Mid-Century Modern – Back to the Present

Style trends come full circle, and mid-century modern design is currently doing exactly that. The use of sleek lines, interesting colors and a mix of both traditional and non-traditional materials is the essence of mid-century modern style that harkens back to the mid-1930’s to mid-1960’s. So, what has sparked the current resurgence of this design trend?

Shows such as Mad Men have no doubt helped this style gain new popularity. In addition, today’s homeowners – busier than ever – appreciate the timeless look and minimal effort required to maintain mid-century modern style. And, then there is the added bonus of infusing our dwellings with a little nostalgia from a bygone era.

Breath of Fresh Air

Mid-century modern style is understated and uncluttered – providing a sense of stability in a chaotic world. This versatile aesthetic blends clean lines and gentle, organic curves with geometric forms and fun shapes to provide a minimalist look that’s both functional and stylish. There’s no unnecessary ornamentation collecting dust and dirt here. A simple wipe down will keep things looking crisp and new.

Bridging the Generation Gap

Millennials are the largest demographic purchasing new items for the home, and many are opting to furnish their homes with mid-century inspired items, including kitchen appliances. Mid-century modern is fresh to them and a welcome departure from the dusty pastels and beige overstuffed sofas that they likely grew up with.

Their parents, Gen Xer’s and retiring Baby Boomers – a growing number of whom are looking to downsize – are embracing mid-century modern as well. They too are looking for the perfect mix of “stylish, easy to clean (a.k.a. time-saving) and doesn’t take up too much space.”

But, there’s more to it than that. Age tends to make us more reflective, and memories are powerful. We all long for tangible bits of our past, and movies, music, and even furniture – in this case, brass tipped feet on an end table, an Eames-esque chair, or a barrel lampshade – can (re)connect us with the magic of another time.

Get the Look

So, how can you incorporate a touch of the mid-century modern design trend into your home?

Start by finding pieces that reflect the distinguishing features of the style. If there is a specific era you’d like to emulate, you can buy vintage furniture or an iconic piece that has been made new to suit your needs and budget. Try visiting antique markets or an online site that sells vintage and refurbished furniture.

Another way to get the look without breaking the bank is to build around current pieces. Just make sure to avoid using too many patterns, and stay within a designated color range.

Whichever direction you choose, don’t feel overwhelmed – the goal is to have fun and incorporate small elements that ultimately tie the look together and give the perfect mid-century vibes!

Bring On the Drama – 4 All-Star Kitchens in Film

The biggest night in film is always full of fun and fanfare! The 2018 Oscar nominees and winners featured a diverse selection of movies. In honor of the occasion, we thought we’d take a look back at previous nominees to count down a few of the best kitchens in film. From period dramas to adaptations of literary classics, here are some kitchen designs worthy of any home.

Ratatouille (2007)

There’s nothing like fine dining in France. Ratatouille follows young rat Remy, who has a gifted sense of taste and smell, on the pursuit of his lifelong dream – becoming a chef in Paris. Through a series of events, Remy ends up in the kitchen of Gusteau’s restaurant. A lot of work and detail went into bringing this restaurant kitchen to life for the big screen. The use of black with brass accents, tiled floor and copper pots created the perfect French kitchen, making it easy to see why this Pixar standout went on to win Best Animated Feature.

Julie & Julia (2009)

From a fictional chef to a real-life professional chef: in the film Julie & Julia, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) decides to add some joy to her life by cooking over the course of one year every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) by Julia Child (Meryl Streep). The film is interwoven with flashbacks to Julia Child’s time in Paris in the 1950s, and the set was meticulously recreated based on pictures of her original kitchen. Meryl Streep garnered a Best Actress nod that year, but was edged out by Sandra Bullock for her performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side.

