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.

Unexpected Upgrades: Kathy’s Free Granite Tops

 

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!

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.

Selecting Your Material at Epic Stone LLC

 

You have decided to invest in beautiful stone countertops… now what?

Epic Stone in DavenportThe good news is that selecting your stone can be a fun part of the process. Village Home Stores is not going to send you on an epic journey to Chicago or Des Moines to select your stone, instead we will send you to Epic Stone in Davenport, IA. We are so very lucky to have such a large selection of materials without a long drive to see them. Epic Stone, LLC is the warehouse that our countertop fabricators purchase the material from for your project. They open their warehouse to our customers so that you are able to select the exact slabs of stone your tops are made from.

Shopping for granite in the Quad CitiesWhat should you have with you when you visit Epic Stone? It is best to come prepared with whatever you have available for your project. Backsplash and flooring samples, cabinet stains, or other important finishes that may help you select your stone. Epic will ask  your designer’s information so that material amounts and fabricator information can be included on a tag once you have selected your stone. Your designer will be able to tell you how many slabs of material your project requires. You do not need to have your kitchen or bathroom layout with you.

Keeping an open mind as you walk the aisles is most important. Bring a camera or have you smartphone or tablet ready to take pictures of favorites and labels during your visit. There are so many stones to choose from. You are able to browse a gallery on their website and following them on Facebook gets you immediate news of new materials coming in.

what do granite price categories mean

As you make your way around the warehouse at Epic you will notice each stack of slabs are labeled. There are three important elements to these labels to make note of:

  • The Name of the stone is important to note as some colors have many variations of the same name and this may change the price and color if the wrong name is given. The label shown above indicated that we were looking at a slab of “Super White Brushed” “Brushed” is important to note in this case because these slabs of “Super White” are not a polished, glossy stone and are priced a full category higher because of the “Brushed” finish.
  • A price category is indicated in the bottom right hand corner of the label. Categories range from 1 on up to the high teens. The lower the number, the lower the cost. Your salesperson at Village will get the full estimate together for you, they just need to know what category you have selected.
  • Another element to the material labels is the origin of your stone. This is what makes natural stone so amazing and unique. The stone slabs you see at Epic are mined throughout the world. How wonderful will it be when someone visiting your home asks what the name of your stone is and you can reply with a name and location from where it came?

granite warehouse in davenport, iaEpic Stone, LLC is located at the bottom of North Division Street, in the former Franks Foundries complex. The warehouse is a gigantic warehouse of stone slabs, so it is cold in the winter months and can get very hot in the summer. Dress prepared for the current temperature. While they have open hours, it is always best to call ahead to make an appointment. This makes your time spent at Epic more focused. Materials change so frequently so making an appointment also gives you the opportunity to ask if colors you are considering are there.

Epic Stone QC hoursIf you are just starting the process of shopping for granite or marble countertops for your home, your first step is to contact a designer at Village Home Stores. You can do this via our website or call us at (309) 944-1344. Your designer will walk you through the process from estimating to installation. We have selected the best fabricators in the area who are experts in their field of manufacturing, installing, and seaming your tops. Maintenance of natural stone tops is minimal and we wrote a short post about it here for your reference.

Natural stone is a fantastic choice and a material that is timeless and rich in history. With Village Home Stores and Epic Stone, LLC your stone countertops will look great for years to come.

Marble Institute of America

Checklists for Remodeling or Building a Kitchen With Village Home Stores

SQPrepWe want your building or remodel project to be such a positive experience you can’t help but tell everyone that you know how easy the whole process was. How can we make sure this is the end result? At Village Home Stores we believe that main ingredient to a successful project comes from communication. That communication begins in the early stages of the planning phases and continues until you are enjoying your morning coffee in your new space.

SelectionSelection:

Selecting and confirming materials and product details is key to avoid delaying a project down the line. Confirming a countertop material for instance, is only part of that process. What edge profile will be on that countertop and are there finish options? Will your countertops be heavy enough that an overhang will require a support bracket? What about sink and faucet information? Answering these questions early on allows no surprises or unexpected material costs to be added on later once the project has started.

Built-in appliances can sometimes come with many additional costs to be considered. Decorative hardware is required for built-in appliances and should be larger in scale and suit the weight and specifications of the appliance. An allowance for cabinet decorative hardware is included in your project estimate. This is allowance is figured per door/drawer and based on $3 each.  Custom panels will also be required and can come with a significant price tag. Communicate with your designer early on when you are considering or have selected a panel-ready appliance. This way these added costs can be included with your cabinet totals the entire estimating process.

