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 Allrecipes.com.



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 subzero-wolf.com

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.