Elmira Stove Works and the kitchen of my dreams

turquoise kitchen with Northstar appliances

Perhaps you’ll remember a post I did early this month, featuring a snapshot I’d taken of a gorgeous bright-red retro-style refrigerator that was on display in the window of Bush Furniture, on the main street of Tweed. Well, I am happy to report that I now know a lot more about that refrigerator. Last weekend Raymond and I stopped in to Bush Furniture and had a very pleasant chat with longtime proprietor Robert Bush, whose father started the business in 1945; Robert told me that he joined the family business in 1962, and now his son runs the store in Tweed and a newer one in nearby Madoc.

Northstar appliance colours

Just look at the fab colours that Northstar appliances come in!

“What can you tell me about that beautiful red fridge in the window?” I asked Mr. Bush. From his answer, I could tell that I was far from the first person whose eye had been caught by it. So here’s the deal: it’s made in Ontario under the name Northstar, by the Elmira Stove Works people (who also make old-fashioned wood-burning stoves); it comes in a whole bunch of beautiful retro colours; and there are also a stove, range hood, microwave and front cover panel for the dishwasher to match!

And best of all: one of the available colours is: turquoise! (Or at least it sure looks like turquoise to me, though it’s called Robin’s Egg Blue on the Northstar colour palette.)

Mr. Bush assured us he could get any and all of the offerings for us, in the colour we wanted, and get then out to us at the Manse in Queensborough, no problem.

I can’t tell you how delighted I was by our Bush Furniture visit, and how excited about my renovated-kitchen-to-be at the Manse.

Today I had a little internet fun on the Elmira Stove Works site, in the section called Let’s Create Your Dream Kitchen! And I did create it – not once but twice. At the top of this post you’ll see the dream kitchen in turquoise, which as I’ve often recounted is the midcentury-appropriate colour for the Manse’s kitchen; and here’s Plan B, in my ultimate favourite colour, Candy Red. Which would you choose?

red kitchen with Northstar appliances

23 thoughts on “Elmira Stove Works and the kitchen of my dreams

  1. We’ve been looking at the vintage cookstoves by Elmira for the farmhouse we’re renovating. I recall the original stove, tended daily by the elderly brothers that owned the home when I was a kid. However, the new cookstoves are just so expensive. And, insurance coverage for wood burning devices is difficult to secure. Elmira makes a retrofitted propane or electric version of their cookstove, but part of the charm of a wood cookstove is the aroma that permeates everything in the house. Each time we rip-out old boards or lath and plaster, we lose more of the house’s incense; I’d like to put that back.

    • Hi Jennifer! I am totally with you on the wood cookstove front. Those stoves were very much part of my childhood, and I agree that the smell of wood burning is homely (in the best sense) and lovely. Here in Montreal they’ve outlawed wood stoves and wood-burning fireplaces – can you believe it?

  2. Turquoise, definitely turquoise. Red is too busy. Turquoise (starts to look and sound funny after a few iterations!) is calming.

    • Now that’s interesting, Jill! I’d kind of had my heart set on white cupboards (you know, brightness and all that), and they do go well with the turquoise – but maple cupboards with the red vintage appliances could be quite lovely. (Though truth be told I’m leaning toward the turquoise and white. Since, you know, that’s what it was in my Manse childhood.)

      • Well now, that is a whole other thing! Thanks to your question, Jill, I asked Raymond just now what he thinks about the crucial appliance-colours question (that is, turquoise vs. red) and he said (I am not making this up, though I wish I were): “I like stainless steel!” WHich is what we have now, here in Montreal, and is perfectly acceptable, but I think is nearing its best-by date. Rest assured that at the Manse we will have something more interesting!

    • Back again with my two cents: I really think you should go with the turquoise and have your red in accents that are less expensive to change if you grow tired of them. Turquoise, white and red…mmmmm!

      • I have to say that my dilemma over a turquoise kitchen or a red kitchen is – well, the proverbial First World Problem. But it’s a fun one, and I feel fortunate (as I should) that I’m able to make the choice.

    • Oh, Pauline, now you’ve got me totally dithering! I agree with all those benefits of red that you cites, and I know seeing the red appliances every day would just make me so happy… But would I get tired of all that red? Could turquoise outlast red as a colour to live with? I just don’t know!

    • Catri, I can’t thank you enough for this! It gives Raymond and me a sense of what our real-life turquoise-and-white kitchen (featuring Elmira Stove Works appliances) might look like, which is supremely helpful. What’s even more encouraging for us is that the kitchen in the photo is windowless and still looks gorgeous, whereas ours at the Manse is full of windows and sunlight – so I think it will be quite spectacular! Thank you again!

      • You’re welcome! I think the white cabinets and turquoise appliances do make a lovely, bright kitchen. The other thing I like about that photo is that is shows how well those appliances work with modern cabinets in a retro, but not at all dated-looking way.

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