Retro renovations

Touches to add, and avoid, when remodeling

You've saved a bundle of money — or tapped your home equity — and now you're ready to tackle that kitchen renovation project.

Where to start?

Well, everybody loves granite counter tops and sleek, modern appliances. Everyone except you.

You find the stainless-steel refrigerator slightly, well, antiseptic. High style is the 1955 Foodarama by Kelvinator, sold in one of eight decorative colors like Bermuda Pink and Buttercup Yellow.

This is your dream, but does it make sense?

Particularly if you own an older home, reintroducing aesthetically accurate glamour can add value. And a retro renovation doesn't have to be hugely expensive. Some fixes are cheap if you shop yard sales and secondhand stores.

But not all things retro deserve to make a comeback. Some items are just too costly or unsafe to operate in a modern home, especially when newer, retro-inspired and energy-efficient options are available.

Which of our six retro touches are smart investments? Read on.

By Jen A. Miller Contributing Editor