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December 18, 2013

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre 2013 Holiday Hours

In order for our staff to enjoy the holidays with their families and friends,
our business hours for the 2013 holiday season are as follows:

Tuesday, December 24th
9 am to 12 pm

Wednesday, December 25th & Thursday, December 26th

Friday, December 27th & Saturday, December 28th
9 am to 5 pm

Sunday, December 29th

Monday, December 30th
9 am to 5 pm

Tuesday, December 31st
9 am to 12 pm

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Monarch's showroom will reopen for the New Year on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014.

All the very best to you and your family for a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

December 9, 2013

Help Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre Feed the Need in Durham Region

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre is getting into the holiday spirit this year with a food drive aimed at helping families in need throughout Durham Region.  

Please help us to gather nonperishable food items for donation to Feed the Need in Durham, a non-profit, charitable organization that serves as a conduit to its 40+ member agencies located in neighbourhoods across the Region. 

Feed the Need in Durham delivers food to emergency food providers such as food banks, soup kitchens, community service centres, shelters, drop-in centres and breakfast feed programs.

This holiday season, support the families in your community by dropping off these much-needed nonperishable food items at Monarch's Pickering showroom by December 20th:
  • Kraft Dinner
  • pasta sauce
  • canned vegetables
  • pork and beans
  • cranberry sauce
  • canned ravioli
  • canned tuna and salmon
  • mayonnaise,  relish, ketchup, mustard
  • small juice boxes
  • stuffing and gravy mix
Our showroom is located at 1020 Brock Rd., Unit 6, Pickering. For more information, call our office at 905-686-2001.

December 4, 2013

Getting Your Kitchen Ready for Holiday Entertaining? Adjusting Your Kitchen Cabinet Hinges is a Quick and Easy Fix!

The decorations are up. The turkey is in the oven and the table is set. Your kitchen is near spotless ... if only a few of the cabinet doors weren't hanging askew.

No matter how fabulous your kitchen cabinetry, daily use can result in doors that become out of alignment over time. If some of your kitchen cabinet doors are hanging incorrectly, fixing them is easier than you may think.

In this video, Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre president Neil Samson demonstrates how to adjust your cabinet door hinges using only a screwdriver.

If your cabinet door hinges aren't similar to the ones shown in this video, email us at for assistance or drop by our showroom. We'd be happy to help.

November 28, 2013

Your 2014 Dream Kitchen: What Can Your Appliances Do For You?

When is the last time you purchased a major appliance for your home? If it’s been a while since you’ve walked through the doors of your local big box store or appliance retailer, you may notice a few changes.

Competition among appliance manufacturers is as fierce as ever, with each major brand struggling to anticipate upcoming design trends while balancing the wants and needs of today’s consumer.
GE’s Café Series French Door refrigerator
For brands like GE and LG, the goal isn’t to add the latest gadget to an appliance, but to enhance appliance performance and ultimately the user’s way of life. For instance, manufacturers are investigating ways to design laundry products that help preserve your textiles, and cooking appliances that maintain the freshness and nutritional value of food longer. GE’s Café Series French Door refrigerator, for example, offers an improvement over stoves and microwaves with a dispenser that offers water ranging in temperature from 32C to 85C, so users can make cocoa, tea, instant oatmeal or soups in a hurry.

Thanks to product reviews easily accessible online, today’s consumers have often done their share of research before walking into an appliance store. And if they’re redesigning their space like many Monarch clients, they ask for assistance and recommendation from their designers, as well.

“Most clients, to some degree, ask for assistance with their purchase decisions,” says Monarch designer Kevin Samson. “ Often, they will mention wish list priorities, or concerns they have with their existing appliances, and look to their kitchen designer for suitable solutions. Brand choice is all over the board. Typically, clients make choices based on factors such as past ownership experiences, budget, specific features, visual appeal or recommendations.”

Miele dishwasher
“Many of our clients like the Miele dishwasher because of its top cutlery rack and ability to be fully integrated with panels,” says Monarch designer Janet Dawson. “Another popular choice is the Wolf range because of the bold-looking red knobs. However, clients tend to make appliance choices in a broad range based on their tastes and preferences.”

