Uptown: To Do List Update

I haven’t posted a house update in many months. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen some random house photos already. Last year was full of major renovations, and so many changes happened in my once dark-burgundy home.


white-on-white-on-white jewelry station


teak and white in my living room

My original to do list (August 2013) was lengthy and full of major projects. Some additional items got crossed off the updated to do list (March 2014):

- remove wallpaper in basement bathroom
- install a shower in the basement bathroom
- paint touch-ups (all over)
-office organization
-office art wall
-install fire smoke alarms (again)
-plan patio

Since then, I have added – and crossed off – a few more tasks:
-have a garage sale (read about my garage sale with Tim)
-finish touch-up tile work in kitchen (seal grout, add missing tile, caulk again)
-install foyer tiles
-magically find 2 small side tables for my living room
-find one small table to match my chaise (to replace the existing ottoman)
-upholster my two Danish teak arm chairs (seen in photo above)
-clean up/organize the garage (again)
-paint basement
-BBQ a lot


coffee – just because


I’m starting to organize my not-so-pretty-but-oh-so-useful garage supplies

Renos have slowed down slightly over the summer as there weren’t immediate changes that needed to be made. My basement (storage central) got cleared out a bit after my recent garage sale. I have had the paint (thanks, CIL) for many months, and I’m itching to break it open and start slathering white on the dark walls. I could do a major bathroom/laundry renovation down there, but I honestly don’t know if this is the year that I’m going to do it. Please hold. I have also had my marble foyer tiles stacked neatly for months, but I haven’t found the time or energy to focus on installing them in my foyer. Soon, yes?


Ah, flowers, they’re so pretty (thanks, Anita)! They almost make me forget about the DIY to do lists that are waiting for me!

Posted in Jordana, Uptown | 1 Comment

Design: This is what a Multi-Million Dollar Home in Oakville Looks Like

If you like design and blogs, chances are you’ve had a browse (or several) on Realtor – the Canadian real estate site. During one of my recent searches, I stumbled upon this gorgeous multi-million dollar home in Oakville. This is what $11.8 million can buy you outside of Toronto.

xl xl-1 xl-2 xl-3 xl-4 xl-5 xl-6The outside is just as gorgeous as the inside. Have a look here. Yearly taxes are only $75K (gasp!).


Posted in Canadian, Design, Toronto | 4 Comments

Interview: Charlotte Cosby – Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – blogging has an amazing ways of bringing people together. I recently had the opportunity to interview Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative at the elegant and classic Farrow & Ball. (Amazing, I know!)

Charlotte Cosby

While I did try to focus my questions to Charlotte about how she uses white in interior design, I couldn’t help but ask her about what she loves most about her job (I’m nosey like that). Head of Creative - isn’t that an awesome job title? Are you curious about Charlotte’s day job? If so, read on…


Jordana: How did you come to the position of Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball? 

Charlotte: It was really just a case of being in the right place and the right time, although a love of design, interiors and colour certainly helps as well!

J: What is the best part of your work day?

C: I like to be on the go so always enjoy it when I’m working on something new whether it’s experimenting with colour, drawing potential new wallpaper patterns or having ‘the idea’ with my team.

J: What is the most challenging part of your job?

C: Because the output and end product of my job is so subjective, this means that it’s often quite hard try to get something that everyone is happy with. However, I’m very lucky in that I’ve worked closely with my team for a number of years, meaning that we’ve been able to develop a style that everyone agrees on. It’s just getting agreement on each individual piece that can be harder!

J: Now, let’s talk about colour! At the risk of sounding childish, what’s your favourite colour? Why?

C: My favourite colour changes every week! Currently I’m really loving lush vibrant greens like Breakfast Room Green, Calke Green, and Studio Green as they remind me of tropical holidays and treks through the jungle! When mixed with a navy, like Stiffkey Blue, these colours can look extremely deep and mysterious.

J: What is/are your go-to colour(s) for your own home design projects?

C: I was obsessed with one of our new 2013 colours, Stiffkey Blue, for a long time as used on the walls, it really brings the whole room to life and makes all the furniture look amazing. I also really like the current trend of using copper and natural wood together as they go together brilliantly.

J: Now, at the risk of sounding selfish, let’s talk about my favourite colour – white! What are your thoughts about white?

C: I love white – it’s the one colour that allows you to be most creative. To me, white represents potential – it’s a blank canvas ready to be filled with colourful ideas!

J: What Farrow & Ball white would you recommend for the white enthusiast?

C: We really do have a white for every occasion! Currently, my favourite it Wevet – a delicate but extremely versatile white. One of our most popular whites is Wimborne White which works with absolutely everything! However, to be able to see the subtleties between them, you really need to have a reference point. For example, by putting both of these colours against All White, our cleanest and whitest white, you’ll be able to notice the very slight hint of colour that makes them so special and completely unique.

