Category Archives: Kitchen Trends & Tips

Spring Cleaning Tips

Cleaning greenerIt’s that time of year when I’m soooo over winter and thinkin’ spring!! Can’t wait to open my windows and feel a warm breeze comin’ through those grimy windows. ☺ This year, I’m goin’ greener with cleaning products and using fewer nasty chemicals.

Magical household cleaning products include vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide & Dawn dish washing liquid—the blue kind. Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide kills tons of bacteria, molds and viruses. Peroxide works much like bleach without harmful effects.

Do not mix vinegar and peroxide in the same bottle! It creates a chemical that is NOT GOOD. However, for super-duper cleaning you can mist one and then the other. Just don’t mix ‘em! Beware, vinegar can damage marble or other polished stone; use peroxide.

Natural cleaning products

Go green with natural cleaning products!

Baking soda is scrubbing power! Sprinkle on nasty tub grunge, mist with vinegar and watch it bubble away soap scum!

Use these two cleaning concoctions as guides and adjust to your level of yuck!

• Pour equal parts of Dawn and vinegar into a spray bottle and gently shake. Heat the vinegar in the microwave for extra POW!

• One part Dawn & two parts peroxide— remember peroxide has a whitening effect so careful with color!

dawn and peroxide

More miracles!

• Water Rings disappear by rubbing a bit of non-gel toothpaste on it and buffing with a cloth.
• Kill germs on doorknobs with full-strength vinegar OR peroxide and wipe dry.
• Brighten a load of white laundry by adding a cup of peroxide.
• Disinfect kids’ toys by spraying with peroxide.
• Zap pesky fruit flies by setting out a dish of undiluted vinegar.
• Keep the kitty off of a surface by misting with vinegar. They hate the smell.
• Kill grass between patio bricks by spreading salt between them; then sprinkle with water.
• Cut a lemon in half, dip in salt and rub on copper or brass to remove stains (not brass plated).
• Use Vinegar & water for window cleaner and wipe with coffee filters. They’re lint free!

Get your sparkle on! Save money & the environment. Shoot me an email if you have a terrific tip to share!

Modern's Millie Signature color

Chillin’ with Your Home Beverage Center

Sodas, bottled water, vino and brew can use up a lot of space in the kitchen fridge. If you chill a lot of drinks, a beverage center is the answer. There are oodles of sizes and styles to chill your fav drinks…even for kitchens!

Armstrong Cabinets Beverage bars

Design your own beverage bar with Armstrong Cabinets.

GE wine extension racks

GE cooler with wine extension racks.

First, there are small refrigerators available with drawers or doors with full extension shelves. These are suitable for food or bevs and can be stacked if you need more than one. These are ideal for man caves and home theater rooms. Larger sizes even have freezers in case you need to stash some ice cream too!

Beverage centers are designed with shelving to accommodate soft drinks and wine. Larger units may have two sides; a fridge and beverage section with individual temp controls.

Perlick beverage center

Full beverage center from Perlick

For the vino connoisseur, some wine reserve models have shelving that prevents shifting and slippage of the stored bottles and glass doors that protect varietals from ultraviolet light. Ooo la la!

A must-have for a full-blown beverage area is an ice maker. Brands like Perlick can make up to 50 pounds of ice per day. That can accommodate a big shindig and a lot of umbrella drinks!

Don’t forget the beer dispensers. After all, it’s always sports time in Tennessee! Available with one or two taps to serve-up two different brews—chilled to a perfect 33-39 degrees.

Perlick beer dispenser

Perlick beer dispenser

Let there be accessories! If there are kids in the house, you can lock-down the adult brews with optional lock features. One of my fav accessories is the martini glass chiller racks. Nothing like a Moderntini in a perfectly chilled glass! There are also drawer dividers, shelving choices, and door options in glass or stainless.

If you’re like me and just adore entertaining, a beverage center makes it sooo much easier. My Modern Supply design peeps can create an entire refreshment center with complete with cabinetry, appliances and all the trimmings. Give ‘em a shout at 865.966.4567. Cheers!

Perlick Ice Maker

Perlick Ice Maker

For more cool ideas, follow me on:

Modern's Millie Signature color


Power to the Baby Boomers!

Baby boomers are the folks born from 1946 to 1964 and are 81+ million strong in the U.S. They account for 28 percent of the U.S population but more than half of the nation’s purchasing power according to a recent study by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI).

Many boomers are choosing to remain in their current homes as they age. Aging in Place means the ability to live in your own home comfortably and safely for as long as possible. As people remodel their homes, they’re including Universal Design products—a design concept that meets the needs of people with varied abilities. It considers people with age-related problems, people who are tall or short, as well as those with various physical or mental impairments. It also acknowledges that abilities change over time.

American Standard safety shower

A low threshold shower with bench from American Standard.

What Aging in Place DOES NOT mean is that your home renovations have to look institutional!  Kitchen and bathrooms typically require the most alternations. Here are some practical, but stylish suggestions to keep that cozy feel.

Bathroom manufacturers are offering comfortable walk-in tubs, roomy seated showers, stylish easy-to-use faucets and higher toilets to create a beautiful, safer and more comfortable bathroom.

American Standard walk-in tub

American Standard walk-in tub.

• Walk-in tubs come as soaking units with built-in chair height benches and grab bars. Options include hydrotherapy features such as air and whirlpool or pumps for faster draining.

• Walk-in showers are available in several sizes with low to zero thresholds for easy access. There are choices of benches, seats, shelves and grab bars. Most install easily for retro-fit remodels.

Aquatic Accessible shower

Aquatic’s accessible shower with hand-held shower head with slider bar.

• Plumbing fixtures such touch-free faucets and adjustable hand-held shower heads are both available with temperature controls to prevent scalding.

• Toilets heights at 16-17” are taller and safer. Adding a raised toilet seat will add more height.

Delta Bath Touch faucet

Delta’s Touch technology turns on/off easily.

Delta kitchen touch faucet

Delta’s Touch technology saves water, too!








Universal Design options are plentiful for creating a user-friendly kitchen. Evaluate how your kitchen flows. Eliminate tight spaces and obstructions that may, at some time, become a safety issue.

GE oven pull-out shelf

A pull-out shelf is convenient under a GE built-in oven.

Cabinets have a lot of flexibility. For easier access, wall cabinets may be installed lower and base cabinets higher. Include pull-out, roll-out or lift shelving for less bending. Soft close door hinges and drawer glides simplify opening and closing. Deep toe kicks on cabinets will accommodate wheel chairs.

GE raised dishwasher

This raised GE dishwasher eliminates extra bending.

Appliances can be installed based on height requirements. Raise a dishwasher or lower microwaves, cooktops and built-in ovens to accommodate your need. Again, cabinets can be adjusted.

Don’t forget lighting! Our eyes change as we age; less light reaches the retina and the sensitivity to glare increases. Uniform ambient (primary source) lighting and good task lighting is essential. Install dimmer switches for easy adjustments.

StarMark Kitchen Storage

Easy to access kitchen storage from StarMark Cabinetry.

Baby Boomers Flower PowerBaby boomers are the flower children of yesterday who transformed into movers and shakers of change. They continue to influence change and companies are listening to their needs.

Come by Modern Supply’s kitchen, bath & lighting showroom and incorporate Universal Design products in your home. Design your home for today with the future in mind. 865-966-4567

Power to the Baby Boomers!


Hot Kitchen & Bath Trends

The wish-list for kitchen and bath products continues to evolve driven by homeowner wants and, of course, that darn economy. The latest survey says…function & comfort are top-O-list for kitchen & bath remodels. The guru’s at the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) conducted the survey. Jeepers…sounds like a new branch of the CIA!!!

The fav style choice remains casual or transitional followed by contemporary. Mixing kitchen counter-top materials like granite and stainless or a reclaimed surface is trending. FYI…some of the new recycled materials are marvelous!

Armstrong Cabinets Sage and Vanilla Cream

Armstrong Cabinets finished in Sage & Vanilla Cream

Starmark recycling cabinet

Recycling center from StarMark Cabinetry

Consumers’ kitchen wish-list:

• Islands
• Roll-outs, pull-outs & pull-downs
• Drawers instead of base cabinets
• Energy –efficient appliances
• Mixing materials, surfaces & finishes
• LED lighting
• Recycling areas
• Computer charging station
• Multiple ovens & dishwashers

kitchen islands for every style

Kitchen islands in every shape, style & finish!

The ultimate shower with the Brizo RSVP shower collection

The ultimate shower with the Brizo RSVP shower collection.

