Welcome To The History Of Modern Homes - Modern Homes

by Tina Riley
2 months ago
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As we’re now celebrating a whopping 55 years in business that have been filled with many incredible moments, we thought it would be a fantastic time to share the history of Modern Homes.  

From our humble beginnings, to now celebrating 55 years of delivering high quality bathrooms and kitchens, we’re proud to say we’ve stayed true to our business principles, morals and ethics.   

Ready to dive into our history? Let’s go! 

1968: Modern Homes is born 

After moving from Birmingham to Leamington when his Mum opened a dance studio in Tachbrook Street, Danny MacCormack began Modern Homes by selling one of the first instant hot water heaters in the bathroom industry. This was known as The Gemini Shower. It was advertised in the Daily Mirror and is incredible to think that many homes were without proper bathrooms at the time!  

Then during a visit to a trade exhibition, Danny spied the future….a wonderful invention called a ‘Supa-Sink’. A three in one sink, washing machine and dishwasher with a free crockery basket. Sales of this new wonder appliance took off with the decision to sell both The Gemini Shower and the Supa-Sink. And so, in November 1968 Supa-Sink trading as Modern Homes was born. 

1970: Modern Homes showroom opens in Leamington Spa 

Over the next couple of years, it became obvious that there were add on sales to be had with both The Gemini Shower and the Supa-Sink, so new premises needed to be found. This led to Modern Homes opening a Kitchen and Bathroom Showroom in Regent Street in Leamington Spa in 1970. 

The next few years saw us concentrate on well-known kitchen manufacturers, including DaintyMaid, Elizabeth Ann, Hygena, and Ladylove to name a few! We also increased our bathroom offerings to include Avocado, Sun King, and Orchid, and also supplied Johnsons and Pilkingtons wall tiles and carpet tiles for that truly 70’s contemporary feel. 

The earliest copies of accounts that we can find are 1970 and 1971. Turnover in 1970 was £8,636.00 with profit for the year at £273.00. This was much improved in 1971, where we saw a turnover of £15,463 with a net profit of £862.00! 

1970: New professional relationships 

Fast forward a few more years and the sad demise of the British kitchen industry saw us begin a relationship with German manufacturer Beckermann and the Spanish company Xey.  

Our relationship with these two manufacturers differed greatly. A delivery from Germany would be scheduled to the last minute, and low and behold, with true German efficiency the van would turn up at exactly the time we were expecting. 

On the other hand, Tina remembers Manuel, the Spanish driver, who would arrive wearing his slippers. The deliveries were always very dependent on the weather and many other variables! 

1981: Tina becomes manager 

On her 21st birthday, Tina was promoted to Manager, taking on more responsibilities within the business. She was given a briefcase that contained the shares, when at the time she had her heart set on a new car! 

1982: The Modern Homes showroom changes location 

We then decided to move the kitchen showroom from the high street with all the incumbent parking, storage, transport issues to our current location on a trading estate. At the time, this was treated with snorts of derision and comments like “you’ll never be able to sell kitchens and bathrooms not in a high street location”. In order to make the transition smoother, we kept the high street shop open for a further year as the bathroom showroom but moved the kitchens.  

Due to the increased costs of buying kitchens from abroad, we came up with the cunning plan of making our own kitchens. The recent 80’s recession had made people more conscious about their spending and we believed that we could produce a cheaper and better-quality unit ourselves. We began dealing with a company called Saga from Folkestone in Kent and would buy in the component carcase materials we needed and had a whole production line of YTS staff in white overalls making cabinets. 

Whilst always trading as Modern Homes when we made our own units, we also used the logo Kustombuilt kitchens by Modern Homes. We incorporated the Union Jack into the logo to promote the fact that we were supporting British Manufacturing; something that we still do to this day!  

1985: Our first computer aided design system 

1985 saw us with our first computer aided design system called Planit, which we still use today. 

2000: Danny retires 

Things were going well until 2000 when Danny was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop work overnight. This was a scary time both from a personal point of view, and also from a business aspect when 50% of your workforce disappears overnight.  

We are pleased to say he made a full recovery and much enjoys his retirement and pottering in the garden… although any reps who think Tina can be harsh should be reminded of him in his heyday. To say he took no prisoners would be an understatement! 

2004: Modern Homes rebrands 

In 2004 we decided that our branding needed a bit of a facelift for a more modern (excuse the pun) look, so we rebranded with a fresh new logo. 

2007: Tina’s son Daniel joins the business 

Things came full circle when in 2007 Daniel joined Tina in the family business and they started the third generation of the business. 

2008: Celebrating 40 years in business 

In 2008 we celebrated our 40th year in business. We had a big open day to celebrate with over 200 customers coming to see us to help us toast this special day! It was a huge achievement and a very proud moment for all of us. 

2010: Toilet twinning 

Modern Homes joined the World’s first Toilet Twinners. When customers purchased a bathroom, they could link their new loo with one deep in the African bush. We donated the twinnings to help improve hygiene and sanitation in the tiny war-torn country of Burundi. 

2010: Tina was on the radio 

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire have become great supporters of Modern Homes, and we spent a very hilarious morning with a live Breakfast Show hosted by Liz Kershaw! 

2010: Cookery events 

Over the years we have had various cookery events hosted within our kitchen showrooms. Chris Hands is a professional chef who comes to the showroom and demonstrates a three-course meal using seasonal locally sourced produce. An invited guest list gets to see Chris in action, taste the wonderful food and then take the menu home to try for themselves. 

2012: Daniel receives young designer award  

Daniel received the KBSA Young Designer Award. This is a huge achievement, and we were all thrilled for him, and so proud! 

2014: Modern Homes becomes a competition finalist

A national competition to find Britain’s best small business named Modern Homes in Leamington as one of six finalists. The online competition, run by smallbusiness.co.uk and supported by insurance provider Insurantz. com which designed to celebrate the small enterprises which encapsulate the true spirit of entrepreneurship within their communities. 

2015: Tina is voted on the board  

Tina was voted onto the board of our trade association the KBSA. It is a privilege, and she’s able to bring a female perspective to the table. 

2021/3 Another award

Modern Hones won the Small Business of the Year at the Touch FM’s Pride of Warwick Awards, highlighting our commitment to customer service and quality products.

2023: 55 years in business 

That brings us all the way up to today where we’re celebrating 55 years in business. We’re so proud of the business, our team, and everything we’ve achieved.  

 

We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our customers, both old and new.  

We can’t wait to see what the future holds – here’s to the next 55 years! 

 

Looking to create your dream bathroom or kitchen? Contact our friendly team today, we’d love to help!