J: White can be used in every room in a home – even in children’s rooms. What do you think about using white in childrens’ bedrooms, playrooms, or bathrooms?

C: Children are among the most creative beings in the world so using white in a children’s bedrooms and playrooms would be a great way to encourage creative thought.

Not only would white be a great backdrop for the host of multi-coloured toys, it also means that if you did want to use a small amount of brighter colours, like our vibrant St Giles Blue, Yellowcake or Charlotte’s Locks, throughout the room – on furniture, woodwork or even in cupboards or shelving, using white on the walls and ceiling will really help to make these colours pop!

From a more practical point of view, white will also stand the test of time as they’re growing up.

J: What advice would you give parents who are hesitant to incorporate white (walls, furniture, toys, etc.) into their children’s spaces?

C: It’s easy to see why parents might feel hesitant to use white in their children’s rooms as children are well-known for being attracted to muddy places.

By using either of our Modern Emulsion, Full Gloss or Estate Eggshell finishes on the wall of your child’s room will allow for wiping away wandering hand and finger prints. These finishes are also more resilient and hardwearing meaning that the walls are less likely to scuff.

White rooms needn’t be boring and by adding a simple feature like a stripe, will instantly add fun to a plain white room. Another technique is to layer different whites on the walls which will help to add a real depth and softness to the room. You can get creative with this techniques, like we have here by painting a simple mountain scene onto the wall.

J: Thank you, Charlotte, for taking the time to speak with me about white!


So, how about that? Colour expert Charlotte Cosby loves white! I love that she thinks white is timeless, is a great backdrop for kids’ rooms, and represents potential. Amazing. Let the creativity shine on!

Here are the Farrow & Ball whites that Charlotte made reference to:




Wimborne White (there’s a sample there, I swear!)


All White (another sample image, honest!)

And here are a variety of rooms – not just for children – featuring gorgeous Farrow & Ball paints.

2004EE_5EEG_S Farrow-Ball-White-2 Farrow-Ball-white-1 Farrow-Ball-white-2001 EE_228EEG Farrow-Ball-2005DF_22EEG_S Farrow-Ball-2005EE_2005EEG_2005FP_S F&B_FloorPaint-23 F&B_Modern_Emulsion-8 farrow-ball-white-3

Naturally, I gravitate toward that sunny white office with wood plank floors! Isn’t it lovely?

What do you think? Would you paint your children’s room – or other rooms – fully white?

Thanks to Rebecca M. at Farrow & Ball for arranging this interview.


Posted in Design, Interview, Marketplace | Leave a comment

Marketplace: Back to School Essentials

I have spent more time in school than out of school, so please believe me when I tell you that these are some of the most essential back-to-school items. Pretty much any age group would make good use of these items, I’d say.



1. Water bottle. I have a few reusable water bottles that I bring to school/work every day. A lot of university campuses now have good drinking fountains and water-filling stations, so there’s no excuse not to drink water all day long to stay hydrated.

2. Reusable lunch box/bag. I always pack a lunch because I get bored of university cafeterias and the quick grab-and-go meals at Starbucks or elsewhere are too expensive and high in calories.

3. A pencil case. I carry my pens and pencils in a small case so that they’re easy to find and won’t make a mess in my purse/tote/backpack.

4. Backpack. Speaking of backpacks, I don’t actually have one yet. I’m still looking for one that is lightweight and comfortable. I’m going to start this school year with my lightweight and washable HBC striped tote.

5. Pens and pencils. Although I love my computer, I take a lot of my notes by hand. Pens and pencils are a must. I always have a Sharpie or two nearby as well. Highlighters, on the other hand, I rarely use. Last year, I was given some Palomino pencils and I still make good use of them, They look so darn good!

6. Notebooks. Did you notice the plural? Yes, I stay organized by using a variety of notebooks. Each notebook has a job – work, home renos, school, etc. Most of my notebooks are Jordi Labanda or Moleskine, but I’m open to using basically anything that is cute and has nice paper (they are often black or white, but not always). I prefer lined notebooks, but I think unlined notebooks are great for people who want to really spread out over the pages. My writing is nowhere near neat, so I need the lines to help keep me steady.

7. An apple. Okay, the CB2 apple above is just for decor. But, still. It’s traditional. Eat one. Draw one. Take an Instagram picture of one. Bring one to a teacher.

8. Laptop and protective sleeve. I think I would be lost without my laptop. I keep mine protected in a basic MEC sleeve, but I really have my eye on this one from Ban.do.

These are the basic back-to-school necessities. A computer, phone, coffee mug, earplugs, library card, file folders, binders, etc. are additional items that come in handy and help me stay organized and focused.

Who is ready to learn something new this school year?

