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Retro Refrigerators


If even a 1950s diner look is too modern for your clients, Elmira Stove Works may have what they're looking for. Its 1897 French Door model features panels with an old-fashioned, cast-iron look and can be ordered with brass or copper trim. Up-to-date perks include an ice and water dispenser in the door, a sealed vegetable crisper, and glass shelves. Cutout dimensions for the Energy Star-rated 25.6-cubic-foot appliance are 37 inches by 70 inches by 24 inches. The unit comes in black, white, bisque, and several two-tone schemes; prices start at $4,700. Elmira Stove Works, 800/295-8498,

Time Traveler.

Orion Creamer and Thom Vernon conceived of the Big Chill retro refrigerator after Vernon and his wife had trouble finding an appliance compatible with their vintage kitchen. The two men decided to buck design trends and design a model that would take center stage instead of blending into the cabinetry. The resulting 20.9-cubic-foot top-freezer fridge has glass shelves and an optional icemaker and comes in eight colors. It costs $2,700. Big Chill, 877/842-3269,

Cool Beauty. Tom Bryant based the design for his Klondike Case refrigerators on a line of commercial units popular in the 1930s and '40s. Boasting unique remote operation — the compressor and condensing unit can be located as far as 50 feet away from the cabinet, minimizing kitchen heat and noise — Bryant's models come in two sizes, 25 and 50 cubic feet, in maple, cherry, hickory, or oak. They do not contain freezers. The smaller one (shown) is 32 inches wide and 82 inches high and starts at $4,350. Klondike Case, 805/434-5153,



One of the advantages of urinals is that they use a lot less water than conventional toilets. But few use as little as Mister Miser, a diminutive fixture sized to fit between 16-inch on-center framing members. Made of ABS plastic, the Mister Miser urinal uses a scant 10 ounces of water per flush. It has a built-in P-trap and a metering valve that's activated when the 8 3/4-inch-wide by 11-inch-tall door is closed; the fixture is plumbed to a 11/2-inch drain and is supplied by 1/4-inch tubing. Although sold only in white, it can be painted, the manufacturer says. The product costs $310 delivered. Mister Miser, 773/975-8170,


Purple Sage Collections has added three decorated urinals to its line of hand-painted sinks and tile. The company applies decals to a stock fixture from Toto, then glazes and refires the vitreous china to make the decorations permanent. Three patterns are available, including the tropical-fish one shown. Weighing 34 pounds, the urinals have an integral trap and use one gallon or less of water per flush. They cost between $645 and $710, depending on the design. Purple Sage Collections, 866/357-4657,


All urinals conserve water — but how about using no water at all? Falcon offers four water-free models that use a trap cartridge (shown below) containing a biodegradable liquid sealant instead of water. This approach is more effective at sealing off sewer gas than conventional P-traps and ensures odor-free operation, according to the company. Prices range from $230 to $400. Falcon Waterfree Technologies, 866/975-0174,