Category Archives: Helpful Hints

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Road Trip! Our 2016 Visit to Whirlpool in Amana, IA

Village Home Stores is proud to offer Whirlpool appliances to the Quad Cities region. We are able to say with great confidence that we carry products that are backed by U.S. manufacturing and jobs. Did you know that:

Whirlpool Corp. is the only full line appliance manufacturer based in the United States. They operate 9 US manufacturing plants in 5 different states.

Our staff  is so lucky to be located just a short drive away from one of those plants in Amana, Iowa. We have been able to participate in a product training and plant tour now for the past few years. Please excuse our attire for the factory tour, this is not a fashion blog folks.
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The plant we visited last week is home to all of the bottom-mount refrigeration operations as well as built-in refrigeration. This 2.1 Million square foot facility is huge! We clocked 1 3/4 miles on our factory tour alone. The water treatment facility for the plant also supplies the entire Amana Colonies with water. Whirlpool provides back-up power when needed for the region as well. This Amana, IA plant produces roughly 6,400 refrigerators a day! Pardon our pun but that’s pretty cool!
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First of all, say hello to Seth (shown above on left). He is our newest member of the Appliances staff and was able to join us this year for this Whirlpool training and tour event. In addition to our tour, we received product training on many new models and features being introduced in laundry and kitchen appliances. Shown below is one of those new features called an “under-shelf prep zone” which utilizes an un-used space for for marinating or other storage needs in this new refrigerator model. This same new refrigerator model includes TWO ice makers, each with the ability to produce 4.6 lb.s of ice. Just get a text that you are entertaining guests after the work day? No problem! You can program to have plenty of ice by the time you get home right from your mobile phone. We saw so many amazing new products! Many of these models are already at our store or on their way. shelf

View this current US Manufacturing Map from Whirlpool showing the locations and products represented in the 9 manufacturing plants in the US. Whirlpool Corporation currently employs 22,000 manufacturing workers. Whirlpool truly believes that “there is no right way to do a wrong thing” and has committed to this opportunity to stay in the US. For example, instead of moving freezer manufacturing to Mexico or China, Whirlpool has recently purchased an vacant factory in Ottawa, Ohio keeping thousands of jobs in Ohio and allowing another category of product manufacturing  to remain in the US.interior

10000cupcakesNo complaints that we were greeted the morning of training with cupcakes alongside our breakfast (see our Instagram post on the right when we caught Rob with a cupcake at 8am). We were thrilled to hear that KitchenAid is hosting their #10000cupcakes campaign again this year to benefit Susan G. Komen. You can help make a difference for this cause! Share a photo or video with @KitchenAidUSA on Instagram or Twitter and include #10000cupcakes and #donate. For every original photo or video posted KitchenAid will donate $1 to support the fight against breast cancer, up to $10,000. Join us in store Thursday October 27th from 4:30-7pm as part of our annual “Witches Night Out” celebration and decorate your own cupcake to snap a photo of. Be sure to follow us on Instagram here to see our own cupcake posts.vanilla_latte_cupcakes

Do you have a recent model of a Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, or KitchenAid bottom-freezer refrigerator in your kitchen? That unit was made just a short drive past Coralville in Amana, Iowa and we had the privilege to see the smiling faces that assembled it for you.Read about our trip to Amana last year here at this link. If you are interested in purchasing appliance brands that help support jobs in our own country, our expert sales staff is ready to help find the right product and features for your lifestyle and budget. Shop our products online anytime here on our website. Then give us a call or stop in the store to experience the award-winning customer experience at Village Home Stores.Village_Home_Stores (1)

 

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Trending: Kitchen and Bath Trends For 2016/2017

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of getting an invite to a Tastemakers Tea to meet, mingle and discuss trends throughout the Home Decor, Fashion, and Floral industries. These industries are closely knit when it comes to trend and color forecasting. Materials, color palettes, and details all pour over into the Kitchen and Bath industry.  Village Home Stores offers expert design and material selection for your new or remodeled home. We strive to be thought-leaders in out industry and always keep our eyes and ears on what is trending so that we can keep the perfect products available for our customers.