The popularity of open concept kitchens or great rooms has translated into a move toward the transitional and away from the traditional. While stainless steel appliances are still considered the standard, consumers are now open to a broader range of appliance finishes and are opting for a mix of traditional in addition to appliances hidden by cabinetry. Drawer-style dishwashers have started to replace a full-size traditional dishwasher, and smooth-surface and induction cooktops have also gained popularity for their sleek design.

What features are home and condo owners looking for in an appliance now that they couldn't find 5-10 years ago? Our designers weigh in.

Janet Dawson:
“Induction cooking. Smarter appliances that have more automated settings. Smaller sized appliances are becoming more popular as baby boomers downsize and condos become a more popular housing choice. Homeowners are also looking for appliance choices that suit their needs more specifically; they want a broader range of choice than was available in the past.”

Kevin Samson:
“Many of our clients are excited by the prospect of having a second oven in the kitchen. Today, this can be accomplished in a number of ways. A double wall oven is one solution, while some manufacturers offer a stove with two separate ovens. Many microwave ovens are offered with a combination feature allowing the user to cook with the microwave feature, or a full convection oven.”

November 22, 2013

Friday Fun: Betty White and Martha Stewart Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie

In honour of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday coming up next week, we thought you'd enjoy some fun in the kitchen with Martha Stewart and the always delightful Betty White.

November 18, 2013

Function and Beauty: Making Your Kitchen Island Work For You

In the past few decades, kitchens have transformed from just a place to prepare meals to the social hub of the home. The small closed-off food preparation zones of yesterday have become kitchens that are warm, welcoming spaces that open up into other rooms. Families use their kitchen as project spaces, entertaining centres, dining rooms, and much more.

At the centre of it all? The kitchen island.

If a kitchen island is on your redesign wish list, you’ll want to fully consider what your family’s needs before incorporating it into your new design. Will you be primarily using it to prepare food or will you also need a place for your kids to spread out their homework while you work? If you entertain, do you mind if the guests see what you’re doing? If not, a dual-height island may be for you: it can shield the kitchen mess from an open living area.

Perhaps you’ll want to include a dining bar, or make one end of the island a dining table. Since the island can take up a fair amount of kitchen real estate, it makes sense to take advantage most of every inch. In fact, designers regularly incorporate cooktops, prep sinks, storage and appliances into kitchen island designs.

“You can make your island the focal point of your kitchen by adding legs or turnings to give the warmth of furniture,” says Monarch designer Sarah Holmstrom. “Or choose a different colour for the island cabinetry and countertop, and hanging unique artful lights above.”

To learn more about incorporating an island into your new kitchen design, call Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre at 905-686-2001, or drop by our showroom and speak with one of our designers.

November 8, 2013

Don’t miss the 28th International Home Show, on this weekend in Toronto -- November 7 to 10th

Whether you’re renovating, redecorating or seeking design inspiration, you won’t want to miss the International Home Show this weekend at International Centre in Toronto.

If visiting the show on Sunday, be sure to make time for Bryan Baeumler’s seminar: 

How to Avoid the Major Pitfalls of a Home Renovation, 12:30pm at the Celebrity Superhouse Theatre.

2013 Home Show Hours
Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm
Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

Ticket Prices
Adults: $15 (at door)
Senior 65+: $9 (online)
Senior $12 (at door)
Youth 9 – 18: $12
8 & Under: Free
Parking: Free

To buy tickets or for a complete list of seminars and show highlights, visit

November 1, 2013

Which Home Renovations Yield the Best Return on Investment?

Whether you’re renovating to meet your changing needs or trying to improve the overall look of your home, it never hurts to consider what the return on your design investment will be.

According to yearly surveys done by the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC), refurbished kitchen and bathrooms continually yield the best return on investment, with 75 to 100 per cent of spending for these renovations recovered at resale. Interior painting, a new roof or heating system and a finished basement also ranked high (see full list below).

Of course, a high return on investment is only possible if the renovation is done tastefully, adheres to local building codes, and is in line with current trends.

Avoid projects that set your home apart from other houses in your neighbourhood. The AIC advises: “If the value of your house exceeds the average market value in your neighbourhood, your renovations will not yield much return. But if your house value is below the average, you can recover a larger part of the renovation costs.”

Whatever your reason for updating your home, Monarch designers can help. Working with you from conception to completion, our customized design services include complete project management and the use of licensed, insured and bonded tradespeople. In addition, we offer three lines of custom cabinetry covering a range of budget options perfect for your house, condominium or cottage.

Percentage of investment recovered upon resale:

Kitchen upgrade: 75% to 100%
Bathroom upgrade: 75% to 100%

Interior painting: 50% to 100%
Roof replacement: 50% to 80%
Replacement of furnace or heating system: 50% to 80%
Expansion (addition of family room): 50% to 75%
Doors and windows: 50% to 75%
Deck: 50% to 75%
Installation of hardwood floor: 50% to 75%
Construction of a garage: 50% to 75%
Fireplace (wood or gas) 50% to 75%
Central air conditioning: 50% to 75%
Finished basement: 50% to 75%
Wood fence: 25% to 50%
Interlocking paving stones on driveway: 25% to 50%
Landscaping: 25% to 50%
Asphalt driveway: 20% to 50%
Pool: 10% to 40%
Skylights: 0% to 25%

October 31, 2013

There's Nothing Scary About Choosing Monarch for Your Next Kitchen or Bath Renovation

Happy Halloween from Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre!

While Monarch's kitchen and bath designers are happy to celebrate this spooky holiday, their clients know they don't have to worry about any design or renovation horror stories.

If finding the perfect design firm to meet your needs has become a nightmare, drop by our showroom or call 905-686-2001 to arrange for a no-obligation consultation. Your kitchen or bath renovation doesn't have to be a horror story.

Click here to find out what Monarch's clients are saying.

October 24, 2013

Stay in Your Home Longer with an In-Home Elevator

Aging in place – the ability to live in one’s own home safely, independently and comfortably – has become an increasingly hot topic among homeowners over the past decade.

Baby boomers who have struggled to find a place for their aging loved ones to live safely are realizing that planning ahead for their own retirement and future health challenges is a priority. For many, the planning has changed from downsizing or moving into a seniors’ complex, to aging in place in order to stay safely in their home longer.

And why not? If you consider the amount of time, money and love homeowners put into their homes over the course of their lifetime, doesn’t it makes sense to further invest in adapting your living space instead of planning a big move?

As we age, navigating stairs become one of the biggest hindrances to aging in place. And while chair lifts are a viable solution, residential elevators are fast becoming a popular choice in the homes able to accommodate them.

If adding an elevator to your home seems like an outrageous expense, consider the cost and stress involved in finding a new home and the stress and expense of the move itself.

At Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre, aging in place is a topic we all hold dear to our hearts. Having the ability to make our clients’ home function for them regardless of their age and physical abilities is something each member of our design team strives for.

From something as simple as installing grab bars during a bath renovation to arranging for a design and renovation to include an elevator, Monarch is able to help you in all of your home renovation needs. Our goal is to help our clients stay in their home as long as they are comfortable.

To learn more, call Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre today at 905-686-2001 to discuss your design and renovation needs.

October 10, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre

The holiday weekend forecast for Southern Ontario includes mostly sunny skies and moderate temperatures. We hope you have the opportunity to enjoy some time outside with close friends and family over the next few days.

For those of you inside cooking up a storm, here are a few videos from Sarah Carey at Everyday Food we thought you might find useful.

Remember, there's still time to spruce up your kitchen before the Christmas holiday season. Call Monarch today at 905-686-2001 or drop by our showroom and speak with one of our designers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre team

October 4, 2013

Book Now and Spruce Up Your Kitchen in Time for the Holidays

If you're considering a home renovation this fall, you're not alone.

A new survey found that 65% of Canadian homeowners plan some kind of home renovation in the next 12 months. A whopping 38% of those planning to renovate will tackle their bathroom, followed by 33% who admitted their kitchen needs work.