The Help (2011)

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, The Help takes moviegoers on a journey through Mississippi in the 1960s. The retro style and pale hues of Skeeter Phelan’s (Emma Stone) childhood home would be perfectly complemented by mint green Northstar appliances. All of the elements – from the checkered vinyl floor to the Formica-and-chrome table complete with cherry red seating – provide the quintessential mid-century southern style needed to make this film pop. The critically-acclaimed movie was nominated for Best Picture, but lost out to The Artist.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

This film adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic gave us a taste of the glitz and glam of the 1920s. The film, directed by Baz Luhrmann, included all of the elements of the roaring 20s yet still felt very modern. The movie used 42 individual sets, created both on location and on soundstages. It took the production team 14 weeks just to build, paint and decorate Gatsby’s mansion, which called for a grand ballroom, library, master bedroom, entrance hall, and terrace, as well as a garden. The meticulous attention to detail paid off, as the film earned an Oscar for Best Production Design.

Did your Oscar picks win this year? What was your favorite film from this list, or is there another film that you think had a great kitchen set?

Five Easy and Inexpensive Kitchen Hacks

With the holidays out of the way and – in much of the country – cold weather still hanging on, late February and early March can be the ideal time to get organized. Why not devote a weekend afternoon to getting your kitchen in order and ready for spring. Here are some quick and budget-friendly kitchen hacks to make your task easier!

Store baking necessities in glass jars

If you like to bake, get rid of unsightly bags and boxes, and pour your baking accoutrements into farmhouse-chic, airtight glass storage jars. They’ll keep flour, sugar and other baking ingredients fresh, and the wide mouth container will make it easy to scoop out what you need without making a mess. For a bit of extra flair, label jars with vintage style stickers, available at most craft stores.

Get a message board

Too many reminders and notes can make any kitchen look less than chic. Instead, tack up an old-fashioned cork bulletin board or chalkboard on a free wall to eliminate clutter. If you’re feeling adventurous, purchase a piece of foam insulation board from your local building supply store, cover with fabric of your choice and, voilà, you’re all set.

Organize plastic bags creatively

While it’s great to reuse plastic bags, don’t let them take up valuable space in your cabinets and drawers. For a fun, colorful way to store and dispense your bags, stuff them in an empty tissue box and use command strips to attach the box to  the inside of your pantry or a cabinet door. You’ll be able to easily pull out bag s one at a time. Choose a patterned box for a little extra flair.

 Show off cooking utensils

Have your own, personal arsenal of specialized kitchen utensils? Instead of hiding them away, take a cue from celebrity chefs and proudly display your tools. Try hanging them above your stove using stylish coat hooks, or install a curtain rod and hang them on shower curtain hooks. For a more utilitarian look, store utensils on a peg board.

Optimize under-sink storage

Install a tension rod underneath your sink and hang frequently used cleaning supplies on the rod. Store paper towels, soaps, sponges and other go-to items on a small lazy Suzan so you can easily access them as needed. For even more utility, install trash bags on an under sink wall hanger (similar to how you’d mount a paper towel roll).

Elmira Stove Works offers a complete line of 1950s-inspired kitchen appliances to give your space a trend forward, mid-century modern feel. Plus, our appliances are equipped with the very latest in cooking technology – which means you’ll never sacrifice the performance you demand for the aesthetics you prefer.

Ringing in the New Year – Vibrantly

As we head into 2018, and interior decorators are keeping their eyes on the latest color trends. Ultra Violet (the color, not the rays) was recently announced as Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, and it’s already making inroads in fashion and home decor. According to Pantone, this “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”  

Brilliant violet isn’t the only hue you’ll be seeing lots of this year, however. Pantone’s TECH-nique palette is one of many bright and bold color schemes the color authority has selected for 2018.


Color Your World 
 

If you’re looking for an Ultra Fun way to spice up your kitchen, consider adding a color “pop” with a few accessories, or even a big bold “splash” of Ultra Violet with a full set of appliances.


Accessorize, Accessorize
 

Seeking a less expensive and less permanent way to incorporate the new Pantone Color of the Year? Lots of fun and quirky kitchen accessories are available, including this cool espresso machine and just about everything else you can imagine. If you prefer official flair, the Pantone website offers a wide array of items in Ultra Violet.


Be Bold. 
Be Bolder! 

If you’re all-in on color, Elmira offers a full range of appliances in virtually any color you can imagine, including Ultra Violet. “Go for bold” and create a style statement by pairing white cabinets with 1950s-inspired Northstar appliances in Ultra Violet.

