February 26, 2015

Protect Your Investment: The Importance of Properly Humidifying Your Home


With winter still here and spring feeling like it is still months away, the topic of in-home humidity has been one that has surfaced around the office a lot.

You’re likely to feel the lack of humidity in your home in a variety of ways, including such physical discomforts as:
  • dry itchy skin
  • cracked lips
  • dry sinuses
  • bloody nose
Not to mention, the static electricity in a home with low humidity makes the thought of a handshake or a hug to a loved one a shocking experience!

You may even notice that there has been some shrinking in the wood products throughout your home. Perhaps your hardwood floors have larger gaps between the boards, or your picture frames seem to have cracks along the seam. Even worse, your cabinetry could be showing signs of cracking. All of these things could be caused simply by a lack of humidity in your home. 

Often when we think of home humidifiers, we think of the bedside table kind, blowing mist into the room. But there are more options; the best being a whole-home humidifier that you install on your furnace.

Ideally, the level of humidity in your home should range between 35 to 45%. Having the right level of humidity can mean feeling better, having less itchy skin, and extending the life of your wood products, as well as your artwork, paperwork and electronics.

Ensuring your home remains at the optimal humidity levels protects your health, and your investment in your home.

February 20, 2015

Keep Warm This Weekend with These Cold-Weather Recipes From Everyday Food

It's cold. It's snowy. And if you're hiding inside, you might as well make something warm and delicious for the family to enjoy.

Here are two easy-to-prepare, cold-weather dinner recipes from Sarah Carey at Everyday Food.

Bon appétit!





February 12, 2015

Monarch Designers Pick Their Favourite Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2015



White, white, slightly off-white, and more white!


“White kitchens have been back in a big way over the last few years, and 2015 is not going to be any different,” says designer Amanda Willson-Suppa. 

“White is timeless, can meet a multitude of design styles, matches existing décor impeccably, and can be so versatile. 

"Whether you are looking to re-fresh your home with new cabinets, or looking at a much larger scale renovation, white cabinetry is something everyone is comfortable with.”


Complete bathroom remodel

According to designer Kevin Samson, the popularity of bathroom remodel projects has grown to become a substantial segment of the renovation market.


 "Twenty years ago, we rarely renovated bathrooms, perhaps a tub or cabinet was updated, possibly a counter top and faucet would be swapped out," says Kevin. "Interest in complete bathroom remodels started about ten years ago and has steadily increased since.

"The majority of these projects involve stripping the room down to the studs and sub floor, and starting with a clean slate."
 

When asked about current trends and what tops the client's wish list, Kevin says heated tile floors and larger, spa-type showers lead the list. "The number one complaint? A lack of useful storage in the existing space."

More texture
Image courtesy of saranatile.com

"This year, I think we'll be seeing a lot of texture," says designer Jackie Chambers. 

"I'm enjoying playful geometric patterns in tile like herringbone and hexagons, but installed in subtle and muted colours to add depth to the space. The variance in texture in a monochromatic palette adds a level of timeless  sophistication."

February 4, 2015

Check Out This Stunning Bathroom Makeover: One Couple's Elegant Everyday Escape

As busy parents of two young children, our clients yearned for a contemporary ensuite that would meet their needs for functionality and relaxation. Inspired by an elegant hotel room ensuite they admired while vacationing in Chicago, Monarch designer Melissa Foley aimed to recreate the way they felt while in that harmonious space.

Bath Design by Melissa Foley, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

To achieve this vision, a design was created that met all of their requests, including the top three items on their wish list: a larger shower, a double-sink vanity and a soaker tub.

Bath Design by Melissa Foley, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre


A portion of the wall between the bathroom and bedroom was removed to allow for a bigger shower. A two-sink vanity with ample drawer space was designed, providing the much-needed practical storage space that ensures a clutter-free countertop.

Bath Design by Melissa Foley, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

Although the limited space available for a full-size freestanding soaker tub posed a challenge, Melissa was able to source a smaller model. This allowed the design to maintain the refined look of a luxury hotel bathroom, while still giving our clients the soothing deep soaker experience they desired.

Bath Design by Melissa Foley, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre


Several design details enhance both the feel and aesthetics of this stylish ensuite. The floor-to-ceiling glass shower enclosure opens the space with a simple elegance; the accent tile on the wet wall and the back of the niche provides interesting contrast, with the chrome insets creating a sparkle that catches your eye. The regal chrome fixtures add sophistication and highlight the hints of chrome in the accent tile. Both the cabinetry and countertop were kept in tones of white, with the warmth of the countertop flowing seamlessly into the tile selections. The darker floor tile ensures all elements of the design pop, and helps create a timeless look and feel for the ensuite.

Bath Design by Melissa Foley, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

Bath Design by Melissa Foley, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre