Written by Paisley Tedder

Buying a retro fridge: an expert guide

If you love all things vintage, pick your appliances wisely. Retro fridge-freezers are still trending in modern kitchens as they make a real style statement. Good Homes chats to John Davies, head of marketing at Smeg to find out more about them…

What is a retro fridge-freezer?

Historically, a retro fridge is smaller than the large American-style fridges we see today. Though this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style or function. The Smeg  retro FAB range is available in a plethora of pastel coloured and modern neutral hues that will compliment your kitchen and make an impact.

The units have also recently been redesigned inside benefitting from sleek trims, chromed detailing, and LED light strips for great visibility. Some models also benefit from blue light technology keeping vegetables fresher for longer as well as full adjustable temperature control and no frost systems.

What should I look for in a retro fridge-freezer?

Consumers need to consider the space they have available but also their lifestyle and requirements. Do they need a higher freezer to fridge ratio in order to store food? Do they have many impromptu dinner parties needing more fridge space for the day? These are all essential considerations, which follow with the design the homeowner is trying to achieve.

How much should I expect to pay?

The fridge has become even more of a staple kitchen and household item that ever before and we think is a result of much more stylish, contemporary, and attractive options on the market than we may have seen previously. The fridge is obviously a household staple and something that we use virtually every day, but we’ve found people are wanting to invest money in great design and quality to ensure they are getting something that not only looks beautiful in the home but stands the test of the time as well.

For Smeg as a brand, we find that people are willing to pay for our higher-end products because they are so bought into the design and love our products so much. Many see a Smeg iconic 50’s style FAB fridge as investment piece, rather than more of a functional household item. This means people are willing to part with their money as they are getting something so much more than to store food – you’re getting an iconic statement for the home as well.

No longer are fridges and freezers restricted to various shades of white or stainless steel – you’re paying for the unique personality and flair that a retro fridge brings.

Is a retro fridge-freezer worth the money?

Ultimately, the fridge is something you use every day; even the very motion of opening and closing the fridge triggers an emotion, whether it be preparing a meal for friends, making a cuppa, or even just hunger! Let’s not forget that a fridge is hugely prominent within the kitchen and it many cases the focal point of the home. You need to look at it every day, and use it every day, so it’s worth taking the time to choose one that is easy-to-use, reliable, and efficient. This may mean spending more money, but overall, you’ll benefit from value for money as well as quality and design credibility.

What kind of kitchens do they work best in?

A retro-fridge adds personality to a range of kitchen styles. Whether it’s adding a bold quirk to country kitchens or retro-flair to modern kitchens, a Smeg 50’s style fridge can cater seamlessly to all spaces.


Good Homes’ top retro fridge-freezers

1. Swan retro blue fridge-freezer

With a 208 litre capacity, don’t be fooled by the ultra-cute design of this blue retro fridge-freezer from Swan, £529. It holds a heck of a lot of shopping and looks great, too.

swan retro fridge freezer next to a neutral cupboard with flowers on counter

Photo: AO.com

2. Retro fridge in pink lemonade

The Big Chill, £2,995, has vintage-inspired details which include a stamped metal body, chrome trim and a pivoting handle. It has 680 litres of total net volume, which should be more than enough. You also get a two-year parts and labour warranty.

big chill pink fridge in a pink kitchen with round dining table and art deco chairs

Photo: Big Chill

3. Montpellier under counter fridge-freezer

Featuring a 1950s-style handle, the Montepellier under-counter retro fridge-freezer, £209.99, is perfect for compact spaces. Available in blue, black, cream and red – this retro-style fridge is definitely one of our favourites.

blue retro fridge on white background

Photo: Amazon

4. Smeg Fab50

The iconic Smeg FAB50 retro fridge range, from £1,999, combines devilishly good looks with high-performance technology. The beautiful bold finishes and soft round curves reminiscent of 1950s retro design make it stand out and the model will lend itself perfectly to both country settings in period homes or even modern-style apartments and new builds.

Smeg fridge in mint green in modern apartment building with white tiled background and wooden countertop

Photo: Smeg

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