Tie it all together with a matching splashback, microwave and dishwasher panel, and you’re ready to go. If you’re not quite that committed, maybe add one appliance – say a fridge or microwave – in violet and the rest in a neutral tone. 

If violet isn’t your style, you can choose from a variety of “not-so-standard” colors, along with hundreds of custom colors to create your perfect look; for example, Northstar in Mint Green or Antique appliances in Liberty Blue.

Transforming your kitchen into a visually stunning masterpiece can be as temporary or permanent as you want. What better way to kick off 2018 in style than to incorporate a pop of eye-catching color! 

If you like this story, check out the following links to see how Ultra Violet is making a name for itself in 2018… 

Pantone Just Released Their Color of the Year – And, It’s Ultra Stunning 

The Hidden Meaning in Pantone’s Color of the Year 

HGTV – Our Editors React to Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year

For more information on Elmira’s complete line of retro and antique appliances, visit www.elmirastoveworks.com. 

Have Yourself a Holly, Jolly Kitchen

It’s that time of year once again. Crisp, white snowflakes delicately falling in the back yard – the thrill of placing your favorite ornament on the family tree – and let’s not forget the smell of mom’s homemade gingerbread cookies baking fresh in the oven. That’s right…Christmas is just around the corner, and Elmira has a few ideas that will make your kitchen the statement of the season.

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t have to be the same, dull routine of hanging up lights, putting out wreaths and setting up the porcelain nativity scene your in-laws gave you. Be creative with your decorating and make a bold statement this Christmas with one of Elmira’s many festive-colored, retro-styled appliances. With a multitude of “not so ordinary” options from which to choose – all you have to do is find the one(s) you’ve been dreaming of (design your own kitchen here), and you’re sure to be the talk of the town!

The most important space in the house – a.k.a. the kitchen

Think about it. Where does a family spend most of its time during the holidays? Whether you’re baking Santa-shaped sugar cookies, heating up gravy on the stove or storing the leftovers from the 20-pound turkey in the refrigerator, it’s safe to say that kitchen appliances are an essential part of the Christmas experience. Even when nothing is cooking, baking or being spilled on the floor, the kitchen is the focal point of every home – the gathering place for laughter, unforgettable moments – and lasting memories.


What says “Christmas” more than pops of red and green?

Looking to brighten up your kitchen with a little comfort and joy? Elmira’s popular Northstar line is available in dazzling hues of Candy Red and Mint Green – there’s even a frosted silver option – providing the perfect accompaniment to neutral toned cabinetry and accents. The colorful collection, inspired by appliances from the 1950s, includes refrigerators and ranges in a variety of styles and sizes along with hoods and splashbacks, microwaves and dishwasher panels. There’s even a keg fridge for those who prefer to enjoy their favorite brew during the holiday festivities. For those who lean toward a more rustic 1890s look, Elmira’s Antique line is also available in a stunning Cayenne Red hue, as well as in Liberty Blue, Bisque, White and black accented with nickel or antiqued copper.

So, this holiday season – and all year-round – celebrate the joy of friends, family and home-cooked meals by adorning your kitchen with a little extra pizazz. It’s a wonderful life!

A Memorable Thanksgiving with a Vintage Flair

Thanksgiving is a time-honored American tradition. The holiday is often celebrated eating a great home-cooked meal, surrounded by family and friends. It includes gathering in the kitchen in the morning to make that pumpkin pie or prepare the turkey while creating memorable moments.

When you’re congregated in the kitchen making all the side dishes and trimmings, have you ever stopped to think about how Thanksgiving dinner was made in your grandma’s kitchen? While some things never go out of style, kitchen appliances have come a long way… which is something we should all be thankful for.

In grandma’s kitchen, you had the feeling of being home. There was love and warmth around every corner. You also knew you were going to get a hearty home-cooked meal; not taking seconds was a serious offense. During after-dinner clean up, dishes had to be washed and dried by hand, which was no fun at all.

