Viking Training at the Middleby Residential Showcase Gallery

Some of the Village team was recently invited to train at the Viking Middleby Residential Showcase Gallery in Chicago, IL. We had an amazing day! If you are serious home chef and enjoy the process of cooking and baking then you need a Viking. Viking ranges are built to be used to the extreme. For an intimate dinner at home, or prepping to feed a massive family for a gathering, Viking has you covered. And we have great news Quad Cities area because Village Home Stores is home to the largest selection of showroom displays of Viking product in the region. Come see and touch these products in person and meet our expert team. We can help you decide which models are the perfect investment for your home.

Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates Viking products like the TurboChef wall oven in the Middleby Residential Chicago showroom
Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates Viking products like the TurboChef wall oven. Viking appliances available at Village Home Stores.

Chef Jaime Laurita was in the Viking Gallery to show us product in action. Chef Jaime was a dream because not only was he knowledgeable and passionate about the Viking product… he fed us incredible food all dang day! He was able to demonstrate techniques and features with the products as he worked in the kitchen. His past adventures include touring the world many times over with such acts as Sting, Aerosmith, Madonna, and many more. So you can imagine he had some great stories to share as we gathered around. Be sure to follow him here on Instagram to see more of his food, mood, and music adventures.

Chef Jaime Laurita pours some soup as he demonstrates Viking products in the Middleby Residential showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart.
Chef Jaime Laurita pours some soup as he demonstrates Viking products in the Middleby Residential showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart.

We saw so many exiting products during our day in the Viking Gallery and we wanted to be sure to highlight a few of them here in a blog recap. The first was a product that was honestly sitting right in front of us for about an hour or so before we realized what it even was. To a guest at this island, this appeared to be a crock on a trivet. In reality it was a movable induction system in action. A Viking undercounter induction system has been installed beneath the quartz countertops of this island. What I believed to be a trivet was instead the induction burner. That burner can be placed anywhere on induction plate and most importantly it can be removed altogether when not in use.

Undercounter induction warmer by Viking.
Undercounter induction warmer by Viking. Mounted underneath your counter and can be operated with remote and removable burner location.

What a dream for large or multi-island kitchen designs! Learn more about this undercounter induction system here on our website. Another fun product that was “undercover” of the counter is the U-Line in-counter wine chiller. For countertop surfaces at or near entertaining spaces we love this new option! It turns off and on with just a tap and even puts on a lightshow for you and your guests as it works.

Recess countertop wine chiller with colored lighting effects.
Recess countertop wine chiller with colored lighting effects. Available from Middleby Residential dealer Village Home Stores.

We had an incredible lunch but the cheesecake we had for dessert was what stole the show! Would you believe that Chef Jaime made this lemon blueberry cheesecake for us on a random Tuesday in November? I felt like we had just entered a pastry shop in Paris. That cheesecake crust? Amaretti cookies folks! Those sugar-dusted dehydrated lemons on top were even made that day.

Chef Jaime Laurita cheesecake topped with dehydrated lemons in the Viking showroom
Chef Jaime Laurita made us made us this incredible cheesecake in the Viking showroom and all we got was this lousy photo… and addicted to his cheesecake!

Dehydrating fruit like this is a step that would normally take 7-9 hours. It takes just minutes in the wall oven that Chef Jaime was using. How? It is a TurboChef Viking wall oven. TurboChef uses fast, forced hot air to get you incredible results in a fraction of the time you would normally need. Since it is turkey season let me give you and example: it can cook a 15 lb. bird with crisp skin in just 40 minutes. The ovens are available as the top oven of a double oven model or a single TurboChef wall oven.

TurboChef wall oven available from Viking uses fast, hot, forced air to get you quick and effective results. Available at Village Home Stores.
TurboChef wall oven available from Viking uses fast, hot, forced air to get you quick and effective results. Available at Village Home Stores.

Many customers assume because Viking is a commercial style cooking product, the ranges are intimidating to use. Please let us assure you they are not! Viking cooking appliances are honestly more straight-forward than many of the newer “connected” and touchscreen models from our other lines. Cooktops, grills, griddles, broilers, ovens, and more. Viking ranges are built to be an absolute workhorse for your household. We learned a lot about the Viking Range burner options and even saw Chef demonstrate how the same sealed brass burner that can give you super high BTUs can then be set to the gentlest simmer setting imaginable. He melted chocolate chips on it using a paper plate as the pan!

Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates the lowest setting of a Viking sealed burner with paper plate to melt chocolate chips.
Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates the lowest setting of a Viking sealed burner with paper plate to melt chocolate chips.

But if high heat is what you need Viking has it! If you have stopped by our showroom to see our Viking displays then you must have seen the favorite french door wall oven we have. This oven is not just our favorite, it’s a favorite of Good Housekeeping as well! They awarded it the “Best Baking Convection Oven in the Industry”! The fan in the back of this convection oven is massive. That fan alternates directions when in use for the best results. The broiler in this unit is an infrared glass broiler (shown below). It shines light through the glass to intensify the heat. And with no coil to splatter on, that means less flareups as well.

Viking infared broiler shines through glass to intensify heat. - villagehomestores.com
Viking infared broiler shines through glass to intensify heat.

The most unexpected Viking appliance we saw in the Gallery was a soil/hydroponic Undercounter Microgreen and Herb cabinet. This unit is has two 10″x20″ growing trays and a fully contained ecosystem ideal for growing herbs and micro greens at home. Digital touch screen controls are pre-programmed for most growing needs. This system is so effective the Viking Gallery is barely able to keep up harvesting the basil and microgreens they are growing.

Grow your own microgreens and herbs at home with the Viking undercounter micro green and herb cabinet.
Grow your own microgreens and herbs at home with the Viking undercounter micro green and herb cabinet. Available at Village Home Stores.

Imagine the benefits of a system like this allowing you to have fresh ingredients year round in the frigid Midwest! Fluorescent growing lights replicate the sun’s rays for you to get the best results and grow organic greens with superior flavor and the best nutrition. We also spent some time training with the entire Viking refrigeration line. From freestanding to flush built-in models and everywhere in between.

Grow your own microgreens and herbs at home with the Viking micro green and herb undercounter cabinet in Stainless Steel.

“What do we mean this thing is built to last? It’s built like an outdoor pop machine.”

-Middleby Team
Learning about Viking refrigeration in the Middleby Residential showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart
Learning about Viking refrigeration in the Middleby Residential showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart.

Well we can’t think of a better way to sell you on the parts and construction of these refrigerators than that! But rest assured that Viking refrigeration is built solid and built to preserve your food. Food preservation with the goal of an elongated shelf life for your fresh food purchases. Less food waste is always a good thing. How does it keep on task? The Plasmacluster system in the refrigerators ionize bacteria and mold spores in the air to remove odors and enhance food preservation.

The interior shelving of Viking refrigerators now also include Spillproof Plus shelves with Nano technology etching. What does that mean? The edges of your shelves are crafted to create an invisible barrier that contains spills. Liquids actually pool towards the center of the 3/8″ thick shelf and not over the edge making a mess of the whole interior. We were able to see and train on so many incredible Viking products from all of the available series.

Middleby Residential Viking showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart
Middleby Residential Viking showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart.

Middleby Residential is a luxury portfolio of products and Village Home Stores has access to this entire portfolio. While training with Viking we were able to see products from other lines like La Cornue, AGA, Marvel, U-Line, and Lynx. In the La Cornue showcase we saw a pretty special piece that grabbed our attention. A La Cornue range that is truly one-of-a-kind.

La Cornue range painted by artist Cyril Kongo in Middleby Residential showroom.
La Cornue range painted by artist Cyril Kongo in Middleby Residential showroom. Middleby brands available to the Quad Cities at Village Home Stores include Viking, La Cornue, Aga, Marvel and more.

This range was hand painted by Parisian street artist Cyril Kongo. What a statement it would make in any kitchen! This series of ranges were painted in celebration of La Cornue’s 110th anniversary. There were 6 ranges painted in this La Cornue x Kongo series. Learn more about the artist and this project here in an article published by Forbes.com.

La Cornue range painted by Parisian Street Artist Cyril Kongo.
La Cornue range painted by Parisian Street Artist Cyril Kongo.

Have questions about one of the products we mentioned in this post? Want a quote for your own Viking kitchen? Need some help using a feature on your existing Viking products? Need service for your existing Viking appliance? No matter your question, we are here to help! Just reach out to the expert appliance team at Village Home Stores. We are you Quad Cities region Viking experts. Call us at 309 944 1344, stop and see our extensive Viking showroom at 105 S State Geneseo, IL or contact us here online and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

phone number for Quad Cities area Viking showroom Village Home Stores 309 944 1344

Our 15 Promo-Priced Quartz Tops For 2019

Considering quartz countertops for your home? We have many options! Village Home Stores is always striving to help our customers gain access to quality products at a competitive price. We purchase from large buying groups and choose to work with brands that support our small business so that we can thank our loyal customers with a fair price as our everyday price. We also offer a Local Low Price Guarantee on products like appliances and flooring so that our customers can get a great price and the customer experience they have come to expect from our store since 1984. Our local stone fabrication company has partnered with us again to bring you a select group of engineered quartz countertops to choose from at highly-discounted prices.

Why Choose Quartz For Countertops?

