Super User

Super User

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 08:31

Relax and Unwind


Relax and Unwind in Your Bathroom

Here at Modern Homes we realise how important it is to have a bathroom that is made for relaxation and it is often a driving force behind our design solutions.  We are therefore delighted to have launched our very own fragrant diffusers that every bathroom customer will receive on completion of their bathroom.

Our good friend, Tricia Davison from Truly Lovely Gifts has provided the beautiful diffusers that don’t just look fabulous but smell amazing too.

The 'Keep Calm and Relax, it’s a Modern Homes Bathroom' diffuser is presented in a stylish glass and chrome bottle with a lovely fresh, light sea spray fragrance that is both uplifting and relaxing.  The rich blend of Bergamot with Jasmine, Lily and Violets mingles with citrus notes of Lemon and Orange blossom to evoke the freshness of an ocean breeze.

Pop into the showroom and you may well find that we have one working its magic and keeping the summer vibe alive a little longer- we hope to see you soon.



Tuesday, 25 August 2015 10:18

Hotel Style Rooms


How to Create a Hotel Quality Bedroom and Bathroom at Home

The trend for mini breaks and growth in boutique hotels has led to an increase in homeowners wanting to create a hotel like bedroom and bathroom in their own home.

If you have been inspired by the statement baths, walk in showers, and the streamlined and stylish look of a hotel bedroom and bathroom and want to create it at home then look no further.

The bedroom and bathroom of your dreams is probably more affordable than you think as great design does not have to be expensive and a few clever tricks of the trade can turn the ordinary into something special.

Storage is one of the key issues to deal with as that sleek hotel feel only comes when there are no nasty pipes, fixings or things on display.  Everything that needs to be hidden, such as the plumbing and electrics can be dealt with in the overall design and the selection of the right furniture can deal with everything else.

Fitted bedroom furniture can make the most of your bedroom space, fitting into recesses and alcoves.  Utilising a wide range of wardrobes, drawers, dressing tables and bedside cabinets will ensure that all your belongings have a home.  The latest colours and finishes are right on trend with sophisticated wood finishes and classic colours.  Door styles can be contemporary slabs or more elegant panels. Think symmetrical in terms of bedside cabinets to recreate the hotel look.

One of the best ways to create the hotel feel is to have matching furniture in the bedroom and the en-suite, this seamless coordinated look will ooze style and class.
A statement bath such as a freestanding oval will create a dramatic focal point and the right vanity unit with wall mounted taps will add to the feeling of luxury.

Lighting can transform the feel of a bathroom, add mood lighting and spotlights into recesses for interest.

Finally don’t forget the decedent finishing touches, strategically placed lamps and throws in the bedroom and candles and bathrobes in the bathroom.



Tuesday, 25 August 2015 09:41

New Town & Country Collection

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Traditional, Contemporary and Fusion Kitchens from The New Town and Country Collection

We absolutely love the new Town & Country collection from Mereway that offers a fabulous new take on the traditional or contemporary debate.  This exciting new collection offers the opportunity to create an individual look that can be both traditional, contemporary or something else!

For the traditionalist, traditional shaker doors have been given a modern twist and mantels have been streamlined, so what was once a country kitchen can have a more chic and contemporary feel.

For the minimalist, contemporary flat slab doors with exciting textured finishes and modern wood grains add drama.  Sleek galvanised wine chillers and tall banks of units to take the built in steam oven and coffee maker complete the overall look.

With five new ranges, a host of new colours and finishes, there is something for everyone. Doors can be mixed and matched with a wide range of colours and a ready to paint option, there is an extensive selection of handles available too.

Take a look at the Town & Country twins in this Mereway video to find out more, you could win an IPad mini too!  Then call into the showroom and we can help you create your own unique Town & Country kitchen.


Monday, 20 July 2015 00:00

Not Big But very Clever!

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Not Big But very Clever!

Modern appliances take up a big part of the design and budget of your fabulous new kitchen and many questions arise when choosing these

Shall we go big and bold or small and discreet? These questions are often answered depending on the type of appliance we are choosing.

Let’s talk fridge freezer: With cooling products it’s capacity that is top of the wish list and accordingly dimensions of fridge-freezers available to us have continued to expand.

Products over 1600 mm high have grown by 14% volume over the past year along with the growth of American Style side by side products which now account for over 8% of all products sold in the UK.

Often this desire for a larger fridge freezer means that this appliance makes a ‘statement’ within the main design of the kitchen, however other appliances tend to look better hidden away.

Slim line dishwashers (45cm) have increased in sales over their full size (60cm) counterparts, helped no end by advancements in the capacity and layout of the smaller models which means clients are often better using a slim line model regularly than a full size infrequently.

Compact is now the way forward for many cooking appliances.  A variety of multi–function cooking appliances can be banked together on a wall of tall housings to create a statement and provide versatility.  Items that can be included include combination microwaves, combination steam ovens, warming drawers, built in coffee machines, wine coolers, to name just a few.

Cooking appliances are becoming feature-rich with programs to offer most cooking methods including pizza baking, turbo grilling, and moist fan baking.

Range cookers and Aga’s have historically been large statement points within some styles of kitchen design.  They are now becoming more space friendly with 600 mm versions recently being launched, thereby allowing consumers to have their heart’s desire of a range cooker or Aga fitted if they wish!

A product that I am not sure we will be specifying much but again proves how versatile modern appliance design has become is the new Candy Trio which incorporates a combined oven, hob and dishwasher all in a 60 cm space!

Whatever is on your wish list I am sure we can help, call in and see us soon.


Wednesday, 15 July 2015 09:09

Storage Wars

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Storage Wars

In my opinion, one of the greatest changes in kitchens over the last few years has been the increased diversity of internal storage within cabinetry.

The manufacturers we use spend a large amount of time, effort and expense conducting wide-ranging research into the way people use their kitchens. This research has been used to develop products across the board.

There are developed solutions that can now increase storage capacity by up to 55%  over traditional old styled shelved cabinetry.

As good quality cabinetry ensures a long life for the new kitchen, it is important to consider what our needs may be 10-15 years down the line. Anything that pulls out creates easy access and should negate the need to stand on stools reaching into cupboards, which can also be a great safety hazard.

The increasingly popular open plan living is also helping to drive storage solutions. The tendency to merge living and food preparation areas means we need a decluttering approach so small appliances and storage can be hidden from view once the food preparation is done.

Nowadays a pull out larder unit does not need to be a single system where the entire contents have to be pulled out to access the stored goods.  It can make more sense that each level of storage can be accessed independently with full extension pull outs behind the door, therefore providing an extremely high level of accessibility and visibility.

Clever storage solutions in corners and even under the sink, as well as wall cabinets, are all part of making a new kitchen an effective and pleasurable workspace.

The dreaded recycling means there are now various options to keep this area of daily kitchen use as tidy and organised as possible and now we can even specify trash compactors which will allow many tins etc. to be compacted, putting an end to overflowing bin syndrome and various trips to outside bins.

Internal organisation is key, even with pull out drawer storage, so the options are to add to these special and removable storage units, like adjustable plate holders, knife racks and foil- film dispensers.

So if you want groveling on your hands and knees, looking for something in the dark recesses of your kitchen cupboards, to be a thing of the past, come and talk to us about planning your ideal accessible kitchen!


Friday, 29 May 2015 12:42

New Contemporary Kitchens

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New Contemporary Kitchens from Mereway

We love the diversity of the kitchens available from British manufacturer, Mereway Kitchens and are loving the latest additions to the Cucina Colore range.

If you are looking for something different to add a touch of originality to your kitchen, then these new additions are simply stunning. New colours, wood grains and textured finishes are all included along with some special finishing touches such as the mirrored plinths and mirrored back panels in wall units.

There are four new gloss finishes, a dramatic Dark Elm, a textured Dark Cross Cut, a Natural Linen and a beautiful on-trend Graphite Linen. The Graphite Linen is perfect for creating contrast in a modern kitchen and matches well with any of the painted veneer finishes.

The wide range of furniture available within Cucina Colore such as open shelving and glazed units provide for stylish storage and can transform the kitchen into a living and social space for all the family.

We have a beautiful new display of the Pearl Basalt from the existing Cucina Colore range so call in soon and find out more about creating your dream contemporary kitchen.




Wednesday, 22 April 2015 13:59

Doing Your Homework

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How to Buy a New Kitchen

I may surprise you now but where would you think the best place is to start on the project of your new kitchen?

And actually I am not going to say my fantastic showroom …... yet…..

I am going to say your existing kitchen.

I always ask my clients to do some homework on their existing kitchen before we begin the design process for the new room. The important information is to work out what does and doesn’t work in your existing room.

We develop a habit in as little as 21 days, so a lot of what you do in your existing kitchen can be just due to habit. This is the time to think long and hard about what does and doesn’t work with a fresh perspective.

I usually suggest spending a couple of weeks with a notepad to hand and each time an issue comes to you make a note of it, such as no worktop space near the fridge for unloading shopping, teaspoons too far away from the coffee/tea making facilities.

Given that the average time between buying new kitchens can be around 17 years, your lifestyle may have changed considerably since your last purchase.

Creating a mood board is a great method of consolidating your ideas, also great value if not everyone sees eye to eye re colours and styles. I used to suggest cutting pictures out of magazines and putting them into a folder. Life is much easier now with places like Pinterest available it is very easy to get inspired.

Armed with this information it is then time to come into our beautiful showroom to actually touch and see the products on offer, where our team will actually take the time to ensure that every inch of your new kitchen is designed with you in mind. Our greatest achievements to date are always when the feedback from our clients is ‘The new kitchen works perfectly for us’, that makes us all very happy!

Bear in mind the overall chosen colour scheme of the bedroom as certain colours can absorb the light so additional lighting features will be required. Be aware now that lamps (bulbs) are available in both cool white and warm white hues so ensure that you have chosen the correct tone for your colour scheme and all fittings will accept the same colour!


Wednesday, 22 April 2015 13:48

Control that Clutter!


How to organise your utility room

Did you know the work ‘utility’ means ‘usefulness’ and what better way to create an oasis of calm and order in your home than having a whole room devoted to such a purpose.

The rise of the open plan kitchen/living arrangement has also increased the need for a utility room. Washing machines and tumble dryers can be very noisy not conducive to a relaxing evening.  Another huge advantage of a separate utility room means that the kitchen can be kept clear of clutter.

A well planned utility room can also double as a ‘plant’ room, for example housing the boiler, fuse board, water meters, gas meters to name a few , as well as storage of additional cleaning products, spare kitchen rolls, pet food etc.

If it is near the back door an area for boots, bags and coats can stop these being strewn all over your living areas.

A large utilitarian sink can be a bonus when hand washing cleaning muddy football boots or even a furry member of the family.

The addition of tall storage can be useful as a broom cupboard and a combination of units with shelving storage can be invaluable for more bulky items such as re-cycling. Often the height of your room can be an area utilised with hanging racks for storage or clothes dryers.

If the utility is off the kitchen we would usually recommend continuing the colour scheme of the kitchen though into the utility but by sometimes chose more cost effective products, for example a matching laminate worktop to complement the kitchen granite, or free standing appliances leaving the integrated ones for the kitchen, and possibly lower specification doors for these units. The flooring needs to be as good quality as your kitchen and always looks better if this is continued through.

If the utility cannot be next to the kitchen think creatively with your space; could you section an area off, eg a hallway with a sliding wall to conceal appliances and storage.  A fantastic idea if your utility area is just for laundry is to site it upstairs, makes total sense as after all where does your dirty washing accumulate and where do you put your clean washing away?