Summer into Fall Floral from Designs on the Boulevard | photo by Sarah Sunstrom Photography

Summer into Fall floral by Designs on the Boulevard. Photo by Sarah Sunstrom Photography

We understand that a kitchen design is far more permanent of a decision than purchasing a statement necklace or floral arrangements for your next event but each of these purchases reflect your personal taste. Your personal taste is such an important thing and every bit of your home should reflect it. So much of what we learned at this Tastemakers Tea translates directly into what we are seeing in the Kitchen & Bath industry! Here are 5 trends that we know you can put into play right now for your kitchen or bath design in 2016/2017:

Include Natural Items:

Natural items such as marble, granite, or woodgrain are not just limited to the “permanent” items in your kitchen.

Natural materials like stone and horn. | photo by Sarah Sunstrom Photography

Natural Stone Canisters and Horn Decor from Katsch. Photo by Sarah Sunstrom Photography

Fall is the perfect time to begin to bring the outdoors in with your home accents. The canisters shown above are made from a gorgeous marble and that horn? it’s a bottle opener that you will never have to go searching for because it is cool enough to leave out layered as part of your look. As you prepare to entertain for these Autumn weeks ahead consider giving your kitchen a whole new look by swapping out that accessories layer in the space. If your kitchen is looking tired, clear everything off of the counters and shelves and challenge yourself to try a new look. You will be amazing at what a new rug or set of canisters can do to jump-start this process.

Mix Metals:

Nervous about this trend of mixing metals? Kitchen accessories and wall art are the perfect way to dip your toe in and test the waters.

Copper Canisters from mabel. in Geneseo, IL. | photo by Sarah Sunstrom Photography

Copper Canisters from mabel. in Geneseo, IL. Photo by Sarah Sunstrom Photography

Copper is a fantastic Fall color and it happens to look right “at home” in the kitchen. These vintage canisters from mabel. in Geneseo, IL would pair up quite nicely with the marble set shown above. Mixing metals with other textures can be fun. If you are ready to dive into a more exciting look in mixed metals, your designer at Village Home Stores is ready to help you balance and visualize the finished space. Take a look at this kitchen featured recently on the blog. Black Stainless Steel mixed with Stainless and Copper finishes. | VillageHomeStores.com

This completed look is polished and complete and includes 4 metals finishes in the design! KitchenAid’s Black Stainless and Standard Stainless Steel appliances are paired with Hammered Copper sinks and Oil -Rubbed Bronze faucets. See the complete album of photos from this project here on our Houzz.com page.

Go Gray:

Gray continues to become the new neutral choice all across the board. We were gracious to attend Dura Supreme’s Design Symposium again this year and many of the trends they spoke of last year were still atop the list for 2016/2017.  Last year we blogged on how Gray is here to stay. Take note that this “trend” is one worth your consideration for your kitchen or bath project because it is forecasted to stay on point for the next 5-8 years.Decorative end panel on the end of a kitchen peninsula. | VillageHomeStores.com

At Dura Supreme’s Design Symposium we were shown a beautiful new finish combination that really reflects the direction of the Modern Farmhouse look that is evolving into a very polished concept. The “Farmhouse” look is no longer limited to a barn door and an apron-front sink. The polished Modern Farmhouse look has evolved to include many of the trends we are touching on in this post including warmer grays, natural details, and mixed metals.

Dura Supreme Hickory Morel finish. | VillageHomeStores.com

Dura Supreme Hickory Morel finish available at Village Home Stores.

The “Morel” stain shown here on a Hickory door is a Gray/Brown Undertone finish that allows the natural characteristics of the woodgrain to show. With so many of our projects now including an accent island or cabinet in some area of the design, this wood finish is a great option. If you are considering including a “cool” or a “warm” painted finish to combine with your wood cabinetry, “Morel” pairs perfectly with each concept.

