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

Product Profile- Craft Art Wood Surfaces

There has been a lot of anticipation in the showroom this week as we had a mysterious new countertop arrive carefully packaged and wrapped. And now… the reveal of a brand new product available to our customers: Craft Art Wood Surfaces for your home! These wood tops are absolutely stunning in person and nearly impossible not to walk up and touch. When we say you need to come in to see and feel this product we mean it. Just a reminder that you never have to have an appointment to wander out showroom. We love it when downtown shoppers come in just to browse the displays. Craft Art wood tops available to the Quad Cities Region from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

We couldn’t wait to pair our new “Charcoal Blue” Koch painted island with this perfect farmhouse-inspired product for the display. Available in  variety of woods, finishes, and edge profiles (1/2″ bevel shown below). These striking wood countertops warm any space up!Wood butcherblock tops available to the Quad Cities Region from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

Our display is a warm, rich walnut wood in it’s natural finish. But how does it get that luster? A crosslinked Tung Oil finish is applied. This is how your tops get the look of furniture but the performance you need for countertops. The Tung Oil penetrates the wood so that moisture can’t. The finish in the wood prevents moisture from getting underneath the surface. This makes your wood tops more durable, more resistant to household chemicals, and easier to clean. Craft Art wood surfaces available to the Quad Cities Region from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

Something you will notice right away if you have been shopping for wood tops is that the boards in your top are not broken up or scrapped together. Craft Art uses full length boards for their wood islands and butcherblock tops. Never remnants. These tops are also food safe because of the finish process. That makes them safe to use as a food prep area. Need an expert endorsement? Rachel Ray has had Craft Art wood tops in her set kitchens and she uses them to cut, prep, and serve her dishes. She certainly isn’t gong to have time on her show to be worried about spills, stains, or messes. And you know it still looks camera ready after an oiling.  Any surface imperfections or scratches from use can be easily sanded out. Wood countertop surfaces for your home from the kitchen and bath experts at Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

How much maintenance does “Low Maintenance” mean? All that is required for upkeep of these heirloom-quality tops is to re-oil them monthly. No more work that wiping them clean after use really. Dozens of woods to choose from including Black Walnut, Sapele Mahogany, Zebrawood, Reclaimed Chestnut, Wenge, and many more.  

There are many woods, finishes and even edges to choose from for your project and imagine how much texture and variety this project can bring to a complete kitchen design. Take a look at this gorgeous dining tabletop we installed in a Bettendorf, Iowa home: Custom countertops and wood tables. | villagehomestores.com

This product is a wonderful addition to two-tone designs and kitchen islands lending themselves to a more furniture look. A smooth, rounded bullnose edge, or choose from a variety of ogee edges (shown above) and even an on-trend faux live edge option (shown below on Driftwood Walnut). Wood countertop surface with faux raw edge available in a variety of woods and finishes from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

Not limited to just kitchens, consider this product for your home office, bar, or other spaces. At Village Home Stores we work hard to curate a list of products and services that match the quality our customers have come to expect from us. We have had many requests for a wood top product like this and are thrilled it is now available for our projects. This product also has many sustainable/green options available. Many are even LEED certified materials.
Wood butcherblock tops available in a variety of woods and finishes from Village Home Stores. | VillageHomeStores.com

While we mentioned before you don’t need an appointment to browse, if you are wanting a quote or any questions answered, we do recommend that you call ahead to be sure we have a design available for you. You can find our store downtown Geneseo, IL at 105 S State Street Monday-Fridays from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 9am-noon. Call us at 309-944-1344 , email us at info@villagehomestores.com or complete this online contact form with any questions for our Kitchen Design team.

“Depth” of Knowledge- Counter VS. Standard Depth Refrigeration

As we work on a kitchen design with a customer, there are many questions to be answered. Questions from you about options and what comes next, plus many questions from our design team involving preference and need as we work through our process. During the design and selection stage of a project however, there will be some questions that do leave this team at a brief crossroads until a decision is made. One key detail questions you may hear early on from us is “will you be including a standard or counter-depth refrigerator in the new kitchen?”

Example of a standard depth refrigerator installed in a Quad Cities kitchen. | VillageHomeStores.com
Don’t worry if this detail isn’t something that was even on your radar until just now (standard model shown above). There is no one single industry standard for refrigerator depth. The only definite factor is refrigerators are getting deeper and taller as the demand for maximum storage increases.  For decades and decades, counter-depth refrigerators were only available in extremely high-end and built-in situations. Example of a standard depth refrigerator projecting into the kitchen. | VillageHomeStores.com

This is no longer the case. The cleaner, more customized look of a counter-depth refrigerator makes it the most desired look for kitchen designs. This demand has made manufacturers respond with counter-depth models coming in at a variety of price points. If the phrase “counter-depth” has you seeing dollar signs, don’t worry! There may be a counter-depth model that does fit within your appliance budget! But does your design demand it?Example of a counter depth refrigerator installed in a kitchen. | VillageHomeStores.com

So What Are The Differences In Refrigerator Depths?

