How to Achieve a Health(ier) Kitchen

Every day, more research is being conducted on how our environment affects our health. According to The University of Minnesota, our environment can encourage or discourage interaction with others, influence behavior and motivation, affect mood, and create or reduce stress. The same goes for our kitchen environment. Because of the amount of time we spend there, maintaining a healthy kitchen should be a priority in every home for the sake of increased health and well-being. Follow these steps to create your own healthy kitchen.

Go Fresh & Organic
The first step in achieving a healthy kitchen is to be mindful of the food that you put into your body. As knowledge about the harm some pesticides and chemicals can cause becomes more accessible, it’s easier to make better – and safer – food choices. This means stocking your kitchen with organic, fresh foods like grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed foods. An abundance of healthy recipes can be found on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Open It Up
Properly utilizing available space is one of the most important aspects of a healthy kitchen. Because kitchens are the center of the home, they should promote activity and socialization. The Global Wellness Summit says, “Open floor plans, kitchen islands, and other design elements that encourage communal activities have been a staple of modern kitchens for years.” When utilized in the kitchen, these elements not only allow more space for cooking, but also provide optimal room for seating so that everyone can take part in conversation and meal preparation.

Let the Sun Shine
Natural lighting provides benefits that artificial lighting can’t. In fact, a study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology reports that natural lighting can boost productivity, especially important if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Incorporating as much natural light as possible in your kitchen, whether it be from windows or skylights, will not only open up the space but also make it easier to grow your own fresh herbs in a kitchen garden – another contributor to good health.

Color Your World
Color has the power to impact our behavior, mood and motivation, making it important to take into consideration the colors used in the kitchen. A warm and welcoming space that will encourage socialization and reduce stress is the goal. White helps a kitchen look clean and rejuvenating whereas gray and lighter shades of blue will make a kitchen space feel cool and comfortable. Red is intense and known to boost energy, while yellow is a positive color that can evoke feelings of hope and happiness. Green has a calming effect and can relieve stress.

Consider using accent colors to balance out the primary color used in the kitchen space. A great way to do this is by adding colorful appliances. Retro- and antique-inspired appliances from Elmira Stove Works come in a range of standard hues along with more than 1,000 custom colors, and are a great way to make a statement in any style of kitchen. 

A healthy kitchen designed with wellness principles in mind will not only improve your mood and energy but will also make time spent in the kitchen more enjoyable for you and your friends and family. After all, a healthy kitchen is a happy kitchen.

Seeing Double – A cabin on Canada’s Lake Simcoe brings home vintage style

A Toronto-based couple wanted a place to escape the hustle and bustle of their busy city lives. They chose to build a getaway retreat on scenic Lake Simcoe, located an hour north of the city.

It was important that the home have a cozy, welcoming feel while also providing a space that could accommodate and entertain guests, including the homeowners’ large extended families. Offering rustic good looks and unassuming charm, a log home fit the bill.


Upstairs, Downstairs

Because the couple entertains often, they decided it made sense for the home to have two kitchens – a personal kitchen situated on the main level and a second kitchen on the lower level for hosting friends and family. That way, visitors could congregate in the lower level, where they could enjoy the patio, pool and lake. It was also important that the kitchens feel like they were part of the nearby spaces, which was accomplished via an open floorplan.

Kevin Swart of Chervin Kitchen & Bath designed the kitchens. He selected vintage-style appliances from Elmira Stove Works for both kitchens, which served as the foundation for the kitchen design. The appliances not only bring character to the spaces but are also able to handle the demands of frequent social gatherings.

Ready for Action

In the lower level kitchen, a large three-tiered island offers ample space for preparing and serving food and libations when the couple’s families come together.

Cabinetry in a woodsy green complements the brick walls, quartz countertops and Northstar retro-inspired appliances in Buttercup Yellow. To avoid overpowering the appliances, Swart chose accents that would add just the right touch of flair – custom corbels (decorative supports) on the island, decorative nails on doors and drawers, and ‘X’ motif crown moulding and roping. A hammered copper farmhouse sink adds warmth and helps to tie together the different design components.

Take Two

The main-level kitchen evokes a more traditional Old World feeling. Soft blue cabinetry is topped once again by ‘X’ moulding, which is backlit around the entire perimeter of the kitchen for added ambiance. Antique copper hardware along with vintage pitchers and jars are accentuated by unexpected elements such as pull down window shades with a trompe l’oeil olive grove.

Elmira Stove Works antique appliances in Bisque provide a subtle contrast to the earthy wood tones in the kitchen and surrounding living area. The large French door refrigerator features Antique Copper trim and offers plenty of space to store food. Because the range is self-ventilating, there was no need for a traditional ventilation hood. Instead, Swart designed a custom shelving unit that enables the homeowners to showcase personal items.

The Lake Simcoe cabin is a great example of how vintage appliances can be used to create distinctive looks that work with a range of design styles; and how a home owner, log home builder, kitchen design company and appliance retailer can collaborate on a unique and innovative project. The home was built by True North Log Homes. All appliances were sourced from and delivered by TA Appliances & Barbecues out of Mississauga.

Incorporate Elmira Stove Works appliances into your kitchen design renderings! Elmira Northstar and Antique appliances are catalogued on the 2020 Design 3D CAD cloud platform. 

Transform Your Kitchen from Ordinary to Stunning With Vintage Finds

Vintage and re-purposed items have become increasingly popular in today’s homes. Mementos and keepsakes remind us of simpler, less hectic times. Plus, finding a new use for old items extends their life and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle. From a style perspective, incorporating vintage items into a home’s interior can spice up living areas and create an eye-catching – and uniquely inviting – space.

Here are some easy ways to bring the charm of days gone by into your kitchen…

Utilitarian Beauty. Decorating with brand new items can quickly add up if you’re not careful. Instead, why not utilize vintage finds that can do double duty as decor items and functional kitchen pieces? Cutting boards are a great example. Antique cutting boards can be found in a variety of styles, including wood, copper and stone. Other great multi-purpose items include tea kettles, serving trays, pots and jars. These vintage finds can bring extra pizazz into your kitchen while also earning their keep.

Cozy Collectibles. From china and ceramic cups and dishes to glassware and canisters, collectibles can infuse a dose of character and charm into your kitchen. Whether you opt for a full collection, just a few items, or an eclectic mix, you will have an instant conversation starter. Be as creative as you want – the options are limited only by your imagination.

Cheerful Hand Towels. Doing dishes may be a chore, but the task becomes a lot more fun when you can dry your dishes in style! Vintage hand towels offer a simple way to incorporate different colors, patterns and themes into your kitchen in small doses – without overwhelming the space. And, they can easily be switched out according to the season or occasion.

Alluring Artwork. Decorating with vintage art is an easy way to bring some added flair to a kitchen. Try arranging several old paintings – or antique road signs or store signs – on an accent wall to create a striking backdrop. Round out the look with touches such as vintage lighting fixtures and hand-crafted woodwork to give your kitchen the perfect balance of old and new.

Versatile Appliances: Retro- and antique-inspired kitchen appliances can provide an excellent focal point around which to design your kitchen. Appliances in neutral tones provide a great foundation for the many different textures, patterns and colors that vintage finds offer. Or opt for brighter colored appliances to infuse some vibrance and cheer into your kitchen.

Whether your kitchen design is classic, farmhouse, transitional or more contemporary, don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to vintage items. Regardless of the era they come from, vintage pieces create a familiar, welcoming feel and endless style. Check out 1890s- and 1950s-inspired appliances that can take your kitchen to the next level!

When it comes to kitchen design, take it personally

It’s funny how people always seem to crave styles from the past – kitchens are no exception. People have been remodeling their kitchens for decades, and some of the most popular themed choices are 1950s retro as well as turn-of-the-century vintage. These themes have become an important staple in interior design. However, they’re more than simply retro or antique – they’re an expression of one’s unique personality and style.

During the past ten years, kitchen styles have expanded to encompass a multitude of design preferences: from subtle and understated to bold and colorful. Whatever the style, retro and antique style appliances won’t be pigeon-holed. In fact, these versatile appliances lend themselves to just about any kitchen design style that can be envisioned. Following are some of our favorite examples.

Traditional Style: A traditional kitchen offers a unique yet significant benefit – it’s timeless. In this kitchen style, the design relies upon classic elements that have withstood the test of time. The design typically incorporates lots of interesting details, such as arches, raised-panel cabinet fronts, decorative moldings and antique finishes. The kitchen above artfully combines an 1890’s inspired range paired with brickwork, wood paneling and flooring, a dramatic Tiffany light fixture, along with vintage style accessories and artwork to create a functional and distinctive space.

Transitional Style: The transitional kitchen style is defined by a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, with the use of eclectic additions to round out the design. Think a new take on an old classic, or a younger, more energetic version of traditional design. The retro style appliances in Mint Green are perfectly in place in this transitional kitchen, providing an unexpected and refreshing pop of color that complements the rustic-themed decor. Clean-lined countertops, retro style bar stools and weathered elements all come together in harmony to create a statement-making space.

Coastal Style: The coastal kitchen style takes us back psychologically to a quieter, safer time, serving up thoughts of the seaside and relaxation. While incorporating an antique style appliance isn’t the first thing that typically comes to mind when designing a coastal/nautical-themed kitchen, this approach works surprisingly well in the kitchen above. The juxtaposition of an 1890’s inspired range in bold Cayenne Pepper Red against the soft cream cabinetry provides a dramatic counterpoint and introduces a welcoming, whimsical feel.

Contemporary Style: Today’s contemporary kitchens utilize crisp, clean-lined surfaces, understated embellishments, unfussy fixtures and hardware, and lots of natural light to create a fresh, minimalist look that is soothing in its simplicity. Don’t let the streamlined appearance fool you though. A contemporary kitchen can be made just as warm and inviting as other kitchen styles through the introduction of color – witness how the blue subway tile backsplash and retro style fridge in Tropical Blue bring this cheerful kitchen to life.

Ready to add retro or antique elements to your kitchen to create your own signature design style? Get inspired by building your dream kitchen with Elmira’s Northstar and Antique appliance visualizers!

Swimming in a Sea of Color

In December, The Pantone Institute announced its 2019 Color of the Year, the hue the color experts believe will be front and center in home decor and fashion during the coming year. This year’s color of choice is Living Coral, which – according to Pantone – is a “vibrant, yet mellow hue that offers warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in a continually shifting environment. The nurturing color appears in natural surroundings while also representing the fusion of modern life and embodying the desire for playful expression.”

The Perfect Splash

While Living Coral is not for the faint of heart, there are many subtle ways to incorporate this inviting hue into your home.

Small pops of Living Coral can brighten and energize a space without overwhelming it. For example, consider adding a couple of throw pillows, candles, a throw blanket, or a piece of art in the sunny hue to infuse any room with an uplifting vibe. More adventurous spirits might opt to showcase the color in dining room chairs, a colorful side table or a painted accent wall.

Get Cooking

Another great place to bring in a pop of color is the kitchen. Lately, color has been making its way back into kitchens – from cabinetry to appliances and everything in between. Introducing small appliances, mugs and dinnerware in Living Coral is an easy upgrade that will deliver an extra dose of personality and charm.

Ready to make a bolder statement? Then, consider adding a retro fridge or range in Living Coral – or, even an entire suite of appliances. There’s no better way to bring new life to your kitchen!

The complete line of Elmira’s retro-styled Northstar appliances, including refrigerators, ranges, range hoods and splashbacks, microwaves and dishwashers, can be ordered in Living Coral as a custom option.

If Living Coral isn’t your cup of tea, the Northstar line is also offered in nine “not so standard” colors, including Candy Red, Robin’s Egg Blue, Mint Green, Buttercup Yellow, Tropical Blue, Black, White, Bisque and Quicksilver.

Kick off your year in style with Northstar appliances! Check out all of our inspiring options.

An Outdated Kitchen Gets a Makeover – and New Life – With the Help of Northstar Appliances

Today’s kitchens have evolved beyond showcasing a single design style. Instead they focus on an artful mix of style, comfort, ease and technology to provide a personal, one-of-a-kind experience.

For this design feature, we are showcasing a great example of retro, midcentury appliances being used in a more contemporary kitchen setting to create a visually stunning look with plenty of high performance functionality.


Something Old, Something New

When homeowner Whitney Anderson and her husband bought their home in Alberta, Canada, it was filled with original design elements from the 1990s, and was very much in need of a renovation. They agreed that the first project they would tackle was redesigning the kitchen to make better use of the space.

 

The goal of the remodel was threefold: 1) enlarge the kitchen by removing an existing wall, 2) make the kitchen more functional, and 3) create a relaxed, coastal feeling – all with the aim of creating the couple’s dream kitchen. Once the layout was finalized and the electrical was installed, transformation of the kitchen began.

The first order of business was to select the appliances. The homeowners wanted to add fun, interesting elements to their kitchen and ended up choosing the Elmira Stove Works Northstar collection in Robin’s Egg Blue.

According to Anderson, who is a member of the team at Wolf Creek Cabinets in Alberta, “We wanted the appliances to have the largest visual impact in the kitchen, so we designed everything else around them. The idea was to make the other elements beautiful, but not too busy, as we didn’t want them to compete with the appliances.”


A Balanced Design

Next on the agenda was adding new wood cabinetry in a darker shade to bring the kitchen out of the past and give it a more contemporary look. Cabinets in colors such as dark brown, slate or black can  make a dramatic statement. These hues can also create a more functional kitchen, as darker cabinetry requires less maintenance and won’t show wear and tear as easily as white or lighter wood cabinets.

In this case, the darker cabinets provided a counterpoint to the vibrant pop of color from the appliances, resulting in an eye-catching design that wasn’t overwhelming.

Adds Anderson, “We’re really glad we chose the Northstar appliances because they are truly beautiful and we plan on keeping them for a long time. We felt they were a better investment than standard, stainless steel appliances, which are functional but not nearly as interesting.”

Other elements included the addition of quartz countertops, a herringbone backsplash and wood flooring in cooler tones that complement the cabinetry, along with new, more contemporary light fixtures.

Anderson says the new kitchen has changed the way her family lives. “We went from spending time in separate rooms to being together in the kitchen, which has become our new gathering space. I am happy we took on the challenge. The space is beautiful, unique and will suit our needs for many years to come.”

Incorporate Elmira Stove Works appliances into your kitchen design renderings! Elmira Northstar and Antique appliances are catalogued on the 2020 Design 3D CAD cloud platform.

Timeless Thanksgiving Recipes from Elmira Stove Works Fans

Just in time for the holidays, we wanted to share some of our social media followers’ favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

But, first, following are a few tips that will go a long way in making sure your Thanksgiving bird is the talk of the table!

Most people follow great grandma’s recipe – buy a huge turkey, stuff if, put it in a roasting pan, cook it to 190 degrees, tent it, cut the breast in horizontal slices. But, that’s not the way to get a tender, sumptuous turkey!