Consumers’ Bath wish-list:

• Furniture style vanities
• His & her vanities
• Super showers
• Customized storage
• Heated floors
• Private toilet areas
• Water-saving fixtures
• Soaking or jetted tubs

Bathroom furniture vanity from StarMark

Furniture style bathroom vanities are hot! This is from StarMark Cabinetry.

Furniture vanity with double sinks

This Star Cabinetry furniture vanity features clean lines and double sinks.

Betcha’ your must-have list includes a couple of these! Stop by a Modern Supply kitchen, bath & lighting showroom and bring your wish-list. We’ll put our creative thinkin’ caps on and design a kitchen or bath that will make you happy, happy, happy! Don’t forget…

Tell ‘em Millie sent you!

Modern's Millie Signature color

Budget-Friendly Cabinets

Made in the USA

Kitchens are the heart of the home and used for so much more than preparing food. They’re a gathering place and often an extension of the family living area. People today are staying in their homes longer and are remodeling to suit their taste and lifestyle and not just for resell value. Statistics show a kitchen remodel has the largest pay-back of any home remodel.

Vanilla Cream, another new Armstrong finish

Armstrong’s Vanilla Cream for a cozy, country kitchen

A lot of factors may influence the decision to remodel. Are your kitchen cabinets beginning to fall apart? Are dated appliances at the end of their life? Want to open-up the area by removing a wall? Need more storage and better traffic flow? All great reasons!

The biggest remodeling concern is budget. A justified concern since large, show-stopper kitchen costs can soar. However, they don’t have to! By taking a hard look at your must-have’s, deciding which things you can live without, and choosing the right products, your remodel can be within reach.

Armstrong Cabinets - Slate finish

Slate gray, one of Armstrong’s new finishes

Cabinetry and hardware account for approximately twenty-nine percent of a kitchen remodeling budget according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Modern Supply represents several cabinetry lines; each with their own niche, price range and design options.

Armstrong Cabinets are made in the USA and offer a wide range of semi-custom, fine quality kitchen and bath cabinetry. We know and trust the Armstrong brand to deliver exceptional craftsmanship and value. With three lines, more than 20 finishes and 23 door styles, there’s beauty to meet your budget.

Armstrong Vanilla Cream and Sage

Great mix of finishes! Armstrong’s Vanilla Cream & Sage.

• Allwood™ is Armstrong’s top-tier construction features that are found in custom built cabinetry.
• Premier™ Series construction is finely crafted with quality and affordability. It offers a budget conscious choice that doesn’t sacrifice style or quality.
• Origins Series combines the durability and value of the Allwood construction with the environmental benefits of sustainable, low emitting materials.

Armstrong Cabinets Onyx finish

Armstrong’s classic Onyx finish

Based on your budget, you may add options such as dovetail drawers, soft-close drawers and soft-close door hinges. Armstrong also offers glass and aluminum doors, moldings, light rail and finish glazes. Pull-out shelves, lazy susans and base cabinet organizers offer easy access. Keep it simple or spice it up! It’s your choice for Armstrong accessories!

Visit Armstrong Cabinets web site

Buy American Made Sinks!

Hip Hip Hooray for American made Elkay Manufacturing! Elkay filed petitions that initiated an investigation by the United States Department of Commerce against Chinese imported stainless steel sinks that were selling from 54.25 percent to 76.53 percent of the U.S. sales price. Yikes! It’s hard to compete against cheap!

ELKAY e-dock sink

Elkay’s e-dock sink with magnetic holders

The U.S. Commerce folk’s preliminary decision in September 2012, requires Chinese competitors to pay cash deposits on stainless steel sinks imported into the U.S. Amounts range from 50.28 to 76.15 percent of the customs value of the imports.

Elkay accessory sink

Elkay’s accessory sink

This is a gi-normous win! This ruling helps to protect U.S. jobs. Elkay is America’s number one selling stainless steel sink company with 3500 U.S employees.

Most of these Chinese sinks are cheapo’s made of a grade of stainless steel inferior to Elkay’s. The lower the stainless gauge number, the thicker, which helps reduce scratching & noise. The ‘ol “pay for what ya get” rule is dead-on here!

Elkay Slim Rim

Elkay’s Slim Rim is great for replacing old sinks

This Fed ruling will make the imports more in-line with American-made pricing. Before you go shellin’ out your hard earned bucks on a swanky new stainless sink, ask where it’s made. Buy American made and let the bucks stop here!

Shop by Modern Supply’s Lovell Road showroom and take a peek at Elkay sinks. They have fab sinks in every shape, size and configuration. My design sistas will be tickled pink to help.

Read the complete Elkay Press Release.Modern's Millie Signature color

Tips on Buying Plumbing Fixtures

Brizo Vuelo collection

The unique look of Brizo’s Vuelo collection

Have you decided it’s time to ditch the leaky, drippy faucets and jump into a kitchen or bath remodel? Kitchen and bathrooms are an investment that will increase your home’s value and provide enjoyment for years to come. Here’s a couple of plumbing fixture tips that will help you be a savvier consumer. Not all fixtures are created equal!

Folks often ask why buy from Modern Supply versus a big box retailer. It’s our awesome staff, their years of experience and professional grade products! Brands such as Brizo, Porcher and others are only available from showroom retailers. Professional grade faucets are made with higher quality of materials—brass instead of plastic—to meet the requirements of plumbing professionals. You turn a faucet on-and-off a zillion times a week…don’t scrimp on quality! Replacing is ZERO fun.

Brizo RSVP shower collection

Brizo RSVP shower collection

Homeowners are installing awesome showers with lots of fab body sprays, rain shower heads and hand-held sprays. Simply delightful if the proper rough-in valves have been installed! The rough-in valve allows adjustments to the volume of water and temperatures. Gotta’ size it right to have enough water for all the jets!

Holy smokes! What if something is defective? We’ve got your back with replacement parts and even factory reps to help on big stuff if needed. Your satisfaction is super important to us!

Porcher-Nouveau tub

Porcher’s Epoque Notveau tub and Sonnet Large Console Lavatory

Choices can seem overwhelming during a remodel or new construction project. Bring your wish list of ideas and sit down with folks that know all these little mind-boggling details. Oodles of training keep us sharp on new products, trends and technology.

Porcher stainless farm sink

Farm sinks from Porcher in Stainless and Fire Clay

Come on by, have a cup of coffee and talk with one of my design peeps. Leave the details to us and…tell ‘em Millie sent ya!

Follow me on Facebook & Twitter for cool ideas!Modern's Millie Signature color

Part Visionary, Part Realist

Traits to tackle a major kitchen or bath remodeling project

 Homeowners have an abundance of informational sources available for remodeling advice and ideas. The do-it-yourself channels and internet sites make it look easier and faster than it actually is. To tackle a major renovation project, you need to be part visionary and part realist. The visionary sees the potential; the realist sees the time, patience and budget needed!

kitchen remodel sink and bar view

Lots of countertop work area

The kitchen and bathrooms were high on the remodel list so Steve called his friends at Modern Supply for design and product advice. Debbie Johnson from Modern Supply met with Steve. They discussed how to redesign the existing odd shaped kitchen to be more cook-friendly. Measurements were taken and the designing process began!

kitchen remodel microwave cabinet

The kitchen was reconfigured to maximize space and storage. The cabinetry chosen was from StarMark using the Prescott door style in cherry and finished in toffee with an ebony glaze. The refrigerator and dishwasher are concealed with cabinetry panels for a very polished look. Delta’s Leland faucet in stainless and a Blanco granite sink in biscotti complement the granite countertops. KitchenAid appliances include a refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave along with a BlueStar 36” range.

kitchen remodel range & pull-out cabinets


The master bath was a total remodel replacing a tub with a walk-in shower and adding double vanities. The maple vanities were also from StarMark using the Milan door style finished in toffee. American Standard’s Boulevard above counter sink was paired with Jado’s Pike faucet in chrome as well as the shower system. To complete the room, contemporary silver mirrors and vanity lights were added. A dated bathroom is transformed!

Kitchen remodel sink cabinets

Many more things were done to the house including a new roof, ductwork, two new Rheem heating and air units, updated plumbing and electrical, fireplace, refinishing of the existing hardwood and repainted throughout. After several months of hard work, the project is almost complete with a few details left.

kitchen remodel concealed refrigerator

Bathroom remodel vanity“The yard first attracted me to this house,” Steve says. “Once I walked through it, I had a vision of this house’s potential. With a lot of time and help from my contractor and folks like Modern Supply, I’m seeing the vision turn into reality. This property has transformed from a remodeled house to a home.”

If you have a vision for your home, contact Modern Supply to help turn it into reality. 865.966.4567