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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Introducing Dura Supreme Cabinetry at Village Home Stores

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Day Makeover: A New Look With No Mess

Remodeling your kitchen does not happen in a single day. Most of our full Project Management remodels can take 2 months or more and that is keeping a very tight and orchestrated schedule for all of the subcontractors. If you are wanting a whole new look without all of that mess consider what gets used the most in your kitchen, the appliances. Take a look at the Before photo of this beautiful oak kitchen taken in 2008.

replacing appliancesThe Bisque appliances look right at home and this space looks magazine ready! Unfortunately beginning about 2 years ago, the appliance industry began to discontinue production of new models in the Bisque finish. This has been difficult in our region as many of our customers love and continue to ask for the Bisque finish. Instead of transitioning into a new finish over time, these homeowners replaced their old appliances with a complete Stainless Steel package from KitchenAid and took advantage of a great package rebate while doing so.

stainless with oakLook how just one single element of room can update a kitchen completely.  Many customers are concerned about the look of Stainless Steel in a traditional kitchen. This is a great example of how Stainless can look right at home even when mixed with Oil-Rubbed Bronze hardware and fixtures. Take another look at how much the refrigerator stands out to you in the Before photo. Doesn’t the Stainless seem to blend into the overall space more? stainless with oak

Here is a brief tour of some of the great new features these homeowners can now take advantage of:

kitchen aid refrigeratorThe refrigerator is the largest appliance in your kitchen so it will show the most of whatever finish you select. Currently the finishes available for home appliances are Black, White and Stainless. This french door counter-depth refrigerator has a tri-level freezer drawer. This means instead of piling frozen items all together in one large bin, you can file and organize items and maximize use of the entire freezer space. No more digging to reach the bottom of the freezer.

aqualift cleaningThis electric range includes an amazing cleaning technology called AquaLift™. In place of a self-clean cycle that would heat up to an extremely high heat and incinerate the mess inside, AquaLift™ enamel is applied to the entire oven cavity. Using water and a low-heat setting your messes can be wiped clean within 1 hour. The best news is this is an odor free way of cleaning your oven! Watch this video to see how it works or stop in to see one of these units yourself.   AquaLift™ is available on many of our gas and electric ranges.

 Above the range hangs a new KitchenAid microwave hood. This model has a soften/melt function which is the perfect power setting to soften ice cream or melt butter without using the full power you would to heat other items. This Microwave also has a total of 300 CFMs in the hood.

soften melt on microwave

dishwashers in quad citiesMany people ask about Microwave Hoods and if they can or can’t be vented out. All units can be installed to to either recirculate or vent out.

Does your dishwasher scrub? This one does! With the ProScrub® system from KitchenAid you don’t have to soak that lasagna pan overnight before washing it. Instead, let the 40 targeted jets power out the back to clean off seared or baked on messes. Simply load your pan to face jets and select the function before hitting start for your cycle.

If you are considering a full kitchen remodel within the next few years that is another great reason to replace your appliances now. Imagine investing in the full package of appliances for your dream kitchen now and not having to consider that cost in your upcoming project’s budget. Village Home Stores will be here and ready for you when you are ready to take on the full project. Meanwhile, see your kitchen transformed with just one delivery of new appliances. Don’t forget Village services what we sell. Our expert service techs are just a phonecall away and our sales staff are as well to answer any questions you may have about your new appliances. Contact us today to make an appointment and find the perfect kitchen appliance package for your home. (309) 944-1344.stainless_and_oak

Village Home Stores: Celebrating 30 Years!

It’s hard to believe that our store is celebrating 30 years of business this year!  Village Home Stores could not have become the premier locally-owned Home Store without one key element, YOUR BUSINESS! Our surrounding areas have embraced our products and services in such a way that we are so excited to continue to meet the growing needs for anyone building or remodeling their home. Our goal is to gain lifetime-long customers and we can’t wait to be here for you 30 years from now. Our Full Remodel Project Management program has grown tremendously and we know that is due to your word of mouth recommendations which we value so much!

As an employee of the store, I wanted to get some inside history of the store from the men running the show.  I asked Jim Ries who operates the Cabinetry side of the business a few questions:

What is your favorite memory from the original store in Cambridge?

“I have so many memories of getting the opportunity to work side-by-side with my dad at a very young age and having him teach me so much about life and business in the process. My wife Martha wants me to be sure to mention an especially difficult day as a child. While helping plumb a house I jumped off the back of a truck and thought I had broke my ankle, then a dog ate my lunch. It was a bad day for any kid.”

What are some interesting memories of our current building in Downtown Geneseo?

“Watching people parallel park is always entertaining!” 

Within the last 5 years what has surprised you the most about Village?

“The number of employees we have had to add to keep up with customer demands so we can continue to provide a level of service we are proud of still shocks me daily!”

What are your hopes for the next 5 years for Village?

“That people in the entire Quad City area will really start to see Village Home Stores as a ‘must see, must visit’ showroom when they start a home improvement project no matter how big or small.” 

village home storesVillage Hardware opened its doors in 1984 just a few miles South from our current showroom. From 1984-1998 Village Hardware grew its Cambridge, IL location to meet the growing needs of customers building and remodeling homes in our area. Offering Cabinetry and Appliances expanded the business to provide more of those materials and eventually lead to the “Home Store” concept in place today. In July of 1998, Village Maytag opened up Downtown Geneseo, IL and shortly after in 2000, Village Cabinetry opened right next door. Offering  sales & service of Home Appliances and now Cabinetry and Countertops right next door, the Geneseo showroom continued to see growth and added Lighting and now Flooring departments as well.

We are so thankful for the past 30 years and look forward to seeing where the next 30 brings us at Village Home Stores. Please be sure to join us to celebrate our latest expansion of the showroom this Thursday the 9th of October at noon. There will be food and refreshments to follow. A 3 Day Sale Event will be going on Thursday-Saturday and huge savings in all departments. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to save $500 on a $5,000 purchase on top of added discounts and promotions throughout the store. 

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QCBR Fall Parade of Homes: Applestone Homes

Not only were we blessed with an amazing weekend of weather in our area, but it was also the final weekend of the QCBR Fall Parade of Homes! While there were many great events going on all around Geneseo and the Quad Cities we had to stop to see the award-winning Applestone Homes kitchen and bathrooms we provided materials for. Congratulations are in order as they won the “Best Home” in their price category. 

Applestone_Homes_Iowanew construction quad citiesThe home was bustling with activity so it was difficult to get many photos of the spaces empty (which is a great problem to have by the way). Like so many kitchens set in a Great Room layout, this kitchen was designed and installed in a two-tone combination.

The perimeter cabinets were a Birch wood painted white and the island is a Birch “Java” stain.

applestone_homesThe flat-panel door style of these cabinets is called “Prairie” from our Koch line. A similar style is available from all of our cabinet companies. This transitional style of door allows for the overall space to be styled in an unlimited amount of ways. In fact a flat-panel cabinet painted white still remains one of the most popular cabinet choices throughout the U.S.

The dark contrast of the island cabinetry makes a big impact and helps divide the space visually from the nearby dining area.

When trying to keep the main and more permanent elements of a kitchen transitional, it can be difficult to add a decorative hood. Many wood hood designs can start to suggest a certain style and introduce curves and arches when that may not be your desired outcome. Take a look at the hood design in this kitchen:

flat panel door wood hoodWith no arches or curves in the remaining cabinetry, a square style is selected to house the hood and blower insert. The majority of the space is trimmed off in a similar way you would the back of an exposed island. In place of a valance, this hood gives an added opportunity to mimic the crown molding from the cabinets as well as the trim detail that Applestone Homes has installed above each window and door in the great room. Staggering the height and depth of the hood area adds interests without distracting from the tiled backsplash.

pots and pans storageWe many times showcase the storage options found in the cabinetry of our feature kitchens. We wanted to take the time in this post to allow you to ask yourself your own preference.

While many customers request a “butt-door” cabinet that opens up to sliding shelves within, some find that larger pots & pans drawers work better for them. It is important that you select what is right for your lifestyle and cabinet layout. This feature kitchen had the space to accommodate both options. Large drawers next to the range and cooktop and sliding shelves directly behind the user in the island cabinets. Ask yourself what items you will be storing and how would you prefer to access them? The look of doors vs. drawers can be a deciding factor.

master bath dark cabinetsThe bathrooms in this home were just as beautiful as this kitchen. The Master Bathroom upstairs was so beautiful with the sunlight shining in. With the counter tops and tile throughout remaining light, that leave a lot of room for drama to be created with the dark “Java” stain on the vanity cabinets. Cabinetry and mirror spread the full length of this large bathroom and the dark finish really stands out in a great way!

The QCBR Parade of Homes is your opportunity to tour some of the most beautiful homes being built right here in our area. The Parade is put on by the Quad Cities Builders & Remodelers Association and takes place in both the Spring and Fall of each year. Local builders allow you to tour homes and are on hand to answer any questions you may have while walking through.

parade of homesThe website for Applestone Homes is currently under construction but you can connect with them via facebook and reach the offices at (563) 505-3615. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the QCBR calendar for details on the QCBR Home Show this Winter.