Wednesday, 22 April 2015 13:37

Set the Mood


How to use layers of lighting to create ambience in the bedroom

It may surprise you to know but I believe getting the lighting right for a bedroom can be one of the trickiest rooms in your house.

This is because it has to function from creating the most calming retreat to help you relax in an oasis of calm and tranquility, to directional task lighting like dressing or applying make-up.

All of the lighting must be easy to adjust and each activity in the bedroom needs its’ own lighting system to suit, making dimmers and separate lighting circuits a consideration.

Ambient lighting is the base level we start from – this is the general lighting required to move around the room and be able to see what you are doing. This is usually some sort of pendant ceiling light or a more streamlined modern look can be using recessed downlights in the ceiling.  These can be very useful if you have a low ceiling height and are mostly specified as LED lamps which are energy efficient.

Accent Lighting This is used to create depth, shade, shadows and pools of light which adds texture focus and shape to your ambient lighting.

Accent lighting is usually created by using table lamps or picture lights can be fitted to focus on wall hung artwork. Uplights can be recessed into the floor, wall mounted or fitted on top of furniture and they will throw light upwards towards the ceiling producing a  softer reflective light.  Led strips can be added to highlight areas such as feature shelving.

Task Lighting It is vital to illuminate working areas of the bedroom such as the dressing table. Consider reading lights and lighting the interior of wardrobes and large drawers to help you.

Reading lights can be either a lamp placed beside the bed or a more specific directional light fitted by the bed so not to disturb a snoozing partner.

Lights placed each side of a mirror cast fewer shadows than one placed directly above which will help when applying make up.

New innovations for interior lights include PIR sensors which monitor movement and automatically switches lights on and off.

Bear in mind the overall chosen colour scheme of the bedroom as certain colours can absorb the light so additional lighting features will be required. Be aware now that lamps (bulbs) are available in both cool white and warm white hues so ensure that you have chosen the correct tone for your colour scheme and all fittings will accept the same colour!


Wednesday, 04 February 2015 09:53

The Man Behind The Dragon


Meeting The Man Behind The Dragon

Every small business needs a boost – and when it comes from those who’ve been successful themselves, it means all the more. Which is how we got involved with Theo Paphitis from Dragon’s Den, and his idea – Small Business Sunday.

Known on Twitter by its shortform hashtag #SBS  - the idea is simple. Tweet Theo on @TheoPaphitis, and describe your business in one tweet. You MUST include the hashtag #SBS, and you can ONLY tweet between 5.00 PM and 7.30 PM each Sunday for it to count.

Every Monday night at 8pm, Theo then reviews and chooses his favourite six who are then re-tweeted. As he has over 450,000 followers, this provides a massive boost to the chosen lucky businesses. This of course leads to increased Twitter followers and positive media publicity for these people – (although we agree some good luck probably plays a part at this stage too!).

We were delighted to have our tweet chosen in July 2014, which meant that as a winner, we could then attend Theo’s live event #sbs2015, which was held at the  ICC in Birmingham  on Friday 30th January!

And what a day it proved to be. Around 1000 small business attended this fantastically motivational experience – where we all mingled, swapped ideas and listened to inspirational speakers on the Q & A panel. Telling their stories were Rob Forkan  from Gandy’s flip flops; Julien Callede from @madedotcom and JudyNaake  - who bought St Tropez tanning products into the UK.

We also got help and advice regarding our new website, and learned just how far our social media (i.e. Twitter) can reach when we network with other winners on our Tuesday winner’s hour. Some analytics show our interactions to have a reach of around 3.5 million people!

The Sun newspaper ran an article the Thursday before the event, and that day the #SBS website had an additional quarter of a million views! Which all goes to demonstrate how wonderful  it is to have the support of someone so influential in the retail world.

Running a small business isn’t easy – but with people like Theo – it’s inspiring to see what can be achieved. And we came back full of renewed vigour and enthusiasm for what we do here at Modern Homes too.

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