If you're dreading the idea of celebrating another Christmas in your outdated kitchen, don't despair! There is still time to give your kitchen a face lift before having your family and friends over during the holidays.

After all, no matter how you try to steer people out of your kitchen, it's the heart of your and where guests feel the most comfortable.

Give Yourself the Gift of a New Countertop and Backsplash
Imagine how much a new countertop and backsplash would change the overall look and feel of your kitchen. A new look may be all you need to love your kitchen again, so give the designers at Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre a chance to refresh your space in time for the holidays.

To learn more, drop by our showroom or call us at 905-686-2001.

October 1, 2013

Why You Should Hire Monarch to Renovate Your Condominium

When introducing new products or services on this blog, we often reference renovations we’ve performed in the houses of our clients. The truth is, a substantial number of our clientele are condo owners, as well.

In fact last fall, condo owner Donna Young was the winner of our Win Your Granite or Quartz Countertop contest. Earlier in the year, Monarch transformed Mrs. Young’s traditional condominium kitchen into a sleek, contemporary space. This year, the National Kitchen and Bath Association honoured Monarch designer Melissa Foley for a major "medium kitchen" condominium redesign.

Renovating a condo is different than renovating a home. Condominium corporations typically have rules that regulate renovations and the condo board outlines what can and cannot be touched during a renovation (ie. windows, corridors, mechanical systems, plumbing, electrical, bearing walls etc.). You may be considering relocating a toilet or sink in your condo’s bath renovation, for instance, but the drains and supply lines are common elements between units and cannot be touched. If they were to be moved, it may disrupt the plumbing and drainage for the entire building!

Melissa Foley's NKBA award-winning "medium kitchen" design
Condo renovations require a great deal of planning and coordination between the designer, the tradespeople, the condo corporation and the owner. A well-executed renovation involves:

  • a design that not only pleases the owner, but adheres to all building permits;
  • the use of experienced, licensed tradespeople;
  • managing noise levels and working only during designated hours so as not to disturb the neighbours;
  • finding proper parking and booking elevator time for the transport of supplies and materials;
  • effectively managing the removal of waste and construction debris.

Condo redesign by Melissa Foley, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

With so many additional considerations involved, some contractors avoid working on condo units. Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre is not one of them. Our design team is experienced with the challenges of designing and renovating condo units and is committed to your complete satisfaction. Call us today at 905-686-2001 or drop by our showroom and meet with one of our designers.

September 23, 2013

Welcome Fall with a Bowl of Homemade Soup

Crisp cold air welcomed fall to Southern Ontario yesterday afternoon. It's officially soup weather!

Warm your kitchen and your bellies with help from these fast, easy and delicious recipes from  Everyday Food and

September 18, 2013

Beyond the Wine Rack -- How Sub-Zero Protects Your Wine and Enhances Your Experience

While most of the wine we purchase is consumed within 24 hours, fine wines are often set aside for special occasions. One of the few things that actually improve with age, wine is capable of having its quality deteriorate rapidly if stored improperly. Inadequate lighting, temperature and humidity are just three ways consumers ruin a treasured bottle of wine.

Sub-Zero wine storage unit employs a suite of technologies to protect wine from its enemies:
Light: A full spectrum of protection  Dark bottles afford some protection for the wine inside, but invisible ultraviolet light still gets through. One answer is to store your wine in utter darkness — but how satisfying is that? Sub-Zero shields wine from harmful rays with UV-resistant, bronze-tinted glass. Your wine will be both beautifully protected and gloriously displayed. 
Heat: Doubly worth defeating  Most wine drinkers believe they protect their bottles from heat by storing within their home or refrigerator. However, even wine stored inside these places can suffer from temperature swings —for example if the sun shines on a wine rack for part of each day. The wine may continuously warm up and cool down, spoiling your wine in the process. Temperature can also be the enemy of the enjoyment of wine. You might be surprised what "too high" means when it comes to serving temperature. Today’s normal room temperature of 70-plus degrees is too warm for reds. Only at cooler serving temperatures, typically in the low to mid 60s, will the flavor of red wine be balanced. 
Humidity: Neither too little nor too much  When it comes to humidity, wine appreciates moderation. To keep corks from drying out and letting the wine oxidize, Sub-Zero technology ensures sufficient moisture in the air. But not too much. As one professional points out, an excess of humidity can create problems of its own. 
Vibration: Bottles need to be babied  A rough, noisy compressor would disturb not only the wine; it would disturb the peace of your household. Sub-Zero’s exceptionally quiet compressor rests on isolation mounts to minimize sound and vibration. Bottles are cradled on rustproof, coated shelves that glide out smoothly on a roller assembly, further protecting against agitation.

