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December 29, 2014

Tired of Turkey Sandwiches? Here's Some Culinary Inspiration for Your Leftover Turkey!

If you're serving turkey over the holidays, there's a good chance you'll have some left over. For recipes slightly more creative than turkey sandwiches, we've turned to Jamie Oliver, Sarah Carey and Chef John of Food Wishes. Enjoy!

December 22, 2014

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre -- 2014 Holiday Schedule

In order for our staff to enjoy the holidays with their families and friends, our business hours for the 2014 holiday season are as follows:

Wednesday, December 24th
9 am to 12 pm

Thursday, December 25th & Friday, December 26th

Saturday, December 27th
9 am to 5 pm

Sunday, December 28th

Monday, December 29th & Tuesday, December 30th
9 am to 5 pm

Wednesday, December 31st
9 am to 12 pm

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Monarch's showroom will reopen for the New Year on Friday, January 2nd, 2015.

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

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

December 10, 2014

There's Still Time to Help Monarch Feed the Need in Durham

Last year, we were overwhelmed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of our clients and design team as they helped us gather a substantial amount of food for donation to Feed the Need in Durham.

Please join us once again as we celebrate the holidays with our annual food drive aimed at helping families in need throughout Durham Region.  

Drop off your donation at the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom today.
Monarch is accepting nonperishable food items for donation to Feed the Need 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.

Support the families in your community by dropping off these much-needed nonperishable food items at Monarch's Pickering showroom by December 19th:
  • 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, please call our office at 905-686-2001.

December 3, 2014

Monarch's Design Team Gets in the Holiday Spirit by Building Holiday Homes ... with Gingerbread!

Always eager to flex their design muscles, Monarch's design team took on a holiday-themed design project on a smaller-than-usual scale -- gingerbread houses.
With no blueprints in sight, all they needed was some icing and colourful confections! Except for Kevin Samson -- his gingerbread house was held together with green packing tape.

November 27, 2014

Help Us to Feed the Need in Durham Region -- Drop off Non-Perishable Food Items at the Monarch Showroom

We hope you'll join the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre team as we get into the holiday spirit this year with our annual food drive aimed at helping families in need throughout Durham Region.  

Please help us 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.

The Spirit of Giving
Support the families in your community by dropping off these much-needed nonperishable food items at Monarch's Pickering showroom by December 19th:
  • 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, please call our office at 905-686-2001.

November 21, 2014

Urban Effects -- Reasonably Priced Quality Cabinetry -- Made in Canada

Recently, a few members of Monarch’s design team hopped aboard an early morning flight to Winnipeg so they could spend the day with the crew at Urban Effects. Urban Effects is a division of Norcraft, now the fifth-largest kitchen and bathroom cabinet manufacturer in North America. This fall, Norcraft announced its first major expansion in 10 years: the doubling of its Winnipeg plant to more than 130,000 square feet. The expansion will be completed by mid-2015. 

First stop for designers Melissa Foley and Amanda Willson-Suppa was a tour of a new-home build. “The home was very large and the homeowners were having Urban Effects cabinetry installed throughout,” says Amanda. “From lockers in the mudroom entrance and kitchen, to all four bathrooms…even the bar! It was truly gorgeous.”

Melissa and Amanda returned to Urban Effects’ expanding manufacturing facility and showroom where they learned that the upcoming expansion will allow Urban Effects to move their shipping department on site. It will allow them to add even more of the most up-to-date manufacturing to their repertoire.

“One of the most interesting things I learned while I was there is that although we refer to one of the materials used for doors as MDF, Urban Effects only uses HDF – high-density fiber board -- for their painted cabinet doors,” says Amanda. “HDF is a superior product to MDF, allowing for stronger doors and a cleaner finish.”

Cabinetry is certainly one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen renovation. If you're looking for ways to stay within your design budget without sacrificing quality, drop by the Monarch showroom and allow one of our designers to show you the wide range of products Urban Effects has to offer.

November 14, 2014

How is Your Custom Countertop Made? Monarch Designer Jackie Chambers Live Tweets from Latitute Countertops

A few weeks ago, Monarch's design team toured Latitude Countertops' Toronto manufacturing facility and designer Jackie Chambers took her Twitter followers on the tour along with her. In case you missed it, below are the highlights from day.

A favorite granite of designer Jackie Chambers is Bianco Antico.

 CNC machines ensure your countertops are cut with precision! 

A perfectly mitered edge is important with countertops, and having the right tools is a necessary part of the process. With less quality tools your mitered edges can chip and be very rough.

The kitchen template is laid out directly on your slab, this not only reduces waste, but it also ensures that the best looking parts of the stone are used.

Solid surface slabs are HEAVY! Machines can help lift the pieces into place ensuring that the staff remain safe. 
All of the slabs are tagged on site at the quarry. This way, our manufacturer knows where it has come from, what series it is, and can ensure that all of the slabs used for your kitchen design will come from the same cut.
Our countertop fabricator has a high standard for the quality of their countertops, ensuring that an edge is book matched for the closest match possible. This creates a seam that becomes less visible.
Latitude now offers a 25-year sealer for all granite counter tops. This allows the granite to become virtually stain proof and similar in quality to quartz. This eliminates the need to seal your countertops every six months. In fact, Latitude is even able to seal the granite already in your home in just a few hours.

November 6, 2014

Toronto Kitchen Design: Choose Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre for a Renovation That's On Time and On Budget

Kitchen and Laundry Room Renovation

October 28th, 2014
Bruce and Pam from Toronto write:

We LOVE everything about our new kitchen and laundry room, and all of the other main floor renovations Monarch did for us. Everyone who visits is equally impressed with the quality, and even more amazed when we tell them that Monarch delivered the entire project on time and on budget! When finally we decided to renovate much of our main floor early this year, we considered several alternatives: Everyone from a single contractor who would bring in the trades as needed, to designer-contractor
partnerships, to turnkey companies. After meeting with Kevin in Monarch's beautiful showroom, and visiting one of their recent projects just around the corner from us, we felt confident Monarch was our best choice. Now that the project is done, we're convinced we made a great decision! From design to project completion, everyone on their team was great to work with. We especially appreciated the care their installers took to keep our home as tidy as possible during the project. It's never fun to live in a construction site, but they made it as painless as possible for us. We also found their showroom to be incredibly convenient. With Kevin's expert guidance...and patience...we were able to make all of our decisions about tile, cabinet material, colours, fixtures, etc., without having to drive all over the city! That was a major time saver for us. We are very thankful we chose Monarch and have already referred the company to several friends who are thinking about similar renovations. In fact, we'd recommend Monarch to Anyone!

To read all of Monarch's reviews on HomeStars, click here.

October 31, 2014

Don't Put Your Home or Your Family's Safety at Risk: Hire Qualified Contractors for Your Kitchen and Bath Renovation

At Monarch, we understand that remodelling a kitchen or bathroom can be an exciting time for homeowners. After all, a new design usually means new cabinetry, appliances, furniture, lighting and more.

While you're focusing what your new space will look like, a qualified kitchen and bath design team will also be thinking ahead to what issues might arise once the tear down process begins.

At the top of their list of concerns? Electrical.

"During tear down, improperly installed electrical wiring is often the best concealed--and most dangerous--issue we have to address," says Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre president Neil Samson.

Whether you're hiring a full service design firm to manage your renovation or handling the hiring of tradespeople yourself, it's critical to ensure that the people you hire to work in your home are licensed professionals.

As reported in The Toronto Star recently, hiring an unlicensed electrician can result in "numerous electrical hazards." And in this case in particular, it also meant significant fines and jail time for the contractor. 

Normand Breton, ESA registrar and director of contractor licensing and powerline safety, said there area a "significant number" of people who violate the Electricity Act each year. "The underground economy is alive and well," he said -- but for the public, it means "when you hire an unlicnensed contractor you are taking a lot of risk."

Don't put your home or your family's safety at risk. What lies beneath your walls needs to be addressed by a qualified and experienced contractor.  

Here are some examples of what Monarch's team runs into on a daily basis:

Illegal electrical joints hidden behind drywall.
And to compound the problem even further, there is a joining of aluminum and copper wiring: this is not only illegal but it also a major fire hazard. There is a very strict protocol when joining copper to aluminum.

In this Pickering home, we found seven electrical infractions which are against the Ontario Building Code. The exhaust hood fan in this home was connected to a 4" plastic dryer hose. Not only is this a fire waiting to happen but it's also illegal.
"Sadly, these are not isolated incidents," admits Neil. "Our team uncovers these problems quite regularly. As a homeowner, you need to be aware of the potential safety hazards that might be lurking behind your walls."

"If you have any aluminum wiring in your home, we recommend you have a qualified and licensed electrician check all of the connections in your electrical panel on a yearly basis," advises Neil. "The screw-down connections on aluminum wiring can loosen; and for that reason, aluminum wiring is no longer approved for use in Canada."

When it comes to working with electrical, only a licensed electrician will do. "Don't hire a handyman to do an electrician's job," says Neil. "As the old saying goes: Jack of all trades, master of none. Insist that the electrician obtain a permit, and make sure that you receive a copy of the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) inspection certificate. You will probably need it when you renew your home insurance."

Monarch ensures that each home renovation they perform that involves electrical work will have an ESA permit and inspections performed. Once the final inspection is complete, Monarch clients receive an ESA approval certificate.

Drop by the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom to learn more, or call 905-686-2001.

October 10, 2014

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre Honoured with Business Excellence Award from Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade

We're thrilled to announce that last night, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre was honoured with a Business Excellence Award from the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade.

The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) is the voice of the business community in Ajax and Pickering. Established in 1955, the 500-plus members represent a wide array of business sectors. The APBOT Business Excellence Awards were established in 1994 to recognize the achievements and excellence in business performance. All award submissions are evaluated by an independent panel of judges.

“As a longstanding APBOT member and an active member of the Ajax-Pickering business community, it is an honour to be recognized for our commitment to excellence," said president Neil Samson after first learning of Monarch's award nomination in July. "We are incredibly proud and humbled that our client felt so strongly about the quality of our service to nominate us for this award.”

On the eve of this Thanksgiving long weekend, we wish to give thanks to all of our clients for trusting us with their kitchen and bath design dreams.

Our Thanksgiving weekend showroom hours are as follows:

Saturday, October 11th - 9am to 5pm
Sunday, October 12th - closed
Monday, October 13th - closed
Tuesday, October 14th - regular business hours resume

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

October 2, 2014

Ready to Renovate? Monarch Celebrates Kitchen and Bath Month with a Giveaway!

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has declared October as Kitchen and Bath Month, and Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre's design team is ready to celebrate with you. If you're planning a new kitchen or bath design, Monarch has the incentive you need to kick your renovation plans into full gear!

Celebrate with Monarch!
Book a kitchen or bath design project with Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre before October 31st, 2014, and receive a free faucet or sink (up to a maximum value of $500).

How to Qualify:
  1. Any kitchen or bathroom renovation project contracted with Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre is eligible to receive a free faucet or sink, to a maximum value of $500.
  2. The giveaway is available from October 1st to October 31st, 2014.
  3. Only one giveaway per project.
  4. Your Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre contract and deposit must be signed and collected prior to October 31st, 2014.
  5. By participating in this giveaway, you are giving Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre, or its representatives, the right to use your image, drawings, and project images for use in advertising.
Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre is committed to your complete satisfaction. Drop by our showroom today and let us know how we can make your renovation dreams a reality!

September 25, 2014

Follow Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre on Instagram!

If you're looking for design inspiration for your kitchen or bath renovation project, follow "Monarch Kitchen" on Instagram.

Not only will we help keep you up-to-date on the latest trends in kitchen and bath design, you'll be among the first to get a sneak peak at the product samples that regularly make our way into the showroom.

Bath design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
We're on Pinterest too!
If you've spent any time on Pinterest, you know what a great source of information and creativity it is when you have a specific topic in mind. Follow "Monarch Kitchens" on Pinterest and you're just a few clicks away from pages (or boards!) of visual inspiration!

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom kitchen

Are you ready to make your kitchen or bath design dreams a reality? Call us at 905-686-2001 and speak with a member of our design team or drop by our showroom.

September 17, 2014

Cambria Does it Again with 13 Innovative New Countertop Designs

Cambria's 13 recent additions to their Coastal, Waterstone, Jewel, Marble and Desert collections offer a wide range of trend-setting tones, movements, and colour combinations that complement practically any design preference or decor.

