Architecture

Interiors: Beautiful Bathrooms

These bright, white bathrooms have caught my attention. Whether it’s the leaded glass windows, the marble sink surround, a lovely curvy tub, or the view, each of these bathrooms comes with something unique.

via Style Files

Lawless & Meyerson

Woollahra House

Studio KO, via Home World Design

Architects EAT, via The Design Chaser

Design: Minimalist Ways

Some days, I really want to get rid of everything I own and start fresh as a minimalist. Yes, even though I do really love all of my collections! But just look at these spaces. Every piece, every fixture, every finish is placed and purchased so thoughtfully.

Est Living

Est Living

Est Living

Est Living

Minimalissimo

Furniture: The D Shop

I came across the D Pages and the D Shop on one of my tours around the Internet, and I was drawn right on in. D Pages features beautiful interiors and architecture in all of my favourite shades of white. D Shop is an extension of that design inspiration and carries a collection of the most beautiful pieces of furniture, lighting, and home accessories. There is so much that caught my attention which is why I’m sharing so much of it here today.

Mategot Natasaki chair, $639 USD

Sereno marble coffee table, $3600 USD

Beetle stool, $559 USD

Pacha lounge chair, $2369 USD

Shepherd’s chair, $3500 USD

Amare salt and pepper set, $195 USD

Dearborn large bowl, $80 USD

Signal globe, $1645 USD

Trivia Thursday: The Standard Chair

Jean Prouvé was a French industrial designer and architect. While he may not be as well known as designers like Eames and Herman Miller, Prouvé certainly made his mark in the design world. One of his most recognizable works might be The Standard chair. I first came across the chair when I stayed in this Paris apartment. It was love at first sight! Not only do I like the design, but the chair is incredibly comfortable. It’s little wonder why it’s a sought-after piece by designers and collectors of beautiful design.

The Standard

photos via Vitra

Jean Prouvé chairs in the Rue Bonaparte apartment (where I stayed in 2014)

Galerie Miquel Alzueta, via Pastolux

Airhouse Design Office, via Contemporist

Paris apartment, via Architectural Digest

The Friday Five: Calatrava Architecture

About a decade ago, I travelled to the Canary Islands, and on the island of Tenerife, I was struck by the architecture of the El Auditorio. The Auditorio de Tenerife was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and his architecture is the focus of today’s post.

White Cabana (a few more photos of my trip to the El Auditorio)

Canarias 7

Here are five other favourites from Calatrava’s extensive collection of white projects.

If you’re in Toronto, you may recognize another Calatrava – the BCE Place Galleria (built in 1992). I remember going to BCE Place when I was young, and I was in awe of the light that came through this building. Another visit is long overdue!

BCE Place

In 2016, Calatrava created the transportation hub at the World Trade Center in New York City. The structure looks like it’s about to take flight.

via Dezeen

I love the repetition of shapes on this building in Valencia, Spain.

Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias

The Milwaukee Art Museum is striking, too, with its dramatic points and curves.

via Simply Sinova

via

Finally, this building at Florida’s Polytechnic University easily caught my eye. In fact, it caught my eye a couple of years ago on a drive from Tampa to Orlando, but I never pulled over to investigate it up-close. Maybe I’ll get an close-up view if if I end up taking the same road trip in a few weeks!

via Dezeen

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Design: Poolside

This weekend really felt like summer. I celebrated the completion of my MBA with family and friends, I ate ice cream, and I spent time at the pool.

So today, to “cool off,” I’m taking you on a virtual tour of some spectacular pools. Ready to dive in?

Bulgari Hotel, photo by Christina Arrighi

via Reno Guide

Bradley E. Heppner

Rolling Stone Landscapes

House Chapple, Tribe Studio Architects

Architecture: A-Frame Cottages

I was in Goderich and Bayfield on Saturday because Ontario beach time has been long overdue for me. It was an absolutely wonderful day out, and it got me dreaming (again) about owning a cottage one day (remember this cottage post from November).

Recently, my cottage dreams seem to lead me to the classic A-frame style. The A-frame (literally shaped like the letter A) style appeals to me for a cottage because it looks cozy, seems to blend in well with country surroundings, and mimics the shape of trees. I don’t know. I just think it looks kind of cool. And with a white interior? I think it would be fun.

So, naturally, my dreams have led me to create this blog post featuring cool A-frame houses (or cottages) that I find so darn beautiful.

Bromley Caldari 

source unknown

Lokal A-Frame, Maurice River

Allandale House, William O’Brien Jr.

Jean Verville

VRBO

Whistler A-frame, Scott and Scott Architects

Architecture: A Beautiful Barn

I saw images of this Texas barn venue on Pinterest, and I was eager to see more. The White Sparrow Barn looks to be primarily used as a wedding venue, but I think a party of any sort would be beautiful in this stunning space.

Pretty, right?

Architecture: A Building with Curves

I took a double-take when I came across Zaha Hadid‘s Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan. Why? Because not a single straight line was used. Curves. This building has curves and only curves!

Heydar Aliyev Center

exterior

interior

auditorium

exhibition hall

interior

exterior

It’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

Architecture: Lego House

If my nephews had their way, they’d live in this Lego House. But they’d probably want it to be all blue or green or red. And have life-size Lego Ninjago out front, too.

I, of course, prefer the Lego House as it is in white. Isn’t it amazing?

