrial Highway

Want a more offbeat road trip and the chance for a “close encounter of the third kind?” Travel into the open expanses of western Nevada on the Extraterrestrial Highway. The two-and-half-hour drive connects the Nevada high desert from the Alamo and Crystal Springs area to Tonopah.

Be sure to stay alert on what may seem like a regular desert drive, but has a storied history of alien encounters and hidden secrets. Detour off the path and explore Extraterrestrial Highway sights such as the Black Mailbox and Little A’Le’Inn.

Looking for aliens can be tempting, but it’s best to stay away from Area 51 located at Nellis Air Force Base’s Nevada Test and Training Range, as security doesn’t take kindly to unannounced visitors. Stay on course and enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with driving on this other worldly highway.

Extraterrestrial Highway

Road trips can be a great way to spend times with loved ones and enjoy the great outdoors. These iconic journeys will evoke old memories and are sure to help you create new ones.

Speaking of nostalgia, why not bring a touch of the past to your home with an Elmira Stove Works or Northstar range or fridge?

The Northstar line brings bold, beautiful lines and a vibrant pop of color to mid-century, retro, farmhouse and contemporary kitchens. All-electric, all-gas and dual fuel models feature electric, high-speed radiant elements or high-output gas burners. Available in a choice of nine not-so-standard colors along with custom hues and a variety of trim options, these appliances will bring character and flair to any kitchen.

Our Antique/Heritage appliances offer vintage styling with state-of-the-art performance and convenience. Available in a spectrum of standard and custom colors, and featuring polished nickel trim or optional antique copper trim, these distinctive appliances are perfectly-suited for farmhouse, Victorian, log home or even more contemporary settings.

Antique, Vintage or Retro? How to Tell

Sometimes it can be confusing when trying to determine in which era particular design elements originated. Fortunately, antique, vintage and retro items can be distinguished by knowing a few key factors.

Antique Authenticity

As a rule of thumb, anything more than 100 years in age is considered an antique. These items are usually heirlooms and have a historical quality to them. Antique pieces are great for adding character to a simple room. They bring richness and depth to a space – especially when mixed with other styles – that is often difficult to find in modern design. An original period painting or an authentic Tiffany Lamp would be considered an antique – think “Antiques Roadshow.”

Many homeowners are drawn to the historic charm of antique stoves, in particular. These classic models offer a timeless look and often serve as the focal point of a kitchen. Antique stoves are gaining in popularity not only for the sense of nostalgia they evoke, but also because they work with a variety of aesthetics – from rustic to farmhouse to Victorian or even more contemporary styles. 

While it is possible to find antique stoves that have been restored, many of today’s homeowners are looking for modern functionality and features, and prefer to purchase new “antique style” appliances with designs based on cookstoves from the late 1800s.

Vintage Vibes

“Vintage,” on the other hand, refers to an item that can be attributed a specific era within the last 20 to 100 years. Vintage items are generally easy to spot because they are iconic and represent something exceptional from a certain time period. For example, think about a 1960s model car, 1970s bellbottom pants or a 1950s poodle skirt. In the interior design world, mid-century modern decor is a common example of vintage style.

When it comes to vintage appliances, some homeowners opt to purchase older appliances that have been refurbished. Although these appliances bring a feeling of authenticity to kitchens, they don’t typically have the “bells and whistles” that many consumers desire, especially those who cook often.

Retro Restyle

When compared to antique and vintage, retro is a much broader term. Retro is typically used to describe items that are not original, but rather provide a modern twist on a style from the past. Retro style decorating usually has a fun, energetic feel to it, and incorporates bright colors, dynamic designs, and an overall sense of flair.

Homeowners looking to get a period look without sacrificing function and modern amenities are able to find new kitchen appliances that mimic retro style. These retro appliances are a great way to add character and a cheerful pop of color to a kitchen without overwhelming the space. Their versatile design complements a variety of decor styles, including mid-century ranch, 1950s retro, farmhouse and contemporary kitchens.

The “Original”

Elmira Stove Works has been crafting appliances since 1975, and offers full lines of ranges, refrigerators, range hoods and splash backs, microwaves, and dishwashers. Elmira initially debuted the Fireview woodburning cookstove followed by the Heritage collection of 1890’s-styled appliances, and – in 2001 – expanded to retro / mid-century appliances with the introduction of the Northstar line.

Heritage appliances are available in a variety of classic colors, including Black, White, Bisque, Cayenne Pepper Red and Liberty Blue, as well as custom hues. Northstar appliances feature an inviting collection of classic colors reminiscent of the 1950’s look – including pastels such as Buttercup Yellow and brights like Candy Red – along with more than a thousand custom colors.

So, whether you’re looking for a kitchen with the perfect touch of antique, vintage or retro inspiration, we’ve got you covered!

Add a Timeless Touch With Vintage Holiday Decorating

With the holidays just around the corner, you can certainly get creative and turn your home into your own winter wonderland with a twist – vintage decor! To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can capture the spirit of the holiday throughout your home.

