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

A Quad Cities Kitchen Remodeled Start to Finish

One of the best things about being in our industry is that every single project we work on is different from the next. Even when kitchen and bath trends are put into action, the applications are always different because no space is the same. Village Home Stores has the great privilege of placing our designs and products in new and existing homes in the extended Quad Cities Region and we love each project we complete. We normally don’t admit it when we have favorites… but this week’s featured remodel story in Bettendorf, Iowa is one of our favorites fromf the year for sure! Two tone kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with large kitchen island, waterfall Cambria counters, Black Stainless appliances, and a custom walnut wood top table. | villagehomestores.com

This Bettendorf, Iowa customer found Village Home Stores by catching our weekly television show that airs every Sunday at 9am on WQAD. On the Village Home Show we are able to showcase remodel stories from right here in the Quad Cities area. So when this family was ready, they knew who to call. The original oak cabinetry layout really divided the kitchen from the dining and living spaces. There is a beautiful outside pool area just steps away from the kitchen in this home. With the peninsula in place, it was a long voyage to the kitchen sink from the pool.

We were so thrilled with the ideas they came to us with for a more open concept kitchen. When we say that the kitchen is the hub of the home, this household is a great example of that. With access to lofted living room and the backyard pool retreat, this new kitchen design needed to be functional and stylish. We began by removing the original kitchen… but kept one main element in place to help save some cost to the clients.Need a kitchen remodeler that can manage your project from start to finish? Contact the Quad Cities kitchen experts at Village Home Stores.

This kitchen has been given a whole new look but we kept the original tile floors! That’s right! Because the tile flooring was installed before the original kitchen cabinets went in, there was no void left when we tore out the kitchen peninsula. A new knee-wall was installed with power for island outlets. Take one more look at the original oak kitchen with the peninsula + table layout….Contact the Quad Cities kitchen experts at Village Home Stores.

…and now the kitchen absorbs the dining space into one cohesive look. In fact, the kitchen and dining spaces are now joined into one concept by an incredible and versatile island design. The overall space has been brightened up significantly with lighter, airy material selections, added lighting, and the installation of mirror in some cabinetry. Two tone kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with large kitchen island, waterfall Cambria counters, Black Stainless appliances, and a custom walnut wood top table. | villagehomestores.com

A large kitchen island is the centerpiece to the new open concept. On the end near the backyard access, a custom table has been placed at dining height. We designed the dining table to be placed right next to the kitchen island. However, the table can be moved out if needed. A custom wood base was built for this design by our carpentry team and our painters painted it to compliment the kitchen cabinetry and trim.Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with custom farmtable base. | villagehomestores.com

A gorgeous wood top from our Craft-Art line was secured on top of the base. With the main kitchen cabinetry all in painted finishes, a woodgrain was a welcomed element. The Black Walnut plank-style wood top adds warmth and an upscale texture to the space. We think its is best complimented with the warm backslash tile glowing with our undercabinet lighting system. 

Can’t find the right table to match your new kitchen from Village? Let us make one for you to ensure that it lines up with the overall design concept! Finding the right size and finish can be tricky. But rest assured, we can build just about anything you can dream up. This rich, smooth Black Walnut top was given a stylish and classic “Ogee” edge profile. The feel and sheen of these wood tops are truly heirloom quality. Learn more about these wood tops here in a previous postRemodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with CraftArt Black Walnut tabletop in Ogee edge. | villagehomestores.com

Even though this wood top is a showstopper, the Cambria Quartz in this kitchen is not to be ignored. Take a peek at this image below showing the remodel while it was still in progress. Notice that a piece of Cambria was installed on the cooktop wall for a dramatic look. Need a kitchen remodeler that can manage your project from start to finish? Contact the Quad Cities kitchen experts at Village Home Stores.

This statement wall creates a dramatic contrast of a marble look on the wall with a graphic black hood as an eye-catching continuation from the dark base cabinets. In fact, the Cambria Britannica Warm Quartz seems to almost cascade down behind the hood, flow up from the floor, over the kitchen island, and pour back down again on the other side.

Of course a glassy, gloss finish in a bright space always adds a great upscale detail. This Cambria design includes warm gray veining and is a classic compliment to the dark appliances and painted base cabinetry. A new approach to a two tone kitchen, dark painted bases with a bright and airy upper cabinet in a separate finish. Many times this trend is installed with open or floating shelves for the upper cabinetry. But in this design, we wanted to provide as much usable storage as possible.