Lego House, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, via Minimalissimo

Trivia Thursday: Book Matched Marble

What is book matched marble? It’s when two slabs of marble are set side-by-side like a mirror image, resembling the pages of an open book. The result is absolutely beautiful. As if marble on its own wasn’t beautiful enough, right?

Cecconi Simone via Contemporist

Marble of the World

WK

Houzz

Because I’m Addicted

Marketplace: Cool Things

There’s no real method to today’s post. It’s just a round-up of things that I’ve come across or that people have sent me that look pretty darn cool.

Martha Medeiros via The Sil

knots by Windy Chien, via A Pair and a Spare

Iittala x Issey Miyake bag, $185 USD, Need Supply

Hovding 2.0 bike helmet, 299, Hovding (thanks, JS)

glass rulers, $54 USD, Areaware (via SwissMiss)

design by James Whitaker, via DeZeen

white concrete chairs, via Design Milk

Happy Monday, everyone!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Architecture: White in Waterloo

The fall is generally a beautiful time to be outdoors. Since it’s neither ridiculously cold nor unbearably hot, it’s the perfect season to be outside and go for long walks. I’ve been doing my best to go on early morning walks, and they’ve honestly set my days off right. Yes, of course, it’s challenging to wake up extra early, especially when it’s dark outside, and throw on workout wear, but once I’ve gotten a few steps in, I feel awake and I’m happy. I also love the post-walk feeling. I feel fresh and ready to begin my day.

Besides feeling great, I absolutely love looking at the beautiful houses around Uptown Waterloo. Honestly, they are some of the prettiest ones I’ve seen! This past weekend, I managed to take my walks during the daylight, so it was especially nice to snap a couple of photos. Look at these two beauties!

This first one has beautiful symmetry, a gorgeous entry, and a pretty pair of fall urns. I just love the style.

This second one is smaller in scale, but so darn pretty. And the white Audi Q5 in the driveway basically has me moving right on in! Love it.What do you do to stay active? And are you like me in that you love observing the architecture in your neighbourhood?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Architecture: Jean Verville

I recently came across the work of architect Jean Verville, and I was soon lost in a website of beautiful design projects. Here are some spaces that really caught my eye.

unité d’habitation Westmount Square

Fahouse 

In 2

whitepaper

Save

Travel: Review of Hotel Henry, Buffalo

When I first learned about Buffalo’s newly opened Hotel Henry, I was intrigued. And I was curious. And I was dubious, too. A must-see hotel? Sure. In Buffalo? Not so sure. You see, the Buffalo I have known up until this summer is all outlet mall and Target. Honestly. I have not seen much more than that on any of my trips to Buffalo. Well, let me tell you, Buffalo surprised me. Really! So much so that I’d definitely make a return trip! Isn’t that what you’d like the result of every vacation to be? I was pleasantly surprised!

You’ve seen a couple of photos of my trip on Instagram (#WhiteCabanaGoestoBuffalo), but here’s a proper tour of the hotel.

Hotel Henry, a national historic site, was built in the 1872 as a psychiatric hospital (aka known as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane). I didn’t know much of this history before I arrived which I think is a good thing. I was too googly-eyed over the design and architecture to get too engrossed in all the historical – and spooky!? – stories. As we pulled up to the property, I was floored. Amazed at the large scale and the absolutely beautiful architecture. I was definitely excited as I stepped inside.

The hotel has been part of a 3-year, $102 million renovation project. The hotel is located on a 42-acre site and occupies three of the eleven buildings of the former asylum. The project was led by Deborah Berke Partners and Flynn Battaglia Architects. Just to give you an idea of the scale and work involved, the restoration of 600 windows cost $7 million.

 

Check in was smooth and quick. My room was spacious with ridiculously high ceilings that definitely caught my attention! Beds were comfortable, and the bath products were lovely. Towels were fluffy, and the coffee/tea station was a nice addition. There was plenty of space to spread out, rest, and work (the desk in front of the window was well-planned).

I think it would be lovely if Hotel Henry added robes to the room and a mini fridge, too. These items aren’t essential, but they’re nice pluses for a luxurious stay.

 

Beyond the room, the hotel is absolutely stunning. The foyer and lounges are well-appointed with beautifully designed furniture and accessories. Interesting and unique art is everywhere in the public spaces and guest rooms. The lighting is dramatic and eye-catching.

During my stay, I had the chance to enjoy the bar one evening and breakfast by 100 Acres – the hotel restaurant that is becoming one of Buffalo’s hot spots! I enjoyed both, and loved parking myself in different areas around the hotel to enjoy my drink and meal. Each area offers lovely seating options and great views of the architecture and art.

The next time I go to Hotel Henry, I’m definitely going to sign up for a tour of the abandoned/non-renovated part of the Richardson Olmsted property. If I had known about these public tours before I arrived, I would have signed up, but it completely escaped my research and planning path. In addition to the tour, I’d like to explore other architectural, artistic, and neighbourhood gems.

Prices per night vary depending on day and month, but they average about $150 USD per night. Check the availability calendar for the most accurate price.

Thanks to Hotel Henry for sponsoring this post. All photos and opinions are my own.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Design: McKinley Burkart Architecture

I don’t know how Instagram algorithms work, but sometimes the fancy behind-the-scenes technology really works in my favour. Recently, Instagram introduced me to the work of McKinley Burkart. This architecture and interior design firm, which has studios in Calgary and Vancouver, has an extensive portfolio of beautiful restaurants, retail, residential, and work spaces.

Bruce Lifestyle Store

M-Tech

Market

Village Ice Cream

Earls Westhills

Elbow Park House

The Shore

IHS

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Design: A Notting Hill Kitchen

This kitchen in Notting Hill, UK has so many stunning details. The marble, the moulding, the brass, and the floors have all caught my eye. And since there’s already a Bialetti espresso maker in place, I can basically move in. Yup. I could!

Blenheim Crescent kitchen by Blakes London

Travel: White Cabana Goes to Toronto

I just came back from an extended stay in Toronto. I was there for an academic conference. My presentations went smoothly, and it was great to catch up with my academic community in person (#PhDlife). While I was there, I couldn’t help but snap photos.

Hydrangea pompoms in my parents’ garden. I love them!

The Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is one of my favourite buildings in the city.

Toronto in one photo: CN Tower in the background, TTC and postal-code-clad mail box in the foreground.

Skateboard action in front of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

Canadian chefs’ panel presentation at Terroir Symposium: Chef Lynn Crawford, Dufflet Rosenberg, Susur Lee, and Matty Matheson (full review coming soon)

If you’d like to see a few more photos (mostly of my outfits), check out #WhiteCabanaGoestoToronto.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Two for Tuesday: Perfect Pantries

I’ve been taking part in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure clean-up and organization challenge on a sort of regular basis this month. Buying flowers was easy, cleaning the fridge was completely satisfying, and donating boxes of extras was freeing. While I haven’t been able to keep up with the daily tasks, I think Apartment Therapy’s month of chores is well-planned and well-organized. It’s a good way to kick start the year!

So this brings me to the idea of organization. Check out these two pantries. Aren’t they beautiful? Yes, a beautiful storage area for food. That’s luxury!

via Zillow (this stunning house has sold!)

via Hayburn (house is beautiful)

Architecture: Old Ontario Houses

When I was in the Niagara region recently, I took several photos of gorgeous houses, including this lovely yellow home. I always seem to notice new ones when I’m there. And each on in Niagara-on-the-Lake is especially interesting and unique. We have gorgeous properties in the Waterloo region, which I ogle, and I always paid attention to the details of these homes when I lived in London and Kingston. They ooze charm, and they catch my eye!

And that’s why I’m a sucker for the Instagram account called Old Ontario Houses. Do you know it? Caution – you may not notice the time fly by once you start scrolling and reading about the locations of each house!

Here are a few white ones that caught my attention as I was scrolling through the feed recently:

Yates Street Heritage District, St. Catharines

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake

St. David’s

Jordan Village

St. Mary’s

St. Thomas

Since it’s #Canada150 this year, maybe it’s about time I – or we – should start paying extra attention to white architecture in our beautiful country!

Save

Save

Save

The Friday Five: White Architecture

It’s been a while since I have focused on the design of buildings and homes, so today I’m bringing you five photos of cool architecture.

museo-international-del-barroco-toyo-ito-architecture-museum-public-mexico-patrick-lopez-jaimes_dezeen_936_30-1

Museo Internacional del Barroco by Toyo Ito, near Puebla, Mexico, via Dezeen

artelabo-villa-tranquille-quiet-house-herault-valley-south-of-france-designboom-03

country villa in France designed by Artelabo, via DesignBoom

vector-architects-chapel-by-the-beach-designboom-02-818x979

seashore chapel in China by Vector Architects, via DesignBoom

002_ula5019-modifier

Le Nook in Quebec by MU Architecture, via DesignBoom

4291-06rs

factory in Germany by Sanaa, via UnCubeMagazine

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Save

Save

Travel: 10 More Things To Do in Copenhagen

As Copenhagen is a city rich with history, art, design, and culture, it was hard to write a list of just 10 things to do in Copenhagen, so I’ve created another list. Here are 10 more things to do in Copenhagen.

1. Eat a Smorrebrod

Smorrebrod is an open-faced sandwich, and it’s one of the famous foods of Denmark. I only had one during my stay (at Paper Island), and it was delicious (but not ridiculously filling). I like the concept of the open-faced sandwich because its focus is on the toppings, in my opinion, and the bread is just a bonus.

Smorrebrod-White-Cabana-Copenhagen

White-Cabana-Paper-Island-Copenhagen

2. Rent a bicycle (if you dare)

Copenhagen is jam-packed full of bikes. I loved it. I wish we had more of a cycling culture here in Kitchener-Waterloo. I am not a die-hard cyclist, but I do like the convenience and affordability of commuter cycling. Copenhagen is well-designed for cycling because of it’s car-sized bike lanes.

Renting a bicycle is easy enough to do (learn more about bike rentals), and hotels may even have options for you (WakeUp Borgergade does). I didn’t end up renting a bicycle during my vacation, but if I return to Copenhagen, I will. .

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-1

3. Illums Bolighus

If you’re looking for a crash course in Danish design, visit the Illums Bolighus department store on the pedestrian shopping street in the city centre. If you time your trip right, you can land in Copenhagen during summer sales (this is what happened to me…my credit card worked hard!).

While I wanted just about everything at Illums Bolighus, I only walked away with the Stelton vacuum jug (in white, naturally) and a few gifts (all made in Denmark!). (My Stelton made it back to Waterloo in one piece, but when I washed it, I dropped the glass jug and it shattered. It was a very sad moment! Stelton – and Amazon – sell replacements, so not all is lost.)

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-12

Unfortunately, I didn’t take too many photos at Illums Bolighus, so this is all you get!

While you’re in the shopping mood, pop into Hay, too. The architecture is lovely and the products are beautiful (although much of what I saw was made in China).