Go Green

Strategically hang evergreen garland to bring a hint of winter inside. Tightly wrap the garland around stair posts, or try draping it on your mantel, doorways and kitchen cabinets to tie in the theme throughout your house. To add some texture and color, place berries or burlap bows in your garland. And, if you use real evergreen, it’ll smell just as festive as it looks.

Poinsettias are another great way to bring the feel of nature into your home. Add a classic accent to these stunning beauties by placing them inside vintage watering cans, old flour sifters or metal buckets. On a similar note, you can spruce up your entryway – or anywhere in the house – with pine boughs in large vintage glass vases or metal watering cans.

Embellish the Exterior

Hang grapevine wreaths in the windows to add some character to the exterior of your house. To add a pop of warmth and vintage decor, thrift/re-use vintage flannels, and DIY them into bows to put on top of the wreaths. You can add some charm to your front porch by placing old ice skates or leaning a childhood sled next to the front door.

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

To spruce up your Christmas tree and make it shine, add antique, vintage or favorite childhood ornaments. Popular 1950s glass reflector ornaments will add some extra oomph to your tree, reflecting light to create some sparkle. If you want to go the extra mile, try adding classic wooden beaded garland around your tree. You can also get the kids involved by setting up a battery-operated classic train set around the tree – creating your own mini locomotive blast from the past. After all, if there’s anyone who loves decorating for the holiday season more than you, it’s your kids.

Go Jolly With Decorations

Nothing says “Christmas Classic” like a nutcracker soldier (or several) placed on the mantel or on a bookshelf. For a fun family activity, you can get crafty and make your own DIY evergreen candle holders. These decorative candle glasses can be used from year to year and then passed down. Additionally, try using vanilla, cookie batter, cinnamon spice or evergreen scented candles to create an all-encompassing holiday aroma and atmosphere.

Set the Mood

If you’re sticking with the vintage theme, pull out the old Christmas records or CD’s to get the jingle jams going. If you don’t have a record player/old records or CD’s, add some holiday season classics to a playlist and enjoy the tunes in the background why you decorate, cook or relax in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog.

Make the Kitchen Festive

Dazzle your kitchen with a pop of “WOW” by adding festive vintage or farmhouse style appliances from the Northstar or Elmira lines. The focal point of the holiday season revolves around baked goods and delectable dinners. So what better way to add some conviviality to your kitchen than by adding a holly jolly new range in Quicksilver, Candy Red, Cayenne Pepper Red or Mint Green – or in one of more than a thousand custom colors. Turn the heat up even further with the rustic Fireview woodburning cookstove.

Lastly, don’t forget the holiday cookies and other sweet treats. Bake classics like gingerbread men, frosted sugar cookies, peppermint bark and fudge and set them on a vintage ornamental platter.

While this year is different from holidays past, we know it’s the little things that matter most. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and gratitude-filled holiday… and hope for a better year ahead!

NFL Hometown Dishes for a Winning Game Day Celebration

Like many things, this year’s football season is anything but typical. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still participate in game day festivities. While official tailgate parties are likely off the menu this season, you can always set up a tailgate in your driveway – or even share in the pre-game excitement with neighbors by hosting a tailgate celebration in a neighborhood common area or cul-de-sac (practicing social distancing and other safety precautions, of course).

Whether you are flaunting your pride for your hometown team or just want to relax and eat good food, check out these must-try, hometown favorites for some of the NFL’s most popular teams – the perfect recipes for game day. Don’t forget to show your team spirit by decorating your tailgate area with team logo and colors and wearing your favorite team’s jersey.

Atlanta Falcons (Atlanta, GA). If the Falcons are your team of choice, it is imperative that you include peach cobbler in your menu when planning your game day celebration. Made from bourbon-soaked peaches, cinnamon and brown sugar, this decadent treat of absolute melt-in-your-mouth delight can sweeten a victory or soften a defeat for any Falcons fan. Don’t forget to add a layer of crumble topping for the perfect crunch and peach-filled bliss.

Dallas Cowboys (Dallas, TX). Texas-style smoked brisket takes a Cowboys tailgate party to a new level. Smoked brisket seasoned with salt and pepper and then slowly cooked over hickory or oak charcoal for 10 to 12 hours adorns the smokers and plates of countless Cowboys fans during game season. Fans can even purchase branded barbeque sets emblazoned with the team’s insignia. No wonder that, to these devoted fans, game day is synonymous with brisket day.

New England Patriots (Boston, MA). Creamy New England-style clam chowder will make any tailgate event a memorable occasion. Simmering on New England stoves and cooking fires for centuries, this hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup can be made with either fresh or canned clams (we recommend fresh!). A fan of Manhattan-style tomato base chowder? Leave it at home on game day. Creamy New England style chowder is the only way to go.

New York Giants (New York, NY). You are not a true blue-blood New Yorker if you have not heard of Italian meatball hero sliders. These small sandwich wonders consist of bite-sized meatballs made of parmigiana cheese and ground beef rolled onto crusty bread that is topped with a spicy tomato-based sauce. On a chilly fall or a wintery day, while rooting for the Giants, this dish will definitely warm your spirits.