Just because quartz is a man-made product doesn’t mean it isn’t a gorgeous and unique surface for your home! Quartz is a wonderful investment for a countertop in your home that looks great and performs great! It is scratch-resistant, foodsafe, and maintenance free! Because of it’s non-porous characteristics, there is never any sealing required. A non-porous surface also means a foodsafe surface for food prep and service. Many restaurants and commercial bakeries choose to have quartz installed for work surfaces for hygienic and durability reasons. If you have a busy kitchen and truly use your work surfaces, quartz may be the right surface for you! Please say hello to our fifteen Hanstone Quartz 2019 promo colors:

Choose From These 5 Quartz Tops at Just $59 /sq.ft. Installed!

For just $59 /sq.ft. you can have any of these colors installed in your home! Choose from Blackburn, Leaden, Rocky Shores, Tofino, or Victorian Sands Hanstone Quartz. Of course we would love to see new counters AND cabinetry in your home from Village Home Stores. So if you select one of the above colors and purchase the cabinetry for your project from us we will install your quartz at just $56 / sq.ft.

Choose From These 5 Quartz Tops at Just $69 /sq.ft. Installed!

For just $69 /sq.ft. you can have any of these colors installed in your home! Choose from Aspen, Brava Marfil, Fusion, Italian Waves, or Walnut Luster. Of course we would love to see new counters AND cabinetry in your home from Village Home Stores. So if you select one of the above colors and purchase the cabinetry for your project from us we will install your quartz at just $66 / sq.ft.

Choose From These 5 Quartz Tops at Just $79 /sq.ft. Installed!

For just $79 /sq.ft. you can have any of these colors installed in your home! Choose from Aura, Empress, Kindred, Montauk, or Yorkville. Of course we would love to see new counters AND cabinetry in your home from Village Home Stores. So if you select one of the above colors and purchase the cabinetry for your project from us we will install your quartz at just $76 / sq.ft. Please note that while there are three levels of pricing for our promo quartz colors, they are all the same great quality. The pricing is based upon design series and product availability, not durability. Our Village Home Stores kitchen and bath experts can help you select the right design for your overall concept.

Image via Hanstone Quartz. Shown: Kindred

What’s Included in a sq/ft Price For Quartz Tops?

Your sq/ft price from Village Home Stores includes template, fabrication, and installation of your tops. You may choose from an Eased, 1/2 Round, or Ogee standard edges. There will be no added installation charge, this is an installed price and includes a template to confirm correct dimensions for your countertops.  A standard undermount sink opening and faucet drilling are also included. Undermount sinks are recommended for quartz countertop installations because they give you a clean look that is easy to wipe clean from surface to the sink. Undermount sinks come in a variety of materials and design. For kitchen sink inspiration check out this ideabook we made on our Houzz page. Your salesperson at Village Home Stores will partner with our Quartz fabrication shop to communicate the sink model and faucet locations you have selected so that they can install your purchased sink to the tops at installation. 


Image via Hanstone Quartz. Shown: Empress

What Isn’t Included in The Price?

Cooktops, slide-in ranges, additional sinks, additional faucet holes, and outlet cut-outs available at an upcharge. This installed price does not include plumbing hook-up of sink or faucets. You must provide a drawing with measurements and a layout for a quote. All we need are a few basic measurements from you to quote you a price for your counters. Don’t worry, this is NOT what is used to fabricate your countertops. It is just enough information to answer our questions and get you an accurate sq.ft. quote for your space. 


Image via Hanstone Quartz. Shown: Yorkville

While this is an installed price, the removal of your existing tops must be arranged before template and installation dates. This can be quoted to you upon request. Existing countertops must be removed before template date. Once your template date has been arranged, you can expect just a one week turnaround time for your countertops! While we understand that being without countertops and a sink is an inconvenience, we have worked hard to narrow this timeframe down to a single week to help. Check out this past blog post about setting up a temporary kitchen and dishwashing station while you are waiting for your project to be completed.

If it is determined that an overhanging area of quartz surface requires support brackets, they can be quoted to you for an additional charge. We have many quartz countertop surfaces installed in our showroom displays as well as samples of each of these promo-priced options. Are you interested in getting a quote for one of these stunning quartz surfaces for your own home? Just reach out to our kitchen design team for a quote. You can call us at 309 944 1344 or complete this short online form and a team member will contact you about your project. You can grab a .pdf flier with all of these colors listed on it here. We can’t wait to hear what project you are working on!

Product Profile: Excelsior HE Laundry Detergent

Best-selling products don’t just get selected by our sales team, customers decide what they are. What you recommend to your close friends and family is out of our hands and typically those conversations happen outside of our store. One of our favorite phrases to hear from a new customer is “A friend of mine told me about your…” This could be in reference to a service like our remodel project management process or many times, it is a product. There is no better example of a buzz-worthy product than our HE detergent program at Village Home Stores. We have been selling Excelsior HE laundry detergent for nearly ten years. Because we also stock refills of this laundry soap, we get to see our laundry customers when they need more. You would be surprised how often we have someone stop in for a refill only to run into a friend in the store and ask “Do you use this stuff? It lasts forever!” There is no better endorsement than that!

