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March 31, 2011

Be Inspired by Elegance

Have you been searching for the perfect cabinet design for your kitchen? Well, look no further. The elegant design and quality construction of Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre cabinetry is here. 

Canadian-made and available in a variety of door styles and finishes. And with looks ranging from traditional to contemporary, you're sure to find a design that's right for you.

Drop by the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom to learn more.

March 25, 2011

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre Celebrates Earth "Weekend"

Last year, approximately 60% of Ontario residents turned off their lights for Earth Hour.

Were you one of them?

A global initiative designed to raise awareness of climate change, Earth Hour began in Australia in 2007 and spread quickly throughout the globe by 2008.

According to The World Wildlife Fund, last year 128 countries showed their commitment to saving energy and leading greener lives by celebrating Earth Hour.

This year, Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 26th from 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. local time.

At Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre, we're upping the ante and will be holding an EARTH WEEKEND.

Our lights will be off from Friday, March 25th at 5:00 p.m. until Monday, March 28th at 9:00 a.m. Only essential lighting will be turned on during business hours on Saturday.

You CAN make a difference.

To learn more about Earth Hour, visit the Earth Hour website.

March 24, 2011

Monarch's Whole-Home Makeover Continues: Safety First

The team from Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre continued work on John and Cindy's 1,000 sq. foot Toronto home--this week dealing with insulation and support issues.

The steel support beam installed in the ceiling replaces all interior support walls and creates an open concept.
“The exterior walls had no insulation in them whatsoever. We framed up new exterior walls and will insulate to bring the home up to current building code," explains Monarch president Neil Samson.

"The steel beam installed on the ceiling along the center of the room is what allowed us to remove all interior support walls and create this very open concept," says Monarch designer Sarah Overholt.

"Most of the second floor joists had to be replaced because of holes from previous renovations and cracks from age. The building inspector was very impressed that she didn’t have to issue an order to do this work," adds Neil.

"When it comes to issues of safety, we believe in being proactive. Our client's safety is our number one priority and we deal with every issue as it comes along and to the best of our abilities."

Many of the basement joists were compromised structurally.
This picture of John & Cindy’s basement shows the main floor joists after the room was stripped out. Many of the joists were compromised structurally due to cracking and dry rot." says Neil. “This is not uncommon in a home that is 100 years old or more. Most of these main floor joists will have to be replaced.”

Next blog post: Reconstruction begins

March 18, 2011

Friday Fun: Kitchen and Bath Design Inspiration from Kohler and GROHE

How do you get people to watch the entire 30 seconds of a cast iron sink commercial? What about a commercial about toilets or shower systems?

Humour is the key ingredient in these simple but effective videos from Kohler and GROHE.

March 16, 2011

Monarch's "More-than-a-Kitchen-Reno" Whole-Home Makeover Continues

For most homeowners, gutting their kitchen prior to renovation can be a bit overwhelming. From a physical standpoint, there is the inconvenience of not being able to use the space for weeks at a time, not to mention the dust that inevitably comes with a tear down. And emotionallyeven though you’re excited about transforming and updating your home—it's tough to watch the place you've made so many happy family memories stripped bare.  

For Cindy, whose 1,000 sq. foot Toronto home is being renovated by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre, seeing their entire home gutted was devastating.

"When I walked into my house after the first few days of demolition, I was devastated and terrified that we had made a mistake,” admits Cindy. “Seeing a house I love and have built a family in destroyed was hard to take...the realization that places in the house where memories were made were gone."

Monarch president Neil Samson was not surprised. "As much as we crave change and want to improve our surroundings, there's an emotional element to tearing down the walls of our home that often sneaks up on homeowners."

For Neil and his team at Monarch, this emotional turmoil only adds to the incredible sense of responsibility they feel to ensure each step of the renovation process runs smoothly. 

"In this case, we aren't just working on a kitchen or a bathroom, we're renovating an entire home," explains Neil. "We could sense John and Cindy’s stress and tension building during the rip-out and demolition
it really is the first serious test of your relationship with the homeowners.

“From experience, we know things will turn around when reconstruction commences,” adds Neil. “For now, however, we have to deal with demolition, previous building code infractions and any little ‘surprises’ that teardown reveals...anything that will compromise safety. All the while, maintaining a good working relationship with our clients.”

March 10, 2011

What is Melissa Foley's Favourite Design Trend for 2011?

