The fun colored appliances that dominated America’s kitchens in the 1950’s retro era began disappearing in the 1970’s in a steady march towards uniform stainless, black, and white appliances. We searched for our first home right as this trend was hitting rock bottom. Every home listing seemed to boast its own version of a similar-looking professional kitchen.
Adding color to our kitchen wasn’t something we initially talked about. But as lifelong renters, we ached for the chance to add a personal touch and a healthy dose of interest to our new home. We gave loving attention to our design – and included grandpa Fred’s hand-built chest of drawers, as well as an expandable dining room table that was a subtle nod to our desire to grow our little family.
It soon dawned on us that the kitchen wasn’t just going to be a place where we prepared food. It was where we would eat together, learn how to parent, and watch our little boys go on their tiptoes as they struggled to reach the shelf with the juice boxes. And we simply couldn’t imagine doing that in a kitchen so non-descript that it was indistinguishable from our neighbor’s. Our kitchen would represent the heart of the family. Our love for Big Chill was born, and we began to research our options.
Big Chill’s design experts shared their experiences in adding color to kitchens. After seeing some examples of their work, we were hooked. Nervously we ordered four different custom red chips, and ultimately picked the one that matched the “You Are Special Today” plate that had already started picking up family memories. We ordered an original size fridge and dishwasher in Ruby Red – RAL3003. They were delivered about 3 weeks later.
More so than any paint or decoration, these appliances transformed our home. The room completely changed – the color was rich and bold, and the appliances were simply stunning. We loved the little details like the 50’s fridge magnet, the old style logo, and the little written words that say “frost free refrigeration” in a throwback font.
Both appliances worked perfectly. We have since seen other retro-style fridges and are thankful we picked one with such high quality performance; because while we love the retro look, our family really needed something that was sturdy and worked perfectly. The only thing missing from our kitchen was a matching retro stove.
The main thing we learned from our experience was to trust our desire to be bolder in our design. In 2013 we sold our home for over asking price. The buyers specifically mentioned how much they loved the appliances.
After that, we were sold forever. Two more job related moves brought with them new homes and new Big Chills; we decorated our home in Austin with a blue Retropolitan and dishwasher, and our new home in northern California has a French blue Pro fridge and a black mini fridge. We’ve loved every single one, and can’t thank Big Chill enough for being the backdrop to more precious family memories.