Two tone kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with full height Cambria backsplash. | villagehomestores.com

The use of mirrors in some of the wall cabinetry does add a lighter weight to the look of the upper cabinets. The “X” design in the cabinet door is an updated and more Transitional style detail. We love the way mirrors help to brighten up a room (plus conceal the cabinet interior). Two tone kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with mirrored door cabinets and X-design. Kitchen designed and remodeled from start to finish by Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

Quartz in a marble look is a great choice for a busy kitchen and large island work surface like this. Cambria Quartz in the Brittanicca Warm design offers a classic look of a marble with a maintenance-free advantage. The island countertop has a standard “Eased” edge applied to it to maintain a cleaner installation and look with the waterfalling edge. Two tone kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with Cambria Brittanicca Warm quartz counters installed with a waterfall design on the island. Kitchen designed and remodeled from start to finish by Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

Curious about waterfall edges? Stop by our showroom in Downtown Geneseo and see our front desk area that showcases this look. Village Home Stores offers many departments all under one roof to make the entire selection process easier on you and your designer. We encourage you to come with any ideas you have collected during your research phase but also take a look around and inside all of our cabinetry displays. We offer so many specialty cabinets and can show them to you. Our Dura Supreme line of cabinetry is loaded with so many great options! This kitchen of includes great sliding shelf storage but also a mixer lift cabinet right in the island.Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with Dura Supreme cabinetry in the painted Graphite finish. Kitchen designed and remodeled from start to finish by Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

See more of this entire kitchen in detail over on our Best of Houzz-winning Portfolio. See the full album of images here. We also installed a spice pullout, lazy susan, and an auto-open waste basket! Press play below to watch the waste basket cabinet open with just a nudge.

Matte Black is one of our favorite home trends and this kitchen rocks the trend so well! The soft, rich look of Dura Supreme’s painted “Graphite” finish on the base cabinetry pairs so well with KitchenAid’s Black Stainless Steel finish appliances. Black Stainless is not just for super contemporary spaces. This Transitionally-styled space is proof of that. Plus it is fingerprint resistant! Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with KitchenAid Black Stainless appliances. Kitchen designed and remodeled from start to finish by Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

KitchenAid was the first in their industry to launch a Black Stainless Steel finish and the look is sophisticated. But a KitchenAid kitchen is at it’s best when in use! A counter-depth French Door refrigerator includes incredible fresh and frozen food storage. A 30″ Combination Wall Oven and Microwave has so many features and a large capacity when needed. Another great appliance detail in this kitchen is the undercounter 15″  Ice Maker. What an absolute dream for anyone who entertains! Of course when you have a pool… people tend to show up.Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with KitchenAid Black Stainless icemaker and custom paneled undercounter beverage cooler. | villagehomestores.com

This 15″ automatic ice maker produces ice that is perfect for every occasion.  It opens to reveal a storage bin that can hold up to 25 pounds of ice. Next to the Ice Maker we installed a beverage cooler with a custom panel to match the cabinetry. This kept the beverage area of the new kitchen looking symmetrical. Panel-ready appliances can be a wonderful custom option. We offer them in many refrigerator and  dishwasher options. We kept the original tile floors in the kitchen but a new tile backsplash was installed. 

3″ x 12″ textured tiles in “New Yorker” series and “Taupe” color. We love how they almost have the appearance of being underwater with their texture and reflection. Our stylish adorne series of switches and outlets from legrand looks great on the tile in a contrasting color and matte finish.Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with legrand adorne system of outlets and switches. Kitchen designed and remodeled from start to finish by Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

The square design of this series looks great and is very versitile with options. Since sart home tech is at the top of every homeowner and homebuyer’s wishlist we should also mention this kitchen lighting system takes voice commands! Using the legrand app and connected to an amazon Alexa, we had a lot of fun testing out this new product. Press play below to watch a Facebook live video we taped at this completed jobsite to see how easy it is to use voice commands with this adorne system.

Smart home tech has reached the kitchen industry in a big way over the last few years and this year even more products are set to launch to make your life easier and more enjoyable. This homeowner was able to connect many of the lighting switches in the home and now can even switch lights off and on when they are away from home using the app.Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with legrand connected lighting system. Connect with the legrand app and even enable voice commands for your controls. | villagehomestores.com

We have completed many new spaces using the adorne series from legrand. These outlet covers are a perfect match to the painted Graphite cabinetry in this kitchen. They match so well  that our “hidden” pop-up outlet in the island is totally camouflaged when it isn’t in use. Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with legrand adorne pop-out outlet. Kitchen designed and remodeled from start to finish by Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

A hands-free waste basket cabinet, voice-controlled lighting, and even a wave-controlled kitchen faucet! There is just so much from this kitchen remodel story it is almost impossible to showcase it all here on the blog. We hope to film an upcoming episode of the Village Home Show to show you more of these great features in action. Remodeled kitchen in Bettendorf, Iowa with a stainless farmsink and Dura Supreme cabinetry in the painted Graphite finish. | villagehomestores.com

These clients used the Complete Project Management Program at Village Home Stores for their project. We can provide you with an expert design and material selection for your project and you can take it from there. But for those who need us to manage the project from start to finish, the Complete Project Management Program at Village Home Stores is available. We are constantly changing and adapting this process to give our customers the very best experience for their investment with us. Our goal is to get your project completed on time, on budget, and to the level of quality we would expect in our own homes. Press play below to watch a 360 view of this kitchen remodel from start to finish.

Ready to start your own before and after story? We are ready to be a part of it! Your first step is to reach out to our team. You can do that by calling us at (309) 944-1344 or completing this short online form on our website. We can’t wait to hear what your dream kitchen looks like and how we can make it happen. Don’t forget that we offer many payment options including financing programs available for those who qualify. Learn more about our payment options here.  Thank you so much for checking out this blog tour. We hope you will keep an eye here for more great spaces featured from right here in the Quad Cities area.