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Big Chill Fridge’s Retro-Modern Kitchen Appliances

“With our kid’s artwork and school photos always proudly displayed, we didn’t want the refrigerator to look out of place.” Explained Thom Vernon, co-founder of Big Chill. “The ubiquitous stainless steel appliances weren’t the right fit and we wanted to steer clear of the dreaded ‘white box’.” Mid-century models were in keeping with the vintage personality they craved, but lacked the efficiency and convenience of modern-day refrigerators. Thus, Thom sought out help from his nephew, Orion – “fresh out of industrial design school,” and so the story goes…

Big Chill Fridge. Manufactured by Big Chill Fridge.

‘57 Ford Thunderbird or Chevy Bel-Air? Made from stamped metal with chrome trim, “Big Chill grew out of a vision to take an outdated gem from the 50’s and bring it back to life.” The retro theme has increased in popularity over the past few years. The house of Big Brother 10 featured a retro kitchen with a cherry red Big Chill Fridge and on HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me, the home of twenty-something Hugo was equipped with a pale blue retro fridge (brand unknown). Publications including The New York Times and This Old House along with the magazines of Martha Stewart, Oprah and Rachael Ray have featured Big Chill’s retro designs.  Their collection is available in 8 standard colors (black and white included) as well as a wide variety of custom RAL options (if you’ve got something specific in mind).  The powder coated metal refrigerator door is always magnet friendly.

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Big Chill Fridge. Manufactured by Big Chill Fridge.

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Big Chill Fridge and Dishwasher. Manufactured by Big Chill Fridge.

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Big Chill Fridge and Stove. Manufactured by Big Chill Fridge.

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Big Chill Stove as seen in Jhumpa Lahiri’s NYT Dining section article “Note to Myself: Take the Kitchen.”

The Big Chill fridge is equipped with numerous modern features including a temperature management system, automatic moisture control, self-defrost, easy-clean spill-proof glass shelves, an egg bin, optional icemaker and butter compartment. The Big Chill fridge (available in two sizes) is retro in aesthetics alone. The company’s expansion was marked by the introduction of a coordinating retro dishwasher and retro stove.   The American company, Big Chill is based in Boulder, Colorado.  Smeg, an Italian company, also boasts a  50s style refrigerator: more streamlined than the original models, it lacks the authenticity of the chrome trim and stamped metal front.  Different aesthetics; both throwbacks to the same period. And in the event that you were reading today’s NYT Dining Section article “Note to Myself: Take the Kitchen” and were curious about the delicious-looking pink stove posing nude in in the sand, you would be correct in noting that the kitchen appliance is indeed one belonging to Big Chill Fridge.
Posted August 5th, 2009 by Jenny Rector


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