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February 23, 2012

A Toronto Kitchen Before...and After

Almost a year ago, we posted before pictures of John and Cindy's Lawrence Park home.

John and Cindy's kitchen BEFORE

What had started as a kitchen renovation turned into a whole home renovation and designer Sarah Overholt explained: "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." 

Built in the 1920's, their 1,000 sq. foot home was completely gutted and all new electrical, plumbing, insulation was installed. Their main floor was opened up and their tiny isolated kitchen was transformed into an airy modern space.

John and Cindy's kitchen AFTER

February 14, 2012

Garbage Bins? Broom Closets? Big Pull-Out Drawers? Which Design Feature Will You LOVE in Your New Kitchen?

To celebrate Valentine's Day, we thought we'd do a followup post to What Will Be Your Favourite Thing in Your New Kitchen?

The original post was borrowed from a happy Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre client who chronicled her kitchen redesign and renovation in the blog Dream Kitchen Reno Diary. Below is the post she wrote as a followup to her original post. 

Are you considering a kitchen renovation in 2012? Below are just a few of the elements you might want to include.
March 3, 2009

And we're still loving the kitchen.

I realized a few months back that I used to cringe every time I walked into my old kitchen. Seriously. I lived in it for eight years, so you do the math (8 years x 365 days)....that's a lot of cringing! Now, my kitchen brings me nothing but joy, peace and contentment.

Some more of my favourite things:

1. Two big pot drawers underneath the gas cooktop. All my pots and frying pans--and even my really big stock pot--exactly where I need them!

2. Great BIG drawers, perfect for all my Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers. Ask any mom what cupboard in her kitchen gives her the most grief and I'll bet you it's the one she stores her Tupperware containers in. My new tall drawers have saved me hours of frustration and allow me to stay organized with ease.

3. My garbage bins.  I know this probably sounds lame, but my pull out double-drawer garbage is perfect. Located to the right of my prep sink on the island, the pull-out garbage has one huge bin for recycling (no more ugly green bin on the counter or under the sink) and one huge bin for garbage. So when I'm peeling potatoes or carrots, I just pull out the drawer and peel directly into the recycle bin. So easy and no more mess!

4. My broom closet. Conveniently located to the right of the fridge, our broom closet is a little piece of heaven for me. (Strange, the things that make me happy...) Reduced in depth because of floor-to-ceiling duct work, the cupboard space was the perfect size for a broom closet and some shelves.  Organization has never felt so good!

5. My handy-dandy pull-out step stool. Since my new cupboards now go all the way to the ceiling, reaching the top shelves is impossible for even the least of the vertically-challenged people I know. My handy-dandy, pull-out step stool is discreetly located under the pantry cupboard beside the fridge. Can't reach something? Just pull it out, pop it open and up you go!

To view the entire blog, visit

February 13, 2012

Kevin Samson Asks: Is the Kitchen Desk a Thing of the Past?

Has the kitchen desk become extinct?

Countertop Charging Station
"Many clients are asking us to eliminate the desk in their new kitchen plan," says Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre designer Kevin Samson. "Most agree their kitchen desk becomes the unsightly drop zone for mail, keys, newspapers...and the odd time, a missing report card.

"In fact, many clients confess that their kitchen desk has started minor family arguments over who left certain items sitting on the desk for days on end."

So, do we get rid of the desk altogether?

"Yes...and no," says Kevin. "Most families tell us they are lacking adequate storage in their existing kitchen. Replacing the desk's seating area with cabinetry helps solve the storage problem...but what about all of those desk items that need a spot?"

"Today's desk in no longer the seating area of kitchens past. It has evolved into a more modern and updated communication centre. With so many families using wireless Internet and devices in their home, we are now adding power access pods or charging stations to kitchens, instead."

Keys/Device Cabinet
The charging station (see above) allows for three electrical outlets and two USB ports, and can disappear into a courtertop. 

"Since all devices can be charge in one area of the home, it makes life easier for the entire family," adds Kevin.

"As well, we often provide dry erase boards, chalk boards and when space permits, a narrow wall cabinet for storage of electronic devices, pens, paper, keys and such."

Are you considering a kitchen renovation this spring? If so, will your new space include room for a desk or will you move towards the "communication centre" concept? For more information on how Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre designers can help make your renovation dreams a reality, drop by our Pickering showroom at 1020 Brock Rd., Unit 6, or call us at 905-686-2001 to book an appointment.

February 8, 2012

Bold Pops of Colour: Amanda's Favourite 2012 Design Trend

"In 2012, I expect people to get even more adventurous with the colours they chose to accent their kitchens with," says Monarch designer Amanda Willson-Suppa.

"Trends in kitchens move slower than they do in the fashion world, but that isn’t to say fashion doesn’t have an impact on kitchens and how we design.

"Bold purples, shocking greens, vibrant reds, beautiful blues—even bright pinks!—are making their way into our kitchen accessories and our wall colours, and are making quite the statement," adds Amanda. "I love the impact these colours have on a kitchen— they can change the entire look and feel of a  space.

"Take a classic white kitchen and add some bright pink and purple accessories and voila—you have modernized a classic! Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with colour!"

February 6, 2012

Monarch Succeeds at Making a Small Kitchen Feel Spacious

Clean lines, stainless steel appliances and a pop of colour make for a winning combination in this stunning small kitchen design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre .

Small Kitchen Design Solutions by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Small Kitchen Design Solutions by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Small Kitchen Design Solutions by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Small Kitchen Design Solutions by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

February 2, 2012

Clean and Contemporary Bath Design from Monarch

Design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

Design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

Design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre