Colona, IL- After The Fire.

kitchen restorationLast week we shared with you the Before & After photos from this Colona, IL home damaged by fire and smoke. We wanted to show you around the kitchen in a little bit more detail.

rendered kitchen planTo say this kitchen has some angles is an understatement. This birds-eye view color rendering shows the overall space better than we could capture in one photo. This rendering is an example of what you can see during the design phase here at Village Home Stores.

angled kitchen cabinetThese cabinets hug every corner and even access spaces that may have otherwise been wasted areas. Let’s start with the wall to the right of the built-in pantry. That clipped corner does actually have usable shelves within. It should be mentioned that this cabinet SKU is a standard cabinet. Many times our designers can use the most of your space with the right design!

outside corner baseImmediately behind this angled cabinet is another great standard SKU that can add a lot of interest to a space. While the shelves may not hold a small appliance, am outside corner cabinet can be a great way to turn a corner. Angles are also integrated into the ends of the exposed walls of cabinetry. If you revisit the rendering above you will see that entire pantry wall has angled end cabinets that clip the edges and allow for interest and an easier access into the room.

kitchenAid inductionbase cabinet trashThe end of the cooktop wall of cabinets has not been clipped to allow for a full depth of preparation space on both sides of the KitchenAid Induction unit. Induction is a fantastic feature and we can’t wait to show you more on it soon. Another convenience for the cooktop user is a pull-out trash cabinet directly to the right. Below the cooktop is a large double drawer base which makes for quick and easy access to pots and pans without having to open doors to access a slide-out shelf.

kitchenaid appliancesIn addition to the pull-out trash, a KitchenAid trash compactor is located near the kitchen sink. This 15″ wide unit is Whisper Quiet® Plus Sound Insulated and has a 5:1 compaction ratio reducing trash by up to 80%

The section of island cabinetry that faces the great room has an easily accessed under-counter beverage cooler. Keeping the main refrigerator space clear of cans and bottles this glass-front cooler can easily found by guests and homeowners.

undercounter refrigerator

Get The Look:

kitchen color palettevillage home stores flooringThe granite in this kitchen sparkles so well and may read like a dark black on camera. It is in fact a deep rich blue granite called “Blue Pearl”. The cabinetry is by Koch Cabinets in the “Seneca” doorstyl, Maple Autumn stain. The San Michelle: “Crema Vein” flooring in the kitchen continues from the front door through the dining room then into the kitchen.

With no dining set so you can see the awesome inset layout from our installers very clearly in this photo:

flooring install patterns

We mentioned in our previous post about how kind and amazing these homeowners were throughout a very stressful period and circumstances. Their positive attitudes among loss were inspiring. We thank them again for letting us share their beautiful home with you. If you have any questions about what you see here or our entire process please don’t hesitate to call 309 944 1344 or click to ask. See the entire album of photos from this restoration project over on our Houzz page.

Colona, IL Home – Before & After…The Fire

Some of the spaces from this full-home restoration project will be featured individually in upcoming blog posts but we wanted to begin with the amazing Before and After images. This home in Colona, IL was devastated by fire and smoke but you would never know it now! The homeowners were gracious enough to provide us with the damaged “before” images and we are grateful for their business and downright impressive attitudes throughout the entire process. Every member of their project team from Village Home Stores has commented about what a kind and positive attitude this couple had considering the circumstances. We are so glad to have been the business who could make them feel at home again.

dining_light

master_bathtubkitchenStairs

Laundry

master

master_fireplace

We will be posting the full project of photos soon over on our Houzz Profile. This (almost entirely new) home is beautiful and we are again so grateful to help it feel like home again for this family.

Rustic Charm in Bureau County

This kitchen remodel in Walnut, IL tells more than a typical story of making more space and adding new cabinets. When you walk in the front door of this countryside home you immediately feel like you know residents.  That is the goal of any great design, to reflect the user’s tastes so well they feel perfectly at home in the space.

village homestoreshaas cabinetsOur designer Becky introduced me to the homeowner and I felt like saying “this kitchen is so…YOU” (I had only met her minutes before). The mix of rustic elements in an overall transitional space was executed so well that it inspired a post about it on the blog just last week. There is also  a full album of photos from this project over on our Houzz profile. How about a more in-depth tour of this kitchen?

And now for what you came for, the tour:

kitchen appliance garageWe begin with one of our favorite solutions for countertop clutter, an appliance garage. It is always difficult to see beautiful new countertops completely covered up by coffeepots and toasters. An appliance garage can be an excellent solution in a corner or on the end of a run of cabinets. In this case the lift-door garage hides a toaster and coffeepot. It also anchors the end of a run with a more large and solid look to balance the amazing hood on the adjacent wall.

under sink storageThe sink base in this kitchen has a real furniture look. Legs have been installed on either side; the cabinet has been pulled forward; and a valance in place of a toespace help this look be achieved. The top false drawer front of this cabinet has a hidden secret power…the ability to stash sponges, rags and other cleaning supplies out of sight. A tilt-out tray can be installed in any kitchen sink base and make great additions to bathroom vanities.

 corner drawers in base cabinetsLazy Susan cabinets remain the most popular way to add storage to a corner in your kitchen. Lately there have been a few new contenders entering the ring. In this corner….drawers! A corner drawer base cabinet might not give you access to the entire corner area of the location, but it does give you an accessible way to reach items in the space. This kitchen has plenty of storage space for pantry items and the users preferred another area for cooking supplies within reach of the range and cooktop.

hardware placementSpeaking of storage, a pull-out tray divider is located immediately to the left of the range. Baking and cookie sheets are right within reach and cutting boards can be pulled up for use in one of the many prep areas surrounding the cooking zone of this kitchen.

The perimeter of this kitchen is the “Whip Cream” paint on Maple Haas cabinets with “Absolute Black” granite tops in a brushed finish.

hidden outlet in kitchen islandBehind this cooking zone is a large single-level island. The island cabinets are the “Barnwood” finish on Maple by Haas. A grey, almost slate blue color allows the grain of the wood to show adding texture and depth to the color. Aluminum stools that may otherwise give an industrial feel complement the “Barnwood” finish perfectly. The counter tops are “Carrera Marble”.

Two hidden outlets are found tucked under the overhang of the island and will make entertaining and preparation easier.

built in microwaveThe wall opposite the kitchen sink is home to all of the taller elements of the design. A built-in microwave is located in the center of a tall pantry cabinet that has 4 adjustable sliding shelves inside. These can be arranged to hold pantry items of various heights and weights. Furniture base has been applied to the toespace area for a more built-in and solid look.

This kitchen was as welcoming and fun as the owner who gets to use it. Removing soffits and a half-wall that used to box in the kitchen space was a much needed change. Now the kitchen and its visitors can be a part of a larger space that all has a cohesive look. Thanksgiving is going to be a lot easier this year with plenty of space for multiple cooks and access to lots of dining are right from the kitchen. We love being a part of the reason our customers love coming home to their kitchen. How can we make yours perfect for you? Call or click today to get started! (309) 944-1344

Rustic Shelf

Use & Care: Stainless Steel Appliances

One of the most common questions we get when showing Stainless Steel appliances to customers is but doesn’t it show fingerprints? The short answer to this is yes, but we usually then walk that same customer over to a Black appliance. With the industry change to a smooth and glossy finish in place of a texture, Black appliances can actually shows fingerprints pretty clearly. Stainless Steel can be a great look for many projects. That being said, there is a small amount of maintenance for your Stainless Steel appliances.

stainless steel wipesAlways use a cleaner that is labeled specifically for Stainless Steel. There are a great number of these available. Village sells products by “Affresh” that are manufactured and approved by Whirlpool for use on their appliances. Many Stainless Steel cleaners come in spray and wipe form. While wipes can be convenient for quick touch up, they can dry up easily if the container isn’t closed properly after use.  If you have a busy kitchen you may prefer the wipes because they are a one-step process and are perfect for touch-ups and frequent use.

affresh for stainlessSpray or lotion-form cleaners require an extra step but can give a great result of you are cleaning your appliances less frequently and want the best results. Use spray-on products about every other month or as you see they are needed. In the showroom we are constantly using Affresh to keep things looking great. Follow the directions on the label. In most cases you apply with one cloth, let the product set, then return with a clean cloth and buff. The best tool you can keep handy for daily cleaning is just a clean, dry microfiber cloth. This can be used to wipe smudges and prints quickly.

We do want to mention a few things to avoid when cleaning your Stainless Steel appliances. You want to be sure to protect your investment and not let certain things come in contact with the Stainless so your appliances look great for years to come!

magnets on stainless steel

  • You want to be sure to avoid using Magnets on your Stainless panels. The reason for this is the reaction that happens over time where the metals make contact. These marks can be difficult to remedy once they happen. Magnets also can become a cause of scratches to appear on your appliance.
  • Abrasive Cleaners, Pads and Clothes can be damaging to the surface of Stainless Steel.
  • Bleach or any kind of Hydrochloric Acids need to be avoided. These materials can cause a harmful reaction to your Stainless Steel.
  • Lysol cleaners contain ingredients that fall into the category listed above and should be avoided.
  • Long exposure to Table Salt or Salt & Vinegar Mixes can be damaging as well to Stainless Steel.

alternative cleaners for stainless steelBut what alternatives can be used? We do recommend using the Affresh products or others approved for use on Stainless Steel. If needed, there are some alternative methods you can try as well. WD-40 can be used on stainless and is said to be helpful in repelling prints and smudges from happening. The smell however is not to appetizing so you may want to stick to another method. Baby Oil can also be applied to Stainless and certainly smells more pleasant than WD-40.

Village-Home-Stores-AppliancesJust because you see Stainless appliances on magazine covers at the grocery check out or all over Pinterest does not mean the look is your taste. White and Black kitchen appliances remain very popular and even the now-discontinued “Bisque” finish is very sought-after in our region. Both Whirlpool and Maytag have recently introduced combination finishes that offer a Black or White appliance with Stainless hardware and accents.  These can be an excellent option for a customer who may not want full panels of Stainless Steel in their space.

There are some “matte finish” or “fingerprint-proof” appliances available in the market but they can be very limited in features and models as the finish is not universally available on all products. It can also be difficult to put together a full kitchen of models in these specialty finishes. The look is slightly discolored from true Stainless so be aware of that when selecting models and locations. These “fingerprint-proof” finishes can be a fantastic choice if, for instance, your refrigerator is separated from the other appliances and won’t be near another appliance. The combination Black-with-Stainless and White-with-Stainless finishes have become very popular and are now available in many many models. That list of combination models continues to grow as the false-stainless look is becoming less popular in purchases.

Talk to your salesperson about what appliance finish is right for your lifestyle. Don’t have a salesperson yet? Call or contact us today to get started. You can always shop appliances online anytime here. but seeing these models in person is the best way for us to show you all of your options. See you soon!  (309) 944-1344 

Style Files: Rustic Transitional

We have had such a great response to the sneak peeks we have posted of a remodel project we just completed in Walnut, IL. The style of a space or taste can be tricky to pinpoint but this kitchen definitely had Rustic elements and a truly Transitional style…alas, it must be Rustic Transitional! But what exactly do we mean by that? These “Style Files” posts will be a series of blog posts that you can use to reference your own personal style. The best way to help you do that is to show you rather than tell you.

Take a look at the palette of finishes from the kitchen that inspired this post:

rustic kitchen materialsfloating shelvesNotice that it is quite a mix of finishes and textures. Just like with any project, that is why you have a whole team of people to work with at Village Home Stores. We can help you select materials for the entire big picture. Does adding something as rustic as reclaimed barnwood or beams sound intimidating to you? In the case of this kitchen, it was a very small percentage of the overall look and makes a huge impact! Especially with that faux-finished hood!

Let’s start by defining what the industry means by “Rustic”:

rustic style definitionThe most important thing to take away from this when you are wanting to introduce just a small amount of rustic elements to your space is texture.  Rustic textures can actually become very formal when controlled, contained and surrounded by the right overall design. When we use the term “Transitional” we just mean that the style of a space is somewhere between traditional and contemporary and this can be interpreted many ways (expect that to be an upcoming “Style Files: Transitional” post). A Transitional space is meant to avoid being time-stamped with any certain period.

corner drawers The best reason to select Transitional materials is you will have the ability to revised the space at a later date for a very different look and keep the main elements intact. The unsung hero of Transitional style absolutely is the flat-panel doorstyle. A basic, flat-panel doorstyle void of any curves, arches or elaborate molding detail is the best way to invest in a Transitional space. This style of cabinet can be ordered with a slab style drawer front or what is called a 5-piece drawer front that looks like a door on its side.

 When Rustic elements are added to a Transitional space you create a unique style:

rustic transitional style

rustic light fictureFound materials can be a key ingredient in making a space truly unique to you. Antiques collected traveling or family heirlooms can be integrated in the space and give you a look that your neighbor couldn’t ever recreate. Think outside of the box. If the space is near a lake or coast, maybe some rope would be a great Rustic touch. This light fixture from Elk was a beautiful selection by Windmiller Design & Development at their Edgewater home in Bettendorf, IA. The rope is a great contrast to the dark iron and beams above it.

The full album of images from this project will hit our Houzz profile soon. Until then, did you click on this blog post because your tastes may be leaning to Rustic style but aren’t ready to jump all into a fully Rustic space? Perhaps when you are ready to start your project “Rustic Transitional” might be the best way to describe your tastes to your designer at Village Home Stores? Pin this post to your Pinterest “kitchen” pinboard or email this link to your designer with the subject line “this!” We are here to help put it all together with you. Follow our Rustic Transitional board on Pinterest and get inspired. Call or contact us today. (309) 944-1344.