Vintage Appliances Can Bring Your Old House Back to the Past

Shannon Lee

There are few things more jarring than walking through an old house that has been beautifully restored to its glory days, only to find that the kitchen looks too sleek and modern against the antique furnishings and aged hardwood floors. How can you make your modern kitchen fit into an old house?

Vintage Appliances Make the Perfect Period Kitchen

How do you go about choosing the best vintage appliances for your old house kitchen? Here are a few things to look for when you go on your shopping spree:

  • Ensure it works. Many vintage appliances look gorgeous but have all the original parts, which might not work as well as they once did, if they work at all. Make sure the appliance you choose works the way it should. But keep in mind that if it doesn't, there are plenty of places that offer replacement parts and service for vintage appliances.
  • Consider safety. Some much older kitchen appliances, like stoves from the late 1800s, might not have the safety features that you need for peace of mind. If you love a particular wood-burning stove but don't feel comfortable with the safety issues an old stove might present, keep in mind that today's reproductions can look very much like the real thing, but they meet all of today's safety standards.
  • Look at the longevity. Some "antique" refrigerators made after the 1950s have today's modern conveniences, and that can make them quite tempting. But for the true antique collector, refrigerators that were made in the 1920s and 1930s are often considered "bulletproof" and can withstand anything life has to throw at them.
  • Consider other uses. Unpowered iceboxes from the late 1800s are lovely finds for the antique home, but they might not be the most practical option for day-to-day use. A restored icebox can serve nicely in your kitchen as a repository for cookbooks, a second pantry, or even a place to store your kitchen staples, such as flour and sugar in antique bins.

Finally, brace yourself for the cost of those vintage appliances. Purchasing an old vintage appliance in the hopes of having it restored can wind up costing a pretty penny down the road. Completely restored stoves and refrigerators can cost thousands of dollars, and some very rare models might soar over the five-figure mark.

However, there are few things that can finish a vintage kitchen look like those original appliances. If you're serious about going back in time and creating an authentic look for your old house, vintage appliances are where it's at!

About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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