Vintage appliances for vintage houses

By: Shannon Lee , Contributing Writer
In: Old House Musings, Technology, Old Houses

Let’s say you have just purchased a gorgeous old house. Now you have big plans to fix it up, including as many of the original historic touches as you can possibly fit into it. You spend a ton of money, countless hours and more than a few tears in making certain that your home looks as accurate as it can possibly be.

But then you step into the kitchen, where everything looks…well, modern! That big stainless-steel refrigerator doesn’t exactly fit in with the vintage lighting, and that brand-new stove doesn’t harken back to the days of cast-iron pans and wood-burning ovens. What’s an old house owner to do?

If you’re serious about keeping everything in your home as original as possible — or at least looking that way — vintage appliances are the way to go.

Finding vintage in a modern world

Before you take the leap into vintage appliances, ask yourself what you really want: Do you want a true, vintage product that has been lovingly restored, or do you want a new product that looks like it’s vintage but has all the modern bells and whistles? Fortunately, there are places where you can find both.

Places like Antique Appliances, Savon Appliance and Dream Stoves are great places to begin if you are looking for the “real thing.” These places offer restored appliances and can also take on your old appliance for restoration work. So if you ever wished you could still use your grandmother’s beloved cast iron stove, now you can! The prices might seem a little high at first blush, but when you look at the work that goes into creating the perfect restoration, you might be surprised by how reasonable the rates really are.

If you are looking for something with a retro or vintage feel but you still want all the modern convenience, look to places like Elmira Stove Works and Big Chill. These appliances can be designed to fit your decor and come in a wide variety of options, from those that mimic old ice chest refrigerators to those that incorporate the more modern French door and bottom-freezer designs. Though the prices are a little bit more than what you would expect to pay for a refrigerator or stove from your local appliance store, they aren’t all that much higher — and the extra price can be worth it for those who want to have an authentic look in their old house.

If you already have the old kitchen cabinets in place and love the look of that original hardwood floor, vintage appliances can be the finishing touch that makes your house feel like stepping back into the past. If you already have a vintage model but want it spruced up, or prefer a more modern “retro” version, make sure your old wiring is ready for a new machine. Contacting a reputable kitchen contractor can help ensure that your wiring is up to snuff and your new-yet-vintage appliance is properly installed.