There is no denying the appeal of vintage goods in the kitchen. Antique furniture and other items have a nice decorative impact in the home. There is a sense of style and purpose that goes much further with these vintage kitchen appliances.
Modern kitchens face the risk of all looking the same, with cheap, modern appliances and decreasing charm. Vintage kitchen appliances take us back to the days of homemaking in style, better quality goods and an appealing heart of a home. These older appliances are therefore highly desirable in the right space, but there are pros and cons. Age, condition, and purpose all vary and play a major role.
In this guide to buying the best vintage kitchen appliances, we will look at the some of the most important considerations for home owners.
First of all, we need to look at the vast range of different goods and appliances that are available.
The next factor to discuss is the style of the appliance. What do we mean by vintage and what era is best for your preferred style and needs?
Then we will look at the problems regarding the condition of the piece and the choice between replicas and the real deal.
Finally, we will look at some top tips for buying these items from sellers.
1. Choosing The Right Type Of Appliance For The Home
What is the overall aim here when choosing new appliances and devices for the home? Are you after something stylish with a pretty design that guests will envy. This could mean style over substance if there is a quirky period look, such as Art Deco kettles.
Are you after something more practical for a more functional kitchen? There are lots of well-made appliances for food preparation and even old ranges and refrigerators. Maybe you simply want to add some warmth and fun to this room to recreate that idea of the heart of the family home.
The best place to start here is with some vintage style items that enhance a basic family kitchen. This means appliances for making coffee, toast, and tea, as well as some decorative elements. Tea and coffee making facilities are accessible and diverse because they are such a necessity. These essential features can start a collection and set the tone.
The range of devices and styles in coffee makers and percolators is particularly impressive. Then there is the chance to improve your cooking and baking with older machines. There is the sense of a robust, reliable appliance with older goods.
Modern devices are stylish, but not always built to last. Grandmothers pass down old pieces of kitchenware, like mixers and mixing bowls, but we are unlikely to do that with something like a modern Kenwood or Cuisinart.
The rise of the old range in country kitchens for an authentic cooking experience.
Some homeowners will want to go all out in their desire to create the perfect vintage kitchen. Small scale appliances are fun for a decorative element and some specific functions, but it is possible to go even further and transform the entire kitchen.
The most dramatic changes lie with the oven and the fridge. Modern ovens and refrigerators are appealing for their special features, capacity, and ease of use. However, a big white refrigerator and a contemporary oven can clash with the colors and styles of the smaller items above.
There is also a trend for cooking on an old range and going back to basics. There is a sacrifice of energy efficiency and ease of use.
Still, the latter adds to the charm. An old refrigerator doesn’t have the special trays and temperature controls, but it looks a lot nicer. An old range is an attractive statement piece, unlike many modern options.
2. Which Era And Style Will Fit In With Your Kitchen?
Choosing the type of appliance and function is just the start. You also need to narrow down your options by a period. The overall look and feel work better when all the items are from the same era. This is especially true if you can find the same design features, colors, and manufacturers. There are different approaches to shape, style and even material depending on the era. Take the take to research these periods and the options they bring. If you want classic vintage, you need the following.
The True Vintage Feel Of The Post-war Era
The 1940s to 1950s is the ideal period here. Many swear by these machines because they hit that perfect midway point between consumer choice in style and features, and the old days of appliances built to last. Therefore, you can find machines of all kinds where old fashioned style and craftsmanship meets a plenty of convenient features on board. This includes items that come as standard today,
such as clocks that act as timers or lights for improved illumination.
This post war period is a great place to look because of the manufacturing boom. There was a time when a peaceful, prosperous home life was a luxury. We couldn’t take this family life for granted after the chaos of war and depression.
The home was the castle again, and it deserved the best in modern appliances for style and convenience. This led to a boom in the manufacturing of kitchen goods like coffee makers and other helpful gadgets. Greater choice and numbers mean more items that may still be around to snap up in
online auctions or antique shops.
Late Vintage in the 1960s and 70s
The term vintage is sometimes a little difficult to define because of the eras and age of goods. The term settles around that post-war period, while retro items tend to fall closer to the 1980s.
The terms change as the decade’s progress. This leaves that later period of the 1960s and 1970s between the two. This era brings something completely different in shape, material, and color for those that are not keen on the look of the 1950s. This later period brings, even more, choice and user-focused items in items that remind us of our childhood. However, this familiarity means that they have a different sort of charm and may be too modern for some.