Sub-Zero’s six wine-storage products offer limitless design options. Classic stainless or with any custom cabinetry you desire. Undercounter, freestanding, all wine or with refrigerated storage drawers. Storage capacities range from 26 to 147 bottles.

To learn more about incorporating Sub-Zero technology into your new kitchen design, drop by the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom or call 905-686-2001 and speak with a member of our design team.

Images courtesy of

September 10, 2013

Introducing Six New Stunning Designs from Caesarstone

Just in time for your fall kitchen or bath renovation, Caesarstone has added six new countertop designs to their Classico collection. Drop by the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom today and view these samples and more from Caesarstone.

Bianco Drift - Caesarstone's own interpretation of a granite texture, refined with a clean and glossy feel that imbues the slab with a marbly touch. This interesting twist makes Bianco Drift ideal for both traditional and contemporary interior designs. Bianco Drift blends the classical beauty and elegance of white with delicate swirls of light brown and grey hues.

Vanilla Noir - Vanilla Noir offers a patent-pending, natural look of delicate wide veins that beautify the slab with a powerful and impressive look. Vanilla Noir dramatically merges solid black and bold beige and vanilla strokes. Treasured in the right space, Vanilla Noir enriches your interior with a unique, luxurious feel.

Coastal Grey - Caesarstone's own interpretation of the traditional granite look, beautified with strokes of black and white, Coastal Grey has dark, dominant tones and a strong character that empowers your interiors with a rustic beauty.

Summer Rye - Savouring the gentle array of classic, timeless brown hues with calming white details, Summer Rye creates an ambiance of confidence and tranquility that completes the harmony of any space with warmth.

Clamshell - Fusing a sophisticated blend of soft-toned, trendy greys with intricate details of deep greys and whites. Clamshell offers the versatility to suit interiors featuring either warm or cold colour pallets.

Alpine Mist - Alpine Mist offers a patent-pending, natural look of delicate wide veins that beautify the slab with a powerful and impressive look. Immerse in the exquisite depths of Alpine Mist's lustrous white, glossy feel and captivating white details. Alpine Mist is a perfect match to any interior design environment.

September 6, 2013

The Beauty of Hand Scraped Wood Flooring

Despite the abundance of flooring options available to homeowners, wood floors continue to be a top choice.

Colour -- the prime consideration when choosing the right floor for a room in the past -- has been replaced by texture, and is now the driving force behind consumers’ wood flooring selections.

Over the past few years, hand scraped wood flooring has gained popularity across North America, where homeowners are choosing the distressed look of barn wood, prominent knots or the natural sculptural and undulating lines of boards planed the old-fashioned way.

Unlike “distressed” wood – where the scraping is somewhat uniform – hand scraped hardwood varies from plank to plank, with the wood made to look as if it's gone through wear and tear. Active families, especially those with pets, are finding that hand scraped flooring is an ideal way to incorporate the beauty of hardwood into their home without the stress of constant maintenance.

“Our clients count on us to keep up with current offerings in the products we suggest for their homes,” says Monarch designer Marion Cuddie. “We are excited to be able to offer four colour choices of beautiful, Canadian-made, scraped red oak hardwood flooring from Superior Flooring.”

For more information on incorporating hand scraped hardwood into your new kitchen or bath design, drop by our showroom to view samples or call 905-686-2001.