Side note: If you spend over 300DKK in a store (approx. $70CAD), then you’ll be able to receive the tax back (the Value Added Tax/VAT) at the airport. Ask shop clerks for assistance. It’s a straightforward process and worth doing if you’re keen on getting some money back post-vacation.

4. Visit Nimb, and see the peacocks, too.

When I arrived at Tivoli Gardens, I first stopped in at Nimb because I was debating having a meal. I was more interested in food than the amusement park, if I’m being honest. I arrived at an off time though, and since I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t end up eating at Nimb (but I’ve read that it’s delicious). Once I saw the place, I was amazed by the dramatic architecture. The white building certainly makes an impression!

White-CAbana-Copenhagen-Nimb-Hotel

Beyond the building, Nimb is a playground for peacocks. I couldn’t believe it. I loved them!

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-9

5. Relax on a dock by the canal.

The weather was beautiful when I was in Copenhagen, and although I spent the majority of every day outside, I was walking around a lot, and I was eager to see all sorts of sights. When I spent time by the canal, lying on the dock, on the afternoon of my last day, I had wished that I had done it more often. It was so relaxing, and I liked watching the boats. I’d recommend grabbing a picnic lunch and a drink, and bringing it here. People were swimming, too, so give that a try, too!

White-Cabana-Canal-Copenhagen

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-6 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-4

6. Climb the ramp in The Round Tower.

I had such a pleasant visit to The Round Tower first thing one morning. The round tower is a 7-storey tall tower with a hollow centre. The tower has a circular ramp from bottom to top (with only a few stairs at the very top to get to the lookout point). I loved the brick floor and the white walls.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-round-tower

White-Cabana-round-tower-Copenhagen

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Round-Tower-2

7. Sit at a café (and stay warm with a blanket)

I strongly encourage Waterloo cafés and restaurants to adopt Copenhagen’s have-a-blanket-on-every-chair approach. It makes for such a cozy outdoor dining experience during the cooler nights (or days). It’s a brilliant idea, and it works!

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-cafe blankets

8. Watch the highschool graduates celebrate.

Copenhagen, compared to Italy, is a very quiet and calm city. With the small(er) number of cars, there’s definitely less noise pollution than in other major cities I have been to. The people aren’t waving their arms around widly discussing politics and food (as far as I could tell) like they were in Italy. People barely even jay-walked (from my observations). That said, on June 24th, the city’s highschool graduates caused a fuss! It was highly amusing. I loved it.

The highschool graduates dawn personalized caps and walk around town wearing them during the last weekend of school. On that same weekend, they pile into open-topped trucks, blast music, honk horns, and have a moving dance party. It was awesome to watch, and the students were having a great time.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-2

(This is proof that not every Dane is tall and blonde.)

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-highschool graduates

Can anyone help with this translation? All I know is tak = thanks. (Google translate was of little help.)

9. Look at all the statues of women.

After a couple of weeks in Italy surrounded by statues of David, Dante, and others, I was surprised to see so many female statues in Copenhagen. I haven’t had a moment to read about the history of the city/country, or to Google all the statues that I came across, so if anyone has any insight on this, do tell.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-2 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-1 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-5 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-3

10. And here are even more places to see in Copenhagen (that I didn’t actually get to!)

Looking for more ideas? See my first list 10 things to do in Copenhagen.

All photos by Jordana.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Travel: 10 Things to Do in Copenhagen

Well, dear readers, I’m now into my second week back from a wonderful European vacation, and I’m getting a handle on my photo organization.

Thanks to Expedia.ca, I was able to spend almost two glorious weeks in the chaotic, passionate, delicious, sunny, and inspiring Italy! (A full recap on Italy in the weeks ahead, I promise.) After Italy, though, I decided to extend my stay in Europe by a few days. As I always like a good travel adventure, I booked an EasyJet flight from Milano Malpensa to Copenhagen, Denmark! It was a brilliant decision if I do say so myself.

I have much to share from Italy, naturally, but this week, I’m sharing my take on  Copenhagen. I have loads to report – hello, Copenhagen, design, design, design – but for today, I thought I’d start things off with 10 things that I did in Copenhagen that I would recommend (or do again).

10 Things To Do in Copenhagen

1. Stay near Kongens Have park in WakeUp Copenhagen (Borgergade location).

Booking a Copenhagen hotel in June (for around $200/night) was nearly impossible. I needed 4 nights in a hotel, and it seemed like everything in my price range was absolutely full. Hotels in Copenhagen were more expensive than I was expecting, and when I was planning my holiday, I was getting a bit discouraged when it came to the hotels (and my budget).

I ended up booking a stay with WakeUp Borgergade, and I’m quite happy with how things worked out. The “budget” hotel (just under $200 night including breakfast) was bright, modern, and the staff were friendly at check-in. While my room was small, it was very well designed, efficient, bright, and clean. I cannot get over the design of the bathroom and the use of frosted glass. The bed was very comfortable, and the duvets were fluffy. The room’s large windows expanded the space, and, although the large window opened, I appreciated the air conditioning.

On the downside, since the room was small, there was barely any room to store luggage, unpack clothes, or spread out toiletries. I made do, of course, but a closet would have been useful…especially for an extended stay (and luggage full of 2 weeks worth of clothing).

What I hadn’t realized when I booked the hotel was the convenient location. It was just perfect! The WakeUp Borgergade is in a clean, high-end part of town and close to shopping streets, Kongens Have park and Rosenborg Castle (so so lovely!), restaurants, Nyhavn (harbour), and more. When I walked down to Tivoli on my third day and saw some of the hotels I was originally considering, I realized that I wouldn’t have been as happy with the locations of these places. I really enjoyed being within minutes of the park.

Another major plus of the WakeUp Bordergade was the breakfast. It was full of plenty of healthy options like eggs, cheese, meats, yogurt, muesli…as well as less healthy options (i.e., my top pick) like Nutella! I noticed at least four or five fresh bread options each morning which really impressed me. In general, I enjoy the convenience of hotel breakfast packages. I dislike searching for food before my morning coffee when I’m traveling to a new city.

White-Cabana-Wakeup_Borgergade_Copenhagen-1

White-Cabana-Wakeup_Borgergade_3 White-Cabana-Wakeup_Borgergade_1 White-Cabana-Wakeup_Borgergade_4 White-Cabana-Wakeup_Borgergade_2

2. Design Museum Danmark

At the top of my “to see” list in Copenhagen was the Design Museum. Thankfully, I really enjoyed visiting the Design Museum Danmark. It’s a medium-sized museum which meant that I wasn’t there all day long. It was a great place to be first thing in the morning before the crowds arrived.

After my visit to the museum, I walked to the Nyhavn area on Bredgade. There are furniture and antique shops all along Bredgade which made for great window shopping.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-8 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-2 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-3 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-7

3. The Little Mermaid

This sweet mermaid is always ready for a photoshoot. I walked by The Little Mermaid early one morning, and the area was already full of tourists. She is over 100 years old! She sits pretty on the water, and she doesn’t complain about being stared at by tourists.

She’s a 4′ tall bronze sculpture by Edvard Eriksen based on The Little Mermaid fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-4 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-5

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-20

4. The Amalienborg Palace

I loved the architecture of the four royal residence buildings. I watched the guards walk back and forth for a while…I was sort of mesmerized. That would not be a job for me, but I do wonder how many steps they get in per day. Do you think they reach the recommended 10K?

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-6

5. Canal Tour

On the recommendation of a friend (thanks, Emmy!), I opted to take the Netto Badene canal tour. It cost 40DKK (about $9CAD) for about an hour tour. We saw a ton of things from the boat and learned a lot, too. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about the history of what our tour guide told us. (Shame on me.) I do remember, however, going by the Royal Yacht. I didn’t see any royalty, but the crew was aboard working away!

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-1

6. Paper Island

Paper island can be accessed by foot, but I opted to take public transportation in the form of a canal boat. Next time, I would probably want to rent a bike and take the long route around. Although, there is a pedestrian bridge that is due to be complete this summer, so you’d be on Paper Island from Nyhavn in just a few minutes.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-14

Go to Paper Island when you’re hungry because here’s where you can feast on diverse food. While many were going for burgers and Korean food, I opted for the traditional open-faced sandwich.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Denmark-9

After lunch, spend some time watching the world go by from a chair on the edge of Paper Island. When the sun is shining, this is a great place to be!

7. Street meat – hot dog with the works

Eating out in Copenhagen is expensive. Everything, really, is more expensive in Copenhagen than in Waterloo, if I’m honest. But the street meat stalls (hot dog stands) are reasonably priced and actually good. I’d definitely recommend picking up a dog-with-the-works. The stands are everywhere in the city (similar to the pretzel stands in Manhattan).

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-Hot Dog

8. Kongens Have

As I mentioned above, I really liked that my hotel was so close to Kongens Have park during my stay. It is beautifully maintained and manicured. Go for a morning walk or run around the park, so grab lunch to go and bring it here. It’s such a nice place to be.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-11 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-10

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-16 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-15

9. Tivoli

Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park in the city. This wasn’t on the top of my “to see” list, but I was so glad I made time for it on day 4. It was pretty magical and charming. I only walked around the park, but you could definitely buy tickets for rides, grab an ice cream, eat a meal, or a see a show.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-18 White-Cabana-Copenhagen-17

10. Norrebro

I read about Norrebro on the Design*Sponge Copenhagen City Guide, and I’m so glad I crossed the river to see it for myself. Norrebro has attitude, character, interest, and diversity. I liked it. The antique and design stores on Ravnsborggade and Elmegade were definitely highlights for me. Although I wasn’t hungry when I went to Norrebro, it looked like a great place to find more affordable meals.

White-Cabana-Copenhagen-13

Stay tuned because later this week I’ll be sharing more from Copenhagen. As I discovered, there are definitely more than 10 things to do in this happy city!

All photos by Jordana.

p.s. Happy July 4th to all of my American readers!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Travel: The Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto

Now that you’ve seen how my friend and I spent 28 hours in Toronto, I’d like to share some more detailed news about our reunion trip, and I’ll start with our hotel.

I booked us in for a night at The Omni King Edward Hotel (aka the King Eddy) at the south end of the city. Although I had never been to the King Eddy, I knew of its reputation of one of the top hotels in Toronto, so I was easily convinced that we should try it out. I’m happy to say that the hotel and its services did not disappoint (That’s the short version of the review. If you’d like to know more, read on!).

We checked into the King Eddy a little later than anticipated because we were having so much fun on our casual shopping at Bloor/Yorkville. Both my friend and I were excited to check in and plop on our beds for a bit of a rest before dinner.