San Francisco 49ers (San Francisco, CA). A lavish entree featuring bright red crab claws rising dramatically from a steaming bowl of tomato-laden broth never fails to delight the eyes and taste buds. This iconic, San Francisco-native seafood stew called cioppino will bring a sense of culinary adventure to any game day celebration. Whether you make it with butter, leeks, scallops, celery or sage – or cook it up thick or thin – this savory dish can be adjusted to suit individual taste. There is no wrong way to make it!

Following are some must-have items for an enjoyable tailgate celebration.

Tailgate Essentials

  • Barbecue tools and equipment (grill, smoker, tongs, charcoal, lighter, etc.)
  • Coolers, ice and plenty of your favorite beverages
  • Prepped food ready for grilling and serving (don’t forget the condiments!)
  • Utensils, cups and napkins
  • Folding tables and chairs
  • Canopy for shade and protection from the elements
  • Sunscreen (and insect repellant in warmer, wetter climates)
  • Garbage bags (make sure you leave your tailgate spot as clean as you found it!)

To prepare the perfect tailgate dishes prior to your event, why not cook up something special in an Elmira Stove Works range or Northstar range? You can also serve a perfectly chilled glass of your preferred brew on demand with our Northstar Keg Fridge – perfect for a garage, basement or man cave. And our appliances are available in your favorite team’s colors for an extra helping of spirit!

Retro Gets a Revival in a Diner-Inspired Basement Remodel

In 1913, Jerry Mahoney established the first stationary diner in New Jersey. Similar to the horse-pulled lunch wagon (which the diner ultimately replaced), the idea was to offer a place for “your average Joe” to get a reasonably priced meal. By the 1920s, the term “diner” had become a well-known part of popular culture and you could find plenty of Americans seated on a colorful stool at a long counter or in a cozy booth enjoying a casual and filling meal.

In the 1930s, many diners began to feature aerodynamic shapes, curved silhouettes and bright chrome accents. These design elements were hallmarks of Art Deco’s “Streamline Moderne” style, which was inspired by the streamlined trains that were crisscrossing the country at the time.

Rosebud Diner – Somerville, MA

As 1950s car culture gained prominence, the diner lifestyle became even more widespread. Diners not only provided a convenient place where people traveling for work and recreation could recharge and get a quick and cheap bite to eat, but their ‘no fuss,’ laid back atmosphere made them an appealing gathering spot.

Fast forward 60 years or so and imagine how fun it would be to create your very own diner in your home. Well, Glenda Ervin and her husband did just that in their basement.

Glenda Ervin is a co-owner of Lehman’s, a store that was founded in 1955 by her father, Jay Lehman, to provide hardware for the Amish community. Located in Kidron, Ohio – in the heart of Amish country – the store has grown significantly over the years and now sells everything from old-fashioned treats and sodas to practical, non-electric goods that help people live a simpler life. In fact, it’s been voted “Ohio’s #1 Destination in the Amish Country” for three years in a row.

Lehman’s original storefront – Kidron, Ohio

The Ervin’s have always had a fondness for simpler times. For a number of years, they have been regularly hosting 50’s themed events – complete with costume contests – at the store. Says Glenda, “We’ve always enjoyed our 50s parties and our store carries so many authentically retro products. So we thought, ‘Why not update our basement and create an authentic diner?’ That way, we could enjoy the 50s and all of its nostalgia at home!”

Ervin basement – before

The Ervin’s decided to base their diner design on the year 1955, the year Lehman’s was founded. However, that made it challenging to find decor items specific to the time period. Notes Glenda, “My husband’s insistence on being authentic to 1955 limited our choices. There were so many cute diner decorations available, but it if wasn’t from the right era, we couldn’t use it.”

Ervin basement – after

The couple’s persistence paid off and they were able to adorn the diner with the perfect mix of mid-1950s style. “We were able to find many unique pieces during our travels,” says Glenda.

The star of the space is a Candy Red Northstar retro fridge from Elmira Stove Works. “The fridge looks so authentic and is so dramatic,” comments Glenda. “We knew the color scheme was going to be red, black and white, so the red refrigerator fit perfectly as an accent piece and really brings the space together. We love the chrome accents and bright, cheerful color.”

The diner also comes complete with a cotton candy machine, a bubble gum machine and a popcorn machine.

Glenda’s husband was a contractor who remodeled homes for a living and did all of the work in his spare time, completing the remodel in just under four months.

Says Glenda, “Not only is the diner theme nostalgic, but it is also a great conversation starter and creates a super fun place to entertain. We have hosted several 50s parties in the space, complete with costume contests! I actually own not one, but two, Poodle Skirts. Adds Glenda, “When guests visit for the first time, all of them have the same reaction, ‘Oh, how fun!’”

The Ervins couldn’t be happier with their retro diner. “At Lehman’s, we stand for a simpler life, which we believe is more fulfilling, more sustainable and more honest. It’s about relationships with companions, community and family. The diner embodies that philosophy and we love it!”

Want to create your own retro-inspired space? Learn more about Northstar retro appliances.