Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

December 29, 2014

A Look at Big Chill Appliances

I often share snippets of my beloved aqua kitchen on Instagram.  I had to laugh because a couple of folks recently left comments there asking, "is there a retro aqua fridge somewhere in this aqua kitchen?".  No, but I wish there was!  I've even pondered painting my ugly old fridge turquoise, but I think it looks less offensive white.  When Hubby and I first bought the lakehouse, I already had the quick kitchen spruce in mind, but a long-term renovation plan was ready in the wings as well.  I hoped to one day copy every inch of the beautiful kitchen below: timeless white cabinets, gleaming grey subway tile and a pale aqua fridge.

Pinecone Camp (for House & Home magazine)
These days, my dream kitchen looks more like this:

Chatelaine
Streamlined white upper cabinets and warm wood lower cabinets - something with mid-century modern flavor - barely even look like they belong in a kitchen.  The back painted glass, in lieu of tile, is stunning and I'd even want to copy the idea of affixing art with suction cups for flexibility.  I'd make one addition to the kitchen above, though: a candy coloured fridge!  A kitchen I pinned a year ago showcases how beautifully a vintage-inspired fridge in a delicious hue pairs with warm wood cabinetry.  Perfection!

No matter how my plan for our dream kitchen changes, the colourful fridge is a constant!  There are a few options on the market right now for fridges with modern conveniences and retro style.  I've casually shopped each website, imagining which one I'd like to purchase in the event that a canvas sack, with a black $ painted on the side, falls into my lap.  I keep finding myself on one website in particular: Big Chill, founded in Boulder Colorado in 2001, is a stand-out in the world of vintage appliances and I'm totally smitten with their Retro Line of fridges, dishwashers and stoves.  Obviously I gravitate toward the turquoise shades, but I can't say I haven't been tempted by the jadeite green and pink lemonade (the Big Chill Retro fridge can actually be ordered in one of 200+ custom colours).  I appreciate that you can order a swatch to see the colour in your own home.  Better still, the list of features, including the stamped metal body, automatic moisture control, temperature management system - even an optional ice maker! - ensures that I wouldn't have to sacrifice function for form.  They're even Energy Star efficient.  Doing a little comparison shopping, the prices seem very reasonable - especially compared to the competition.  Plus they're assembled in Boulder, and I'm always happy to see jobs kept in North America.


Each company in this market puts their own spin on the vintage-inspired fridge, but I really like the styling of the Big Chill appliances; the chrome trim looks very authentic and the classic pivoting handle is such a thoughtful detail.  I always know the styling of something has won my heart when I find myself drawn to a non-turquoise version.  In this case, I even find myself admiring the grey (the grey!!), which is a beautiful and finger-print free alternative to the stainless steel appliances Hubby lusts after.


There's something equally striking about the Big Chill Pro Kitchen Series, which boasts more modern shapes, but is also available in whimsical colour options.


Someday I'll be able to trade in our rickety white fridge for something from Big Chill.  For now, I'll have to settle for ogling these beauties online.

This post was sponsored by Big Chill but all opinions, words, and salivating are my own.  Photos, excluding the first three - the sources are linked to below each - were chosen by me from the Big Chill gallery.  I was not encouraged or prompted to provide a positive assessment of the company or products - a Big Chill Retro fridge is definitely on my personal wishlist and it was a lot of fun to pour over pictures.  I didn't realize until writing this post how many celebrities choose Big Chill!

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15 comments

  1. Believe it or not my mum still has her very very old light blue Arcelik fridge! AriadnefromGreece!

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    1. Oh, that's fabulous!! Does the rest of her kitchen match?

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    2. No unfortunately! I will take a photo of her fridge to show you!AriadnefromGreece!

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  2. Tanya! LOVE the Big Chill appliances! I don't think I'd go that way, but they're SO lovely!! Love the warm wood with the white cabinets, just beautiful! Are you thinking real wood or melamine? There are some WONDERFUL melamine's out there.. but it's still not wood!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. I love the Pro line they've come out with because the lines aren't that kitschy, vintage look but you can still indulge in some bright colours! I definitely want real wood - especially for the lower cabinets. For the uppers (white), I'd consider a high quality melamine but if the budget allows, I'd prefer those to be wood too. I just like that wood can always be sanded down/painted/refinished down the road more easily than melamine. Repairs are easier too.

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    2. Yeah and the banding on melamine does chip easily.. well it can. We have some AWESOME melamines though! Another option for white is MDF. We have that here and it's pretty good!! Same price as maple!! Are you thinking all slab?

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    3. Hmmm, hadn't thought of MDF. That's a good option! Is slab the flat cabinet profile I like?

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    4. Yeah MDF can have a nice finish! We do even routed profiled MDF doors. Ours is actually HDF but most people know "MDF" as the term. We call them slab doors in our 'biz' LOL!

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    5. I have so much to learn!! The only full scale reno I've done I bought pre-fab everything (for a bathroom). This will be big time! I will definitely need your help!

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  3. I really like the look of the grey and white kitchen. We have stainless steel and it's getting better about fingerprints. My stove is about 2 years old and they show vividly on it, but my refrigerator is new and they hardly show, just a quick wipe with a towel hanging on the freezer takes care of them.

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    1. That's really good to know about the stainless steel. Hubby really wants stainless steel so we're thinking of getting a turquoise fridge for me and a stainless steel stove/dishwasher for him, but the fingerprints have worried me. It's good to hear that new stainless steel appliances seem fingerprint resistant.

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    1. Right?!? It's so dreamy. I always just wanted a turquoise fridge and thought I'd give in to Hubby's stainless dreams for the stove and dishwasher but after seeing that stove...

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  5. Those retro looks are beautiful but I'm afraid I'd get tired of them and nothing worse than dropping a hunk of change on an appliance and being bored with it especially when it works just fine (I know, call me pragmatic). That said, I absolutely loved the tile in these photos. So gorgeous, so elegant. I'm sure your version will be equally stunning! Have a wonderful and Happy New Year. ~Monika & Sam :)

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    1. That's a very good point! I think you have to be really committed to a vintage look to take the plunge. Happy New Year to you too!!

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