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Kitchen – Cracked Ice and Chrome

The return of color

Today, we are gathered to pretend to mourn the death of one of the worst phases in decorating history: the phase where the only appliances available came in black, stainless steel, white, or beige.

Looking through old magazines, I always loved how color coordinated kitchens could be in the 1950s, 60s, and even 70s.  Case in point:



You want a kitchen with a blue fridge and a blue stove to match your blue linoleum and everything else?  No problem.

Red has started to return as an accent color in electronics; a few years ago I noticed red microwaves and toasters starting to seep into the mix, and now red coffee makers are beginning to appear.  Even KitchenAid recognized this trend early in the game and started offering their mixers in a variety of bright, cheery colors:



I myself have coveted the Pistachio and Bayleaf colors since they came out; oh, they’d look so nice in my kitchen and would beat the “gunmetal gray” KitchenAid I received from my mom about fifteen years ago.  But hey, it was free, so who am I to complain?

It is so nice to see colors back on the shelves so that kitchens can indeed look unique.  I’ve had enough of stainless steel boringness to last a lifetime.  Kitchens are supposed to look cozy, not like the cold, impersonal kitchens of the local restaurants.  Color helps create that.

Now, instead of being forced to live with a boring black coffeemaker, we can use it as an accent with a bright red one.  This one’s from Shopko:


While color is certainly welcome in my eyes, it’s the cheap retro-themed appliances that are maddening to me.  I love the retro trend, but for the love of God, could someone design a truly retro themed appliance that didn’t have to ANNOUNCE that it was retro?



See the writing on the top?  While I was initially appreciative of the retro font they used, I was annoyed by the label it spelled out:  Nostalgia Electronics.  Even worse, the little oval plate on the bottom announces “RetroSeries.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah …. we GET it. Certainly one can’t look at a red microwave with art deco features and not understand it’s a retro look.  Thanks for letting us know!

(Just for the record, I realize that a retro-themed microwave is an anachronism and that it doesn’t even make logical sense.  Just throwing that out there …)

Nostalgia Electronics also offers a cool looking refrigerator, but again, they ruin it by stating the obvious:




Anyway … I’m still waiting for this trend to continue to the point where we can not only have a variety of colors available, but also a variety of styles.

That’s right, Whirlpool, Maytag, and Black & Decker: I’m lookin’ at you.













Quartz — it’s not just for countertops

When I was doing the kitchen remodel, I wrote a few posts about how I selected the countertop material: Silestone in the texture of Stellar Night.  I still love my countertop with a passion; the silver sparklies in the black are just beautiful to behold.  Here’s a pic of the countertops just after they were installed (and before I had the ugly tile ripped off the walls):

Continue reading “Quartz — it’s not just for countertops”


A long hiatus

One year and two months (to the day!).  That is how long of a break I have taken from blogging, and now I’m ready to get back in the game.

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the hiatus was needed.  Life took a sudden, rather violent turn and I’ve been hanging onto the steering wheel with white knuckles ever since, trying desperately to stay on all four wheels. Continue reading “A long hiatus”


Going retro without going overboard: countertops

When I made the decision to create a retro kitchen (for now . . . the rest of the house may follow), I struggled with the knowledge that while I loved the retro look, a potential home buyer may not.  We’ve been in our house for ten years, but that certainly didn’t mean that if the perfect house came up for sale on an acreage somewhere near us that I wouldn’t drop everything to go buy it.
Continue reading “Going retro without going overboard: countertops”


The kitchen of tomorrow

One of the most gratifying reading from the 1955 American Home magazines comes from the futuristic ideas that always seemed to exist in magazines of that time.  So much had happened in the previous fifty years to bring peace and happiness and an easier life overall to the American housewife.  It seemed that the majority of the drudgery could be eliminated by machine: washing machines, dishwashers, push-button stoves . . . one could only dream about what other inventions would come along in future years.  It’s no surprise, then, that in 1955 people were dreaming about “The Kitchen of Tomorrow.”
Continue reading “The kitchen of tomorrow”


It’s that time again (retro clocks!)

I have to be careful not to become addicted to retro clocks. I love to look at them, especially the original oldies on eBay, but I have to keep myself from clicking “Buy Now.” If I clicked that button for every clock that struck my fancy, I’d have a garage full of clocks, and probably no husband.

In my previous post, I talked about the benefits of buying a new cracked ice chrome table rather than trying to find one that is in the desired color and is also in good condition. Buying retro-styled clocks for around your home is another area where buying new is almost as fun as finding an oldie but goodie. Continue reading “It’s that time again (retro clocks!)”