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Although Big Chill was founded in 2001, we trace our roots to the walls of founder Orion Creamer’s college dorm room.

Those walls displayed Orion’s growing collection of vintage fridge doors.  As an art student, he had developed an eye for things that were catching, coherent, and beautiful. The myriad colors, heavy duty styling, and vintage details revealed an age where the appliance was truly a piece of art, in contrast to what surrounded him in the modern kitchen.

So what happened? And why are we at the edge of a new trend?


Kitchen designers, homemakers, and the public have been making tradeoffs between efficiency, functionality, features, and appearance since the refrigerator started becoming a core household item in the 1940s and 1950s.

A brief glance through fridge advertisements over the decades reveals how these trends have ebbed and flowed over the years.  In the 1940s, ads were technical in nature and emphasized food safety.  Notice, of course, the quality steel construction.

By the 1950s, as everyone began buying their first fridges, it was a proud fixture of the home and deserved to stand out.  Imagine inviting your friends over to see your first fridge!

Some of these trends got extreme – as you can see from the ad below:

The 1950s represented the height of sturdy and beautiful designs. From that point, efficiency, features, and utility took over and fridges became decreasingly attractive for many decades.

We don’t mean to say the efficiency trend is all bad. In the 1940s, even a small 9 cubic foot fridge cost the equivalent of over $6,000 in today’s dollars and has consistently trended down.  In the 1970s, fridges still used over 2000 kwh per year ($240/year of energy at today’s prices).  Today’s energy sippers, including items like the Big Chill Original, often use less than 500 kwh/year. Fridges today are affordable, feature-loaded, safe, and efficient, and that’s led to huge increases in food safety and convenience.



As we’ve moved to robot-assisted building, shipped jobs to their cheapest locations, replaced steel with plastic frames, and made beautiful rounded doors simple and easy to build en masse – something got lost.  That certain artistic beauty that our founder wanted to preserve in his dorm room years ago. Quite simply, fridges used to be stunning and sturdy works of art. And now, some people are even hiding them behind cabinets!


At Big Chill, we don’t settle for something that quietly does its job in the background. Leading designers and forward-thinking customers already realize that to make kitchens more warm, personal, and inviting – the hiding-behind-cabinets trend will once again give way to appliances that are more beautiful, colorful, bold, and fun.

If you’re an average person, you’ll interact with your fridge over 5000 times this year.  That’s why we’ve always spent a little extra on details: things like a pivoting instead of a stationary handle; beautiful powder coating instead of colored plastic; indented steel doors instead of flat panels.  We combine this attentiveness with the best of modern features – energy efficiency, lighting, and state of the art cooling capability.

So whether you’re interested in one of our fridges, or another of our inspired appliances, we think you’ll agree that we’re delivering the best Modern Made Classics®.


The 11 Surprising Reasons for a Second Fridge, and 1 Warning |Big Chill

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In the last twenty years, the number of households in the US with more than one fridge has doubled to more than 30 million.  At Big Chill, we know that second fridges quickly become indispensable in people’s homes.  Here are a few reasons why:

You like to entertain.  Linda H. says that her second fridge lets her prepare more food in advance of big events like Thanksgiving.  “It’s way less stressful. I can focus more on celebrating with my family and friends”.

You have a man cave.  Our fridges are often found in man caves.  Ask us to match the color of your favorite sports team!

You want to spend less time cooking.  One busy mom of three loves making lasagna and tells us she can now make double batches and store the rest.

You want to spend less time shopping.  Fewer trips to warehouse stores, buying more items at once and freezing them, less time waiting in lines.  ‘Nuff said.

Fewer trips = less gas.  An energy efficient option like our original fridge uses just 34 kwH per month.  That’s the same energy you’d burn in just ONE gallon of gas.

You want your fridge to be well organized.  A little extra room allows you to organize your food and reduce the clutter.  No more “forgotten food syndrome” where good unseen food goes bad.

You have young kids…and they can get underfoot. If the kitchen is your sanctuary, it might make sense to have a second fridge for the kids snacks.

You have teenagers.  Second fridges work great in a basement rec room.

You have grown up kids….and they shop in your fridge.  One Big Chill mom freezes the chocolate chip cookies she has always baked for her son.  Now married with kids of his own, he’ll drive over 30 miles when she’s made a fresh batch!

You have a dedicated guest area in your home.  What better way to welcome your guest than with fun colors and their favorite drinks!

You want a happier home.  Big Chill’s fun design and colors give you the happiest kitchen on the block!  Who wouldn’t want that?

If you’re still wondering whether you could use a second fridge, ask a friend one who has one.  Chances are they’ll say they couldn’t live without it!

Warning: Don’t reuse an old fridge.  A twenty-year old fridge uses 400kwH more than newer fridges, and this extra cost quickly and quietly wipes out many benefits of a second fridge.  Old fridges are easily recyclable and many communities will pay you for them.  In the meantime, have some fun and shop with us!  (In case you were wondering, we make great first fridges too).