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.

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.

10 Useful Kitchen Hacks

There is no room more central in any home than the kitchen. The kitchen is more than just a room where meals are made; it is now the heart of a home where families come together to do everything from sharing meals to homework. With so much activity in the kitchen, keeping the kitchen organized and clean is essential for a happy home.

With that in mind, we’ve searched far and wide to find the top ten kitchen life hacks to make your time in the kitchen even more enjoyable.

Tissue Boxes for Storage

PBH
Source: architecturedesigns.com

Plastic bags are a staple in every kitchen, but storing them often provides a challenge. If you’re looking for an easy and cute place to store your plastic bags, look no further than empty tissue boxes! Tissue boxes are great for storing plastic bags because they’re
small, easy to access, and come in various colors and designs so you can pick out a box or two that look great in your retro kitchen.

Boiling Water for Drain Clogs

The kitchen sink probably gets used more often than any other sink in the house. It’s inevitable that sometimes things that don’t belong down the drain find their way down anyway. An easy way to avoid clogs is to pour boiling water down the drain every so often. This easy hack will ensure that your kitchen sink is always in good shape.

Sponge
Source: lifehack.org

Binder Clips for Sponges

There are few things grosser than grabbing a sponge and having it be wet, stinky and dirty. A sanitary sponge is important, and an easy way to keep it clean is to use a binding clip to hold it straight up. This prevents the sponge from absorbing bacteria.

Damp Paper Towels & Cutting Boards

Is there anything more annoying than cutting something on the cutting board only to have the board slip? It’s frustrating and dangerous, but putting a few damp paper towels sheets underneath the board will keep it in place. Quick, simple and effective – this life hack is a surefire way to save you some frustration.

Hang Pots and Pans

Pots
Source: homeremedyhacks.com

Not having enough storage space in the kitchen is a universal struggle. No matter how big your kitchen is, more storage is always welcomed. A convenient way to free up some space is to hang your pots and pans. Not only will they be easy to reach and organized, they’ll also add some flair to your kitchen, especially if you have a designer cookware set.

Tension Rods under the Sink

92559186-ae5d-4c24-a3bc-1ec1410dd99c
Source: diply.com

Keeping your kitchen spotless is a top priority that often requires various cleaning products. With so many bottles, the cabinet under the sink is usually pretty full and tough to keep organized. You can gain some space and keep everything organized by adding a tension rod and hanging the bottles up. This simple trick is a great way to keep even the messiest cabinets in tip-top shape.

 

Mason Jars

Mason jars are so versatile and a must-have for any kitchen. A good  way to de-clutter your pantry is to use them storage. Remove items from their original packaging, put them in a mason jar, label them if you’re feeling extra crafty, and appreciate all of the extra space.. Mason jars come in all sizes, making it easy to find some that fit your needs.

Shoe Rack Storage

Shoe
Source: lifehack.org

If the mason jars didn’t free up as much space as you need in your pantry then consider using a shoe rack for extra storage. Re-purpose a shoe rack by hanging it on your pantry door and using it to store things like snacks and miscellaneous items that are scattered throughout the pantry. While not the most stylish solution, shoe rack storage will free up space, help keep your pantry organized, and make life a little easier.

Command Strips and Baskets

Another quick and easy way to get a little more storage in your kitchen cabinets is to use Command strips and baskets. This hack is perfect for small, miscellaneous items. A small basket will keep items in one easy to access location as well as free up some much needed space. With this trick you’ll never have to worry about misplacing small lids, plastic straws, or can openers again.

Magnets

Magnets
Source: Buzzfeed.com

Did you know magnets can be used for much more than adding a personal touch to your fridge? Magnets can be used to help you de-clutter your kitchen. You can make a magnetic rack to house your spices, knives, and even mason jars. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to finding creative ways to use magnets to keep your kitchen tidy.

Retro Kitchen Staples Making a 21st Century Comeback!

Retro kitchens and home decor trends are resurfacing in modern home design! [Although we know that they never really left]. Here are a few classic “comeback kids” of decades past. Which would you consider for your home?