Why choose Cambria? 
Cambria's natural quartz surfaces are durable, stronger than granite and non-porous (NSF 51 Certified), making it as safe as stainless steel for food preparation.

"With 20 stunning selections launched this year alone, Cambria now has more than 120 distinctive designs and continues to be the preferred source for more possibilities than ever." ~

New additions to Cambria's Waterstone Collection include Berwyn, Montgomery, Wentwood, Hampshire and Nevern.
New additions to Cambria's Coastal Collection include Summerhill, Ellesmere, Seagrove, Langdon.
New additions to Cambria's Jewel Collection inlcude Brighstone, Daron and Menai.

New additions to Cambria's Marble & Desert Collection include Castlemartin and Walton.

Soon, you'll be able to drop by the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom to view samples of the latest additions to Cambria's design palette.

September 14, 2014

Monarch Welcomes Kitchen Designer Jackie Chambers

Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre is excited to welcome Jackie Chambers to their kitchen
and bath design team.

An interior design graduate from Georgian College School of Design and Visual Arts, Jackie has been working in the kitchen and bath industry since 2004. "I am excited to be working at Monarch," says Jackie. "It will be great working with such a friendly and cohesive team."

Jackie believes that form always follows function, and works closely with clients to achieve a delicate balance of practicality and aesthetics.

An active member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), Jackie stays close to the pulse of the industry by volunteering on various committees. After serving as executive secretary for NKBA’s Ottawa chapter for two years, Jackie has accepted the position of treasurer for NKBA’s Ontario chapter.

Are you ready to renovate? Call Jackie today at 905-686-2001 and discover how Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre can inspire your kitchen and bath design.

September 5, 2014

New at Monarch: Nuheat Floor Heating Systems – An Energy Efficient Way to Heat Rooms in Your Home

If adding warmth to the rooms in your home is a priority this winter, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre may have the answer you’re looking for. Perfect for your home, cottage or
condominium, Nuheat is a clean, soundless floor heating system that brings warmth to any space.
The applications for Nuheat can go beyond simply the bathroom or kitchen, and can serve as more than just a luxury. If rooms in your home comply with modern insulation requirements for your region, Nuheat can act as an effective and efficient heat source. This means less dependence on additional heat sources, as well as reduced energy costs associated with heating.

Nuheat’s standard mats (squares and rectangles) are ideal for most room layouts. Nuheat Mats are 1/8″ thick, easy to install, energy efficient, and can be controlled using a variety of programmable and non-programmable thermostat options. Our electric floor heating system can use one or a combination of in floor heating mats to deliver under floor heat for the entire room. Nuheat in floor heating mats come in over 60 different standard sizes and are available in both 120 & 240 volt formats.
If you’re tired of paying for heating rooms in your home that you rarely use, Nuheat’s zone heating feature can help save you money.
Zone heating using a programmable thermostat, means heating room-by-room, use-by-use – heat only where you want, when you want it. Electric radiant heat allows homeowners to lower their central heating system while still being comfortable. It offers an energy saving alternative to keeping the forced air heating system running throughout the entire house and can help reduce a home’s overall energy consumption. And because Nuheat has no moving parts and once installed is safely encased in thinset/mortar, Nuheat is 100% maintenance free and will last the lifetime of your floors.
Visit the Monarch showroom to learn more about incorporating Nuheat into your upcoming renovation. If you’d prefer to install the flooring yourself, Monarch sells standard mat sizes and thermostats to D-I-Y-ers, too! Our lead times for ordering non-custom mats are now shorter! Call 905-686-2001 for more information.

August 22, 2014

Three Reasons Why Patience is the Key to Any Successful Home Renovation

You’ve done it! You’ve set a budget and made the final decision to renovate one or more rooms in your home. It’s exciting and you’re ready to get started NOW.

But wait! Whether you’re redesigning the powder room on your main floor or doing a complete tear down of your out-dated kitchen, it’s important to understand that quality renovation projects require a significant amount of lead time.

Here are just a few reasons why:

1. Trustworthy, Quality Contractors are Booked for Months in Advance
Everyone wants their project to run smoothly, and that’s why reputable design and renovation firms like Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre receive the majority of their new business by word-of-mouth and referrals from previous clients. This means we are often booking design projects months in advance. (If you find a contractor that’s ready to start the job tomorrow, you may want to consider the reasons why.)