Refrigerator depth doesn’t seem like that large of a detail when you first consider it. In kitchen design every fraction of an inch needs to be considered. That is the case for cabinetry solutions as well as the appliance package included. The kitchen below showcases a standard depth refrigerator installed. Example of a standard depth refrigerator installed in a Quad Cities kitchen. | VillageHomeStores.com

This design above warrants no need for a counter-depth and the look is still magazine-cover worthy. Of course a counter-depth model would have looked great! Just less of the sides, or “cabinet” of the unit would show. Let’s discuss now some of those key differences between standard and counter-depth models:

  • Standard could mean the unit “sticks out” an extra 4″ or more into the kitchen. That could be noticeable in some designs and even restrict a walkway in others.
  • Cubic foot capacity will always be a main feature difference. A model that boasts the largest cubic footage of storage space will most certainly never fall into a counter-depth category.
  • Counter-depth models have limited water and ice options. Limited interior space means that some water and ice features are best suited for standard-depth models. We will discuss the topic later in this post.
  • Price used to be one of the main differences in upgrading to a counter-depth feature. Price isn’t necessarily as big of a difference as it used to be. Now many counter-depth models fit within the same price category as high-featured standard depth models.

If I Choose a Counter-Depth Model What Can I Expect?

Of course newer standard-depth models will always offer the latest and greatest in storage solutions and features. Now as more counter-depth models are introduced, many of those same features are being included in models as they are launched. This means that all of the best features and benefits are not limited only to standard-depth models. refrigerator

In fact many times innovation is pushed forward to meet the challenge of a counter-depth model.  The issue of an in-door ice unit being so large it takes up nearly 1/3 of the fresh food storage space has lead to the need to streamline the design. Now the smaller, compact units are included in standard and counter-depth models alike! Some counter-depth models may replace an in-door option with an icemaker in the lower freezer and interior water dispenser above (shown below).Example of an internal water dispenser in refrigerator. | VillageHomeStores.com

Side by side refrigeration is no longer the most desired layout for storage so most of the newer models launching are French door units with a bottom freezer.  While it isn’t the best storage layout for most lifestyles, side-by-side counter-depth refrigerators remain to be the lowest prices. Bottom-freezer models are constructed with a completely different design and parts. This keeps them beginning slightly higher in price from a side-by-side construction.  Village Home Stores offering cabinet depth refrigerators. | VillageHomeStores.com

Busy kitchens require maximum fresh food and freezer storage no matter what depth you choose. Our expert appliance sales team can show you all of the amazing interior features your refrigerator will have. We can help you select the perfect model for your lifestyle. If the look of your refrigeration unit is important to your design, you may want a more built-in look. 

How Can I Get A “Built-In” Look?

You have many options for how you can choose to surround your refrigerator in a cabinet design. No matter the depth of your model, you need at least 1/2″ on each side and above the unit for proper ventilation. An exception to this is the category of truly “built-in” refrigeration (shown below). Built-in refrigeration options installed at counter depth. | VillageHomeStores.com

A trim kit is installed surrounding the unit for a custom fit. It is important to note that while counter-depth models offer a more built-in look, they still may show some of depth projecting from your cabinets. The only way to avoid that is to select from our built-in models. If your layout allows it, you may be able to include a recessed area on your wall for your refrigerator to set back into. This allows you the look of a counter-depth model but the choice of using any standard model. Building a niche in your wall for the depth of a standard refrigerator. | VillageHomeStores.com
The surrounding cabinetry can either be pulled forward to give the illusion of a built in look or ordered deeper from the factory.  These recessed spaces are a wonderful solution and when planned correctly with your design team it’s a great look! Be sure to check out our Houzz ideabook including more examples of all of these concepts. Find that ideaboook here on our Houzz pageshallow-depth-fridge

Many of the questions we may ask you in our first few meetings have already been decided during your own research and inspiration process. In this case, we are just collecting information from you and getting everyone on the same page that will be involved on your project. It is our job to keep all of these details in order as we work through our process for your project at Village Home Stores. Discussing options and working through to find the best solution for your project and budget is a very key part of the big picture. This is the case with just a single new appliance purchase, or an entire remodel or new home build. Let our experts help. Contact us today by completing this online form or calling (309) 944-1344Locally owned since 1984, Village Home Stores offers an award-winning customer experience in Appliances sales and service