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-4

The King Eddy impresses right from the entrance. Valet parking is available as is a park-your-own-car public parking lot about a block away. Once inside, the grand lobby awaits your attention. The architectural details in the lobby – moldings, railings, ceilings – are full of history. The hotel recently completed a $40 million renovation (forty!), and the lobby is a reflection of that. The furniture is modern and elegant, and the design theme of the hotel (chess, crowns, grandeur) is set right at the front door.

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-14 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-13

I’m honestly always a tad cautious when I check into fancy hotels. I’m usually curious to know if the place is pretentious or welcoming. Luckily, the check-in staff at the King Eddy was very friendly (Hi D!) and was able to engage in an informal conversation while maintaining his professionalism and sense of hospitality. I am a very particular customer, so I pay attention to just about every detail of an experience (so tough, I am!).

We took the elevator up to our room, and when we opened the door, we were in awe. The room was large. The suite – yes, it was a suite – had a bedroom with two queen beds, dresser, TV, and closet (with robes and slippers, I must add); a living area with a couch, coffee table, arm chair, desk area, and dining/chess table, console and TV (why have one when you can have two?); and a bathroom with gorgeous marble and plush towels. The three large closets in the suite were more than we needed, but we used them (just because we could!). We also put our luggage racks to use, and I set up the chess board just in case we wanted to play.

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-6

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-1 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-4 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-3

Shortly after we arrived, D (from check-in) called to make sure we were happy with our suite. Happy? Of course! When I jokingly asked what the heck we were supposed to do with all the space, D said that the living area is a great place for thinking! Oh, amusing! It was then that I had regretted not booking us in for a 2-night stay! (In the end, we used the living area for magazine reading…and some thinking, too!)

Shortly after we threw on our King Eddy slippers, a server knocked on our door and ushered in plates of treats. What a delightful surprise! Shannon and I had the perfect afternoon snack (scones, tea, and Niagara’s Greaves jam) by the window. Details, people, I love these thoughtful details!

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-10

The beds in our suite were as comfy as you’d expect from a 5-star hotel, and there were plenty of pillows for added comfort. The black-our curtains darkened the room and added to our restful sleep.

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-8

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-11 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-12

The bathroom, oh, yes, the bathroom. The shower was my favourite part because it was large, had amazing pressure, and a couple of shower heads…you know, because one might not be enough. There wasn’t a tub in our room, but maybe some rooms have one.

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-5

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-9

I also wandered around this historic hotel to see what it had to offer outside of our gorgeous suite. I can definitely see why the King Eddy is a hot-spot for parties, weddings, and every sort of event. The venue has beautiful spaces that can be reconfigured to suit various events. The art and architecture serve as beautiful backdrops for photos, and the recurring design themes of chess, elegance, and royalty are consistent throughout the property.

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-15

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-17

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-26 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-25 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-24 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-23 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-22 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-21 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-20 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-19 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-18 The King Eddy also houses a spa and multiple dining options. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to try either, but this just means that I’ll have to make a return trip!

White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-16

Check out the rooms and rates at The Omni King Edward Hotel if you’re planning a visit to Toronto and would like to be surrounded by luxury!

Thanks to The Omni King Edward Hotel for sponsoring our stay. All opinions and photographs are mine.

Travel: Charleston, SC – Part 2

Yesterday, I shared part 1 of my trip to Charleston, SC. I was only there for 24 hours, but I managed to fit a lot in. I ended yesterday’s post with lunch at Hominy Grill, and today I’m sharing what we saw post-lunch.

Since my sister and I were re-energized after lunch, we drove to the house district beside the harbour (I’m not quite sure that this is the name of it) and spent a couple of hours walking around, staring at the architecture, and wondering about the history of every mansion.

White-Cabana-Charleston-8White-Cabana-Charleston-2 White-Cabana-Charleston-1 White-Cabana-Charleston-3White-Cabana-Charleston-9And a few charming smaller houses were thrown into the mix, too.

White-Cabana-Charleston-4I mean, a golf cart? Awesome!

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of work to upkeep these homes. I watched in awe as this team of painters worked their magic using a crazy ladder-scaffold set-up.

White-Cabana-Charleston-10It’s hard to imagine the scale of these homes in photos, but I hope the image below helps with this. There’s our mini-van parked in front of one mansion. As you can see, the van barely reaches the height of the front steps. I mean, amazing, right?

White-Cabana-Charleston-1And there you have it – my two-part review of Charleston, South Carolina. Have you been? Would you like to go?

Photos by me.

Travel: Charleston, SC – Part 1

Way back in 2015, I took a quick trip to Charleston, South Carolina, and then I delayed uploading my photos. It’s a new year, but I don’t think it’s too late to share my travel experiences with you. Am I right?

In a nutshell, Charleston is glorious. If you haven’t already been, I would recommend that you put it on your must-see list. The weather (October) was perfect (not too hot, not too cold), the architecture was beautiful, the streets had charm, and the service was friendly.

I booked my sister and I into the Marriott Renaissance Charleston right in the historic district, and this was a convenient location for walking around various neighbourhoods. My TomTom (oh, I love that thing) navigated us through all the one-way streets when we drove in, but I was very happy to leave the car and travel by foot for the remainder of my 24-hour stay.

White-CAbana-Charleston-9bikes available for Renaissance guests

The College of Charleston was a must-see considering the fact that I’m an academic and education is my life. The campus is charming, lush, and all-around beautiful. The palm trees caught my attention as did all the exterior porches (traditional architecture in Charleston). I even ran into a professor I met at a conference last spring. Random, right? Such a small world!

