“I don’t watch ‘Rachael Ray’ for the menus,” says Barbara Smith. “I watch to see what kind of refrigerator she has, if it’s orange or turquoise. All her kitchens are multicolored—yellow and orange—and visually appealing.” Ray may have cornered the market on retro-style kitchens, bringing that look into our homes weeknights at the dinner hour—excellent timing. President and owner of Bars and Booths in Charles Town, W.Va., Smith says retro-style appliances have become much more en vogue in recent years.
The company not only restores antique appliances and builds classic diner reproductions, but it is also is a dealer of 1950s-style appliances from both Ontario-based Elmira Stove Works and Colorado’s Big Chill. “People love to show off their retro kitchens because not everyone has one,” says Smith. The look offers an exciting color scheme, she says, yet it also evokes nostalgia. To Smith, those feelings are: “happy, peaceful, warm and fuzzy.”