 LED Lighting

"One of the growing trends in kitchen design today is LED lighting," says Monarch designer Melissa Foley. "LED lights are about 10 times as energy efficient as incandescent bulbs with the same light output. This means high efficiency, low energy use and less maintenance for the homeowner.

Photo courtesy of Richelieu Hardware
"LED lights also last approximately 100 times longer than incandescent bulbs and 10 times longer than a fluorescent tube.

"In the past, the downside to LED lighting was that the colour temperature was more similar to a fluorescent light, and they did not give off the warm lighting tones of an incandescent," Melissa explains. "However, as technology advances, more and more suppliers are catering to the design world and finding ways to create LEDs with a warmer colour temperature.

"At Monarch, we have installed LED lighting in many of our clients' homes and they couldn't be happier! We have a variety of lighting options available and can help you decide which works best for you and your space."

March 8, 2011

Follow this Renovation: Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre's "Whole Home" Makeover

This is John and Cindy’s kitchen. Their 1,000 sq. foot home, built in the 1920’s, is located in the Toronto neighbourhood of Lawrence Park.

"What began as a kitchen renovation turned into a whole home renovation," says Monarch designer Sarah Overholt. "When you start picking out the areas of your home that you don’t like, many parts of the home can be affected by the choices you make."

In this case, John and Cindy's objective was to create a warm, open concept while staying true to the time period of the home.

"The kitchen and dining areas were too small and the living room--also too small--had the staircase causing disjointed site lines," explains Monarch president, Neil Samson. "By creatively addressing these issues, we continued the flow of the design and new space through to the basement and second floor. The house will be completely gutted…all new electrical, all new plumbing, all new insulation...and brought up to code."

Follow us in the coming weeks as Monarch transforms John and Cindy's home.

Next post: Home renovation is definitely scary when you walk into your home and the inside is gone.

March 6, 2011

Kitchen Design Inspiration from the Princess Margaret Hospital Home Lottery

What does a dream kitchen in a 7, 062 sq. foot home look like?

Jack Celli walks us through his kitchen design in this $3.99 million home located in Thornhill, Ontario. This luxurious home is just one of nine grand prizes available in the Princess Margaret Hospital Home Lottery

Your kitchen doesn't have to be big to be the kitchen of your dreams. A stunning, sensible design and an indulgence or two (A built-in espresso machine? A double oven? A fireplace?) can take your kitchen from frustrating to fabulous. 

March 2, 2011

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre Gets Top Marks in Durham Region, the GTA and beyond

From Pam in Oshawa, posted February 23, 2011 on HomeStars:

I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the fine workmanship and attention to detail you and your staff exhibited during my kitchen project. I am so overwhelmed and pleased with the final results. Everyone of your staff should be complimented on their talents and their caring attitudes. When dealing with Melissa over the phone or by email, even though we have never met in person, she was attentive to my concerns and was quick to reply to them. When she said things would be delivered by a certain date and time, they were and I appreciated this promptness.
    The young man who delivered the cabinets was very friendly and careful as he alone brought in all the heavy pieces. Don was simply amazing and quietly proficient as he managed to install all those heavy cabinets. Although the young men who installed the counter top were present for a short time on the site, they were very skilled and polite.
    Sarah was an enthusiastic delight to work with. She had so many good ideas and made my decisions so much easier with her eye for detail. I appreciated the fact that Neil took the time to come to the project and double check the measurements. Last but not least, I cannot say enough about the wonderful workmanship of Tim and JoAnn. They are simply outstanding in their ability to tackle any aspect of a project. They worked very long days but treated my kitchen as if it was the most important task they had to do. Each day the project site was left neat and tidy and work debris was taken away.
    I definitely will recommend your company to my friends and family and look forward to other projects that I have on the horizon. Thank you again all for your hard work.

From Anna and Mario in Thornhill, posted January 19, 2011 on HomeStars:

We were very pleased with the renovation of our children’s bathroom. Everyone involved was extremely helpful. Neil with the measurements and rearranging of the space to our taste. Melissa with the design and helping us with choosing the pieces that met our needs and fit our budget. Last but not least, the installer Rick. He was professional and did an excellent job, showing up when promised and working very cleanly. Any issues we had were dealt with promptly by Melissa and Neil. There was a small leak after the job was finished and the problem was resolved completely.
    We would certainly recommend Monarch Kitchen and Bath to anyone contemplating a renovation.