  1. Instead of cooking one 25 pound turkey, opt for two 15 pounders. Big turkeys, by definition, end up in a combination of meat that is barely done, and meat that is very overdone. Going smaller can result in juicier and more tender meat.
  2. Resist the urge to cook your stuffing inside the turkey. By the time the stuffing is safe to consume, the breasts will be the consistency of cardboard. Instead, cook your stuffing in muffin pans. Everyone will get perfectly done “stuffins.”
  3. If you set your turkey down into the roasting pan, the breasts will cook much faster than the thighs. For an evenly cooked turkey, set the turkey on a rack just above the pan with a bit of water to catch your gravy drippings.
  4. Once the turkey is done, don’t tent it with foil. You’ve worked hard to get a nice crispy skin – tenting the bird will cause the skin to turn mushy… no one likes that!
  5. When you’re ready to serve the turkey, scoop the breasts out and cross-cut them so that everyone gets the perfect mix of crispy skin and white meat.

Now, on to the recipes. These mouth-watering dishes are sure to make any Thanksgiving gathering memorable!

(Click on each image below to enlarge the recipe.)

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

“Let’s Do the Time Warp” – The Artful Blending of Kitchen Styles

Interior design and kitchen styles have come a long way from what they used to be – from the Renaissance style of the 15th and 16th centuries to the Victorian style of the 1800’s, and then to more modern styles such as Traditional, Transitional and Contemporary. But, new isn’t always necessarily better. Sometimes, styles from bygone eras can complement modern day personalities, providing the perfect opportunity to bring back the past. These nostalgic styles can be ‘mixed and matched’ so that the next time that you step into your kitchen, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a Time Warp.

When designing your kitchen to achieve a Time Warp, follow the 80/20 rule. The first thing to consider is that one style period should be more prominent than the other. Second, try to group similar items, which will help everything in the space look cohesive, even when your pieces are really different. And lastly, understand balance. The two different style periods shouldn’t be separated, but should instead be integrated in a seamless way. To demonstrate how this concept works, we’ll use an example showing two popular style periods – Rustic and Art Noveau.

Style #1 – Rustic. The Rustic Style came to life during the 1800’s and is exemplified by the idea that pieces should be purposeful, functional and effective. Primary components include handcrafted elements and open rooms. This style can still be found in many kitchens today. Appliances such as antique fridges, ranges and wood-burning cookstoves combine desired functionality with a traditional, yet stylish and polished appearance. Pieces that could be mixed into your kitchen to represent this style include copper cookware, kerosene lamps, a stone wall, exposed ceiling beams, barnlike doors and wood finishes.

Style #2 – Art Nouveau. A style that lends itself to being paired with Rustic is Art Nouveau, which originated in the 1890’s. The main tenet of this style is that everyday objects should be beautiful. Inspiration comes from natural outdoor elements, such as flowers and greenery. To incorporate aspects of Art Nouveau into your kitchen, consider adding items such as antique trays with floral designs and floral paintings, along with live plants and flowers. Furniture and cabinetry with lots of details also complements this style.

To use both The Rustic and Art Nouveau styles together – and create the quintessential Time Warp – apply the 80/20 rule and, in this case, choose Rustic as the central theme of the kitchen. Grouping like items, you could incorporate rustic elements such as wooden cabinetry, a wooden island and a ceiling featuring wooden beams. To balance the styles throughout the room, you could bring in pieces from the Art Nouveau style, such as cabinetry with floral details. You could also add a colored floral painting with a wooden frame to harmonize with other rustic elements.

Also, consider using copper cookware and placing various pieces throughout the space. Finally, since the Rustic theme is central to the kitchen, you might add a rustic kitchen appliances, such as an Elmira Stove Works wood-burning stove or antique refrigerator to complete the look.

Ready to create a Time Warp in your kitchen? Learn more about Elmira’s retro and antique appliances for inspiration!

 

 

 

Creating the Perfect Rustic Kitchen

If your style is a little bit chic and a little bit country, it can be hard to find the right balance when it comes to your home. There is a certain sense of comfort that comes from a rustic kitchen, but – on the other hand – there’s a subtle elegance evoked by a modern kitchen. We can help you find the perfect farmhouse-industrial balance.

Farmhouse style is all in the details, so Elmira’s Antique Collection is a great place to begin. The appliances offer a unique antique kitchen aesthetic with a warmth and charm that could make anyone feel at home. A relatively neutral color palette is essential to any modern design, but the quaint genuine Nickel or antique Copper trims are what make these antique appliances so versatile. It’s important to retain a natural look, and each kitchen appliance is hand-buffed to bring your design full circle.

There’s no denying that rustic style home decor can turn a rugged look into something beautiful. That’s why we recommend retrofitting your kitchen with reclaimed wood accents. Reclaimed wood is not only functional, but eco-friendly as well. Reclaimed wood can be incorporated in the form of butcher-block countertops, cabinets, or even the kitchen table. We recommend using pine for the most authentic rustic design. However, pine can be soft, making it susceptible to dents. So – if you have an active family – hickory, alder and cherry are great alternative options.

Following are three simple tips to help your modern kitchen achieve the ultimate rustic chic look.

Go Natural: Rustic chic focuses on natural materials such as wood, stone, brick and metal. Juxtapose an Elmira stove with copper trim with an exposed brick backsplash or repurposed wooden barstools. Combining steelwork pieces with raw textures is perfect for toning down industrial pieces and giving your kitchen a down-home, farm-like feel.

Get Thrifty: On a budget? We recommend visiting local antique stores or thrift shops. They are loaded with farmhouse treasures, often available for a dirt cheap price. For instance, give old glass bottles a new life by using them as pendant lights, or paint some wooden crates to use for storage.

Country Color: You can never go wrong with neutrals, but if you want to stray a bit from the ordinary, try muted shades. For example, consider painting dining room chairs a rusty shade of red or mustard yellow. If you want to take things a bit farther…an Italian-inspired patterned backsplash combined with open shelving or an antique stove can keep your space cozy.

Now that we’ve equipped you with all the rustic chic essentials you need, you are ready retrofit your kitchen into perfect country-modern harmony.

A Summertime Kitchen Design With a Splash of Playfulness

As summer is winding down, it’s time to spend those final days relaxing beside the water, either by the pool or at the shore. For this feature, we want to highlight a colorful coastal pool house designed by St. Louis design firm, Karr Bick.

The St. Louis home was constructed three years ago. When it came to deciding on the design for the pool house, the owners wanted something to complement the setting – bright, playful and coastal.

With that in mind, they set out to find an appropriate color scheme and appliances to match. They decided to go with Elmira Stove Works Northstar collection in Robin’s Egg Blue.

“We were debating between having the color represented in the cabinetry or in the appliances itself. Once we saw the Elmira appliances, we knew this was the direction we wanted to go with the design,” said Jenny Rausch, owner of Karr Bick. “Overall, we wanted the space to be a departure from the traditional, formal design in the main house.”

According to Jenny, the pool house has been the most popular image on their website, and it’s easy to see why. It brings in tranquil summer vibes as the days draw shorter to end the season.

Feeling inspired by this design? Here are some other tips to channel that summer vibe year-round:

Hues of Blue. Adding a hint of blue will invite a calming color palette to the space reminiscent of the ocean. Don’t be afraid to mix it up by using multiple shades.

A dose of color. Minimalist styling is seen everywhere these days, but that doesn’t mean your kitchen needs to be all white all the time. Try infusing some colorful minimalism with subtle pops of bold color, as beautifully demonstrated by Karr Bick’s design.

 

Natural Elements. Bringing a bit of the outdoors inside will definitely help your kitchen feel more like summer. For the green thumbs out there, having a mini herb garden in your kitchen window is the perfect way to have the best of both worlds. Incorporating plants, faux plants or having an unobstructed view outdoors are all ways to keep a fun outdoor element in your home all year round.

As the summer season winds down, you don’t have to miss that warm weather feeling for long if you add accents of it to your design. Check out our website, for more bold colored appliances in the Northstar collection, including new Tropical Blue!