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February 24, 2016

Our 5 Favourite Kitchen & Bath Trends from IDS 2016

Last month, Monarch designers headed to the Interior Design Show (IDS) in Toronto. Every year, the IDS shapes the industry for the year to come by celebrating leading brands, innovative speakers and rising local talents. This year, the spotlight was on Canadian-made products and small-batch designers. Here are five of designer Jackie Schagen's favourite trends from the show:

New and improved corner drawers from Blum
Rich colour and texture in engineered wood flooring

New colours to come from Miralis kitchen cabinetry
Unique textures in glass for showers and other partitions
New colour from Cambria -- Brittanicca

Whether you're planning a major home renovation or modest redesign, Monarch's design team will help you stay on top of the newest products and design trends for your home. Call us today at 905-686-2001 or drop by our showroom to speak with one of our designers.

February 18, 2016

This White Kitchen Adds Warmth with Texture and Style

What do you do when your client wants a kitchen island but there's not enough room in the existing space? Take down walls! "We decided to take down some walls and combine two rooms into one cohesive space," says Monarch designer Melissa Foley. "We were able to marry the two spaces together successfully by using finishes."

 "The island became a real focal point in the room," explains Melissa. "We combined the warmth of the living room with the cooler colours of the kitchen space. Even the pendant lights above the island were selected in silver and gold to complement the warm and cool appearance."

Storage solutions for this kitchen include a pull-out pantry next to the fridge; lots of deep drawers to accommodate accessible storage; and a designated communication station (see above, left) to keep charging cell phones and incoming mail out of the main kitchen work area. To create more cabinetry space in the kitchen, a second entrance to the dining room was closed off.

One-of-a-kind custom colour and finish
"The client went with a painted finish that had the texture of wood...without showing the colour of wood," explains designer Melissa Foley. "We decided on white ash. It has enough depth to the grain, allowing it to hold the paint colour while still having the texture shine through. It turned out beautifully."

February 11, 2016

Does Your Fireplace Need a Facelift?

As the temperatures drop far below zero this Valentine's Day weekend, you may be snuggling by the fire even more than usual. However, if you're like an increasing number of homeowners, you may feel your fireplace has become more of an eyesore than a gathering place.

Recently, Monarch designer Kevin Samson received a phone call from one of his clients asking for advice about changing the look of her brick fireplace.

"The client felt it looked rather dated and heavy, with all the brickwork, stone mantel and hearth," says Kevin.

"After discussing a number of options, it was decided that we would remove most of the brick, the mantel and the hearth," says Kevin. "We prepared the area with a suitable substrate and covered the entire surface with a natural-looking stone tile and new stone hearth." Kevin likes the end result, adding "it is a much cleaner, up-to-date look.

As for the client, her words summed up the renovation perfectly: "Ta-da!"

Do you have a design project that requires a professional's input and expertise?

Monarch's design team uses their skill and design experience for all areas of the home. Call them today at 905-686-2001 to request a consultation, or drop by the Monarch showroom.

February 4, 2016

Big Showers are a Big Priority for Today's Homeowners

According to the 2015 Houzz Bathroom Remodelling Survey, which polled over 3,000 homeowners who are currently or have just completed a bathroom renovation, more than two-thirds of those surveyed are increasing the size of their shower space. Of those homeowners, nearly one-third are increasing the size of their shower by at least half or more.

Bath design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Design
"Monarch has seen the trend in bathroom showers growing over the last few years," says Monarch designer Amanda Willson-Suppa. "Today's shower designs are not just larger but more luxurious, as well! The shower has become a key feature in the design...a wow factor."

Monarch clients are choosing for their showers to be their oasis. Many are even steering away from having a large soaker or whirlpool-style tub. "Instead, their opting for a single larger shower, inviting luxury into their everyday instead of waiting for when they have the time to take a longer soak in the tub."

Bath design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Design
Aging in place continues as a priority for many of the Baby Boomers surveyed in the Houzz poll, with accessibility features such as grab bars, curbless showers and shower seats making their way into the majority of the bath designs.

Bath design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Design
Bath design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Design

Bath design by Monarch Kitchen & Bath Design