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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.

August 2, 2013

Happy Civic Holiday Long Weekend from Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

The team at Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Civic Holiday long weekend.

Our showroom hours over the next few days are as follows:

Saturday, August 3rd – 9am to 5pm
Sunday, August 4th – Closed
Monday, August 5th – Closed
Tuesday, August 6th – regular business hours resume

Feel free to drop by -- our designers would be happy to discuss your upcoming renovation plans and answer any questions you may have. 

August 1, 2013

Two Ways to Get Creative with Fresh Corn on the Cob this August Long Weekend

The August long weekend is almost here. If you're heading up to the cottage, you will undoubtedly pass a few roadside corn and vegetable stands along the way.

Here are a few creative ways to enjoy your fresh corn on the cob and some tips on how to grill vegetables from Sarah Carey at Everyday Food.