Details of items available at Polyvore.


Posted in Event, Marketplace | 3 Comments

The Friday Five: Frills at Baby Gap

In honour of my niece’s first birthday, I thought I’d put together a little children’s fashion post. I love the white collection that is currently on sale at Baby Gap. Have a look at this fashion sweetness…


ruffle body double 


eyelet flutter one piece


scalloped eyelet body double


smocked star one piece


giraffe henley one piece

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Posted in Children, Fashion | Leave a comment

Celebration: Happy Birthday, Giselle!

My sweet niece is one year old! She loves walking and playing with her three older brothers. She also loves laughing and smiling. Life is good for this little one!


Look how happy she is in white! We’re obviously related!

Happy Birthday, Giselle!

Posted in Celebration, Jordana, Personal | 2 Comments

Event: Organizing a Garage Sale

It’s going to be sunny on Saturday, right? It has to be! Why? Because I’m hosting my first garage sale. It’s going to be extra exciting because I’m co-hosting it with Tim (of Design Maze). We’re parting with some really lovely items, but we’ll be happy to see them move on to new homes. Tim has put together a great post with photos that I encourage you to check out. Let either of us know if you want us to save you something or if you’d like to stop on by!


doily collection


vintage enamelware pot


black chandelier


metal container

If you’re in the Waterloo area on Saturday and would like to stop by, please let me know. If you’re not in the area, but you’re willing to make the trip, then I encourage you to make a day out of it. Here’s my recommended itinerary for the day…
- Stop by our garage sale (of course)
- Head to St. Jacobs farmers’ market to pick up food and flowers
- Browse around the St. Jacobs antique malls (and hopefully pick up a sweet treasure or two), take a walk around the village too
- Enjoy a casual lunch at Taco Farm, a fancier lunch at Janet Lynn’s Bistro (in Belmont Village), or pizza and patio time at Famoso
- Stroll around Waterloo Park and stop to say hello to the zoo animals (how many white animals can you count?)
- Have a coffee and treat break at Vincenzo’s
- Tour the incredible architectural buildings around Uptown (e.g., CIGI Campus, Perimeter Institute)

Oh, and if you’re wondering how to go about organizing a garage sale, here’s what I recommend:

- clean out closets (gather items throughout the year that you no longer use/need/like)
- clean every item
- price items reasonably (either individually or in groupings)
- make signs to post around the neighbourhood on the morning of the sale
- decide in advance the hours of the sale
- grab a few friends/family members to help
- tell your neighbours
- get some change from the bank
- advertise on free websites like Kijiji and CraigsList
- wake up earlier than you think you need to wake up on the day of the sale
- set up tables in an organized and appealing manner – pretend you’re setting up a real store, presentation is important
- read through some of the websites about how to host a garage/yard sale

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Featured: Designer Insights + Terry’s Blinds

I was recently contacted by UK-based Terry’s Blinds to share my top 5 design ideas for the fall, and to explain a little about where I draw inspiration for the company’s Designer Insights series. Here’s a peek…

designer-insights-Jordana-1 designer-insights-Jordana-2

My top five:

1. Ceramics - beautifully crafted, exceptional quality, simple design (e.g., Alessi’s Colombina Collection Table Set)
2. Lighting – glamorous and structured (e.g., Black Rooster Decor’s white glam saucer pendant)
3. Objets that encourage discovery (e.g., Barbara Barry elegant lens)
4. Nesting tables - easy, light, transferable (e.g., Mitchell Gold & Bob William’s Foster nesting tables)
5. Flowers – year round (e.g., beautiful white and green flower arrangements)

You can read the full interview here.

Posted in Design, Flowers, Furniture, Jordana, Marketplace | Leave a comment

Design: Office Desks

It was one year ago today that I had my PhD defense (an oral exam, an examination of my research). It was a full, intense, and very special day. Even though the day flew by incredibly fast, I hope I remember the feelings I had that day for many years to come.

Considering the countless hours I spent at my desk during graduate school, I thought today’s celebratory post could focus on some absolutely stunning offices and desks.


I love the chandelier (via My Luscious Life). 


I love the big window (via TaloSanomat). 


I love the desk and copper accents (via Avotakka).


I love the black and white art (via Apartment Therapy).


I love the old desk (via Paper & Stitch).


I love the sleek lamp and desk (via Pinterest).


I love the twin desk area (via Emmas Blogg).

Aren’t these spaces lovely? Tell me that I’m not the only one who loves office design!

Posted in Design, Interiors | Leave a comment

20 Below: Scalloped Cami

Such a sweet cami…and when is there anything less than $20 at Anthropologie? Awesome!


scalloped cami, $19.95, Anthropologie

Posted in 20 Below, Fashion, Marketplace | Leave a comment