Road Trip! Our 2017 Visit to The Whirlpool® Plant in Amana, IA

Village Home Stores works hard to curate a list of as many quality, American-made products as possible for our customers. By offering the Whirlpool® family of products, we are able to cover all of the Appliance needs of our customers to fit a variety of budgets and lifestyles. Combining this family of products from Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag, and KitchenAid brands we are providing our customers access to a Local Low Price Guarantee on products from #1 selling major Appliance Manufacturer in the world. American pride is important to the Whirlpool family of products and that is why they have invested in American manufacturing whenever possible. There are now 9 U.S. manufacturing plants as of 2017 and we are so lucky to be located near one of those manufacturing facilities. Because of this, we get the chance to visit a plant about once a year. The Whirlpool® plant located in Amana, Iowa manufactures all bottom-mount refrigerators and built-in refrigeration for all brands and it is an impressive place!Whirlpool amana

They are running 5 lines of production 24 hours a day, five days a week (plus currently every other weekend to keep up with demand). To put it in perspective, they are making a refrigerator every 18 seconds! We were able to tour the plant to see the smiling faces making the products we sell. Then we were given intense product training on some of the new models and features being launches by all brands. We were shown brand new items like the closet-depth compact washer and dryer shown below:compact-laundry

These compact units were impressive for their size. The other new models and features launching in Maytag® and Whirlpool® laundry are more geared to our Village Home Stores customers. Still not convinced your washer has enough water? Now you can add as much as you are comfortable with with the new built-in faucet feature on select models.

Built in faucet in washer available now. Image provided by Whirlpool®
Built in faucet in washer available now. Image provided by Whirlpool®

Pre-wash stains right away as you find them. Fill the tub to soak tough stains ahead of a cycle. Just a press of the button gives you running water. Smart technology was also a big topic of conversation during our training. Does your household talk to Alexa, a Google device, or Siri? Then Whirlpool can help simplify many tasks with select Wifi enabled models and the Whirlpool app. Click below to watch (and hear) how voice-activated features are the latest and greatest.

Of course these models are jam-packed with amazing features outside of the Wifi capabilities. You can use them just as you would any other range or laundry pair. But for those households making adjustments and smart home investments, features like scan-to-cook might be right up your alley:

We also saw some great new finishes we can begin to offer for your home appliances! With the success of ® Black Stainless Steel finish, Whirlpool® has launched their own line of models in a Black Stainless Steel. This finish is beautiful and STAYS beautiful! Not only is it a stylish look, its completely fingerprint resistant as well! Wipes clean with just a wet microfiber cloth.

New Black Stainless finish available now. Image provided by Whirlpool®
New Black Stainless finish available now. Image provided by Whirlpool®

Village Home Stores already has models on display in our showroom in this new finish option. The new finish and handle design have been receiving a very warm welcome from customers and our designers! Come in and test out the fingerprint resist in person! We are certainly going to be throwing a party once the other newest finish is launched and on our floor! Introducing the warm, new, on-trend Sunset Bronze finish available soon on some select Whirlpool® models! sunset-bronze-whirlpoolImagine if you can… a room full of Appliance sales and service people from all over the Midwest Region getting unbelievably excited about a dishwasher door leaning against a wall. Yeah, we know…. sounds pretty nerdy but you would have thought the Whirlpool team had just introduced Lady Gaga as a special training guest. We all admittedly went nuts for this new finish once seeing it in person. Here it is installed in a completed kitchen:

New Sunset Bronze finish available soon. Image provided by Whirlpool®
New Sunset Bronze finish available soon. Image provided by Whirlpool®

The best way to describe it is a “warmer, softer Stainless” look. It takes the coldness and commercial feel of Stainless and softens it to a warmer look. This finish is exactly on-trend for what we have already began seeing in other kitchen design finishes throughout the industry. Lighting, hardware, accessories, flooring and tile, all are going the way of a warmer gray and golden accents. We are always excited to hear about the latest and greatest available for our customers. It is also always very reassuring to tour the factory and see that the quality, legacy, and innovation that we have seen from this family of product is still going stronger than ever. Our expert team of Appliance sales and service staff is just a phone call or a visit away. Stop in and see why we are your award-winning regional Appliance experts. Showroom located at 105 S State Geneseo, IL 61254 phone number: (309) 944-1344 shop online anytime here on our site. whirlpool-quad-cities