Retro and vintage are hot! There is nothing better than nostalgia that meets modern functionality. Vintage-inspired appliances don’t only have a nostalgic appeal, but they add charm to any kitchen, from industrial and modern to Scandinavian and farmhouse style.
Retro pieces and tools are inspired by 50’s and 60’s design incorporated with modern innovation, energy efficiency, and necessary functionality. These ‘dreamy appliances’ are back in vogue and whether you like them in neutral teints or funky pastel colours, we have listed a collection of retro small kitchen appliances that capture the essence of retro aesthetics.
Please note that we only chose one per category and there are several other good machines on the market in each of those categories.
Best known brands for retro style appliances
Many brands have tried to combine vintage aesthetics with modern functionality. A few have designed great looking retro appliances and are leading the market with an array.
Smeg, an Italian appliance brand found inspiration in the 1950s. Its quirky design is injected with a lot of retro flair and curved silhouettes. From primary bright colours to pastels, this brand definitely adds ‘shine’ and fun to the kitchen.
KitchenAid is another leading appliance brand. Besides the famous stand mixer that boasts a retro look they also have a lot of other retro-style appliances on offer. This brand stands for quirky appliances with modern vintage colours. Probably one of our most favourites when it comes to looks.
Nostalgia, it’s in the name, transports you back to the past with unique appliances such as breakfast stations and ice cone makers.
Dash was established in 2010 and quickly made a name for good quality mini kitchen appliances at budget prices, but they also offer lovely retro style models.
Galanz is another well-established good brand that offers a wide range of products, including refrigerators, cooktops, microwaves, designed with modern features at competitive pricing.
Overview of retro small kitchen appliances
Retro stand mixers
This is often the most iconic appliance on the kitchen counter top and infuses a sense of nostalgia.. Retro stand mixers not only churn, beat, or wish precisely but with the vintage look they also blend easily in various kitchen styles.
The KitchenAid Artisan Mini stand mixer is probably best known and most appreciated as it has the same power as the classic model while being 20% smaller, 25% lighter, and fitting all attachments. Just be sure that bowls and beaters are included upon choosing. Although this model is smaller, you can still make up to 5 dozen cookies in a single batch.
Retro rice cookers
While rice cookers might not hold a lot of magic, they do deliver perfectly cooked rice while enjoying the modern convenience of hand-free preparation, and retro models add a touch of yesteryear vintage and charm.
The Dash Mini Rice Cooker has no unnecessary bells and whistles but it comes with ‘keep warm’ technology and is ideal for single-serving cooking. The Keep Warm function ensures that food stays hot, and the removable, nonstick pot makes clean-up easy. This model can also be used to cook quinoa, oatmeal, or pasta. At 300 watts getting liquids to the boiling point is a little slow and it is important to find the right rice-to-water ratio to use for optimal results. All in all, this mini model is a good choice and it is delivered with a 6-oz “cup” (Dash scoop) and a non-scratch utensil.
Retro air fryers
Nowadays, modern cooking is, besides flavour and aroma, also about convenience and health-conscious choices. An air fryer does all this and is therefore labelled as a true kitchen marvel. It helps produce healthier and more indulgent versions of classic recipes.
The Galanz Retro Electric Air Fryer has a cool retro look which looks great on the kitchen counter if space is available. It holds 4.8 quart (4.5L) which is not too big, but definitely not the smallest size either. Overall a great appliance but setting the exact time and temperature is a little tricky.
As with many kitchen appliances, microwaves were not existing in the 50’s or 60’s but they are indispensable as they transform ordinary ingredients and dishes into warm, comforting meals with just a push of a button. It is no wonder that brands are offering retro style microwaves
The Nostalgia Retro Compact Countertop Microwave Oven has a beautiful and sleek retro design while featuring 12-pre programmed cooking settings and a bright LED display. The 700-watts of power with 5 power levels are good enough for reheating leftovers.
A blender is the perfect small appliance to blitz and puree shakes and smoothies with precision. It is easy to find retro style blenders as the design hasn’t changed a lot in the last decades.
The compact SMEG Retro Personal Blender has the perfect retro look as with most SMEG appliances. This blender has a 300 Watt motor with two speed selections. There are 2 bottles-to-go with a convenient cap and spout to make drinking easy.
Retro fridges are funky and built to show off and chill in style and that is exactly why they have been popular for a long time. From full-sized to miniature fridges, such retro models immediately add vintage to the heart of the home and give a retro feel to your kitchen.
We love the look of the Galanz Retro Compact Refrigerator with Freezer. This model isn’t the smallest in its range but it is compact and convenient enough for homes with limited space. As retro design fridges are not built in, it is convenient that noise levels with this model are kept below 42Db due to a low-energy consumption compressor.
Kettles are convenient to quickly heat water or other liquids. Retro models often have wider spouts for easy pouring, or you can choose for a gooseneck kettle that dates back to the mediaeval European era.
The Smeg Retro Style Electric Mini Kettle is our choice for its style and compact size. This model is powerful with 1400W power and safe as it switches off automatically when it reaches boiling point while the plastic external wall is staying cold to avoid burning when touched. This kettle is available in 7 attractive retro colours.
Retro popcorn makers
There is nothing more retro than popcorn machines as design has not changed a lot since the early 1900’s. These machines always look great when displayed on the kitchen counter and although they are mostly used for special occasions, why don’t you use them more often and make healthy school snacks or have a bowl of popcorn on a weeknight when watching a movie or series.
This West Bend Stir Crazy Movie Theater Popcorn Popper is perfect to keep on a tabletop or the kitchen countertop and uses stir rod technology to ensure a larger yield of popped popcorn. The door tilts for easy access. This air popper pops up to 4 quarts of delicious popcorn and measures just 10.87 by 10.27 inches (25 by 25 cms).
Novelty retro appliances
Novelty is special and unique and there are some pretty charming retro-styled small appliances that are surprising while still functional. From a hot dog toaster to a cola bottle fridge, these are very specific and maybe not always the most useful.
Check out this Nostalgia 3-in-1 Breakfast Station – Includes Coffee Maker, Non-Stick Griddle, and 4-Slice Toaster Oven which we find useful, especially for someone who lives in a very tiny place. The coffeemaker is probably the most used function, and it does the job without the bells and whistles. The oven and griddle come equally standard with on-off functions and no further features.
Retro coffee machines
Most homes need a coffee maker and it comes again to personal preferences when deciding to get a drip coffee machine or a full automatic espresso machine. Smeg has both a drip coffee machine and an espresso machine, and as with other of their small appliances the design with rounded edges are looking really vintage and the way they work is appreciated by most reviewers on Amazon.
Highlights of retro small kitchen appliancesOld-fashioned style appliances combine the best of both worlds. They are vintage-inspired in looks but use modern functionality. They offer a touch of nostalgia and timeless style while meeting the needs of today’s home cooks.
One of the neatest things about the old-style appliances are the colours. They tend to be quite different than today’s colours, but they match many kitchens. So they are perfect for decorating.
If you regularly entertain and have people in your kitchen, you can be sure these retro-designed small kitchen appliances are sure to be conversation starters!