The day after the big feast probably involved some Black Friday shopping and then maybe cleaning the oven; after all, the oven just had its biggest day of the year. Back then, ovens were cleaned manually (or “womanually”). This involved spraying the oven with toxic cleaners, letting it soak, putting on rubber gloves, then mopping dirty toxic sludge out with rags. (Don’t forget to open the windows to let the toxic fumes out.)

Speaking of the cleaning your Grandma had to do, we would be remiss not to mention the nasty task of defrosting the refrigerator. This task included emptying the fridge and freezer, storing everything in coolers, letting the fridge warm up, and then chipping the ice out of the freezer with a steel spatula. Once the cleaning was completed, you could finally put the food back.

Today’s kitchen is not your Grandma’s – now, you can fit your unique personality into Thanksgiving without giving up the modern conveniences. Much like their original 1950s counterparts, retro fridges today offer customized shades and a range of styles to choose from. The outside may look foreign to those of the millennial generation, but its features are not.

Here are just a few bells and whistles to expect:

  • Self-cleaning ovens
  • Convection ovens for faster, even, precise baking and broiling
  • Programmable ovens for baking and self-clean
  • Warmer drawers
  • Frost-free fridges
  • Ice makers
  • Large functional freezers
  • Filtered cold water dispensers

It’s fun to look back to the days of June Cleaver, when evenings only consisted of the family dinner and  the fellowship around the table was the most important part of the day; and Thanksgiving dinner perhaps the most important meal of the year. The innovation of modern technology in kitchen appliances has helped preparing Thanksgiving dinner come into the 21st century, but some things like the warmth and love of family and friends while eating great food will never go out of style.

Sizzling Hot. Spooky Cool.

Tis the season for porches filled with spider webs, skeleton-lined driveways and jack-o-lanterns on the steps. As a child trick-or-treating on Halloween, nothing is more exciting than venturing up to an extravagantly decorated house. Well… maybe one thing: visiting a home featuring a spooky walk-through complete with “pop up” ghosts, goblins and ghouls.

Americans rank Halloween as their third favorite holiday, just behind Christmas and Thanksgiving. In 2016, Halloween retail spending hit a record high of $8.4 billion. Consumers spent money on costumes for all members of the family – kids, parents (and even pets) – along with candy and, of course, decorations.

As an adult, Halloween provides the perfect excuse to let loose and express ourselves differently than we do every other day of the year. There’s just something about dressing up and decorating the house, however crazily, spookily or just plain old differently, that provides an intriguing release from reality… seemingly what makes the holiday a favorite among Americans both young and old.

For those seeking to elevate their Halloween decor to the next level, the Northstar line from Elmira Stove Works offers a full range of customizable vintage refrigerators. Just in time for Halloween, the vintage-inspired Skulls and Flames design features an orange, airbrushed skull on a sleek black fridge that is sure to give anyone “the chills.”

Popular among motorcycle owners and vintage car aficionados alike, this visually striking fridge can even be tailored to be a draft beer dispenser, making it the ultimate man cave masterpiece.

Skulls not your thing? Fear not! Northstar fridges come in a variety of colors and can be airbrushed with a design of your choosing. These functional pieces of art are ideal for adding a pop of color to the kitchen or evoking masculine charm in a garage or man cave. If you happen to prefer the look of a solid color fridge, Elmira offers orange and black versions of its Northstar appliances – perfect for Halloween, and all year round.

Retro, colored appliances are not frequently found in kitchens nowadays, making these pieces all the more extravagant and gushworthy. With Elmira Stove Works, it’s easy to get the desired retro or antique look, without sacrificing the convenience of modern, high-tech appliances.

So, whether you’re seeking to up your Halloween decor and host a top-notch haunted house, or add a flare of self-expression to an otherwise generic kitchen or man cave, Elmira Stove Works has got you covered.

The Psychology of Color: What It Means for Your Kitchen

We live our lives in color – from the bright and burnished hues of the changing seasons to the clothes and cars we buy, down to the way we design our homes.

Color is such an important element in interior design not only because it’s what we see, but because color is known to have psychological effects onour perceptions and emotions. When we choose colors for our walls, furniture and appliances, we’re subconsciously promoting the associations attached to those colors, which then affects our own thoughts and feelings.