Turn Up The Heat:

So if Gray is the new neutral, what should I pair it with? Our short answer… all the things! An important point we want to make is that because we are seeing Gray used throughout the home, the “cold” and “drab” gray you are picturing is not the Gray you are after. Warmer tones of Gray are most commonly found in cabinet finishes, paint colors and home decor items. These warm Grays pair amazingly with woods ranging from light to dark.

Leather woven run from Katsch in Geneseo, IL. | VillageHomeStores.com

Desmond the Dachshund models a leather woven rug from Katsch.

Selecting warmer Grays and pairing with a rich woodtone also lends itself to including many of the other design trends we are suggesting. Including natural items (see our first suggestion in this post) is easy when a warm Gray is in the mix. Natural fibers and materials include a variety of colors in a piece. We snagged this great rug the day of the event from Katsch and it makes for a perfect kitchen sink rug. Natural rope is woven with Gray leather strips. It is unique, comfortable, and stylish. See more great examples of Gray used in beautiful spaces on this Pinterest Board we have curated.

Include Mirror & Glass:

Adding mirror to your space can be a real game-changer when you are looking for a whole new look. A quick change can be to swap out one piece of wall decor for a framed mirror. If your kitchen sink is not beneath a window add a mirror above your sink! This can also be a great way to play around with mixing metal finishes. Challenge yourself to choose a framed mirror different from your faucet or cabinet hardware and repeat this new metal finish someplace else in the space. We carry many framed mirror options in a variety of styles.

Swap out some artwork for a mirror in your kitchen or bath.

Swap out some artwork for a mirror in your kitchen or bath.

At the Tastemakers event we saw antique mirrors used as trays and clear glass accessories were proven to be versatile pieces you can use all year round. We recently blogged about a kitchen that included mirror inserts in place of glass and it bounced light and beautiful countryside views all around the space. A creative surface to play around with mirror is in your kitchen or bathroom tile. Stop by our showroom to see some of the many fun options we have that include mirrored accents in a variety of colors and styles.

Mirrored tile. | VillageHomeStores.com

Mirrored tile for your kitchen or bath from Village Home Stores.

If you are wanting to give your kitchen or bath and update consider one or more of these suggestions. Many of them can be done right now possibly with items you have already! If you need some new pieces to use, shop Geneseo, IL for these great looks! If you are wanting to start completely fresh and create a space in your home on trend and complimentary of your own personal style we want to help make that happen! Contact Village Home Stores today to start the conversation about your own project. Our thanks to Katsch, Designs on the Boulevard, and mabel, for hosting the Tastemakers Tea event. The setting, the conversation, and the company was all inspiring! What a great way to kickoff this beautiful Midwest Fall Season! Village_Home_Stores

Moline Remodel: Details Make The Design

Moline, IL kitchen remodel by Village Home Stores

What is it about some projects that really help push them over the edge into that “magazine-cover” category? Many times is that added layer of details that take a great looking design and amplify it into gorgeous! In the case of this remodeled Moline kitchen, the details make the design!Moline remodel before and after by Village Home Stores

This Moline kitchen has been completely transformed. From dark and dated to bright and timeless. Dark oak cabinetry and golden laminate tops gave the original kitchen a very crowded feeling. An island located in the center of the kitchen was accessible from all sides but a large wood hood suspended above it seemed to crowd the space.kitchen designers by Village Home Stores

The newly remodeled Moline kitchen has not just been updated but now gives a more timeless traditional look. A similar footprint to to original kitchen but upgrades to function and styles throughout. Kitchen remodelers in Moline by Village Home StoresBrightening the kitchen materials and replacing the massive wood hood with a more subtle style keeps the new kitchen feeling open and airy. Removing the soffits above and allows the new cabinets to extend up to the ceiling. Remodelers of the Quad Cities by Village Home Stores

The cabinetry and counters are not all that were ready for a change, the kitchen appliances were very ready for an update. A brand new appliance package from KitchenAid was installed into this new Moline kitchen. Notice how the original wall oven didn’t even have a glass-front door to see inside of the unit? Appliances in Moline by Village Home Stores

What an upgrade they have made here!  A combination microwave and wall oven allow the convenience of a double oven when needed but also standard microwave features in the top unit.

Quad City tile by Village Home StoresA perfect pairing of Cambria’s “Windermere” quartz design with Koch’s painted “Pearl” finish and a “Umber” highlight. This bright finish gives the new kitchen an open and airy feeling from the original dark Oak cabinetry that was removed. Our Diode LED undercabinet lighting helps lighten the space as well. With a smooth wash of light that is dimmable and energy efficient, this system is the perfect task and ambient light in a kitchen.

What You Expect:

Let’s begin by showcasing the details you would expect in a Traditional kitchen like this from Village Home Stores. Elements like these are many times not included when working with a “Big Box” cabinet store but any professional Kitchen & Bath showroom should offer you these design details.Crown molding on hood by Village Home Stores

Crown molding is a key element in giving your kitchen a polished off look. In this case, a traditional crown bridges the gap from above the wall cabinets to the ceiling. Paying attention to scale and size is important here. Cabinet and ceiling height as well as other molding details in a home must be considered when selecting size. Varied depths in this kitchen make for an interesting look and the opportunity to continue the same crown but add interest to the detail. Notice how the same wood crown has been wrapped around the top of the new stainless hood for a look you wouldn’t expect to see.

Accent kitchen island by Village Home StoresAccent islands in a contrasting color have become more and more common in new kitchen designs. The “Mocha” finish on this island compliments the wood flooring and the highlight glaze that has been applied to the perimeter cabinetry.Baseboards by Village Home Stores

Baseboard molding wrapped around an island or end panel treatment can offer you and instantly polished look. The right installer is key when you are looking for a totally polished Traditional style kitchen. Your finished look will come to completion with that final layer of trim and moldings. Don’t forget that Village Home Stores offers full Project Management and can schedule a carpenter for your project. If you have someone you are working with, be sure that they are skilled in millwork and trim. Never be afraid to ask to see some past work or get a recommendation from a recent project. Eased countertop edge by Village Home Stores

A standard “Eased” edge profile is the most commonly used edge profile on stone countertops. Many times this edge is selected because it comes with no upcharges to apply to your stone. In reality, the “Eased” edge is sometimes the best look for the overall design. Clean and simple lines always can find a home in any style of kitchen. Here it helps from distracting from the door details the “Royale” style from Koch includes.

What You May Not Expect:

Now for those details that make the design. The ones you may not expect to see but that bring this kitchen design into that “magazine cover” or “Pinterestworthy” category. These details are why working with a professional can not just save you time and money but give you the end result you want! Ogee countertop edge by Village Home Stores

The accent island is not only an accent color but it is framed in with an accented edge profile. The “Ogee”  edge profile has been added onto all four edges of this kitchen island. Right at the center of activity and much of the attention to any guest, this detail helps give the island a furniture look. Light from the windows and the kitchen lighting highlights the edges perfectly.beverage cooler by Village Home Stores

In that same island is a glass-front beverage cooler. This keeps beverages easily accessible to guests and frees up space in the main refrigerator for other items. Also notice how the trim carpenter framed in the baseboard below to help keep the built-in unit looking at home in the furniture style island. Paneled dishwasher by Village Home Stores

Panel-ready appliances like this dishwasher unit are always a great choice when you want to include designer details in your kitchen. Refrigerators, beverage coolers, dishwashers, and icemakers all can be ordered in panel-ready models.applied doors by Village Home Stores

Speaking of panels, notice how there are no basic, smooth ends or back to any of the cabinetry in this Moline kitchen? Applied doors have been added to all of the exposed ends in the design. The back of the Peninsula that faces the adjacent Dining Room also has custom panels applied. These exposed ends are an opportunity to give a custom look to your kitchen.

spice drawer by Village Home Stores

Some of the design details and upgrades in this new kitchen you can’t see unless you are using this kitchen. A spice drawer organizer is located in a stack of drawers below the window.

knife drawer by Village Home Stores

Above that spice drawer is a knife block drawer. These modifications and inserts can be added anywhere in a design. Your designer at Village Home Stores can work with you to find the perfect locations and modifications for your lifestyle. The kitchen sink is right at the center of all activity in the new kitchen. A beautiful E-Granite sink has been undermounted to the Cambria quartz tops.

Kitchen remodel in Moline, IL by Village Home Stores

This sink is truly the best of both worlds. A low divider undermounted sink has the benefits of a single and a double well layout. Low divider sink by Village Home Stores

The option to fill one side when a shallow soak is needed for washing but the space for larger items when needed. This Moline kitchen is not bright and airy. What sets it apart are the details. Details really do make the design. Moline, IL remodeled kitchen by Village Home Stores

Want your dream kitchen but haven’t found the right design team to trust your home with? Village Home Stores is ready to help build you the perfect team and design for you. Call or click today and let’s get started!Kitchen contractors in Moline, IL, Village Home Stores

Diode L.E.D. Lighting: Think Outside The Kitchen

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comIt is that time of year in the Midwest where we get to spend more time outdoors. Outdoor living spaces have become an extension of the home itself. Did you know that the same system of lighting we are always showcasing in our kitchens offers Diode L.E.D. “Wet Location” systems? There is even one series that is fully-submersible!  This poolside bar is a great example of how just one layer of light can make an entire area look like your own high-end brew pub.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comHighlight structural details of your home’s exterior, landscaping, even outdoor bars and kitchens like this one. All of the same qualities we love about our Diode L.E.D. system indoors can be said for uses outdoors. This system has a low profile, is energy efficient, long-lasting and extremely versatile. Especially when you think outside the kitchen.

Images courtesy of Diode LED

Images courtesy of Diode LED

Our Diode L.E.D. lighting has many great products for outdoor settings. BLAZE™ Wet Location lighting offers maximum brightness at only a quarter inch high and a third of an inch wide, you can really add a lot of light to even the tightest of spaces. The FLUID VIEW® Wet Location L.E.D. Strip Lights can be for commercial-grade higher traffic and more rugged conditions. With no UV emissions from these lights, they are safe to use to light artwork or wine and craft beer cellars as well. The HYDROLUME™ system (shown in center above) is an L.E.D. strip light that is waterproof, fully submersible, and UV resistant. It is also resistant to chlorine and saltwater. If you have a water feature you have been wanting to highlight with lighting we can work closely with you on that. Call a salesperson at Village Home Stores today to find out what parts and components will be right for your project.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comThe low profile of the strip lights allow you to really think creatively as to where to add light to your space. In this case, the strip lights were tucked away beneath the granite counters and concealed with some trim. The end result is a consistent wash of light that looks amazing on the stone facing of the bar.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comThis is an efficient and long-lasting system of lights. Once installed this Diode system will be operating for a long time…no seriously a long long time. How long? We have been told you could leave a Diode system running 5 hours a day for 25 years or more before needing to replace any lights. So with a glowing ambient light like this poolside bar, you could leave these lights on as much as you would like and see little energy use because of the low wattage used.

