Invested in America: Our Trip to Whirlpool in Amana, Iowa

We recently had the privilege to visit the Whirlpool factory located just a few miles away from us in Amana, Iowa to get a first-hand look at the location where all bottom-mount refrigerators are manufactured for the entire Whirlpool family of products. We also got to see some of the great new features on many new products being launched right now.

appliances made in the USAWhirlpool is the largest manufacturer of household appliances in the world. Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid are among the Whirlpool family of products we proudly sell here at Village. Did you know over 80% of the products Whirlpool sells in the US are manufactured right here in the US? That is a huge investment into American jobs and is more than all the other competitors combined. Facilities are in Tulsa,OK (freestanding ranges); Clyde,OH (washing machines); Cleveland,TN (built-in cooking and double ranges); Marion,OH (dryers); Findlay,OH (dishwashers); Ottawa,OH (freezers); Greenville,OH (stand mixers) and the refrigerator plant we visited in Amana,IA.

In addition to our tour of the facilities we also got to see some of the new features being launched on new Maytag, Whirlpool and KitchenAid models. Here are a few highlights from what we saw:

dishwasher silverware sprayNot only are dishwasher models coming out of Findlay, OH quieter and quieter they also work harder for you. Case and point is the new Silverware Spray feature on models like the WDT720PA we show on our salesfloor. 40 spray jets aimed directly at the newly designed silverware basket gets even the most stickiest messes cleaned off your flatware. See it is action over on our You Tube channel here.

We got to see the entire manufacturing and building process of refrigerators first-hand on our factory tour but we also got to see new products fresh off the assembly lines just across the parking lot. We have the Whirlpool WRF997SDDM refrigerator in our showroom and about a month ago played a little prank on one of our designers to show her the awesome new CoolVox™ audio system watch the video here. Stop in today and let us show you this amazing feature that we now convinced every home needs.

The brand new Maytag MFX2875DR french door refrigerator set to ship any day now is quite a powerful model to see in person. Like all new 2014 Maytag appliances models launched it has a 10 year limited parts warranty. On a refrigerator that means the compressor itself has a 10 year warranty. With Maytag we have learned that what’s inside matters and so one of our favorite features that you can see are the new Artic Steel Shelves inside this model.

maytag steel refrigerator shelvesPremium style you can see and feel. These shelves are powder-coated and can hold up to 70 lbs. of weight! No glass in the shelves means you can’t light the whole interior…right? Wrong! These adjustable shelves have LED lighting along the underside of the front edge. This means you can see everything within.

The Whirlpool family of products represents over 23,000 American manufacturing jobs. That is something we truly value here at our store. While we were not allowed to take any photographs or video footage of the factory facilities themselves, we did get to put on a hardhat, vest, and safety goggles to tour the factory. As part of a new product launch training program we were invited in to see and meet some of the many smiling faces that are making the products we sell. We could talk to you all day about the parts and innovation that go into the refrigerators we sell but they are in the simplest of forms, a box that cools things right? A representative from Whirlpool reminded us of this. He also mentioned another very important thing that really struck me, Mike said “there’s people behind these boxes.”

We know a huge reason our customers seek Village Home Stores out is a personal connection from our staff. While we can offer the same products and prices as a “big-box” store we have something that we excel at and it is the largest benefit to you, a real person to connect with you and help you learn about and select the right products for your projects. That same person at Village Home Stores is just a phone call away when you have any questions about your purchase. We got to see some of the people behind the Whirlpool products we sell and trust us when we say you have a lot to be proud of when purchasing items from this Amana, Iowa plant.

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Introducing Dura Supreme Cabinetry at Village Home Stores

We are so excited to introduce you to our newest line of cabinetry products from Dura Supreme. Located in Howard Lake, MN Dura Supreme was founded in the 1950’s with a goal to provide outstanding value and design choices in a hand-crafted product made right here in the USA. Now over 50 years later, the company employs over 400 people at their factory just west of Minneapolis, MN.

speaker fabric in doorEvery expansion and innovation within those years has been done to advance Dura Supreme to be able to provide products made with the type of precision, quality and value we know our Village Home Stores customers expect from us.   We can say with great confidence that Dura Supreme cabinetry is a great match the projects we take on. The perfect blend of innovation and handcraft details from this product provide you with the outstanding quality you expect from us.

frameless cabinetry quad citiesWe know every project is different and you each have unique tastes for your own home. That is why we love what we do! Dura Supreme has such a wide variety of personalized choices for you and your designer to select from.  The choices are not only personalized but many of the products are as well. Hand-turned posts and hand-applied finishes are a must see (and feel) so do stop in to see Dura Supreme in person in our Geneseo showroom.

We were so excited to add the Dura Supreme line that the very first kitchen we ordered from them was our set kitchen at WQAD for our upcoming television show. Our entire design team here at Village Home Stores just returned from the Dura Supreme facilities and received extensive product training on everything Dura has to offer. Here is what one of our designers had to say when we asked him about why he is excited to sell Dura Supreme to his clients.