Download the following pdf checklists that pertain to your project or ask your designer for a copy in your initial in-store meeting.

Kitchen Remodel Checklist Page 1 and Page 2  Bathroom Remodel Checklist  

New Construction Checklist Page 1 (print mulitple) Page 2 Lighting Page 1 and Page 2

AccessAccess:

Access to the jobsite is very important to keep your project on schedule and going smoothly. Discuss with our Project Manager or your Designer how crews will be able to get into your home. Lockboxes are available if you are unable to be present during all scheduled parts of your process. Dialog about pets and after-school schedules of children may also be needed to assure your entire family has a positive experience. Village Home Stores expects all employees and subcontractors to treat a home as it were their very own. Access to a working power source, parking for crews and delivery vehicles, and a usable workspace in garage or designated area should also be discussed. Nobody wants things piling up in their home. Discuss where materials will be disposed of as well. This varies depending on size and scale of your project.

“It was so fun coming home each day and seeing the progress that was made” –Lauren (Rock Island, IL)

Access to information is important as well. If your project is not part of our Project Management program you may want to create a jobsite binder of your own. Schedules, an up-to-date layout, design drawings, appliance specs and all other details can be kept here and should be easy for all crews to access.

SuppliesSupplies:

The same can be said about finishing materials and supplies. Access is needed to these as well. A painter may be scheduled for your project but if they arrive and there is no paint for them at the job site, it may delay the schedule and push your finished date forward. Products and items purchased from Village Home Stores will be delivered and distributed via our project manager or your salesperson. If you purchase items for your project outside of our store you will need to make sure they make it to the job site. Review your Selection Checklist and make sure all items you are providing are ready and available.

ScheduleSchedule:

If all of your bases have been covered during the beginning stages of planning and purchasing, a schedule for your project should move along seamlessly. As anyone knows, there are always uncontrollable issues that can arise to delay a project. Planning ahead helps you avoid any issue with all of the controllable factors. Actively participating in this planning process will make your overall experience as pleasant as possible. 

 

But What If I’m Doing The Work Myself?

That is absolutely fine. Village Home Stores can do as little or as much as you would like us to. If you have your own crews you are planning on using or if perhaps you are the crew, here are some helpful tips to keep you on track:

Hold on to any hardware (i.e. grates and covers) you remove during demo until the project is complete. Especially in old homes, some things you plan on running to the hardware store to replace may in fact be unavailable or more expensive than expected. Many times baseboard from the space gets removed and disposed of by accident or perhaps a piece gets damaged during demo. A great place to find trim within your own house that you can be assured matches in profile and stain is the interior of a closet.
Ask any questions about your plan before beginning. If you do not understand a part of your working drawings or if you need help making sense of any of the product when it arrives, call your designer. When it comes time for one of our crews to work at your job you need to have it ready. Plumbing should be cut back and capped for cabinet install. You want the smallest opening cut out in your new sink base cabinet so have all shut offs and anything widening the space removed for installation.

We are enthusiastic about projects going as smoothly as possible. We do this every day but we understand it is not something you go through often. Our goal at the end of each day is to make your dream space a reality. Doing quality work right the first time around requires skilled craftsmen and planning ahead. Give us a call today to get started!

15 Must-Have Items For Your Temporary Kitchen During a Remodel

Remodeling a kitchen is a process. During that process you will need a temporary kitchen to prep and clean in. How can you keep the essentials handy for your day-to-day life? You set up a temporary kitchen! This can be located in a dining room, living room or even a corner of the kitchen itself. Village Home Stores suggests these 15 must-have items for your temporary kitchen during a remodel. Print off your own checklist of these items here

15 Must-Have Items For Your Temporary Kitchen During a Remodel:

The best small appliances for your temporary kitchen

1. Decide what small appliances best fit the lifestyle of your family. Choose appliances that can be used for multiple tasks. A toaster oven may become your new favorite small appliance. Many are available with convection features and interior capacities that will make it possible to prepare many different meals. Take note that these ovens can get very hot in the areas surrounding them. Keep the space clear and avoid stacking items on top. Crock pots, rice-cookers, and countertop grills can each be used and stored off-site in another room. You can still prepare meals at home without eating out every day. Follow our Pinterest board of recipes to enjoy during your remodel.

2. No immediate access to water? Keep a bottle of anti-bacterial gel accessible for you and the crew. Stop germs from spreading without needing running water.