Diode LED colored lighting. | VillageHomeStores.com

Images courtesy of Diode LED

Another fun feature to mention about this Diode lighting is that it is available in many varieties of color. Ranging from warm to cool colors of standard white light but also bold colors all across the spectrum. This system can be used in commercial applications in restaurants or bars but also in creative ways inside and outside of your home.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comIf you have a project indoors, outdoors or even underwater our expert lighting team from Village Home Stores can help you figure out the right system and components needed for you project. Estimates are always free and questions are encouraged! We have many examples of this Diode L.E.D. system in the showroom. And this system of indoor lighting is featured in just about every kitchen we showcase here on the blog. Call today for an appointment. (309) 944-1344.outdoor_lighting_quad_cities

Trend Watch: Is Gray Here To Stay?

gray_kitchen_trendIt should come as no surprise that gray has officially caught fire as a trendy color to include in your home interiors. All you need to do it take a look at your Pinterest feed or even the covers of the magazines at the grocery checkout. Gray has found its place in the home and the kitchen. We recently had the opportunity to attend a Design Symposium hosted by our friends over at Dura Supreme Cabinetry. We spent the good deal of the day learning about current trends as well as trends forecasted to hit the industry soon.  We can’t wait to share with you what we learned from industry leaders and we thought addressing this common question is a great place to start. Weekly, (sometimes even daily) our designers get asked by our clients “Gray?! Isn’t that a trendy color to use on such a permanent project?” The short answer is yes… but allow us to present the strong case for why you should still consider it.

gray_backsplash

What used to be a fun accent color has now taken over the entire palette of color choices. When companies like Formica, Dura Supreme, and Cambria invest a large amount of money into research and development of new materials and selections for our customers it is your first clue that this “trend” is not dissolving anytime soon!

gray_kitchen_Village_Home_stores

So how much longer will gray remain “a thing”? About 5-8 more years. So if you have been holding off on gray, you still have time! Just like any color you shop for in an outfit or while furnishing a room in your home, do what you are comfortable with. If a gray kitchen from floor-to-ceiling is not your thing there are so many options on how to include gray into your space no matter what your comfort level.

classicWhat is the “Classic” approach to including gray in your kitchen? Consider one of the very first materials used in ornament and decoration… marble! You can’t get a more classic look than gray veining in a slab of natural marble. This continues to be a popular choice for kitchen countertops and Formica has even taken steps to improve options if you budget doesn’t allow for true marble to be installed. Take a look at the “Calacatta Marble” and “Bianca Luna” designs available from the Formica 180fx® series.  Larger patterns and a more realistic texture get you as close as possible for a fraction of the price. Take a look at this Rock Island kitchen we remodeled that includes a more classical look. The Koch “Oyster” paint is a subtle gray color in place of a painted white. The marble tile in the backsplash is another classic choice.

cautiousEven though gray is predicted to continue to popular for at least the next 5-8 years, you may want to take a more cautious approach to including it. If that is where your comfort-level is with the trend you still have a lot of options.

gray_paint3Think of the non-permanent surfaces of your space that you may want to revisit in the next 5-8 years. Paint is a great example. Keeping the more permanent materials like cabinets, flooring, and countertops neutral leaves the door open to  change out the wall color a few years later and get an entirely refreshed look. Other places can be in your kitchen accessories like barstools and linens.

oh heyBut what if you want to really go for it? How can you dive into the gray kitchen trend? You and your designer at Village Home Stores have so many options! There are now gray colors available in every surface for your kitchen and bath project.  Of course you can install an entire kitchen of gray and we can help you find the right balance and design for that. Accenting with gray can also make a huge impact. Here are a few ways you can accent your kitchen with gray:

gray_kitchen_accentsGray kitchen islands have been so popular in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas. We have installed many in remodeled spaces like this Moline kitchen but dozens and dozens into new homes as well.

weathered barnwood garayAnother great idea for a way to accent your kitchen with gray is to include gray floating shelves or even finish the back of an open cabinet with a gray panel. The barnwood shelves in this remodeled kitchen from Village Home Stores also displays another great accent item, teh hood. Take a look at our “Gray Is Here To Stay”  Pinterest board to see tons of great examples of gray accents in action.

gray_kitchen_islandGray has always been an option for kitchen materials but the past few years and predicted years to come, it is a force to be reckoned with!  We just installed this new gray weathered Cherry island in the showroom (shown above) from Dura Supreme and it was quite the conversation-starter at our Q.C.B.R. booth this year ( and don’t worry there is a full tour of this new display hitting the blog soon).