2. Custom-made Materials Take Time to Order, Make and Deliver
High demand for quality services is just one of the reasons to be realistic with your timeline. In most cases, the materials required for your project will require a significant time for production and delivery. A custom kitchen or bath is just that – customized based on the measurements of your home. Custom cabinetry ordered through Monarch, for example, takes approximately six to eight weeks (from the time of order) to be delivered.

3. Your Renovation Project May be Seasonal or Delayed by Poor Weather
As Canadians, we’re used to the unpredictability of Mother Nature and poor weather messing with our party and travel plans. With this in mind, it’s also important to remember that November through February are probably not the best months to build a deck or have a your roof re-shingled. Due to the frozen ground in many regions, it’s also not the best time to do major excavation work for an addition. Prep work for those jobs will have to be done by late fall or the project needs to be put off until the snow melts in the spring.

Scheduling is one of the most critical elements to managing your home renovation. At Monarch, we have over 30 years experience planning successful renovations and making your design dreams a reality. Drop by our showroom or call 905-686-2001 to speak with a member of our design team.

August 14, 2014

Make a Bold, Unforgettable Impression with Caesarstone's Calacatta Nuvo

Caesarstone's interpretation of natural Calacatta marble, Calacatta Nuvo brings you wide, elegant, cascading, grey veins on a white opaque base.

5131 Calacatta Nuvo offers the beauty of natural stone with the ease of Caesarstone care and maintenance.

Why choose Caesarstone?
Caesarstone surfaces consist of up to 93 per cent quartz, one of nature's strongest minerals. They retain the cool tactile qualities of natural stone, while offering design freedom with almost unlimited application possibilities. Caesarstone quartz surfaces are virtually maintenance-free, making them the ideal choice for kitchen countertops, backsplashes and bathroom vanities.

Drop by the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom today and view a sample of Calacatta Nuvo and other Caesarstone surfaces.

Images courtesy of

August 8, 2014

Cambria's Interactive Paint Match Tool Makes Finding the Right Colour for Your New Kitchen Easy!

Choosing the perfect paint colour to tie all of the elements of your new kitchen design together can be a difficult task.  Luckily, Cambria, a leader in quartz countertop design, has partnered with Benjamin Moore to simplify process.

The perfect tool for homeowners and designers alike, every Cambria design has been meticulously paired with four complementary Benjamin Moore colors.

By using the interactivepaint match tool on Cambria's website, you will instantly get a better sense of how each Benjamin Moore paint color plays against the shades, movement and colors inherent in your favorite Cambria designs.

Cambria's Paint Match Tool

From Benjamin Moore:
"Cambria and Benjamin Moore have joined forces to make designer color selection easy. Benjamin Moore's design experts have paired four wall covering shades to every Cambria design, allowing you to match your Cambria designs to paint colors that are as rich and beautiful as the countertops themselves.
Now with more than 100 designs to choose from, Cambria is the industry leader in quartz countertops. Cambria and Benjamin Moore share the same deep commitment to quality and color innovation, with a constant and consistent focus on future design trends."

July 31, 2014

What's Open and Closed on the Civic Holiday

Happy Civic Holiday Long Weekend from Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Are you considering a kitchen or bath renovation in your home, condo or cottage? Drop by the Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre showroom this weekend-- our designers would be happy to discuss your design plans with you.

Here are our Civic Holiday long weekend hours:

Friday, August 1 - 9am to 5pm
Saturday, August 2nd - 9am to 5pm
Sunday, August 3rd - closed
Monday, August 4th - closed
Tuesday, August 5th - regular business hours resume

Below is a list of what's open -- and what's not -- around Toronto on Monday.

  • Tourist attractions (ROM, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo, Ripley’s Aquarium)
  • Major malls (Eaton Centre, Yorkville, Fairview, Sherway Gardens, Square One, Vaughan Mills)
  • Select Beer Store locations
  • LCBO
  • Movie theaters
  • Tourist attractions (AGO, TIFF Bell Lightbox)
  • Banks
  • Government offices
  • Post offices and mail delivery
For a full list of what's open and closed, click here.

We hope you enjoy a safe and happy Civic Holiday long weekend!