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January 26, 2017

Check Out NKBA's Top 10 Kitchen Trends for 2017

This month, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) published their Top 10 Kitchen Trends for 2017. Conducted online in August/September 2016, the NKBA surveyed 562 of its members from across North America. Here's a look at the major trends that came out the survey.

1. Contemporary kitchens have overtaken traditional styles for the first time.

Although transitional designs remain the most popular, traditional kitchen design has dropped to the third most popular style and is expected to keep declining. 

2. White and grey painted cabinets and colour schemes will continue to dominate.

Photo courtesy of Cambria. Shown: Carrick.
Blue painted and high gloss cabinets styles, as well as blue and black colour schemes are also trending upward. 

"I'm happy to see that the light/dark and simple grey/white contrast finishes, with is a true and basic design tenant, is making its way back into the mix...and it should...for good reason," says Monarch designer Chantal Miller. "Countertops and cabinets are significant to change in your home so this elegant, yet simple, combination allows homeowners to protect their large renovation invest by using other inexpensive parts of their space...paint colour, backsplash, add the fluid, fun and trendy colours for years to come."

3. Emerging trends of mixed colours, including varying countertop materials and mixed cabinet finishes.

This includes exaggerated two-toned effects, darks with lights and lights with darks. Several of those surveyed mentioned blending quartz countertops with wood.

4. The use of metal cabinetry is on the rise.

Although wood cabinets are still the top choice for most designers, metal cabinets appear to be a favourite of both younger and male designers.

5. Furniture-look pieces, rollouts, pullouts and under-cabinet lighting are popular cabinet features.

Simplicity is key, with flat-panel doors, flush inset, on the rise. Drawers are also popular. The bigger the better! On the downswing? Crown moulding and built-in desks. 

6. Quartz countertops are the favourite, with granite continuing its trend downward.

Photo courtest of Cambria. Shown: Swanbridge


7. Induction cooktops, convection ovens and microwave drawers are trending higher.


8. Kitchen technology is on the rise.

A whopping 31 per cent of NKBA professionals included wiring and pathways for future tech integration in their kitchen designs. Docking stations and appliances connected to the internet are also on the rise.

9. Barn doors and pocket doors are becoming a popular choice in the kitchen.


10. Accessible and universal design features continue to be popular.

January 19, 2017

Get Inspired This Weekend at the 2017 Interior Design Show

One of North America's leading design conferences, the Interior Design Show (IDS17), returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend for its 19th consecutive year.

IDS17 is the first global design fair of the year and show curators have forecasted some of the top trends for 2017,  inspiring the direction of design for the year to come.

Some of Monarch's favourite companies at IDS17
Members of Monarch's design team will head to IDS17 on Friday for Professional Trade Day: a day designed to inspire, educate and expose professionals to products, designs and ideas from both international and national perspectives.

While Friday is for the trades, Saturday and Sunday are jam-packed with displays, exhibits, speakers and demonstrations geared to consumers!

Monarch is thrilled that many of the suppliers they depend on to equip their clients' homes so beautifully will be in attendance. If you're at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend for IDS17, consider dropping by their exhibitor booths. We're sure you won't be disappointed.

For more information, visit the Interior Design Show online at or check out the IDS 2017 Show Guide.

January 12, 2017

Why Young House Love DIYers Chose Custom Cabinetry and Cambria Countertops for Their White Kitchen Reno

Photo credit: Young House Love, used with permission
As kitchen and bath designers, Monarch's team is constantly monitoring trends and we draw inspiration from a variety of sources. 

Last October, when popular Young House Love DIY bloggers Sherry and John posted pictures of their latest kitchen renovation, Monarch designer Jackie Schagen was eager to see what they'd done. 

As a long-time Young House Love blog follower, Jackie wasn't surprised that Sherry and John had chosen to go with a white kitchen (their first two kitchens were also white); what she did find interesting was their departure from installing an Ikea kitchen.

For their kitchen renovation, Sherry and John chose white custom cabinetry from a local US manufacturer citing solid craftsmanship, colour consistency, and a variety of upgrade options as their reasons.

As Sherry notes in her kitchen-reveal blog post, using Ikea cabinetry "takes some ingenuity" to pull off some of the finishing touches and ensure everything looks well-balanced. 

For their kitchen counters, they went with quartz from Cambria, a name Monarch blog followers no doubt recognize. Cambria's durable, stain-resistant quartz countertops are nonporous and have been deemed as being as safe as stainless steel in commercial food preparation kitchens.
"Despite their love for Ikea cabinetry and saving money at every turn, in their third home renovation these seasoned DIYers decided to go with quality custom cabinetry and Cambria countertops," notes Jackie. A decision the design team at Monarch can totally get behind.

Related posts:

7 More Reasons to Love Cambria Countertops

Common-Sense Tips for Keeping Your Custom Cabinetry Beautiful

This White Kitchen Adds Warmth with Texture and Style

January 5, 2017

A New Year's Message from the President

I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the past year and extend my sincerest gratitude to all of Monarch's clients.

Thank you for your patronage and the trust you placed in the Monarch team to make your dreams your reality.

Our clients are our most valued assets. Please know that Monarch will continue to be there for you in the coming years.

To the valued members of Monarch's team, your tireless efforts and contributions to our company's success and growth are irreplaceable. Many thanks to each and every one of you.

From all of us at Monarch, we wish you and your families peace, health and prosperity in 2017.

Neil B. Samson
Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre