Diode L.E.D. Lighting: Think Outside The Kitchen

It is that time of year in the Midwest where we get to spend more time outdoors. 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 Diode L.E.D. “Wet Location” systems? There is even one series that is fully-submersible!  This poolside bar is a great example of how just one layer of light can make an entire area look like your own high-end brew pub.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comHighlight structural details of your home’s exterior, landscaping, even outdoor bars and kitchens like this one. All of the same qualities we love about our Diode L.E.D. system indoors can be said for uses outdoors. This system has a low profile, is energy efficient, long-lasting and extremely versatile. Especially when you think outside the kitchen.

Images courtesy of Diode LED
Images courtesy of Diode LED

Our Diode L.E.D. lighting has many great products for outdoor settings. BLAZE™ Wet Location lighting offers maximum brightness at only a quarter inch high and a third of an inch wide, you can really add a lot of light to even the tightest of spaces. The FLUID VIEW® Wet Location L.E.D. Strip Lights can be for commercial-grade higher traffic and more rugged conditions. With no UV emissions from these lights, they are safe to use to light artwork or wine and craft beer cellars as well. The HYDROLUME™ system (shown in center above) is an L.E.D. strip light that is waterproof, fully submersible, and UV resistant. It is also resistant to chlorine and saltwater. If you have a water feature you have been wanting to highlight with lighting we can work closely with you on that. Call a salesperson at Village Home Stores today to find out what parts and components will be right for your project.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comThe low profile of the strip lights allow you to really think creatively as to where to add light to your space. In this case, the strip lights were tucked away beneath the granite counters and concealed with some trim. The end result is a consistent wash of light that looks amazing on the stone facing of the bar.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comThis 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 5 hours a day for 25 years or more before needing to replace any lights. So with a glowing ambient light like this poolside bar, you could leave these lights on as much as you would like and see little energy use because of the low wattage used.

Diode LED colored lighting. | VillageHomeStores.com
Images courtesy of Diode LED

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 system can be used in commercial applications in restaurants or bars but also in creative ways inside and outside of your home.

Diode LED lighting in an outdoor poolside bar. | VillageHomeStores.comIf 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. Estimates are always free and questions are encouraged! We have many examples of this Diode L.E.D. system in the showroom. And this system of indoor lighting is featured in just about every kitchen we showcase here on the blog. Call or click today for an appointment. (309) 944-1344.outdoor_lighting_quad_cities

Geneseo Remodel: Shine Bright

You may be picking up on the theme of our last three featured kitchens here on the blog, beautiful backsplashes! It just happens to be a coincidence that they all have shared this common feature. The backsplash in this Geneseo, IL home steals your attention right away so we wanted to begin our story here.

Mosaic tile backsplash. | VillageHomeStores.comThis “Cappuccino Linear” tile from our Pietra Art collection is a showstopper in person! You can find the most beautiful tile like this for your kitchen backsplash but installing that only gets you halfway to a “wow” finished look like this. Why invest in such a gorgeous tile if you have no way to illuminate the look and all of your new surfaces? The wash of light from our Diode L.E.D. lighting system is what makes this main wall of cabinetry look so stunning!

diode_LEDThis system is energy-efficient, low-profile, and long-lasting. It may seem like we mention this lighting everytime we show you a beautiful backsplash but that is because they are meant to work together.  Kitchens like the one featured in the blog post here would be hard to imagine without this lighting system.  The way to shine bright and really show off your great tile is by also installing this L.E.D. system.  See a short clip on it here over on our YouTube page. Now, on to this full remodel story.

before_photo

Kitchen_Design_quad_citiesThe original kitchen was made up of the main sink wall shown here and a second area for the range and a small microwave cabinet. There are three windows and three doorways that are within this kitchen space. Usable wall space is limited because of these openings but the new design makes smarter use of what was available. The old location of the range will now become the new location for a beautiful built-in hutch area. Adding storage and a location for displaying items behind glass-front doors, this hutch also gives added counter space for food preparation and serving.

This hutch includes two fluted columns that show the black accent glaze on the Birch “Briarwood” stained cabinetry perfectly. These dark black highlights are a great compliment to the Cambria Quartz countertops installed in the “Blackwood” design.

hutch_in_kitchenThe new location of the range is found between the two windows facing the sink wall. This area is just the right size for the range and a small amount of landing space on either side.

rangeNot only have we added counterspace but storage above and below with cabinetry on a previously unused wall in the original kitchen. The main storage in this new kitchen is found on the sink wall.mainThe sink is at the center of your attention and the backsplash and lighting we mentioned earlier are what bring your attention there. With no window above the sink, the designer instead created interest with varied heights and depths of cabinetry. At the very end of this wall of cabinetry sits the refrigerator. This is a great opportunity to point out the depth of this model.

refrigeratorWhen you shop for a new refrigerator from Village Home Stores one of our first questions may be what depth you are needing. This means we are curious if a “standard depth” model would work in your space or is a “counter-depth” model needed because of space limitations or just aesthetic reasons.  The standard depth model works well here because there is plenty of space to move around in front to the unit in this kitchen design. We have even surrounded this refrigerator with a few extra things to help give it as built-in of a look as possible. Notice the panels on each side and even undercabinet molding above to add to the finished look of this area.

woodsVillage Home Stores and Durian Builders did a number of things to this space to update it and give it a great look. Each of the windows was trimmed out with new casing stained to match the cabinetry. The doorways were also given new trim and the two new doors within the new kitchen were installed as well all to give one clean, consistent finish throughout.

A maple hardwood from our Paramount line in the “Burlap” finish was the perfect selection with the cabinetry and trim finishes.  One of the other major updates was made to the ceiling of this Geneseo kitchen.

ceilingA grid drop-ceiling that included panels and lighting was removed and a new plaster ceiling was put up. This entire kitchen remodel was completed with our full Project Management program here at Village Home Stores.  Everything from estimates to scheduling was managed from start to finish by our team which left the owners of this new kitchen with nothing to worry about (except welcoming a new grandbaby during the process Congratulations!). If you are interested in starting the conversation about your own kitchen or bathroom remodel call 309-944-1344 or click today. We can’t wait to hear what you are working on! Geneseo_tile_installer

Orion Remodel: Island Living

This kitchen remodel in Orion, IL begins like so many in our area. Oak cabinets, existing soffits, a wall keeping the kitchen contained and a peninsula. I am sure many of you readers have or have had a kitchen similar to that description. Take a look at where this story began….

before_kitchenLook familiar to anyone? While there is nothing at all wrong with this kitchen look, it is the common description attached to many of the remodels we do when a home is ready for an update. But now see where this project has ended up!

orion_kitchen

Koch cabinets in the “Legacy: doorstyle and painted “Pearl” finish with “Umber” highlights are installed on the main kitchen wall and large island in the Birch “Java”  finish are both topped with Cambria Quartz in the ‘Windermere” design. The doorway into the kitchen has transitioned into an open concept to the front room and dining space nearby. The soffits that extended to the ceiling were removed and now a staggered height design is in place to make this main wall of the kitchen look magazine-cover ready!

island_backA large island roughly 7 1/2′ x 4′ in size makes a great new location for prep, dining, cleanup, and entertaining. This kitchen island is now at the center of all activity in this kitchen. Even with a large crowd congregating around the back of this arching island shape, guests will be no bother to the users in the main prep areas of the kitchen. As you may have seen on the latest episode of the Village Home Show, this island is usable from all sides. The back “paneled” face actually includes usable cabinets 2′ deep. Each island side also has a functional cabinet as well.large island

The new island is now home to the kitchen sink and it also includes one of our favorite features, a garbage disposal button. Disposal buttons can be wonderful in island sink designs because a switch would otherwise have to be located in the cabinet beneath or on a wall behind the user. This feature is instead within reach and works at  just at the push of a button.

disposal_buttonTwo people can now easily navigate around the back wall of cabinetry and the island sink area, even if the dishwasher or refrigerator door is opened. Directly behind the sink and centered in the main wall of cabinetry is a Maytag cooktop below a wood decorative hood. In place of a large stack of drawers or a sinkbase cabinet for the cooktop, an inverted base cabinet was used.

inverted sinkbase cabinetA tall, deep drawer on the very bottom of the cabinet for pots and pans leaves a wide open space above for the cooktop components above. Adding a sliding shelf can make this open space even more usable. See this cabinet in action over on our YouTube channel here.

