How SMEG Refrigerators Made Retro Seem Cool Again

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In the age of custom-painted KitchenAid mixers and completely see-through toasters, it's hard to believe household appliances were once just utilitarian. Kitchen must-haves have become more like must-wows: They're judged harder on aesthetics than functionality. SMEG refrigerators are proof.

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At just under five feet tall and tricked out with an icebox rather than a freezer, the standard models aren't exactly practical. They're produced in Italy with Europeans in mind, not Americans who've grown accustomed to hulking stainless steel versions that can do everything but actually cook your meal. But what the fridge lacks in size, its cult-following more than makes up for.

BUY NOW: SMEG Two-Door Refrigerator, $2,999; Surlatable.com

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SMEG's United States Instagram profile (@smegusa) has more than 30,000 followers. Tack on hundreds of thousands more from the company's international accounts. The not-so-humble fridge is a social media superstar, also evidenced by the fact that you can't scroll through Pinterest without seeing a SMEG standing in everyone's dream kitchen.

BUY NOW: SMEG Mini Refrigerator, $999; Surlatable.com

Despite their '50s look, SMEG fridges were first created in 1997 and didn't come to the U.S. until 2007. Since then, they've become so mainstream, they're now sold at non-specialty retailers, like Amazon, West Elm, Sur La Table, and even Urban Outfitters. Most design-minded people flock to the pretty pastel colors that are so quintessentially SMEG — blue, pink, green — but you can find the fridges in more than a dozen colors and patterns: bright red, orange, even an American flag.

We'll leave you with two choices: Dream about owning a SMEG fridge for years before you take the plunge — or just buy the damn thing now.

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