The design of a home is a reflection of the owner. To help you design a home that embraces the characteristics and mindset that best fit your personality, we’re running through the psychology of some of the most popular colors in our Northstar appliance collection.

(Candy) Red – Red is a strong color – warm and positive – that is associated with passion, attention, pride and strength. In Eastern cultures, red is the color of good luck. In the kitchen, vibrant red appliances will instantly command attention.

White – On the other end of the color spectrum sits white, which corresponds to clarity, cleanliness, purity and innocence. White promotes a sense of order and encourages mental sharpness. Opt for white appliances in the kitchen to create a fresh, inviting look.

 (Robin’s Egg) Blue – Soothing and calm, blue invokes health and healing. Being surrounded by blue generates a sense of peacefulness and understanding. Choose blue appliances to bring a relaxed, tranquil feeling to your home.

Black – Black has a reputation for symbolizing darkness, but – in reality – black is commonly associated with professionalism and sophistication. Compare a black-tie event with a more casual gathering where you might wear a t-shirt and shorts. It’s the dark, dramatic suits and dresses that create an upscale atmosphere. Black appliances can lend that same sense of elegance to your kitchen.

(Mint) Green – Representing nature, growth and balance, green transforms spaces through its associations with safety and harmony. Whichever shade you choose, green appliances will deliver a sense of balance and relaxation to your home.

(Quick) Silver – Sleek, modern and sophisticated, silver opens us up new ideas and activates intuition. Including silver in your kitchen will impart a modern feel, while its associations with jewelry and treasures will invoke a sense of luxury.

(Buttercup) Yellow – The happiest color on the spectrum, yellow is an energetic hue that represents youthfulness and joy. It inspires thought and creativity, and – on an emotional level – lifts spirits and encourages optimism. Use yellow appliances to bathe your home in year-round “sunshine.”

One of the best features of the Northstar collection is the wide variety of available color options, which makes it easy to find the color scheme that’s right for you. Going for a beachy summer vibe? Try a light blue wall with white appliances or a white wall with Robin’s Egg blue appliances. Looking to make a bold statement? Pair red appliances with a black-and-white checkerboard floor. Whatever color you choose, know that it will subconsciously affect the way you and your guests feel and think about your kitchen. So, make sure to choose colors that truly resonate with you!

 

Famous TV Kitchens Reloaded: Hi-Tech Upgrades to Retro Designs for a Blast from the Not-So-Distant Past

If you love television, chances are that you grew up right alongside some pretty famous families. The Bradys. The Waltons. The Seinfeld gang. And at the very center of all the laughs, the confusion, the sadness, and the touching moments you’ll likely never to forget, are the memorable kitchens in the homes of the families we loved.

Many people still consider the kitchen to be the very heart of the home — for a variety of unique reasons. So let’s take a walk back down memory lane — revisiting the famous TV sitcom kitchens of the past — and highlight what it was about these environments that made them so special.  Plus, consider how their designs have influenced the kitchens of today.

The Brady Bunch: Alice ran a tight ship, feeding and raising a special group of kids

The Brady Bunch was the dominant family-focused sitcom of the 1970s. And in the Brady family kitchen, housekeeper and matriarch Alice Nelson was the master of her domain. The kitchen environment itself was a nod to everything that was great about the 70s. With an open floor plan in the middle class suburban home, the walls were adorned with perfectly fake wood paneling broken up by that memorable kitchen island.

Add to the atmosphere the stainless double oven, and Alice had everything she needed to keep the family eating heartily and running smoothly. The only thing missing? A retro microwave oven from Northstar. Imagine what Alice could have done with 1200 watts of power and capacity of 1.6 cubic feet. We’re talking sensor reheat, genius sensor cook setting, inverter turbo defrost, and a popcorn key.

The Waltons: An All-American tale of just how hard — and sweet — life could be

There’s little denying that the Waltons owned 1960s drama. This All-American family from Walton’s Mountain in Jefferson County, Virginia gave us a glimpse into growing up during one of the nation’s toughest times. And as you might expect, hearts soared and challenges were bested in one of the more memorable kitchen settings in American television history.

