Brand-new nostalgia

Home Front

August 02, 1998|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff

Hurtling toward the unknown future at the end of the millennium, consumers seem to be looking nostalgically back over their shoulders, longing for the comfort of items from days gone by - even if they're not quite old enough to have been around when those particular days went.

In addition, makers of household products are increasingly making it easy for renovators and others with a reverence for the past to capture the historic look without sacrificing modern convenience.

Here's a sampling of some things that are brand-new, designed to look old.

Grandma's Stove

Hand-built stoves from Elmira Stove Works of Waterloo, Ontario, look like Grandmother's ornate, cast-iron beauty, but the "Cook's Delight" offers gas burners or smooth glass cook tops, and standard, true convection or gas ovens. They come in 30-inch or 45-inch widths and six colors (black, white, almond, red, blue or green). Elmira also offers matching refrigerators, wall ovens, microwaves and panel kits for refrigerators and dishwashers. Stove prices start at $3,445. For information, call 800-295-8498.

Claw-foot tubs, hand-painted

Hand-painted, full-blown roses on a pale, creamy, striped background by designer Tracy Porter cover the exterior of the Circe claw-foot, free-standing tub from Kallista ($6,600). The feet feature an elaborate design with a bird clutching the ball. Kallista also offers the Hampstead bath faucet set ($1,038). Porter also designed the antique-style hardwood vanity with center-door storage and two wicker basket drawers underneath ($2,900 plain; $4,400 painted to match the tub). (Kallista is a division of Kohler, of Kohler, Wis.) For information call 888-4-KALLISTA.

Percolator coffee

Remember how quickly you could brew a pot of coffee with a percolator-type pot? This sleek, stainless-steel example could have graced the counter at Ozzie and Harriet Nelson's. The Classic Cordless percolator is from Cuisinart and makes four to 12 cups at a cup per minute. Modern convenience enters in the form of a lift-off base, so you can take the pot to the table. Suggested retail price is $98. Available at houseware, department and specialty stores. For information, call customer service at 800-726-0190

Fiesta magnets

The cheerful colors and simple shapes of Fiesta Ware are always appealing. To complement the dinnerware, General Housewares Corp. of Terre Haute, Ind., offers Fiesta Ware refrigerator magnets in 10 shapes and in authentic colors including turquoise, rose, periwinkle blue and sea-mist green. The magnets are available individually ($3 each) or in four sets of five magnets ($13.99). Available at housewares and specialty stores, or call 800-545-4411


Many a Victorian home was graced with textured panels made of a kind of embossed paper that substituted for the much more expensive ornamental plasterwork. Introduced in England in 1887, Anaglypta is still around. Today, Anaglypta panels and borders are available in more than 100 patterns, from traditional geometrics to more modern florals. Suggested retail prices range from $12 to $24 per double roll. The surface lends itself especially well to decorative paint finishes such as sponging, dragging or glazing. Anaglypta is available at paint and wall covering stores nationwide, or call the U.S. distributor, Bentley Brothers, in Louisville, Ky., at 800-824-4777 for a brochure and a list of retailers in your state

Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519.

Pub Date: 8/02/98

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