“There are NO charges for a cut down in sizes.  Which means as a designer, we can create a completely custom look using a standard product. Take the cabinet above your refrigerator for instance, 39” is a bit too wide and 36” might be a bit tight.  So take a 39” and cut it down to 37” and you get that sweet spot size at no added cost to my client and using no fillers.  Something that the big box stores can NOT do at all…even with an upcharge.” -Chris Robinson, Village Home Stores Design Team.

exotic wood cabinetsDura offers a wide variety of wood species including some we have not yet been able to offer our customers until now (ask your designer about Lyptus).  Exotic wood veneers like Zebrawood, Fir and Bamboo are normally reserved for custom cabinetry lines but now can be accessed with Dura Supreme.

cabinetry finishesIf you are shopping for cabinetry chances are you want to explore your options for finish. Dura Supreme has you covered (excuse the pun) in this category as well. Their “Heritage“, “Heirloom“, “Patina“, and “Weathered” finishes are a must see when you visit our showroom.

 durasupreme cabinets in GeneseoThe many style options available from Dura Supreme also open up your options to an almost unlimited amount. If you are considering an accent cabinet in some area of your design that might include glass inserts or mullions, let our team show you the many unique options available.

curved cabinetry doorsMany times customers come in with a magazine or Pinterest idea for their project that can difficult to recreate within their budget. Dura Supreme continues to offer unique features within their product lines that are industry-leading concepts (like the curved corner doors of our set kitchen).

Learn more about industry trends and design ideas over on the Dura Supreme blog. Plus follow them on Pinterest for tons of great ideas for your space! Is Dura Supreme the right product for your kitchen or bath project? Dura Supreme styles and finishes are now on display in our newly expanded upstairs showroom. Contact our store today to set up an appointment and begin the conversation about your next project with Village Home Stores 309 944 1344.

Floor Covering: Discover Your “Fifth Wall”

What do we mean “fifth wall”? Well, many times the flooring for a project is one of the last materials to be selected. Almost as if it is the last layer of a project to be considered. But how do we build a home? From the ground up of course! Floor covering for your project just happens to be the overall canvas that everything else sits upon. This is why Village Home Stores has recently expanded to now make room for a full showroom and added staff to help you select the perfect material for your project.

kitchen flooring quad citiesSelecting the right material for the floor in your home can help an entire project come together. Think of how much time and consideration goes into selecting your new kitchen countertops… a lot right? The flooring in a kitchen will cover much more surface overall than those counters. In most cases, flooring makes up anywhere from 25% -40% of a surface in your kitchen. If you consider a kitchen as part of a “Great Room” then that selection just got even more important.

rustic wood floorsVillage Home Stores doesn’t want to put a lot of stress on you to make that selection. We are here to help you with your project from start to finish and that includes selection. Our expert sales staff can help you choose what is most practical for your space as well as what will give you the best overall look. Having samples right here in our showroom has already been so helpful in these first few months of adding our Floor Covering Department. The entire selection process can now be done here in our store, alongside your design and sales team working with you on your project. Your entire project just got easier.

Considering this “fifth wall” in your space can help add the following to your project:

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depth

woven_tile

The opportunity to cover this large plane of surface opens up a lot of possibilities when you are building an entire design with your team here at Village.

We are so happy to introduce to you the many categories of materials you now have access to in our Geneseo showroom:

hardwood floorsEngineered and solid hardwoods in a number of finishes, sizes, textures, and styles. With many brands like Somerset, Mullican, Mannington, Bella Cera, Hallmark, Lockwood, Valuemark Hardwoods, Armstrong you are certain to find the right one for your space.

luxury vinyl tileLuxury Vinyl Tiles are a highly durable surface that can mimic the look of wood or ceramic but with a softer and warmer material. An acrylic-based grout can even be installed to create a true “tiled” appearance. That same grout is non-porous, and very stain resistant (no sealing of the grout) Brands like Metroflor, Armstrong, Mannington, and Tarkett represent the fastest growing segment of the flooring industry.

vinyl flooring GeneseoVinyl Sheet materials from Armstrong including our thickest vinyl sheet available, Cushionstep. Cushionstep is available in many designs and colors. It feels… well, “cushy” when walked on. A very comfortable flooring choice at a great value.

ceramic tile floorsCeramic Tile by Mannington, Paramount Ceramics, Interceramic, Daltile, and Jeffrey Court is available is a very wide variety of styles, colors and textures. Not just found in square shapes anymore, large tiles and plank-shaped styles have quickly become the more popular choices.

tile backsplashFloors are not the only surface you can tile. Tile in the backsplash of a kitchen or installed in bathroom showers can make a huge impact in a design. Let our staff help you select the tile and pattern for installation.

carpetCarpeting  from Dream Weaver, Southwind, Dixie Home, Phenix are available in so many styles and colors the possibilities are endless. Sculptured styles are quickly becoming a popular choice. Dixie Home uses what is called a “tip-shear” effect which uses a combination of loop and cut pile together like shown in the image above showcasing  “depth”.

Our staff is knowledgeable on the installation processes of every product we sell. Any questions you may have about what materials will be needed or installation layouts or designs can be answered here in the showroom or at your home at the time of measure.

pineCall or click today with any questions you may have. We look forward to helping your space look great from the floor up.

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.