Something that really stuck with us when we attended the Design Symposium was a statement from Karen Wistrom ASID, Vice President of Marketing at Dura Supreme Cabinetry who said gray is “not just for prison walls and cloudy days” anymore. We agree and can’t wait to help you get started on your own project.

Contact us today with a click or a call and let’s get started!cabinets_Geneseo

Best Of Houzz 2015: A Houzz How-To

Best of Houzz 2015First and foremost a gigantic THANK YOU to our customers and contractors who helped us to be considered in the Best Of Houzz 2015 award process. We are so excited and grateful to announce that our store received an award in Customer Service from Houzz.com.

village_on_houzzHouzz.com has become a wonderful tool for our customers and contractors to use during their project with us. Last year we became more active on the site to give access to our project photos to the 25 million monthly users the site sees. Many of the projects featured right here on our blog have been uploaded as complete projects to our Houzz.com portfolio. Find our Houzz professional profile here.

houzzIf you are unfamiliar with Houzz.com and what it is we want to give you a brief how-to in this blog post.  The site itself also runs as a very user-friendly app on tablets and even smart phones. Many of our clients use the Houzz app on their tablet while right here in our store. Houzz is available to help you collect ideas and inspiration for your remodel or new home project. What sets this site apart from others is that you must be a professional to upload content to the site. Not only is the content itself monitored for quality, all reviews submitted to the site go through an extensive process before being posted.

ideabooks on houzzUsing Houzz is very simple. You create an account using your email address. From there you will create “ideabooks” that you will save your project ideas into. Think of these ideabooks as the file folders you would keep your images within. If you were building a home, having multiple ideabooks to keep areas of the project organized can be a fantastic tool. These ideabooks can also be made private. For example, you and your spouse or partner can share your houzz ideabooks with your designer at Village Home Stores and make notes within the app. This allows you a visual way to collaborate on ideas. Our “Hoods” idea book is shown on the left. We often use this ideabook in meetings to help get an idea of what look the client is looking for in their design. Houzz has a step-by-step tutorial about creating ideabooks that can be found here.

image tags on houzzEach professional profile requires upkeep and accessibility. We monitor our profile closely for any questions and interaction we get from our content. We receive around 2-5 questions about our project photos weekly and are able to provide expert answers to the users on the site. Many of the questions you may have about an image you find on Houzz can be answered within “tags” on the image. Image tags on Houzz can be added by users and professionals both publicly and privately. These tags are another great tool to use an collaborate with your professional. These green price tag icons are click-able notes within the image. They may include product information or notes from your designer as to why the image was saved and sent to you.  If you find you have a question that isn’t answered within the image description or a tag you may always contact the professional who uploaded the image.

We do love Pinterest but sometimes content on that site can lead to a “dead end” and your questions remain unanswered. On Houzz you have direct access to the professional who provided that content via email. In fact think of Houzz as a professional directory for your project. Houzz is the largest residential design database in the world and it is and easy way for people to find inspiration, organize their ideas, get advice, and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Houzz offers a wonderful service to their users that connects a professional directory with project images and customer reviews. Thanks again to all of our clients and colleagues who reviewed and used our profile in 2014 and led to this Best of 2015 Customer Service award! phone_number

Mudroom Managed: Hazelwood Homes

Hzaelwood Homes IncWe will be sharing the kitchen from this Hazelwood Homes Inc. home built in Geneseo, IL next week. We wanted to start by featuring one of the more unique spaces in this home. The back door bench area that serves as a drop zone at this home is so great that we had to feature it first.

drop zone areamudroom lockerAny busy household can appreciate this drop zone near the garage entry of this home. “A place for everything and everything in its place” comes to mind right away. With a single base cabinet, a full row of wall cabinet storage including mail slots and a long row of coat hooks outfit this area for maximum storage.