September 5, 2013

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre -- Your Baeumler Approved Contractor

Over a year ago on this blog, we announced Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre were among a
limited number of home improvement specialists in the Greater Toronto Area to be Baeumler Approved. Monarch’s team continues to be proud of this designation and works diligently to ensure we live up to the Baeumler Approved level of excellence.

Baeumler Approved is the brainchild of Bryan Baeumler, host of HGTV's "Disaster DIY" and "House of Bryan." Baeumler Approved screens home renovation companies to ensure that their references check out and they have all the required insurance and licenses necessary to run their business. Not only does Baeumler Approved check with previous customers, but they also check with the tradespeople and companies they employ on a regular basis to ensure a company who they deem "Baeumler Approved" has a solid reputation.

In an article in the Bay Observer, Bryan writes:
“We all work hard for our money. As a homeowner, deciding to renovate or repair your home it is very important to be wise before making a decision as to which contractor or tradesperson to hire. I have always encouraged people to dig below the surface in order to ensure they are making the right choice. A few hours spent online or on the phone can save you days and weeks of future frustration, not to mention the costs associated with redoing work that has been completed improperly, or not at all. A good contractor has liability insurance, conforms to all municipal and provincial guidelines and has active WSIB coverage for their workers. You can also learn a great deal by looking into a company’s work history and reputation online and through other businesses. 
This is the reason that I have established the Baeumler Approved network of quality contractors. We have actively sought out the best builders and trades from across Ontario and vetted our members for insurance, WSIB coverage, quality of work, and reputation to ensure that we are providing homeowners with quality workmanship that comes with honest service. Our members must adhere to a strict code of conduct and we encourage feedback from homeowners about the work that has been completed." 
I know that no one is perfect and even the best contractors will occasionally encounter issues, but quality contractors communicate openly and honestly with homeowners and ensure that the job is completed on-time and to a professional standard.”
Trust Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre with your kitchen and bath design and renovation needs. Drop by our showroom or call us today to book an appointment with a member of our design team.

August 22, 2013

What's the Best Time of Year to Renovate a Kitchen or Bath?

“Our clients frequently ask us what time of year is best to renovate a kitchen or bathroom,” says Monarch designer Kevin Samson. “There is no standard answer to that question, as every client has a slightly different requirement or reason for choosing a date.”

Before the renovation scheduling begins, your Monarch designer reviews the particulars of your kitchen or bath project so you know exactly what to expect during the entire renovation.

“By asking a few questions at the beginning of the planning process, we’re able to work together to determine an ideal project date,” explains Kevin. “Sometimes clients want to upgrade their kitchen or bath prior to hosting an event in their home and this can determine the date the project will start or finish.” The warmer months are a popular time to renovate because clients are able to cook outdoors and spend more time outside, away from the ‘job site.’

“Families with younger children often prefer to have their home renovated during the school year, as it is less stressful on the family if the children are in school during the day. One of my clients has completed three projects with Monarch, and each time they’ve asked for them to be performed during the winter months,” says Kevin. “Their reason for the winter time frame is so they can enjoy their home during the summer without disruption.”

Are you considering a kitchen or bath renovation? Monarch has been making homeowner’s kitchen and bath dreams a reality for over 30 years. Drop by our showroom or call us at 905-686-2001 to book a consultation with one of our design team.

August 16, 2013

The Beauty and Versatility of Viatera Quartz Countertops

Earlier this year, over 300 National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) members-designers from the United States and Canada responded to NKBA’s annual design trends survey. In the survey, respondents were asked to report the materials, product types, and design styles they specified over the final three months of 2012. The results are in and it appears that quartz countertops are making a comeback: “While the use of quartz finishes was in slight decline last year, it has surfaced as a clear trendsetter this year [2013].” ~ NKBA

If you’re considering a kitchen or bath renovation this fall, chances are choosing a new countertop is on you’re to-do list.

Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre designers often recommend quartz countertops to our clients. Stunning and exceptionally versatile, quartz is low-maintenance, resistant to stains and comes in a variety of textures, tones and colours.

