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!

How to Add Antique Style Without Really Trying

We haven’t always lived in this stainless steel world with clean lines, tidy angles, and sleek kitchen accessories. There was a time when appliances were built to last, yet ornate in their details. That perfect antique style may seem intimidating and stylistically challenging, but believe us, you don’t have to be a world famous designer to achieve this look. Here are a couple of ways to turn back the clock.

Elmira’s Antique Collection is essential for achieving an Anne of Green Gables aesthetic without sacrificing the advantages of modern technology. It offers a full line of vintage-styled appliances that range from microwaves to wood-burning stoves.  The flare of a Victorian style range combined with the look of your sleek modern kitchen can easily be the staple piece you need to obtain that perfect modern / Victorian mix.

“Antique” styling can refer to anything that is at least 100 years old. To complement your kitchen design, add accents of cool vintage finds. Antiques can sometimes have wear and tear, so be sure what you are purchasing is in good condition. Along that note, vintage items can be delicate. Check the items that are more frequently used to see if they’re sturdy enough to withstand daily use.

If you’re a thrift shopping novice, the flea market, art festival, or antique store scene can be a little intimidating. In order to at least look like you know what you’re doing we recommend these tips to make your shopping trip as smooth as possible.

Be the Early Bird
The good stuff goes fast. The average pieces will be there all day long, but the truly amazing pieces are being picked over by designers, store-owners, and collectors before the sun is up.

Keep an Open Mind
Don’t go in with one specific item on your mind because chances are you’ll never find it. Just because you don’t like the color of it now doesn’t mean a little DIY can’t help later.

Take Laps
If you’re looking for furniture, cruise around the market quickly on the first lap because it often goes first. On your second lap, take your time and look carefully high and low for the little accessories that will add some authentic details.

Finally, there is a fine line between Victorian Chic and your grandmother’s cookie jar, so it’s not only important to know what to look for but how to incorporate it.  Modern Victorian is a style mixture that requires a careful balance. For example, find a set of ultra-chic chairs to pair with your grandmother’s old wooden dining table or reupholster an old Victorian-style armchair.

Having a Victorian-inspired kitchen can be challenging but Elmira’s Antique collection is a great place to begin. Remember it’s important to start with the larger centerpieces, then add the smaller details as you go. Consequently, knowing how to use those perfect antique pieces is just as important as finding them. Be patient, get creative, and stay positive because your dream kitchen is worth the wait.

A Brief History of Diners

Vintage

For many people, diners have become a home away from home. Since they are open late hours – many 24 hours a day – they are a popular place to socialize or eat after a late night out on the town. In fact, the diner has been cemented in place as a cultural icon — it is a setting in acclaimed films like Pulp Fiction and When Harry Met Sally, TV shows such as Seinfeld, some of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and even a painting by Norman Rockwell.

Let’s throw it back to a time before shows like Happy Days and Riverdale to see how the diner originated, and to offer tips on how you can upgrade your kitchen or recreational bar area with this classic style.

Originally conceived by Walter Scott, the first diners didn’t look much like the buildings with chrome interiors and neon signs that we know today. In 1872, Scott repurposed a horse-pulled wagon into a car that served sandwiches, coffee, pies and eggs to townspeople late at night. These early ‘mobile’ diners (precursors to today’s food trucks) had large wheels, overhangs, murals and frosted glass, while later iterations had smaller wheels and larger counters. In 1913, Jerry Mahoney established the first stationary diner, ushering in what would eventually become “diner culture.”

By the 1950s, Mahoney owned 6,000 diners across the nation. As these fun restaurants gained popularity after World War II, their aesthetic took on more of the retro look most of us are familiar with, including elements such as colorful leather booths, wood paneling and porcelain tiles. Once diners spread to the suburbs, the look changed again as stainless steel exteriors, large windows and wall decor were incorporated.

As styles and trends circle back around, more consumers are opting for retro styling, including the diner aesthetic, for their kitchens or recreational spaces. To bring some of this nostalgic inspiration into your kitchen, consider adding a table and chairs with chrome accents and bright, vibrant colors, or opt for leather (or vinyl) booth-style seating. Other elements could include checkered tile and floors, retro artwork and neon signs. Flea markets and antique stores are great places for picking up many of these items. Last, but certainly not least, bring the look together with retro appliances like those in our colorful Northstar collection!

Diners have become an American icon. They have become so popular, in fact, that some have been certified as historic sites. If you happen to venture out on the open road – perhaps even Route 66 – this summer, drop into one of these classic diners. Or if you prefer a fun experience at home, there are plenty of subtle or overt ways to give your kitchen the perfect dose of diner flare.