Retro Kitchen Trends

The Retro Comeback

Retro styles have been making a steady comeback mainly in fashion and decor.  The pantry, complete with traditional cream enamel tins, can now be added to the list of items taking homes back to the future.

Surprisingly, despite kitchens being bigger than ever in modern homes, a pantry is one of the most requested features in American houses.  A pantry has a certain quaintness but is more than just a nostalgic nod to the past. Despite the charm, the pantry still has practical use in modern-day life.

History Of The Pantry

Pantries were usually small rooms adjoining kitchens used to store food and kitchenware accessories. The word is derived from the Old French term Panettiere, which in turn comes from pain, the French version of panis, the Latin word for bread. And no pantry was complete without the big bread bin, often in cream enamel.

Bread bins were used to keep the loaves fresh. Every home would have had one before the commercial manufacture of bread which contained food preservatives and was wrapped in plastic. People who still bake bread at home like mum or grandma used to still buy them for that purpose.

Use Of Enamel In The Kitchen

The bins, often in cream enamel, were used to keep the bread at room temperature which increased the length of time it was edible.  The lids on the bins were not airtight. They were left loose enough to let the airflow and this, in turn, cut down the amount of condensation. Too much condensation meant that mold formed more easily.

But the lids had to be tight enough to keep out things like foraging mice looking for a few titbits.  Enamel has been used for centuries. The Romans used it decoratively on glasswork and it became widely used by the Chinese.

Vitreous/porcelain enamel gradually had its commercial uses after being mainly used on jewelry and intricate art decoration. In the middle of the 19th Century steel and sheet iron wire coated with enamel and as the raw materials’ purity improved production increased and costs were subsequently reduced.

Gradually objects used in everyday life crept into the equation and domestic receptacles – things like bread bins, biscuit tins, utensil jars, and cooking vessels, often in cream enamel – became commonplace in kitchens and pantries.

Vitreous enamel is a more than useful substance when it comes to fending off wear and tear. It is a smooth material with excellent durability. It does not scratch and is chemically resistant, its color does not fade in direct light or burn, and, bearing in mind it is widely used in kitchens, it is easy to clean – A housewife’s (or househusband’s) dream.

The Contemporary Home offers a great range of enamel tins and cream enamel kitchenware which look great in retro-styled and modern kitchens