This area is located in the hallway just off the kitchen and also allows access to the powder room nearby. The reclaimed wood bench allows a location for shoes to tuck away and mounting double hooks instead of a single style allows each family member to hang a jacket and accessories in the same area.

kitchen_renderingKoch cabinetry Oyster FinishThe door style selected for this space was a beaded style from our Koch Classic line. The beaded style of door is a perfect compliment to the inset painted cabinets in the kitchen (within eyesight of this area). The Birch cabinets have been painted with the “Oyster” finish which is a light almost “dove” grey color that will be more forgiving over time for soil and messes than a bright white would. A single piece of matching Soapstone was used as the countertop in this drop zone to carry over the same style from the kitchen as well.

Do you have an area that gets cluttered up with backpacks, shoes, and all kinds of piles? Chances are there is a smarter way to use that space! The design team at Village Home Stores can help you figure out the best way to use your space and make the entire are much more appealing to see as well. Contact us today for an appointment or call with any questions (866) 995-3411remodel_quad_cities

Use & Care: Stainless Steel Appliances

cleaning stainless steel appliancesOne 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 our appliances 24 hours a day online 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 

Village-Maytag

Style Files: Rustic Transitional

Village Home StoresWe 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.

Unexpected Upgrades: Kathy’s Free Granite Tops

Village Home Stores

If you ever have the opportunity to be the person to contact someone who has won something I highly recommend you do it. It was downright fun to call our Great Kitchen Giveaway winner and tell her she had one the choice of a number of options to upgrade her kitchen with Village Home Stores. We ran the promotion during the QCBR 2014 Home Show and the month surrounding it. There were many many entries and Kathy from Milan, IL was the winner! When we finally got a hold of Kathy to tell her she won she was already in a fantastic mood because she had just welcomed a new grandbaby into the world. Inviting her to choose from a Maytag suite of kitchen appliances, free granite countertops, $2,000 in free cabinets, free kitchen flooring, or $1,000 in free lighting put her over the moon with excitement.

laminate topKathy took some time to decide what to do with this unexpected upgrade opportunity and ended up selecting granite countertops.  Her existing kitchen tops were still the original Formica butcherblock pattern laminate in a “No-Drip” edge profile. Considering the age of the tops they were really in excellent condition. Kathy had just recently painter her dark cabinets white.

Coffee Brown GraniteThe new white finish on her cabinets made it even more of a total makeover for Kathy’s kitchen. Now with granite tops, it truly was the look of a whole new kitchen!  Kathy had the choice of our 10 promotional colors of stone and she ended up choosing “Coffee Brown” granite in a polished finish. This dark polished stone really gives a rich look to the space.

TemplateThe old laminate tops were removed for a template to be made by the stone fabricators. Some minor carpentry work was done to address a leveling issue with the age of the home and where the existing cabinets had settled. The weight of new stone tops must be distributed correctly for a safe and correct installation. Our expert stone fabricators measure a number of locations and lengths to confirm the new tops will be correct. We will soon have a full post on the blog about what you can expect during  your template appointment.

Undermount sink in graniteKathy’s new sink area is our favorite part! She chose an E-Granite sink by Elkay that has a feature that we love, a lowered center-divider. This allows for a small fill when needed but plenty of space for large serving dishes or cookie sheets to be washed within the sink.

Soap leaking onto graniteWe also came across a little tip from Kathy that we think is pretty genius. Take a look at the tray beneath her soap dispenser, it’s actually a soap dish. Kathy had heard about how a leaky dispenser can cause damage to natural stone and purchased a solution that gives her peace-of-mind that she won’t need to worry. When she found her new soap pump, she also bought the soap dish in the same style and finish. Et Voila! A matching tray!

Are new countertops for your kitchen on your “maybe someday” list? If one of these 10 colors grab your attention, $59 a square foot installed may make your “someday” happen sooner.

Call or contact us today for a free estimate on upgrading your countertops with Village Home Stores. While we don’t give away free granite everyday, we can offer you a fantastic price and expert work. (309) 944-1344.