Wood Paneling and Wallpaper

Wood paneling has been the nightmare of many homeowners and homebuyers. However, modern wood paneling has put an entirely new, contemporary spin on the trend. The simple switch from vertical to horizontal installation has made all the difference!

Rotary Phones

Remember your grandmother’s house phone with the seemingly endless, coiledphone cord? For that old sense of nostalgia, opt for a touch-tone, rotary-style phone for the kitchen. Not interested in the cord? There are cordless options as well as more contemporary styled models.

Wicker and Rattan Furniture

Outdoor living styles tend to spur from interior trends, but in the case of wicker and rattan furniture, they crept their way inside from the back patio door! Chair designs are limitless with these classic pieces, and are available in more modern styles as well.

Brass

What used to be a kitchen eyesore is now being used for kitchen glamour! Whether you prefer the subtle antiqued look or high-shine luxury, brass has made a resounding comeback in kitchen hardware.

Non-stainless Steel Appliances

For some reason, this trend resonates with us the most! For true retro authenticity, invest in vintage-style appliances with modern components. Our Northstar collection features kitchen appliances with 1950s curves and chrome accents in nine standard colors with custom colors upon request.

#ElmiraTBT: Kitchens of the Future…in the 1950s

From “The Jetsons” cartoon and “Star Trek” movies to “The Twilight Zone” TV show and the book “1984,” each of these works display mankind’s fascination with the future. We love the hope and optimism placed in the thought of the future with flying cars, teleportation, automatic everything (which we seem to be steadily approaching), among many other innovations.

Realtor.com recently shared a lost treasure in the form of a 1950s commercial that shows exactly how people thought kitchens of the future would be designed and equipped. Some of the features are closely related to the kitchen technology of today, while others may be a bit surprising. Do you wish your kitchen had any of these capabilities? Which trait was most surprising to you? Let us know!

 

Pantone + Elmira: Spring Forward in Style with these Colorful Appliances!

Every year, spring ushers in a fresh season of renewal. Flowers bloom, trees bud with new leaves and fashion reveals new trends. Every spring and fall, the international color authority Pantone® releases a seasonal color report that ultimately shapes the top trends throughout fashion and home decor.

This year’s report highlights a few colors that are strikingly similar to color options of our own Northstar collection and we couldn’t be happier to see how “on trend” our retro kitchen appliances have continued to be! We have to stop and think: given how long our Northstar “retro” colors have been popular… are they trendy or timeless??? We’d like to think the latter, or perhaps both!

photo 1 - greenWhen spring approaches, one of the first colors to come to mind is green. Lucite Green is “fresh and clarifying” with a “minty glow.” Our Northstar appliances in Mint Green bring spring’s soothing sentiment into your kitchen.

 

Time to welcome the yellow warmth of the sun and spring flowers. Infuse your home with perpetual joy and cheer with our Buttercup Yellow Northstar appliances. Alongside sweet, comforting kitchen accessories in Pantone’s Custard hue, your kitchen will put a smile on your family and guests’ faces.

 

photo 3 - pinkJust like the many pink flowers blossoming this season, Strawberry Ice is a “subtle and charming” nod to the song “Think Pink” from the 1957 classic Paris springtime movie starring Audrey Hepburn, “Funny Face.” Channel Audrey and “think Flamingo Pink” this spring with our 1950s Northstar appliances!

 

photo 4 - blueSpring’s beautiful, blue skies have a tough time competing with Scuba Blue’s vibrant ode to your favorite tropical beach! You can create your kitchen oasis with our Robin’s Egg Blue Northstar appliances, similar to this family’s beach home.

 

photo 5 - grayFor a more masculine option, Glacier Gray is an ideal neutral that allows any (or all!) of the above colors to pop and shine in your kitchen. Our Quicksilver Northstar appliances are “stain-least” due to their ability to resist streaking, marking and fingerprints. Spring cleaning just got easier!

These are just a few of the options available for our Northstar appliances, but we can also create custom colors that will perfectly suit your kitchen design dreams!

