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!


Modern Supply Wins Industry Marketing Award

Out-of-the-Box Marketing Concepts Appeal to Retail Consumers

Modern Supply Company, a kitchen, bath, lighting and HVAC distributor, has been selected as the winner for WIT & Company’s WHAM (WIT Honors Achievements in Marketing) marketing award in the E-marketing & Web Campaigns category for their blog, Kitchen and Bath Blab. The blog continues to brand Modern’s Millie as their virtual spokesperson sharing design trends and product information. WIT is a national member-owned organization of approximately one hundred independent plumbing, heating and cooling wholesale distributors.

Modern Supply Marketing Award

WIT Marketing Award – Pace Robinson, Modern Supply CEO (left) with Morris Cregger, WIT President

“We’re very pleased to have won the WHAM
e-marketing award for our blog and to be recognized among our peers,” states Pace Robinson, Modern Supply CEO. “The blog was created to help expand our consumer reach and awareness for Modern’s Millie, our fictional spokesperson. The blog was the next step in our social media initiative.”

“Modern Supply definitely deserved to win the e-marketing award,” Sabrina Hawthorne, WIT Marketing Coordinator, comments. “Their branding strategy is unique and creative…for this industry and overall.  When they introduced Modern’s Millie to their market, they successfully implemented several out-of-the-box endeavors including their Kitchen and Bath Blab blog.  Congratulations, Modern Supply!”

The announcement was made at WIT’s 2012 Fall Networking Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

For updates – including product news and current trends – visit Modern Supply’s website, as well as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

A kitchen remodel – Before & After

Sometimes after a kitchen remodel, you forget the “before” look because the “after” is so beautiful. That’s what this homeowner discovered as she enjoys her newly renovated kitchen.


Before: White cabinets in an L shape constricted the flow.

Kitchen remodel after 1

After: A mix of cabinetry finishes pulled together with a granite countertop.

The Oak Ridge home was due a kitchen remodel. The cabinetry was worn and countertops dated. The homeowner also wanted to change the traffic flow for a more open space. A door to an adjoining room was moved and a pass-through cut for a more open feel. The L-shape of the counter was removed and the sink relocated under the pass-through.


Before kitchen remodel

When selecting cabinetry, the homeowner knew she wanted a light color but looked to the expertise of Modern Supply’s design team for their recommendations. After looking at several options, plans were drawn and selections finalized.

Kitchen after remodel with arched doorway

After: An open arched doorway replaces a swing door

StarMark Cabinetry was chosen for their superior construction, quality of finishes and selection of door styles and finishes. The primary cabinets are maple finished in buttercream with a chocolate glaze. Sounds good enough to eat!

A bit skeptical, the homeowner agreed to the suggestion of a second finish for the island. The same door style was used but in cherry with a toffee finish and chocolate glaze. She’s thrilled with the outcome and it complements the buttercream finish. Both finishes are pulled together with a gorgeous granite countertop.

Kitchen remodel after photos

After: Drab turned to glam!

Little extras add so much in for a more polished look and extra convenience. Light rail below the cabinets help conceal under counter lighting; crown rail finishes the cabinet tops; finished end panels match the doors for a refined look; corner drawer storage; spice racks; utensil drawer; and vertical storage for cookie sheets all maximize space and a finishing touch.

Pleased with the outcome, the family is enjoying the new kitchen and space arrangement. On to the next project…I believe there are workers on the deck today!

Kitchen Island Trends

Kitchens are the hub of the home and are used for more than preparing meals. Areas for doing homework, electronic docking stations and desk space are often included. Even when entertaining, everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen.


Island by KraftMaid with prep sink, recycle center, shelving, drawers, cabinet & wine storage.

KraftMaid island drawing

Have idea? We can draw it!

The kitchen island is a centerpiece and should stand out. The countertop, base cabinetry and hardware can be different from the rest of the cabinetry but should coordinate. What a great place to add a bold pop of color and a striking lighting fixture!

Armstrong island with bench

Armstrong Cabinets maximize space with this island backed with seating.

Island design elements are endless! From small and simple to large and multi-faceted, choose from features like pull-out storage, shelving, glass doors, decorative posts, corbels & legs, and wine storage. Cook tops, dishwashers, wine coolers and prep sinks are often installed in the island area. Don’t forget to add electrical outlets!

Armstrong multi-level island

Multi-tiered island adds interest from Armstrong Cabinets.

When thinking about designing your island, space guidelines from the National Kitchen and Bath Association  recommends at least 42 inches of aisle space surrounding an island, and 48 inches if there are multiple cooks. Counter heights are 36 inches and breakfast bar height is typically 40 to 42 inches.


A bold statement in mixing finishes from KraftMaid.

Are you ready to get started on your island project? Stop by Modern Supply and look at their kitchen displays for inspiration. Design consultants are ready to help you create your dream island.

865.966.4567 • Locations

StarMark non-standard island shape

From StarMark Cabinetry, a non-standard shape with decorative corbels.

StarMark Cottage Island

A small island is perfect for this cottage kitchen by StarMark.

 Armstrong CabinetsKraftMaidStarMark Cabinetry

Toilet Tips for Updating

Buying a toilet isn’t as much fun as buying sassy spring sandals but a necessity! There’s more to know about toilets than meets the…well, you get it.  Find the right flush for your bathroom with my toilet tips.

Porcher Archive

The Porcher Archive 1-piece toilet is pretty & WaterSense labeled. Porcher is an American Standard brand.

A one piece toilet is sleeker, easier to clean and has fewer places for yuck to live. Two piece toilets are economical, easy to install and the bowl or tank can be replaced.

Toilet height is measured from floor to rim. Standard is 14-inches; chair height is 16 to 17-inches and ADA compliant. There’s even a 10-inch model perfect for potty training.

Round, compact elongated or elongated…oh my! Small powder rooms may only have space for a round or compact model that extends about 27 ½-inches. Elongated are the most popular extending 29 ½-inches.

American Standard H2Option Dual Flush Right Height Elongated

American Standard Dual Flush, Right Height, Elongated

The EPA WaterSense folks say older toilets use 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush (gpf). Geez! That’s a lot! The government says the max flush can’t be more than 1.6 gpf. A WaterSense labeled toilet uses 1.28 gpf and can save a family of four more than $90 a year on their water bill. There’s also a dual flusher with a partial and full flush that uses as little as 1.0 gpf.

American Standard H2Option Dual Flush buttons

American Standard H2Option Dual Flush buttons

Other stuff that divas typically don’t care about…The flush valve is inside the tank. A large opening allows the water to pass through faster for a quick flush. Valve sizes are 2-inch, 3-inch or the mack-daddy, 4-inch. Next, the toilet outlet is the gateway to the sewer and bigger is better. Sizes include: 2-inch, 2 1/8-inch and 2 3/8-inch.

If toilet trivia has your brain spinnin’, drop by a Modern Supply kitchen and bath showroom and talk toilets with my plumbing peeps and…

American Standard Champion 4 Right Height, Elongated

American Standard Champion 4 with a 2 3/8” trapway & 4” flush valve virtually eliminates clogs.

Tell ‘em Millie sent you!Millie

Titan Pro Right Height Elongated Triangle Toilet

A potty for every space!