affordable retro

cateyanneOctober 6, 2010

This may be a ridiculous question, but I do love the retro appliances. They are the only kitchen appliances I can actually get excited about having. We need to replace all of ours eventually and the only ones I've been able to find on line are very pricey(Way over my budget). I know this is a popular choice, with Rachel Ray, Paula Dean and co. showing off theirs, so why haven't the big chains come up with a cheaper version for us folks on tighter budgets? I think Sears, Lowes. Home Depot etc. are missing the mark. Has anyone found what I am describing? I thought you all would know if anyone would. Thanks!

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I know what you mean. I searched far and wide for my ideal range; what I wanted was basically a beautiful antique stove that had the cooking power and safety features of a modern stove. So I ended up getting a Fratelli (see link below, but mine is burgundy)... it looks retro, and it's extremely well made (hand-built in Italy), but it's $1500 less than the closest equivalent (an Aga Legacy). And I got it for several hundred less than the Amazon price by looking up authorized dealers on the Fratelli site ( and calling around. I seriously put about 20 hours into the effort of finding what I wanted (the only colors I was interested in were blue and burgundy, and I was dead-set on getting the double oven version instead of the single), but I probably saved $600.

You can also find Fratellis, and other retro-looking appliances, on eBay and sometimes on Craigslist. So it can be done.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fratelli Onofri Royal Chiantishire

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 3:12PM
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ideagirl2 wrote "I was dead-set on getting the double oven version " I have been looking at the ads for this for some time and will have to come to a conclusion soon. What i have read was that the larger oven is quite small. Having one, what's your opinion? Also, could you comment on the broiler funcion? It looks a little short on BTUs, but how does it work out?

Many thanks

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:25PM
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How retro are you looking to go? Art Deco or Victorian.

If more Victorian is the look you want look at Heartland.

I think Ilve (another Italian brand) also has a fairly retro look, again they are just as pricey as a Pro Style range.

Also look at Craig's list. I live in the Cincinnati area and there are at least 3 stoves over 30 years old listed. You may be able to get them refurbished at a reasonable cost if they are in good working order.

Also if your looking for the 'ice box' look that Paula Dean has you may want to get a cabinet front fridge and just have a custom front made to your liking. Again likely not cheap but it would be a modern appliance underneath.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Couple suggestions:

You may want to check classifieds on Retro Renovation.

There is a vintage stove post on Kitchens where someone listed a vintage gas stove for $850 in the Nashville suburbs. That's a great deal and since I was actually in Nashville last week for business, it was very tempting to go look at it. :)

They do pop up on CL or ebay, but you do literally have to check every day.

We have a Big Chill fridge. We were able to use our state energy star rebate on it, and it was still pricey, but 15% off was a good amount. Since the fridges we were looking at were fairly expensive anyways, it wasn't that much more. I am at the point in my life where for something I use every day, I am going to get what I want if I can.

Also, on Retrorenovation, she recommended the Ikea Nutid fridges as sort of a vintage look and size. They are made by Whirlpool. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: vintage stove thread

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 10:46AM
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here's your cooktop

here's your fridge

door can swing either way

in these and other colors

or larger with separate freezer

your wall oven

or a big old style stove, dual fuel

here's another cooktop

other cooktop sizes and configurations also available

Here is a link that might be useful: SMEG USA

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 11:31AM
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Those Smegs are so cool!
Dr. Rust, you're right that for the Victorian retro look Heartland is the way to go. Those ranges are like easily $6k though.

Springplanter, I was going to get the single oven but then I saw a double-oven one in person and it looked just fine to me. Also, I found a review online where the person said the biggest thing they'd cooked in it so far was a 14-lb turkey. That sounded plenty big enough to me. If you have such big gatherings at Thanksgiving that you need a 20 or 25-lb turkey, then yes, you either need a different range or you need a wall oven in addition to this one. So, whether it's big enough or not depends on how you live and how you cook. I cook a lot, but never for more than 6-8 people at a time. It mattered a lot more to me that I be able to cook things simultaneously at two different temperatures than that I be able to fit a 20-lb turkey. The other thing I liked is that although this is an unusual stove, it is a standard size--36"--so I can take it with me whenever we move, and the new buyers will have no trouble at all finding a stove to take its place. That's not the case with a lot of other nice stoves (e.g. the 44" French ones).

It's not installed yet so I can't speak to the broiler function, but I tested out my pans and the only one that wouldn't fit was a muffin tin, and the reason it wouldn't fit is just how it was designed--it's not a perfect rectangle; instead, the ends curve out sort of stylishly, which makes it longer than it needs to be. A regular rectangular 12-muffin tin would be fine. Of course, pans that size have to be put into the oven with the narrow sides parallel to the front and back of the oven; you can't put them in "sideways," i.e. with the wide side parallel to the front and back of the oven.

That being said, I think the double oven is being discontinued on the US market so you would need to call around to find one. There are plenty still being offered online, but in your shoes I would definitely call whoever the seller is (Plessers, some Amazon seller or whoever) and check to make sure that the one you want with the options you want is in stock. If you go to the Eurochef website you can also enter your zip code and get a long long list of dealers, so you can call them directly. Someone with a floor model could be a major find for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fratelli Onofri find-a-dealer site

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:28PM
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Unfortunately if that is the style you want the manufacturer has a niche market. If it is any consolation, a dual fuel pro style range is about the same cost. Not only that the reliability of some of them can always be questioned.

Believe me when I say I've been extremely frustrated with appliances these days and shopping for them. It is one thing to have a disposable cell phone, but a stationary kitchen appliance should not have a 5 or even 10 year expected life span as seems to be the case these days.

If you have your heart set on a specific appliance style, you may also check the nearby dealers as they may put models they have had on the floor on sale. I live in Cincinnati and a higher end appliance dealer advertises floor models on Craigslist (they have at least two Fratelli's they are trying to sell). It would seem you need to be looking at the right place at the right time.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:42PM
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** It is one thing to have a disposable cell phone, but a stationary kitchen appliance should not have a 5 or even 10 year expected life span as seems to be the case these days.**

Yeah, that's crazy. That's why I went with the Fratelli--it has no plastic parts and nothing electronic; it seems to be built like a (very pretty) tank. I guess it's impossible to find an American-made stove that's just SIMPLE (i.e., no computers in it) and not flimsy. That's where antiques and European ranges come in--they're solid and they're simple.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:06PM
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a possible consideration could be Elmira Stove Works.

Here is a link that might be useful: Elmira Stove Works Website

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:41AM
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I feel it is my duty as a member of this forum to post this... I happened across this on eBay, and after I stopped gnashing my teeth over the fact that this range costs $500 less than what I paid for the exact same range, and consoled myself because it is so far away from me that shipping would have eaten up all that savings even if I could go back in time such that I would not have already bought my range, I decided I should put it here for those interested in vintage looks plus modern cooking and safety features.

I don't know how the "make an offer" feature works on eBay, but it sounds like you could get this range for even less than the asking price, if no one else offers more than you.

I'm also going to post this in another thread that has a similar theme.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fratelli Onofri vintage-looking range on eBay

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:06PM
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