3. While they can be very wasteful to use regularly, using “disposable” products during your remodel can be a great way to keep dirty dishes from piling up. When cleared off properly, many can even be recycled. Plastic utensils and cups can even be washed and reused. Just be aware that certain plastics should not be heated up to high heats and reused for food service.

4. Keep a roll of paper towels handy. Some snacks and meals can even be prepped and served on a paper towel (no judgement from us if we catch you eating a slice of pizza off of a paper towel). Be excited to know that in just a few weeks you will be cooking a gourmet meal in your brand new kitchen.

5. For quick meal prep, reheating leftovers, and even warming up coffee, a microwave really is a necessity. If you do not have a portable model microwave, consider borrowing one or purchasing an inexpensive one that can later be sent with a child to college or moved to a basement bar or “man Cave” area. Village Home Stores keeps many countertop model microwaves in stock so ask your design team about our options.

Life goes on in your home no matter what state the kitchen is in. Busy families, single adults, and empty-nesters all create dirty dishes. When they do start to pile up we recommend to set up a dish-washing station.

Set Up a Dish Washing Station:

DishWashingStation

6. Not having a running kitchen sink and faucet is probably one of the largest inconveniences during a remodel. Find a large plastic tub that will act as your sink during this time. If you do not have another running sink nearby, make sure your tub fits nicely in the closest bathtub you have. If you are preparing a meal at home, we suggest filling this tub with warm, soapy water and adding dirty dishes as they are used.  This gives them time to soak as you prep the meal and will mean less time scrubbing in the bathtub later on.

7. Of course you will need a bottle of dish detergent. Keep it nearby whatever water source you are using.

8. Set up an area for drying clean items. Find a drying mat or rack that does not take up too much space and fits the dishes you do plan on using often.

9. Using a dish scrubbing brush that also dispenses detergent can eliminate the need for a sponge at all in your dish-washing station.

Where Should It Be Located?

We have seen many temporary kitchens set up throughout the many years we have been remodeling kitchens. Some of the most innovative locations we have seen use existing furniture or spaces already accessible near the kitchen. Do you already have a buffet or built-in bookcase? Consider these spaces first before unfolding a large camping table for your temporary kitchen. If you find an existing space you may only need a small cart in addition to that. Always seek out a location that is outside of any masked off areas from the jobsite.

Keep a Command Center:KitchenCommandCenter

10. Establish a command center for your family and even the crews. Keep a notebook and writing utensils available for notes and lists. Project information should also be in this location. Village Home Stores will give you a project binder with schedules, specs and up to date plans to be kept on-site. If you have a busy household, create an  “Action File” for papers and piles to stay organized. This is a great addition to your temporary kitchen command center and may even find its way into your permanent one. Here you can keep bills, incoming mail, school papers, schedules, and paperwork that may normally end up piled on a kitchen counter.

11. Borrow a shelf or two. Relocating a few boxes of books or movies can clear off enough shelf space for pantry items and even some small appliances. If you have set up a folding table, large tubs or bins below can be used for pantry storage. Always have trash bags and lunch packing items handy by the pantry area as well.

12. A coffeepot is absolutely a must-have item for most customers. Just remember this part of your temporary kitchen does not need to be near the rest. Reduce clutter and free up counter space by setting up your coffeemaker in the master bathroom or even a home office.

13. Find an all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle that you can keep on hand. This can be used to clean work surfaces and even appliances as they may get dusty during the remodeling process. All-purpose cleaning wipes can be fantastic as well for quick clean up.

14. Running water and a clear work surface are as desirable as available outlets in your temporary kitchen. By using a power strip for your small appliances you can gain surge protection and access extra receptacles for charging devices.

15.The most important item of course is patience. Being torn up for a short period of time is always worth it once you can enjoy your new finished kitchen space. Patience truly is a “Must-Have Item” when remodeling. Just remember that the project is only temporary. Soon you will have a new space to enjoy.

We wish things could happen overnight like they seem to do on television, but in reality these things take time. Our Project Management Program allows us to use your time most efficiently and get your new kitchen up and running as quickly as possible. Be sure to check out our board on Pinterest full of great tips and examples of temporary kitchen.  If you are reading this post because you are about to start a project with us we thank you so much for your business! We can’t wait to have your new kitchen up and running as soon as we are able to. If you are still in the research phase of a remodel feel free to contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our expert kitchen designers. We can’t wait to hear what you are working on. Your first step is to contact us and start the conversation. Complete this short form or call us at (309) 944-1344Village_phone_number