I bet you're all curious about how the apartment is coming along. Well, it's going slowly, but there have been some advances. I've been making plans and finding deals on some items that I'll be putting in the new kitchen when I remodel it. Some of those items are vintage appliances. Now, most people go all mushy when they install brand new top of the line appliances. Not me - I melt into my shoes at the sight of well preserved or restored appliances from yesteryear. I've been lucky enough to snag two of the three that I'll need for the new kitchen!
This is my new Caloric dishwasher. I believe it's from the early 1970's and is my latest find. I needed an 18" dishwasher for my small kitchen and thought I would have to go with a new one that had a panel front and controls on the top edge to keep the vintage quality of the kitchen intact - and then this came up on Craigslist! It's a simple, basic dishwasher, but it has a very retro look to it.
The controls are set into a brushed aluminum panel that's printed in black. I love the fine red and blue lines around the shiny chrome buttons. Everything is metal - including the interior, which is plastic on the later model dishwasher in my kitchen now. All this for just $30!
Now this little item will be the centerpiece of my new kitchen. It's a vintage 1960's Frigidaire Flair stove. These babies are the rock stars of vintage appliances. There are online communities devoted to them, they're well documented online, and one of them was featured in Samantha's kitchen on Bewitched for years. I found mine in Delaware. I did an event down there in April and picked it up the day after. It needs a bit of cleaning, but I'm up to the challenge!
I love the control panel. It's so glamorous! The stove features a gull wing glass oven door that opens upward and a pull out drawer with a counterbalanced baffle that has the burners on it. Look for episodes featuring the restoration and installation of these little beauties in the future!
Using vintage appliances in your home renovation can have many advantages over new. They're frequently built more solidly and are made to last longer than new ones, and can cost considerably less - like my $30 dishwasher find. They're also saving these relics from the landfills and not contributing to the consumption of our resources in the way that new manufacturing does. Above all, they make for a unique kitchen - one that no one else is likely to have! I've found mine on Craigslist, but you can also scour your local thrift shops and Habitat for Humanity stores for treasures, and keep an eye on the real estate section of the paper. When an old house is sold, the kitchen is frequently remodeled and you can sometimes get the old appliances for nothing! Now all I need is a 30", panel front Sub Zero refrigerator and I'll be all set!
This weekend I'll be in Denver for my appearance with Fresh City Life. If you're in town I hope you'll join me! It's going to be lots of fun.