The alternative option here is to look for items earlier in date than this post-war vintage era. This means heading into more antique territory with items from the 1920s to 1930s. Again, there are pros and cons to this approach. The clear benefit here is that there are more interesting and stylish designs to the pieces.
The Art Deco era remains one of the most beautiful and celebrated, and this shines through in old kitchen appliances. The problem is that there isn’t that choice is available, functional goods at this point. You may find something beautiful that works better as a display item that a
The next thing to consider here is the true age and condition of the appliance. Is this a true vintage model or a replica designed to emulate the real thing?
Buyers have a clear choice with vintage kitchen items. First, there are the kitchen goods from modern designers that have the look of the “real” thing, to emulate the older models. Then there are the true vintage/antique options where you know you have an authentic piece from the era. There are pros and cons to each option here. The benefits of choosing a real vintage kitchen appliance are simple.
These sense of authenticity is essential for collectors that want that true design and a device that was the pride and joy of the 1950s kitchen. It’s hard to replicate the look, feel and quality of these older items. These authentic pieces are often better made and have greater long term value. You may be able to pick one up for a fair price and see it appreciate in value over time.
However, there are also some clear drawbacks to this approach.
The electrics are a primary concern here, as some appliances may not be up to modern standards. Old fashioned, unregulated electronic items may not have the safety rating and secure wiring that we expect in contemporary options. There is the risk of electric shock from a plug that was not grounded correctly, as well as the risk of fire from old, damaged goods.
The best solution here is to look for an old device with the electrics removed, where you can replace them with modern solutions. This will raise the overall costs of the purchase,
but it is worthwhile for the peace of mind.
Then there are the benefits of turning to a replica model instead.
One benefit of a modern replica is that not only will it have all the right wiring in the best condition; the overall condition will be much better too. In the end, every kitchen appliance has to be in full working order to be of worth. A vintage toaster with no working parts is just an ornament. A vintage kettle that cannot boil water may as well be in a museum. Still, there are some downsides to this option.
Designers may want to create the very best modern version, but it will never be authentic. They just won’t look or feel like the real thing. They also won’t have the same durability or appreciation in value.
Don’t rush into a purchase because it sounds like a great choice.
A catchy title on a sales page and one well-shot photograph aren’t
enough to prove that this vintage item is the best choice for your needs. Gather as much information as possible on the specific item for sale, not just generics information on the model.
The best way to understand the risks of the issues above is to talk to the seller and read sales descriptions carefully. The best sellers of vintage kitchen appliances online should provide plenty of information on the product. This means clear details on the true age, maker, safety ratings and a detailed condition report.
Ideally, these sellers will also provide a range of photographs of the appliance to highlight the true condition and purpose. Photos provide clear signs of damage and stains, images of the parts and important details like color and makers’ marks.
Sellers that provide plenty of photos have less to hide. Those with a wall of text and no images are not trustworthy. Just because they say that a model is a 1950s classic in perfect condition, doesn’t make it true.
3. Where To Buy These Vintage Kitchen Appliances?
There are two choices when it comes to finding the best appliances for a vintage-style kitchen. The most obvious these days is to buy them online. There are plenty of stores and specialists with online catalogs of goods to browse.
Here you see those important photos and condition reports. This is a convenient way to browse through options and compare the look and condition of opposing items from different retailers. The problem is that you cannot see the item and examine the components. There is some trust required here.
Brick and mortar store eliminates this issue as you can see and pick up the item to get a better sense of condition, purpose, and color. You can also pick up the item and take it straight home, with no concerns about damage to the item in transit.
What Have We Learned About The Choice Available Here?
There is a lot to take in when learning about all the different options in vintage kitchen goods. It isn’t enough to say that you want a “vintage” item, as this can refer to different styles and periods depending on the seller. The classic 1940s-50s period is popular for its history and functionality, but we can’t overlook the style of Art Deco.
In the end, any authentic period piece is suitable if it fits the décor, retains its functions and it is safe to use. Focus on those priorities of style, purpose, and condition for the best results. Once you find the best looking models, from a reliable seller, and are sure of its condition, you can start your quest.
One 1940’s green kettle in full working order is a great find. The problem is that this could be the start of an obsession. Somewhere out there is the toaster, percolator, tea set, and other items to match.