White-Cabana-Charleston-5 White-Cabana-Charleston-7 White-Cabana-Charleston-6 White-Cabana-Charleston-4 Version 2White-Cabana-Charleston-8the College of Charleston campus

We passed by so many impressive churches as we explored the city.

White-Cabana-Charleston-1 White-Cabana-Charleston-2White-Cabana-Charleston-9White-Cabana-Charleston-2 White-Cabana-Charleston-1the churches were massive

The Charleston City Market was very touristy, but it was still nice to see.

White-Cabana-Charleston-4I’m a sucker for cobblestone streets. They’re so hard to walk on, but so full of history! This one, in particular, made me think about the past, especially as we walked by the Slave Mart Museum.

White-Cabana-Charleston-6 White-CAbana-Charleston-7White-CAbana-Charleston-8Pretty details were to be found everywhere! Just look at this sweet bunny knocker:White-Cabana-Charleston-3One thing that surprised me about Charleston was the restaurant options. Several of the guides I read recommended several Italian restaurants, but because I eat Italian food all the time, this was definitely not what I felt like eating in the South. I also thought there would be charming cafés on every corner, but there weren’t. Maybe we were just in the non-café area of town.

Since we had a bit of tough time finding a high-quality-casual-non-Italian restaurant downtown, we took a quick drive over to the well-known Hominy Grill. I was a little hesitant to eat here because I didn’t want to end up at a very touristy spot (and every guide I read had Hominy Grill on it), but I was pleasantly surprised. Hominy was AMAZING! I’d highly recommend it, and I’d go back right now if I could beam myself over! The restaurant diners were made up of locals and tourists, and the service was very friendly. The food was Southern. Good ol’ southern cookin’. We feasted on sweet tea, boiled peanuts, biscuits, collard greens, and pecan pie (among a whole selection of things). Oh, the pecan pie was incredible!

White-Cabana-Hominy-Grill-3White-Cabana-Hominy-Grill-Charleston-2 White-Cabana-Hominy-Grill-Charleston-1White-Cabana-Hominy-Grill-2White-Cabana-Hominy-Grill-1After a morning touring on foot, my sister and I were so happy to have had such a good meal. Just look how happy I am in the above photo!

Come back tomorrow, and I’ll share what we saw after lunch!

Photos by me (and my sister).

Travel: A Luxurious Stay at Langdon Hall

Before 2015 ended, I wanted to take one last vacation. (I’m always up for a vacation!) By the end of December, I had honestly had it with the stresses of life, and I felt like an all-about-Jordana escape was in order. That said, considering my limited budget and free time over the Christmas break, there was no real way for me to travel very far for very long. So, I did what any logical luxury-seeking gal would do, and I spontaneously booked a night for myself at the grand Langdon Hall.

Brilliant idea, right?

You may remember that I took a tour of this gorgeous Relais & Chateaux property in the summer (here and here), and I loved absolutely everything about the place. Langdon Hall is located in Cambridge, which makes it easily accessible and convenient for people like me who want a change of scenery, but don’t necessarily need (or aren’t able) to take a flight to do so. Honestly, dear readers, I made the decision to book a stay quite quickly (I’m usually a thoughtful travel researcher!), and I was so excited about my “vacation” as soon as I finalized the reservation.

I took so many photos, so I’ve decided to share my experience with you in two parts. Today, I’ll focus on the design, and tomorrow, I’ll be sharing news about dining at Langdon Hall.

 My Cloister Room Tour

Entryway and dressing area:

Yes, I did just write entryway and dressing area. My room – it had both! I stayed in a Cloister room, and my large entryway had hooks for my coat, a carpet for my boots, and a large mirror to check myself before leaving my room.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-1Beyond the entryway, there was a foyer with a small console table where I could drop my keys and purse much like I do in my own home. Convenient! White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-2White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-7The large dressing room, located beside the foyer, had plenty of storage. It was a convenient place to house my luggage and spread out my clothes. The room has a drop-down ironing board as well as ready-to-wear robes (I love having a robe to wear when I’m on vacation!).

From a design perspective, I was impressed by how substantial the quality of the doors and knobs. They’re so substantial.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-3 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-4 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-5 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-6 Bedroom area:

Past the foyer and dressing room is the bedroom and living area. The decor is traditional and neutral, but updated. The bed’s high-quality St. Geneve (amazing feather top!) and Au Lit Fine white linens are complimented by some traditional plaid accents…

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-31I couldn’t help but do a little White Cabana makeover when I arrived. I wanted the bright white embroidered linens to really shine, and I just had to see what the bed looked like without the plaid! And, yes, I did karate-chop the large square Euro pillows, too. White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-36 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-37 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-39White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-a White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-c White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-dLike some other hotels, Langdon Hall’s linens are available for purchase so that guests can recreate the same experience in their homes (I have my heart set on the feather top – heavenly, I tell ya!)

Living area:

The bed faces the windows that overlook the croquet lawn. Yes, I said croquet. Amazing. I already know I’d like to return in the summer to have a go at croquet! The living area has a couch, chair, desk, wood-burning fireplace, TV, and a beautiful view. The built-in cabinet neatly houses a convenient Nespresso machine and fridge.