Village_home_showIf you caught our newest episode of the Village Home Show you were able to see a full video tour of this beautiful Orion kitchen. Since the episode was focused specifically on the kitchen island and lighting above it, you may not have noticed something was missing… something pretty big. Take a look at our designer working with the customer the day of filming in the image above. They were brainstorming about selections of backsplash for the kitchen. What they ended up selecting is perfect:

orion_tile_installerThis combination of a neutral 3″ x 6″ tumbled marble field tile and a framed in accent tile above the cooktop grabs your attention right when you walk in the front door of this home. If a second tile is not a look you are after, consider this same layout but instead frame in your field tile installed going a different direction. Another great idea is to select a smaller or larger tile from the same series to install withing this framed space.

tileThese tiles were selected as a perfect compliment to the gorgeous new Cambria Quartz counters in the new kitchen. The darker field tile picks up on the veining in the Cambria design and the accent tile framed in is more similar to the cabinet finish. The roped pencil rail that creates that framed look matches so well with the cabinet handles and knobs and looks right at home in this kitchen.

ogee_cambria_edgeThe upgrade to an “Ogee Edge” profile on the Cambria “Windermere” Quartz tops really catches the light and your eye. The arch of the island overhang and the bumped-out look of the cooktop each look highlighted by this added edge detail. On the far left end of the main kitchen wall is an appliance garage cabinet that extends all the way down the countertop.

hidden_keurigThis cabinet opens with a top-lift hinge that can stay open to allow the hidden coffeepot within to be pulled out and tucked back away when not in use. See this cabinet in action over on our YouTube channel here. On the opposite end of this main kitchen wall is a new combination microwave and wall oven from our Maytag line.

combo_microwave_oven

The location of this tall, deep cabinet mirrors the refrigerator in size on the other side of the cooktop and hood area at the very center of the design. We wanted to be sure to mention another important element to this successful remodel. A layered lighting plan. lighting

This same room can be used any time of day and still offer ample task and ambient lighting. Our Diode L.E.D. system has been installed under and above the cabinetry on the back wall. Three medium-sized pendants spread the length of the kitchen island and recessed cans have been installed to light the back wall and the island itself.

This entire project was managed from start to finish for these Orion customers using the complete Project Management program here at Village Home Stores.  This means that all of the estimates, schedules, and crews were managed by us and this project stayed on track and was completed in as reasonable timeframe as possible. If you want to get started on putting together a free estimate for a remodel like this, call or click today for an appointment. Village_Cabinetry

The Last Layer: A Little Bit Goes A Long Way

It may seem from our TV Show and here on the blog that Village Home Stores is only in the business of gutting and remodeling homes to create beautiful new kitchens. Yes we do that very often…but we also tackle single-stage projects every single day. What do we mean by “single-stage project”? Anything that can be done to either add or replace a layer of your kitchen or bathroom and still give you a transformed new space. Great examples of this type of project are replacing your countertop, lighting, or even cabinet hardware. One of our favorite ways to complete a single-stage project is to add a tile backsplash like we did here in this Geneseo, IL kitchen.

backsplash_geneseo_illinoisThis kitchen has been in place for many years and the granite counters have been there awhile as well. Without wanting to completely remodel a space that was working quite well for the homeowners, giving it a new look was just one step away. The space was still missing that “last layer” to really set it off and give a fresh new look to the existing kitchen. that layer was this beautiful Daltile “Intertwine” mosaic tile from Village Home Stores.

tile_installers_quadcitiesThe color series is called “Energy Blend” and it does indeed bring a lot of energy to the space! With a pattern this bold, it isn’t always recommended to fill an entire backsplash area with this single pattern. In the case of this Geneseo kitchen it was the perfect choice. Because of the amount and placement of outlets and switches, adding this tile as an accent to another field tile would have become more distracting than distinctive. This glass tile, when planned with your electrical layout can be used as a wonderful accent like we show here below:

tile_installers_GeneseoBecause the tile selected for this job makes quite a bold statement, it was not installed throughout the entire kitchen perimeter. That’s right! Just the single wall of tile is all that was installed and the results are stunning. A classic example of “a little bit goes a long way” in our opinion. Installing the mosaic on every wall of the entire space would have set this look just slightly over the edge of being too busy.  Instead, the single wall is perfect!

backsplash_tileEvery single kitchen layout is truly different and this creates varied amounts and shapes of wall space for tile. Our tile experts can work with you to help select the perfect material and layout for your materials. If you are looking for a way to add that last missing layer to your kitchen or bathroom call or click today! Estimates are always free and we have a showroom that includes hundreds and hundreds of amazing options for you to see. Let Village Home Stores help you make a splash!tile_Geneseo

Get a “Load” of This: Top Load Laundry Tips

With all of the industry changes that have been made in the category of top-load washing machines it can be hard to know what is the right model for you and your loads. While a front-load washer can be an excellent choice for cleaning if you have heavily-soiled items, don’t count top-load washers out! Many of our farming and machining customers still select from our HE top-loading models for their toughest loads. These models can still get you great results and save you energy as well. You may have a longer wash time but these models will use less water and spend less time and energy in your dryer. As this article from Consumer Reports states, high-efficiency top-load washers can and be an ideal choice if your laundry is near bedrooms or a family room as they cause less vibration and noise. 

The Whirlpool®, Maytag®, and Amana® top-load laundry options you find at Village Home Stores try to make things simpler on you the customer every time they launch a new model. It can always be difficult to adjust to a new machine and all of it’s functions but after your few few loads you will begin to get more comfortable and start to see the wash results right for your own lifestyle. To get the best results from your high-efficiency washer we recommend you are sure to select the right temperature for your wash, use the correct detergent (and recommended amount of that detergent), and select the best cycle for your load.

wash_timeThere are really just two simple questions you need to answer when selecting your wash cycles on a top-loading machine. What you are washing and how you want your garments to be treated during the wash cycle. Many of our top-load washer models now offer an estimated time display for you to see how your selections effect your wash time. Some of the newest models of top-load washing machines even have an added feature that can remember your recent settings from previous loads to make it even easier on you. 

Image Courtesy of Whirlpool®
Image Courtesy of Whirlpool®

If you haven’t shopped for a washing machine recently you may be surprised when you open the lid and find no agitator in the center. This is due to the water usage regulations and HE standards now put into place as these machines are manufactured. When you stop in to shop for a new washer and dryer from Village Home Stores our staff can show to you and explain how these new HE washer operate and wash your garments. How these machines now wash compared to the “older” methods is a large subject in itself and our staff has been heavily trained on all of these changes. This same staff is just a phonecall away when you are learning how to use your new HE washer from Village Home Stores.

whatThis is where you can select from options like “delicates”, “whites”, and even “bulky” or “sheets” settings on some models. Maytag® offers their award-winning PowerWash® system with the best cleaning in its class to remove everyday tough stains in a single wash using PowerSpray, optimal dispensers and the PowerWash® cycle. This PowerWash® cycle is ideal for farmers and work clothes that may get soiled with oil or grease. 

howThis is where you will select your soil levels, temperature, rinse, spin speeds, and any pre-treatment options for your load. Lower water usage is one of the main goals of these newer models. Because these machines use an impeller to move your garments in the wash basin and not an agitator, a full basin of water doesn’t allow the movement needed for the best wash. Millions of dollars have been invested by Whirlpool®, Maytag®, and Amana® to perfect this new system of washing. Trust us when we say that the testing behind the best fabric care and best cleaning for you has been invested into these washers.

full_laundryThere may be times that you may feel you want more water to be used during your wash cycles and there are ways to achieve this. Adding an extra rinse can of course help achieve this added water but selecting features like a “Deep Water” wash can also be a great choice. When this option is selected, it still uses the load sensing technology built into the machine so the water levels will vary based on what you loaded into the machine. If you want a full tub of water, you can select the “Bulky” Items cycle which will give you more gallons of water in the wash followed by more gallons in the rinse.

presoakSelecting the “Presoak” option is also a great choice when you have a heavily soiled garment. This Presoak option that lets you skip soaking outside of the washer. It works by adding extra time for it in the washer before the wash cycle starts. This is a feature available on even some of the entry-level models of high-efficiency washers. Other options like the ColorLast™ option from Whirlpool® can help you combine your wash selections with the right temperatures to keep your garments looking fresh and not faded.

With so many options from all of our brands there is a model just right for you and our expert staff can help you find it. Shop all of our top-load washer selection by stopping in to talk to a member of our expert sales staff about what machine is best for your lifestyle. Laundry_Geneseo