The Viatera line of quartz countertops from LG Hausys, for example, is available in four colour collections. Drop by our showroom today to see them first-hand.

Terracota (warm earthen tones of beiges, browns and rust)

Woodlands (inspired by the colours and tones of the forest)

Urban Chic (an eclectic mix of colours that are both fresh and inviting)

International (bold coloured patterns, some with chips of glass, mirror and metal)

To view the Viatera Inspiration Gallery, click here.

August 9, 2013

Kitchen Designers Are Crucial to the Success of Your Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
In a recent article on, writer Rita Zekas provides a humorous rundown of her two frustrating visits to furniture superstore, IKEA.

Her goal: to order new kitchen cabinets, a granite countertop, sink and fan hood.

How did she fare? After numerous calls to her contractor, she eventually got what she was looking for, but not without a great deal of angst and frustration:

“We pass a series of sample kitchens and finally arrive at kitchen central, where I had envisioned some kindly person sitting down with me, mano a mano, mapping out my kitchen for me. Not so.”

Instead, Zekas is told to sit down at a computer and sign in, then select items on the screen and place them on IKEA’s 3-D planner. Not exactly the helpful design collaboration she was looking for.

If you’re planning to redesign your kitchen, you may be contemplating the do-it-yourself route, as well. Before you hop in the car and head to your local big box store, consider the benefits of working with a kitchen designer.

“As professional kitchen designers, we are able to translate our client's needs into a functional kitchen design that reflects both their needs and wants,” says Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre president Neil Samson. “Monarch’s team of graduate designers have comprehensive knowledge in both kitchen and bath design, as well as construction, plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems.”

Using a kitchen designer to help with your kitchen renovation is crucial for your project’s success. Kitchen designers are trained professionals with extensive knowledge about a variety of products and know how to properly construct and install the materials in your home.

From cabinetry, countertops and storage space to sinks, plumbing and appliances, there are a tremendous number of decisions involved in a kitchen renovation.

“With little or no technical knowledge to base their decisions on, homeowners quickly become overwhelmed and frustrated,” says Neil. "A kitchen designer has years of design training and experience and can offer you their professional perspective, sharing the tricks of the trade to maximize your space and get the kitchen you want.”

Kitchen design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Here are some answers to common questions from our website’s FAQ page.

We're interested in having Monarch design our new kitchen. Where do we begin?
The design process starts with a visit to our showroom. Here, you have the opportunity to interview your designer, tour our showroom and obtain an overview of the products and services that we offer.

What happens after our first meeting?
Regardless of whether you are renovating an existing property or in the process of building a new house, our next meeting is at your home. The primary focus of this meeting is to develop a clear picture of your personal tastes, preferences and develop a comprehensive "wish list" for your project. Your designer will take detailed measurements of your home and the information from this meeting will be used to formulate a custom design personalized for you.

How much say will I have in the overall design?
Monarch's goal is to create a kitchen you can enjoy for years to come. While we do offer advice and guidance throughout the design and renovation process, the finished design is a true reflection of your ideas and dreams for that particular space. Your designer will use your feedback from their design survey to fine-tune each element of the design.

What happens after the design is finalized?
With the help of your designer, you will make selections such as wood species, door style, door finish, hardware, accessories and countertop colour and material. You can also ask your designer for advice on flooring, lighting, back splash treatments and paint colours.

This sounds like a lot of information to keep track of. How can I be sure we all understand who is doing what?
Monarch strives to make your renovation as seamless and stress-free as possible. You will receive a detailed description of all work that Monarch and our associated contractors will undertake on your behalf.

How will I know what is happening on a day-to-day basis?
Monarch will coordinate your project with follow-up from your designer and our production office so that no detail is overlooked. You can expect project updates on a daily basis. As an added convenience, Monarch clients can login to Monarch's website to view the progress of their project in "real time".

How can I be sure that Monarch is committed to my renovation project?
We want you to be our client for life and are committed to your complete satisfaction. We will be there to answer your questions or help with additional renovations long after your project is finished. To learn why Monarch clients keep coming back, please view our testimonials page or ask a member of our team for a list of references.