Decorating for the Holidays

1949_RedYour kitchen is the most-used room in the house during the holiday season; it’s a gathering space for friends and family while preparing delectable dishes. With this in mind, you should seriously consider decorating your kitchen with fun holiday décor for everyone to enjoy. To help you plan in advance, we have come up with a few ideas on how you can decorate your kitchen without it getting in the way.

  1. Strategically hang garland on the tops of your kitchen cabinetry. Try a tight scalloped design and accent with bows. For a more traditional style, use red bows. However, if you are feeling creative this year, consider draping your cabinetry tops with bold, colorful tinsel. From shiny blues to vibrant pinks, you can find a hue that complements your kitchen’s design scheme.

    A Little DIY
    Photo Credit: A Little DIY
  2. To accent your garland displays, place holiday-themed figurines on the tops of your kitchen cabinets for extra pizazz.
  3. You can ask your family members or guests to draw pictures to hang as décor as well. This is a fun idea that will not only bring everyone together, but adds a touch of personality.
  4. Give your windows some extra twinkle this year by framing them in holiday lights. Whether you prefer classic white or colorful ones, lights can add extra charm to your kitchen. Just be sure to keep the plugs away from sinks to ensure safety.
  5. Place candles with small, stylish wreaths on your kitchen counter tops and dining tables. Try a spruce-scented candle, or vanilla fragrance, to create a scintillating effect. The combination of freshly baked goods and aromatic candles will have your guests waiting in anticipation.
  6. Hang mistletoes from your kitchen entryways. This small decorative accent will help spread affection between loved ones during the holiday season. We get so busy entertaining guests and preparing meals that we oftentimes forget to express our gratitude and appreciation to our partners.
  7. If you’re going with a vintage / retro theme, how about pulling out some old Christmas records or CD’s, or downloading classic tunes to create ambience?” Some of the old greats can be found at these two links: http://bit.ly/1ew6CQR and http://bit.ly/1rMsmir.

    Photo Credit: Sugar Dot Cookies
    Photo Credit: Sugar Dot Cookies
  8. Poinsettias make wonderful decorative accents in kitchen spaces. Just be sure you place them in areas with lots of sunlight, but don’t let the leaves touch cold windows or window panes. This will damage them, shortening the length of enjoyment time.
  9. If you really want to get into the holiday season, and are in the market for new kitchen appliances, consider putting a gift card towards some Northstar appliances under the tree. When the holidays are over, you can transform your kitchen into an entirely new space!
  10. Lastly, don’t forget to display some holiday treats on ornamental platters to tie your decorations together. Fresh brownies or peppermint bark are great options, but if you enjoy baking, an assortment of delicious cookies will do the trick.

From the Elmira Stove Works family to yours, we wish all our friends and fans a very happy holiday season. We are looking forward to 2015 and some exciting new happenings!

So Pinteresting!

We at Elmira Stoveworks are very active social media users, and love learning about new growing trends. Our favorite trend over the past year is Pinterest, now the third most popular social media site in the United States, only behind Facebook and Twitter. Why are we so excited about Pinterest? This site, boasting 13 million users, has allowed us to further connect with our fans as well as given us a place to share our love for all things retro, kitchen designs featuring our products, and things that inspire us, all in one place.

If you aren’t familiar with the new phenomenon, here is how it works. Users who sign up for the site are able to create ‘pin boards,’ much like bulletin boards, where they can post ‘pins.’ Pins are links, which show up as pictures, articles, ideas, videos, and products. Other users are then able to repost these pins to their own boards. Another important component is the “follow” feature. This aspect is similar to Twitter or Facebook, where users can see what others have posted, comment and share as long as they have been connected on the site.

Why has Pinterest become so popular? The average user spends over an hour and a quarter daily on the site. By “pinning,” users can expect to find thousands upon thousands of easy DIY projects, home décor ideas, recipes, fashion, products, to name a few.  Additionally, the site allows users to see what interests their followers and those who follow them have.  Connecting users based on similar interests is the back bone of this social phenomenon. We especially love connecting with users who like retro and antique kitchens featuring Elmira products.

We would love to share our ideas and also be inspired by yours. Follow our boards on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/elmirastove/ and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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