My first box lasted 14 months!

-Heather Seei, Village Home Stores customer

Excelsior is 6x concentrated. That single box shown above holds 5L of detergent which translates to 333 loads! No that is not a typo, we mean three hundred and thirty three loads. It may sound cheesy to say the stuff sells itself but it’s a no-brainer! If you like saving money, protecting your investment in your machine, and hate carrying home a bottle of detergent every other week then this product is for you! Starter boxes are available and come with a bladder full of detergent, a box that can turn into a dispenser, a cup to help you measure liquid for your load, and a free enzyme-powered stain spray for pre-treating tough stains. When you purchase a new washing machine from Village Home Stores you can take $10 off your first box! Once you have that box and are ready for a refill, just come in and purchase a refill bladder and save yourself $10 again!

6 times concentrated HE Excelsior liquid laundry detergent available in starter packs and refills at Village Home Stores.
6 times concentrated HE Excelsior liquid laundry detergent available in starter packs and refills at Village Home Stores.

Does your washer kind of stink? Did you now that using the wrong laundry detergent (or too much of the right ones) can sometimes create odor? When we ask customers to show us how much detergent they use for a full load we find they are waaaaaaaay off! Where do you think that extra detergent goes? HE machines operate using less water and energy and are meant to use and cycle through recommended amounts of HE detergents. Anything more than the recommended amount may not clear out after a cycle and end up someplace inside of your machine. We know this because we also have an award-winning Appliance Service team at Village and they have seen the insides of many washing machines.

How Much HE Detergent Do You Use?

Excelsior HE liquid laundry detergent per load: 1 Tbsp. for HE machines, 2 Tbsp. for non-HE machines. Available at Village Home Stores.
Excelsior HE liquid laundry detergent per load: 1 Tbsp. for HE machines, 2 Tbsp. for non-HE machines. Available at Village Home Stores.

For a full load of laundry in an HE washing machine, you only need to load 1 Tbsp. of Excelsior detergent! Yes one! But does just a Tablespoon for a full load clean my clothes? You bet! There is a lot of power in this concentrated soap plus there is a bleach-free whitener and brighter built into it. Excelsior is an eco-conscious product as well! It is biodegradable and phosphate free! If you are purchasing expensive sensitive skin detergents, you are still purchasing fillers and added chemicals you don’t need. Consider a cleaner, safer option. You don’t have to have an HE machine to use Excelsior! If you are looking to save money on detergent and run a more cleaner product through your existing machine that isn’t an HE model, you can still use this detergent. Just instead add 2 Tbsp. per load.

Save money and keep your HE washing machine smelling and performing its best with Excelsior detergent. Available in starter packs and refills at Village Home Stores.
Save money and keep your HE washing machine smelling and performing its best with Excelsior detergent. Available in starter packs and refills at Village Home Stores.

We told you our customers endorse this product but another opinion you may value is that of our technicians. Remember how we mentioned they have seen the insides of many area washing machines. They also have smelled them. Yuck! The funny thing is, when I texted our service techs to send me a quote about why they recommend the product, they sent me back almost the exact same text. They each mentioned build up is what can make a service call for them pretty stinky and murky.

I recommend Excelsior because there are not all the additives that store-bought soaps have. All those additives plus the soil from your wash cycle build up inside your washer and cause odor.

-Jeff Gerber: Village Service Technician of 17+ Years

Now is the part of this blog post where we should warn you the next images are pretty nasty. Like…. very nasty. One of our technicians offered to send me some photos he had snapped recently at a call. He keeps this photos on hand to show customers what he means by build up. Two was enough to see and I had to beg him to stop sending anymore! So if you have a weak stomach please just scroll past this next image… or pretend it is brownie batter and this is just a fun recipe blog post!

A (gross) peek inside of some machines that have build-up from pod laundry detergents. Village Home Stores service department recommends instead HE Excelsior Detergent for your washer.
Actual photos from one of our service technicians give a (gross) peek inside of some machines that have build-up from pod laundry detergents.

Yeah… we wish that was brownie batter! It’s build-up from excess detergent. Let’s just say you should be thankful you can’t smell your phone or desktop screen right now and get the full effect. It must be noted also that these are not in areas that you can access to clean yourself. These photos were snapped during a service call when one of our techs had the unit opened up for repair. So if you have a service call from Jeff or David and they happen to make small talk about if you use our detergent or not, know that they are just curious what the inside of your machine might look (and smell like). Washing machines are an investment that you hope will last you a long time. Because Excelsior HE detergent has no added fillers, it is the cleanest detergent you can be running through your machine. That is why we don’t just call this a best-selling product but instead we list it on our website as a Servicer Recommended Product!

The best way to keep your HE washer smelling and performing its best? Village Home Stores service technicians recommend our 6x concentrated HE Excelsior Detergent.
The best way to keep your HE washer smelling and performing its best? Village Home Stores service technicians recommend our 6x concentrated HE Excelsior Detergent.

Yeah But With No Additives… Does it Clean?

Because our team and Excelsior HE detergent believe this is the cleanest detergent out there, they even offer a “No Stinky Washing Machine” guarantee! If you purchase a new washer and only run Excelsior through it they ensure you will never have smelly odors! Just use the Excelsior HE app to register. Once you register you can also qualify for their 30 day Love it/Adore it guarantee! You know what is also pretty amazing? The enzyme stain spray that comes in your starter box. This stuff is great for grass stains, mud, blood, and more! Excelsior Stain Remover spray works with enzymes to removes stains in the wash. Apply two sprays directly to stain, wait 5 minutes then wash as usual.

Excelsior Stain Remover spray works with enzymes to removes stains in wash. Available at Village Home Stores.
Excelsior Stain Remover spray works with enzymes to removes stains in wash. Apply two sprays directly to stain, wait 5 minutes then wash as usual.

Pre-Load up to 120 Loads With Load & Go!

If you love the idea of not having to rememeber to buy detergent for many months you are going to love a new feature on some of our Whirlpool and Maytag laundry machines. Truly “set it and forget it” by selecting one of the many new HE washing machines that include the Load&Go system. These cartridges can be pre-loaded with your detergent and your machine pulls exactly the right amount of soap at the perfect time in the cycle. You simply load the detergent and select the concentration level. NOTE: most HE detergents are just 2x concentrated, Excelsior should be set at 6x.

With the Load & Go system on select washers you can load up to 120 loads of our 6x concentrated Excelsior detergent. -villagehomestores.com
With the Load & Go system on select washers you can load up to 120 loads of our 6x concentrated Excelsior detergent.

We have many examples of this Load&Go system on the showroom floor we can show you. The team at Village Home Stores sells a wide variety of products. We are happy to stock items like refrigerator water filters, select light bulbs, cleaning products, and more. Partnering with Excelsior detergents allows us to be a local small business source for this great product. We are able to offer it at a very incredible price as a way of thanking our customers for supporting our store and our staff. Have a question about this soap? Call us at 309 944 1344 or stop in Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm or Saturdays from 9am-noon at 105 S State Geneseo, IL.

What We Saw At World of Whirlpool in Chicago

Village Home Stores sales team visits the World of Whirlpool facilities in Chicago IL for product training.

Last week we were invited to join a few other Illinois sales teams from small businesses like ours at the World of Whirlpool training facilities in Downtown Chicago, IL. Our commitment to ongoing product training is why our customers find such an added value in working with Village Home Stores. There are new features introduced all of the time and it is our passion to help you find the right appliances for your budget and your lifestyle. We also want to be available to help you use your new appliances confidently once you have them installed. Training events like this keep our team savvy and knowledgeable for you.

White and black kitchen with Sunset Bronze appliances in the World of Whirlpool experience center in Chicago, IL
The Village Home Stores team visited the World of Whirlpool experience for immersive appliance product training in Chicago, IL.

We try and send our team to product training 1-2 times a year but we have never experienced a training quite like the one we had last week! Two full days of hands-on product demonstrations and chances everywhere we went to use and experiment with the features we were learning about. Product training in the appliance industry is not just about learning what the new finishes and features are, tech in the kitchen has completely changed the game!

Smart Home And Connected Kitchen Tech

Village Home Stores team is excited to be on board with all of these exciting ways you can add tech to your own home kitchen experience. Scan-to-cook, voice control timers and settings, and ingredient recognition. These are not “kitchen of the future” terms, they are available right now! Many of the appliance models we trained on from Maytag, KitchenAid, and Whirlpool have “connected” features. Whirlpool has launched an entire line of connected appliance products and they had a huge kitchen setup installed for our team to explore and train with.

The Village Home Stores appliance team learning about the latest and greatest in smarthome appliances.
The Village Home Stores appliance team learning about the latest and greatest plus what’s to come with smarthome appliances.

I was really excited to train on and operate all of the new Whirlpool Smart Appliances. We learned so many ways they can help simplify our lives

-Tammy Clark, Appliance Expert at Village Home Stores
Tablet connected to smart appliances from Whirlpool
The Village Home Stores appliance team gets hands-on training with Whirlpool’s smarthome connected appliances.

Getting this hands-on training with models we don’t typically get to see and use is a priceless opportunity for our team. Connected appliances are new to everyone so we are just as intrigued and curious as you! The apps and screens on the appliances are all very easy to use and give you options for how you are guided to use them. You can even favorite recipes and settings so that your appliances can adapt to you personally and help to simplify your life.

Hands-On Appliance Training

Chef Ann Nolan teaches some of our team how easy it is to use and clean the chrome-infused griddles on our KitchenAid products.
Chef Ann Nolan teaches some of our team how easy it is to use and clean the chrome-infused griddles on our KitchenAid products.

Resident Chef for Whirlpool brands Ann Nolan trained us on the chrome-infused griddles found on our KitchenAid commercial-style cooking products. We learned about the many benefits of this even-heat griddle including how easy it is to clean. There is no “seasoning” to worry about and we saw first hand that the non-porous surface cleans up very easily! Have a chrome-infused griddle from us? Check out this quick video Chef Ann made showing you the steps to clean it up easily.

Chef Ann Nolan teaching how to clean the griddle surface after use.
Chef Ann Nolan teaches some of our team how easy it is to clean the griddle surface after use.

Wall Ovens Guaranteed to “FIT”

Our team trained heavily on freestanding ranges and wall ovens beginning with a refresh of the FIT System Install Guarantee. Did you know that with the FIT system you can replace your existing 27″ or 30″ wide wall ovens and Whirlpool guarantees it will fit in your existing opening!? That is some valuable piece of mind when shopping. We had a chance to install a wall oven using the versatile FIT brackets and trim kit just to try it out!

A group training with the FIT system risers and trim kits for wall oven installs
The FIT system for wall ovens. This system of trim kits and risers guarantee that replacement wall ovens in standard 27″ and 30″ widths will work in existing openings.

Ice, Ice, Baby!

My favorite part of training was the undercounter icemaker. It was cool to see the difference between ice from that versus an ice dispenser in a refrigerator. Also, the pizza was awesome.

-Seth Owen, Appliance Expert at Village Home Stores
Row of undercounter appliances from KitchenAid installed in a kitchen island.
For those who love to cook and entertain, KitchenAid offers a wide variety of undercounter appliances. Beverage coolers, icemakers, and even drawer refrigeration units.

The pizza Seth is referencing was our off-site event for the evening. The Whirlpool Corporation took us on a Chicago Pizza Tour and it was an absolute dream! If you are looking for a fun and unusual way to see the city, (and if you can throw down on at least 2 lbs. of pizza in a few hours), we highly recommend it! But back to that icemaker Seth was talking about. Who wouldn’t love restaurant quality ice in your own home? Doesn’t that sound amazing? Ice is the only element you can add to something that elevates the experience without altering the flavor! They showed us what a different Clear Ice can make! Press play below to see this fun exercise we did comparing Clear Ice to regular ice from the freezer:

The KitchenAid Clear Ice in these undercounter models produce the most preferred ice in the industry! These icemakers are available in 15″ and 18″ wide models and they come backed by a 2 year warranty. They can be ordered panel-ready to give a built-in look for your kitchen design and the articulating door hinge allows it to be installed flush with the cabinetry and not stick out. We had some extensive cooktop training on both gas and induction cooktops which led to a very important training topic: ventilation!

KitchenAid Ultra Power Dual-Flame Burner showing flame location on pan.
KitchenAid Ultra Power Dual-Flame Burner showing flame location on pan.

Kitchen Ventalation

Are you a serious home chef? Have you ever burned something in the kitchen? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you know how important kitchen ventilation is. Proper ventilation can help you filter heat, odor, grease, and smoke from your cooking space. A great new feature just launched is the Auto Turn On option on some vent hoods. This allows you to take the guesswork out of when to use your hood because it will just turn on when needed. We were blown away by this demo we experienced showcasing ventalation options from the KitchenAid Commercial line. Press play below to see some boosted vent power:

That is a 20 lb. cabinet door and just a 600CFM hood!!! Not even the most powerful hood we have available. Have questions about how much CFM power you need? Our team will work with you to pair your cook surface’s BTU’s and consider the location and your cooking habits when helping you select the right ventilation investment for your kitchen. A few months ago we met Chef Ann Nolan in Nashville and she was showcasing a brand new product on the EXPO floor of that show. Last week we were able to dive into more detailed training for it.

KitchenAid SmartOven+ with Powered Attachments

Wall oven with KitchenAid Smart Oven+ and Powered Attachments
The KitchenAid Smart Oven+ and Powered Attachments. Shown stacked to store inside of the oven cavity.

The KitchenAid SmartOven+ with Powered Attachments is one of the most exciting new appliance products we have seen in years! This wall oven can be used for standard baking and convection baking… but plug one of these powered attachments in and you have the ability to crisp, steam, and even grill in your wall oven! If you love the cooking process this wall oven will take your time in the kitchen to a whole new level. Imagine steaming an entire meal in a single pan, or making 3 racks or ribs any time of the year!?! There are even pre-programmed recipes in the wall oven to encourage you to experiment with your new attachments and they guide you through the entire process. You can even set a “flip” reminder for your burgers! You can read more about the SmartOven+ and see Chef Ann grilling with it here in a past blog post.

Matte Black KitchenAid mixer shown with many front attachments.
What inspired the new Smart Oven system from KitchenAid with powered attachments? The front port KitchenAid mixer of course!

One thing we learned last week that really stuck with us about this wall oven product is the inspiration for it. The KitchenAid stand mixer is iconic. Not just within the Whirlpool brands of products, but in kitchens across the globe. What makes the stand mixer successful and has kept it relevant all of these years is the ability to add new and exciting attachments to any mixer base. The front port of a stand mixer (see above) can transform to suit so many tasks. That same concept was what drove the design of the port for the powered attachments of this SmartOven+ unit. The base “plugs” into the back of the wall oven and you stack whatever attachment you are using on top. A gravity-close cover seals the opening when an attachment isn’t in use.

Some KitchenAid Smart Oven+ Powered Attachments have sloped backs for utensils to push against edge without losing ingredients off the side.
Some KitchenAid Smart Oven+ Powered Attachments have sloped backs for utensils to push against edge without losing ingredients off the side.

Another exciting thing about this product is that KitchenAid included Chef Ann in the conversation while developing this product! She was able to make design notes and suggestions (like the sloped back wall of the grill pan and baking stone for utensil use) and she even developed the recipes programmed into the unit! Do you love being the first in your family or neighborhood to have fun and exiting new things but worry they will become outdated? Don’t worry here! Any powered attachment KitchenAid launches moving forward will work with this wall oven unit. And yes, there are others in the works!

Matte black KitchenAid gas range in Imperial Black finish installed in an on trend kitchen with open shelves and copper accents.
Matte black KitchenAid gas range in Imperial Black finish.

The entire facility at World of Whirlpool was absolutely incredible. Both days we were treated to a chefs tasting 3 course lunch all prepared in the test kitchens on site. There were so many beautiful displays and believe it or not, we didn’t even see everything there even after two days of training! We don’t want to share every single detail from our trip because we will be unpacking some of these things in more detail on upcoming episodes of the Village Home Show.

Seth and Tammy explore the Maytag test kitchen at World of Whilpool in Chicago, IL
Seth and Tammy explore the Maytag test kitchen.

Our team also trained on Maytag products, all brands of dishwashers, refrigeration, baking drawers, the new low-profile microwaves, laundry products and more! See and learn more about the low-profile microwave hoods here in a past blog post. Tammy even got to snap a selfie with the Maytag Man!

Tammy poses with the Maytag Man at the selfie station.

We trained on Whirlpool and Maytag laundry products and even saw the single unit Smart All-In-One Washer/Dryer from Whirlpool! This slim, ventless unit can be installed almost anywhere! Think how amazing it would be to wash a load right in your master closet! Learn more and shop this model here at villagehomestores.com

Maytag front-load laundry pair on pedestals installed in a farmhouse inspired laundry room with subway tile and a farm sink
Maytag front-load laundry pair on pedestals installed in a farmhouse inspired laundry room. Maytag appliances available to the Quad Cities region with our Local Low Price Guarantee at Village Home Stores.

The building where World of Whirlpool us located is a landmark in itself! The Reid Murdoch Building is a historic and important building in the river-facing skyline of Downtown Chicago. We got a tour of the top clocktower one sunny afternoon and the views were amazing! It was such a busy and informative training trip but we had such a great group to train with! It is always so much fun to meet teams from stores just like ours who value the customer experience and seek to provide the best service and products for their neighbors.

A view of the Reid Murdoch Building and a look inside the Whirlpool Clocktower room and terrace on top.
A view of the Reid Murdoch Building and a look inside the Whirlpool Clocktower room and terrace on top.

The training and hospitality we were given from the Whirlpool Corporation was top-notch. We can’t thank them enough for including our store in this training opportunity. It is our honor to continue to earn our title of the Quad Cities Regional experts on appliances. If you are shopping for appliances and are not quite sure what is right for you, reach out to our team! There are hundreds of products out there and we can help you narrow your options down to what is right for you and your budget. If you have questions or would like for one of our team members to prepare a quote for you, just complete this short form online and we will be in touch. We can’t wait to hear what you are working on!

