Greg and Tammy’s 1953 Kelvinator Foodarama — before, after & inside — 10 pics

The Kelvinator Foodarama “before”:

The Kelvinator Foodarama “after”:

Inside “before:

Inside “after”

Close up of what’s for breakfast:

foodarama breakfast bar
After seeing Greg and Tammy’s fabulous retro red farm house kitchen remodel, there was call to see more of the Kelvinator Foodarama refrigerator. I had been planning it — already had the “before” shot of the behemoth before Greg repainted it with auto body “safety red.” But then Greg sent more photos and Oh My Gosh, look at this refrigerator. I had no idea. It is gorgeous inside. I waaaaaant that Breakfast Bar. I ask Greg what is the model year and he writes:
Pam I think it’s a 1953 model. It was very complete when we got it, Breakfast bar, juice containers, 4 of 6 original ice trays, banana bin. The only major thing missing was the saran wrap holder. The refrigerator trays roll out, the metal freezer shelves actually have the cooling tubes attached; it will freeze ice cubes in 20 minutes.
The original owner from Altoona, Pa, a lady named Belle, took great care of this classic. We consider ourselves caretakers of this fabulous Kelvinator Foodarama!
Am attaching more interior pics. Please include the one with our 14-year old, Shane. He would be thrilled!

Well, tks, to you, Greg!

I did some poking around, and found this 1950s television commercial that spotlights this Kelvinator model. Golly, now I want that breakfast bar even more. And: An un-refrigerated banana holder? So ingenious.

Wanna see –>  a later model Foodarama? It’s pretty cool too.

Patrick C. and Helen S., what do you think?: Is the Foodarama more elusive – hence desirable — than a built-in Revco???

More Retro Renovation Foodarama trivia: The Foodarama gets a call out in the big New York Times story all about our blog! :)

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  1. Jordanna says

    I am in LOVE! It’s perfect.

    Does anyone know what the original 8 colours were? I am tired to death of only having my choice of white, black, and stainless. But what were those other colours?

    I’d love to know what original ones there were.

    The red looks brilliant in their kitchen.

    I sort of wonder about green for mine though.

    • CC in Virginia says

      Have you looked at Big Chill refrigerators? You can most definitely order one in green, any shade of green, or any other color for that matter. They’re not Kelvinators but they would add a nice retro feel to any kitchen.Their ad pops up on this site quite often but here is the link in case you need it:

  2. Greg says

    Hi all Retro fans. We were really bowled over by all the nice comments. Thanks! We thought the fridge was cool, just neat to see others did too! There were so many comments & questions, thought I would try to address at least a few.

    The year-I was told it could be as early as a 1953. A related post from Patrick leads me to believie it’s a 1955.

    The 1950’s “Flash”. It was designed, built and bought by the “Greatest Generation” when America was at it’s best. It has style, durability and functionality that todays stainless items w/electronic gizmos can’t come close to.

    The 11cu ft- several thought this was small compared to modern stuff. All that 11 cu ft is very useable. Tammy loves the appearance, but the functionality just as much. We had a monster Kenmore side by side and it doesn’t come close to what the Foodarama will hold.

    The Resto- It is was what they call in the vintage car world, a “light restoration”. The inside was very well preserved; didn’t do anything but clean it. Even the original seals were still good. Put on a new power cord. Did not disassemble the handles, or emblems. Those items are really hard to find & I was scared to death to break anything. Just carefully taped up. Fixed some dents incurred in previous moves, primered and painted with PPG Safety Red basecoat/clearcoat.

    We are from West Virginia and I loved the “Big Boy” restaurants growing up. Thought they turned into Shoneys?

    Why they stopped making the Foodarama? I think it grew more narrow as time went on and it just became too much like the other side by sides. I think I saw an ad for one from the early 1970’s?

    Eight original colors in 1955; Bermuda Pink, Spring Green, Fern Green, Dove Gray, Sand Beige, Laguna Blue two yellows; Buttercup & one I couldn’t read off an old ad, (attached below). Have seen maybe one original color other than white. In the 1960’s Kelvinator ads showed lots of different colors and finishes you could get on a Foodarama.

    Hadn’t mentioned to Pam, but her post on that later Foodarama is what really spurned our search. Tammy LOVED that thing. As TappanTrailerTammy? noted they are really hard to find, (wonder why, low production, or lower quality than the ‘50’s?) Anyway we looked high and low and eventually found and fell in love with Belle’s Foodarama.

    Thanks to all!

    Here are a couple links;

    A 1955 ad that Patrick posted previously

    This one is cool. Hover your cursor over each part of the fridge and it will bring up a highlight about each feature.

    • Jordanna says

      Thanks Greg! Woot! I do love the look of Big Chills suggested upthread but ($$$) and not as cool as the Foodarama it’s sort of like putting a fiberglass classic kit on a Camry, you know?

      Woot, I love knowing the original colours. (and TWO shades of green…!) Red is a pretty sexy hotrod choice though!

  3. Mary says

    Just the name alone–Foodarama–is awesome! “Honey, can I get you anything from the Foodarama?”

  4. Robyn Carter says

    What an amazing and beautiful work of kitchen art! I’d like one in turquoise please to match my other appliances if you please……please? Pretty please? Thanks to Greg and Tammy for showing us another facet in the beautiful diamond of vintage appliances.

    • says

      Dear Robyn, We are about to put ours up for sale. You can have it painted in whatever turquoise matches your other appliances exactly! We will be shooting some pictures of it over the next week.

      The Grand Review
      Ardmore, PA

  5. Heather says

    I’m not sure anyone is still using this blog, but I am looking for a Kelvinator Foodarama. I live in NY but am willing to travel or ship. Would love to own one of these for our kitchen! Please let me know if anyone knows of any for sale. Thanks!

    • Greg says


      They are out there, keep your eyes open. We looked about 6 months before we found ours. There were several reasonably priced ones that turned up after Pam featured ours. There is one on Ebay, but it’s big money.

      Good luck! :)

      • Heather says

        Thanks for the advice, Greg. I guess we will have to be patient- they certainly seem like they are worth the wait! Hope you are still enjoying yours:)

  6. says

    Just today I purchased the refrigerator only, single door; (with freezer box in top…
    Self same model as yours with all the bells and whistles inside the door. I am absolutely thrilled with mine, and just love to death yours. Wasn’t even aware they were making side by sides back then. Of course I’m in Australia, that may answer that. You guys chose the perfect color too!!

    • Greg says

      Congratulations Wanda! Those are very cool! (Pun intended!) From my checking around, Kelvinator was big in Australia too.

  7. says

    Never heard of this refrigerator. I want one too! Would love to see the 8 designer colors! Thanks for sharing the story and commercial. Love the Safety Red color! Wow – love all the details in this!

  8. Pam says

    OMG!!!! I’ve died and gone to heaven! This is – OMG!!! – beautiful! Just up my alley. You folks deserve a huge THUMBS UP! Thank you for sharing!!!

  9. Tamela says

    We just got our foodarama and want to know did you do the paint job or bring it to a professional car shop we are wondering if we should do it our not.

    • Greg says

      Just saw your comment. I did the paint work myself, but as stated in previous post, I used to do that work professionally. You can do it with no experience, but the equipment (compressors, spray guns & materials) are expensive & this work can be dangerous without proper PPE. Please post again if you have questions & I will try & help.

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