When we walked the show floor at KBIS 2016, Pam and I noticed right away that there were a lot of booths that were almost entirely white, grey and beige. So when we spotted the colorful AGA stoves booth, it was a breath of fresh air with big smiling lollipop sprinkles on top. Color, color and more color — plus, they even had a retro inspired kitchen setup. Oh happy day!
This AGA City24 range is only 24 inches wide, made to fit in small apartment or home kitchens.
Where would we use these classic AGA cast-iron cooker styles?
- Pam suggests: These would be very cool in a sweetheart prewar vintage style kitchen… but maybe not so much for a midcentury kitchen, at least in the USA; she gets design cognitive dissonance at the thought because these would not have been common in midcentury American kitchens. But continue on with this story — because AGA is introducing some new options that might be a better fit, aesthetically, for our post-World-War-II kitchens.
AGA has been around since 1922, and the company shares a lot of fascinating historical information on their website:
Most people associate the name AGA with good food and fine living. And although it’s often thought of as quintessentially British, the Aga actually began life in Sweden. The celebrated Cast Iron Range found in 750,000 households worldwide was invented by Dr Gustav Dalén, a blind Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Appalled that his wife and their maid had to constantly tend to their old-fashioned range, Dalén set out to design a modern range that would look after itself. It’s unlikely Dalén could have predicted that his invention would go on to be widely acclaimed as a design icon, but it has.
In the year 2000, the BBC published a retrospective of the 20th Century highlighting what it considered to be the top three design icons: first was the Coca-Cola® contour bottle, second was the VW™ Bug and third was the Aga Cast Iron Range.
Over the last 80 years Aga has built on that iconic design, creating new products for the day’s needs. Additions to the Aga family like dual fuel and electric cooking products, as well as refrigeration, have brought us a long way from Dalen’s first range in 1922, but close to our heritage.
AGA Elise and Falcon models — coming in 2017:
We turned the corner of the display, then saw these more contemporary-looking ranges set within a retro-modern kitchen display. This AGA range has a more appropriate look for many of our kitchens — and lookie the colors!
When we returned home, we could not find these design on the AGA website. So, we reached out to the AGA PR department, which in a flash explained:
The center range pictured is the AGA Falcon, which is flanked on both sides by the AGA Elise (shown with gas and induction cooktops). All three are new prototypes we unveiled at KBIS for feedback, and all are slated for release in 2017.
We also liked the combination island and seating area shown in the booth. It was made of a large slab of butcher block countertop, edged in aluminum edging with a checkerboard metal insert [same as used on the backsplash] in the center of the island to act as both decoration and a handy trivet.
Also notice: The simple edge-beading of the slab coors — a nice touch, more fancy than simple radius edges but still simple. And, we liked the vintage style metal cabinet pulls with ribs that mimicked the ribbing in the countertop edge.
AGA stoves are not inexpensive, but having seen them for the first time in person, I can say they are a thing of beauty — and for sure, another great option for Retro Renovators to be able to consider.