Appliance staff training at World of Whirlpool

LED-ing The Way With Undercabinet Lighting Options

PRODUCT PROFILE: LED Undercabinet Lighting

We mention our undercabinet lighting systems all of the time on our TV show and in just about every single featured kitchen posted here on the blog. The truth is, it has been a long while since we gave undercabinet lighting its own proper “shout out” with a product profile. You will quickly find out when you work with us, that we consider undercabinet lighting a key element to any complete kitchen project with our team. Apologies in advance if our team seems repetitive as we ask you over and over during our bidding process about it. We just want to be sure we can give you the best end result for your project. With baseball season beginning last week, we thought it would be appropriate to more properly introduce our own “ace” in any project with Village Home Stores, our Diode LED tape light system.

Diode tape LED undercabinet lighting system. Perfect for undercabinet, in cabinet or other uses. Contact a lighting expert at Village Home Stores for an estimate.

This system has a low profile, is energy efficient, long-lasting, and extremely versatile. Truly an MVP product worth investing in and including in your project budget! This is because it adds so much depth AND function to your space. You get the “wow” factor with a stunning wash of lighting in your space plus ideal task lighting day and night. Truth is, we have never really encountered a customer who regrets including undercabinet lighting for their project budget. We have also found that this is one of the most mentioned products suggested when we have past remodel customers recommend our team and our process to their friends.

LED tape Diode undercabinet lighting system installed with a low profile beneath a kitchen cabinet. Design and product from Village Home Stores.

This is an LED light, which gives you a more powerful light with dimming capabilities that will last longer. The tape light is UL Listed and NEC compliant to be field-cuttable plus many more certifications ensuring it meets many inspections and codes. The low profile of the strip of lights allow you to really think creatively as to where to add light to your space. We have installed this product underneath cabinets, on top of them, inside of them, and even back-lit mirrors (see below) and our store’s sign at the front desk. The end result is a concealed, consistent wash of light that truly showcases your surfaces for task and ambient lighting. Have a unique idea about something that could use some low-profile lighting? Ask our team because we love a challenge!

Custom backlit mirror with Diode LED tap lighting. Design and product from Village Home Stores

I love that this is a slim product that you can’t see once installed. It lets you see without being seen itself.

-Natasha, Lighting Expert at Village Home Stores

This 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 most of the a day for 25 years or more before needing to replace any lights. So you can leave these lights on as much as you would like and see little energy use because of the low wattage used. It also comes with an industry-leading 5 year warranty!

What Do You Need To Install It?

This is not a DIY quick-fix, system that will stop working a year later. This system is installed and wired in by an expert electrician so you will need the correct items for your space. You will need the strips of tape light and the transformer to power the tape since it is 12V system. If you are wanting to dim your undercabinet lights, you will need an LED dimmer. Your transformer gets wired to your switch or outlet. Finally, you will need connector cables. You will need to connect your tape to the transformer with a connector cable. These connectors will also allow you to jump the power over a stove or sink (whatever the case may be) and hook to another run of tape light. Your estimate and supplies will depend on your project size and also the layout of what we are lighting. An expert at Village can help to get you an accurate estimate.

Available In A Wide Color Temp Range!

LED Diode tape lighting systems available in a variety of color temperatures. Ask the Quad Cities lighting experts at Village Home Stores for an estimate.

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 Diode system can be used in commercial applications like restaurants or bars but also in creative ways inside and outside of your home. 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 a Diode LED “Wet Location” system? There is even one series that is fully-submersible for pools, ponds, and water features.

Wet location LED tape Diode lighting installed in an outdoor kitchen and bar area. Design and product from Village Home Stores.

A Modular Undercabinet System:

Have you ever gone to plug in something in your kitchen and the outlet was just out of reach? Did you know we have a modular undercabinet lighting system that would allow you to pop one in right where you need it? This Legrand system of switches, outlets, lighting, charging stations, even speakers is as unique as you! All of these elements and more can be moved around as you need them. Press play below to learn more and see it in action:

What a versatile system! New features for this system are introduced all the time making it the perfect way you can keep your savvy kitchen up to date with the latest tech. We especially love how the use of this system keeps the backsplash area completely clear of any wall outlet or switch plates. That allows you a full surface to showcase the great wall surface you have selected from our store.

LED tape Diode lighting installed behind the Village Home Stores from desk sign. This low-voltage lighting is an efficient lighting solution for store signage.

We want you to love your kitchen. We hope that you think of our team and smile every time you flip on the switch and see it illuminated so well. If 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. Not sure what products are right for you? Questions are encouraged! Especially in this new and exciting era of connected and smart home tech for our lighting products.

We have many examples of this Diode LED system and the tracked/ modular system installed and on display in our showroom. Stop by and see us at 105 S State Street in Downtown Geneseo or call at (309) 944-1344 for an appointment. You can also start the estimating process or shoot us a quick message here at this link. We can’t wait to hear what you are working on.

Phone number for lighting store near Quad Cities. 309 944 1344 Village Home Stores