The Walton kitchen garnered specific acclaim for its period-appropriate detail — from the matching woodgrain furniture to the woodburning cookstove that anchored this special room. However, swap that out with the Fireview woodburning cookstove and you have a model that still perfectly matches the time period, but adds the convenience of high-efficiency and optional side burners.

Seinfeld: The show about nothing from the smallest kitchen in history

Kitchen space in a New York City apartment is at a premium. And no TV show demonstrated this phenomenon more clearly than the sitcom that dominated the 90s — Seinfeld. The motley crew of Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer spent years getting in and out of trouble — shoulder to shoulder in the confines of Jerry’s cramped apartment kitchen. Literally two steps would take you from the fridge to the stove and back. And you could access the microwave halfway through that trip.

One addition to the Seinfeld kitchen that they would have loved might be the Northstar fridge. With six models and eight dynamic colors to choose from, this retro appliance would have done wonders for Jerry’s cool factor — particularly on the few occasions when he entertained a female visitor. And with the addition of a BrewMaster factory-installed draft kit, the boys could have enjoyed cold brews to fuel their insane conversations.

Elmira Stove Works carries several complete lines of antique kitchen appliances to help you capture the look of your favorite TV kitchen. Plus, our brands are equipped with the very latest in cooking technology — which means you’ll never sacrifice the performance you demand for the aesthetics you prefer.

 

Turn your recreation room into the ‘coolest space on the block’ with a retro fridge with draft beer system

When the neighborhood bar scene gets old. When your bar buddies are looking for a place to gather. When the big game is on. You turbo charge your man cave or recreation room by adding a retro fridge with a draft beer system. All of a sudden, yours is the ultimate gathering place for the guys to gather and root for your favorite team.

Most people have pretty much the same basement setup. Flat screens. Couches. Maybe even a bar area. But what gives your place the ultimate edge is your keg fridge — with its exciting mid-century modern aesthetic and factory-installed draft beer system. Although this fridge almost sells itself, let’s run down some of the benefits of this unique addition to any serious beer lover’s play area.

1952_BREWCRWe start with the keg fridge, in all its
retro glory

The fridge itself — even without the draft beer system — is the pinnacle of coolness. These Northstar models are uniquely appointed with the smooth lines and dangerous curves that have given Northstar its reputation for being a cut above the rest.

There are six models available in nine standard colors, or match your team’s colors with an unlimited selection of custom colors.


We move to the draft beer system, with cold ones on tap

So, great, you have your fridge… But it isn’t long before having to open the door to grab your cold beers gets a bit old. And then you have to get the cap off the beer or flip the tab. It’s so much work, and you’ve got a game to focus on! Wouldn’t it be great if you had a draft system that lets you draw your beer just like at your favorite neighborhood watering hole? Well, now you can.

Say “hello” to the Northstar fridge with a factory-installed draft beer system. It comes complete with all the necessary accessories, including:

  • Through-the-door tap dispenser
  • Retro flame splashback
  • Drip tray
  • Coupler & connections
  • CO2 cylinder
  • Just add beer!

The real benefits for those who need more convincing

If a retro-cool refrigerator with draft beer system isn’t enough to get you to pull out your bank card and order right now, we thought perhaps we’d make a short list of some real benefits of adding the Northstar and BrewMaster teams to your man cave, recreation room or finished basement.

Elmira Stove Works - Northstar Model 1950 Keg Fridge - Black.jpg

The envy factor. One look at your game-day setup and your buddies will definitely want to hang out with you — heck, they might even want to be you (on game days, that is).

The safety factor. No more trying to navigate your way home on the roads from the neighborhood bar after a few cold ones — just walk upstairs to your bedroom when the game is over – and leave your buddies on the couch!

The spouse factor. If you decide to have a couple of beers after work, your spouse won’t have to look for you or go too far to find you.

The babysitter factor. For those beer lovers with kids, you won’t have to get a babysitter the next time you have a sudden urge to watch the game, eat wings and drink beer.

Elmira combines the ultra hip Northstar fridge with a factory-installed BrewMaster draft system. We’re ready to help you make your buddies jealous the instant they enter your recreation room… with the ultimate keg fridge.