Oh, one more thing about the wood-burning fireplace. It was fantastic! After I came in from my winter wagon ride (see below), I requested that my fireplace be lit. Within a minute or so, a young gentleman came to start it. I kept it going all night thanks to the stack of firewood that was in my room. Listening to and watching the fireplace in action made my night that much more relaxed and enjoyable. It was absolutely special.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-21White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-28White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-30 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-23 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-35White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-26White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-25      White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-32 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-33   White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-40

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-22

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-69 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-44One feature that I absolutely adored was the windows and the window closures. As you may already know, I lived in France twice, and whenever I see these windows, I think of my time there. I absolutely love these window fixtures, and they brought back many happy memories of my stays in France.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-24Bathroom:

Actually, I had 1.5 bathrooms. Yes. 1.5. How’s that for thoughtful design? Again, the tile work and overall bathroom design is traditional but updated. The walk-in shower is spacious, the bathtub is a deep soaker, and the bath items are from UK’s The White Company (how perfect for me, right? amazing!). The towels were plush and plentiful, and I was so happy to discover that the water pressure was strong (this is always a worry of mine when I stay in hotels…I hate low water pressure).

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-8 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-9 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-10 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-11 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-12 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-13 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-14 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-15Here I am standing in the shower (hey, why not?) peeking out to the main part of the bathroom:White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-16 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-17 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-18 You can see the 1.5 baths in the photo below. On the left is a room with the toilet and pedestal sink; on the right is a room with a sink, counter, bathtub, and walk-in shower).White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-20

Langdon Hall

Beyond the cloister room where I stayed, I did pop in and out of the rooms in the main house. The holiday decorations were still up, and just about every fireplace was going. It was all very charming.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-eWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-59 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-60 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-61Winter Wagon Ride

As if what I’ve already shown you wasn’t beautiful enough, right? Well, I have more to share!

During my stay, I had the opportunity to take a winter wagon ride through the forest trails on the property. Langdon Hall offers this free experience to guests who stay between Christmas and New Year’s, so I feel like I lucked out. It was especially nice to feel the crisp winter air after the afternoon tea (I’ll share an update about this tomorrow).

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-63 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-64 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-65 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-66 Isn’t this just so picturesque? It felt really quite magical. Turning the corner, coming out of the forest, and seeing Langdon Hall (in the photo above) really made me gasp in awe.  Absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s a magnificent building.

Before I leave you for today, I’m curious – Have you ever taken a vacation within your own city or region? Why did you do it? Will you do it again?

Come back tomorrow if you’re interested to learn about what I ate during my stay at Langdon Hall. Here’s a preview…

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-42

A collection of white mushroom meringues and macarons were waiting for me in my room when I arrived. This was just one of the many things that staff did to warmly welcome me. Everything, of course, was so delicious!

All photos by me.
I did receive a
discount on my stay at Langdon Hall. All opinions are my own.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you a wonderfully happy Christmas! Thanks, as always, for making time in your busy day for a little White Cabana!

I’m taking a few days off from blogging to spend time with my family, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see an update. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite Christmas Cabanas this year:

White-Cabana-Christmas-house-NCmy sister and brother-in-law’s gorgeous home

Jordana

Waterloo: KW Symphony at the Centre in the Square

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend one of Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s Beethoven concert at the Centre in the Square, and I’m pretty excited to share my experience with you. This was the first time I had ever been to a symphony. I have been to the ballet, I go to random concerts, and I’m a regular theatre goer, but the symphony…I was a total newbie! Was it ever good!

The Beethoven concert that I attended was the first of a three-part Beethoven marathon. It covered his piano concerto no. 1 in C major and no. 4 in G major. The second and third shows, which occurred on the Saturday, covered additional concertos. Full disclosure – I don’t really know much about Beethoven or his concertos…even though it may have just sounded like I do!

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-1

The evening started off beautifully with an appearance by the Grand Philharmonic Choir. With them leading (and taking centre stage), we all sang O Canada. From there, the Symphony’s conductor, Edwin Outwater, welcomed everyone, and began the concert. Obviously, I couldn’t take pictures during the performance (obviously), the photos I’m sharing here are pre- and post-concert. They should give you an idea of the orchestra’s organization and presence on stage.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-2I am convinced that pianist Stewart Goodyear has magic fingers. Watching him play (via a close-up video streaming on a screen) was incredible. He was completely poised, played without any sheet music, and really seemed to love every moment of the concert. I really enjoy watching people who are so passionate about their art.

I have always appreciated the arts, but watching this talented team of musicians work together so seamlessly was pretty amazing. I know actors do it on stage, but this seemed like a completely different approach to team work, you know? Alone, noone could have achieved what was created as the whole.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-11Version 2I enjoyed the concert for more than just the music. The traditions and routines of the performance also caught my attention. The fact that the musicians wore black made their wood instruments really stand out. The pianist, wearing tails, artfully took his place at the piano on a black tufted bench. The conductor graciously thanked his orchestra for the performance and made certain that they shone throughout the evening.

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-10the view from my seat – amazing!

Now, as Waterloo region is a major tech hub, we were treated to yet another something special. A while ago, the region hosted a 36-hour hack-a-thon in collaboration with the KW Symphony. Hackers came together and worked with the musicians and the space to create new experiences. The winners of the hack-a-thon were Adam Fancey and Justin Safa who developed Fractal Orchestra. Essentially, they recorded the performance and ran it through a too-complicated-for-me-to-figure-out program which created algorithms-or-something-equally-complicated that then led to pretty images. Pretty images – very cool. I know I’m not doing justice to their complicated work, so if you’re interested in the details, I’d encourage you to visit their new website. Here’s a look at some of their creations:

Fractal-Orchestra-1 Fractal-Orchestra-2images via Fractal Orchestra

I know the images aren’t as clear here as they are in real life, so I’d encourage you to learn more here. They really are interesting pieces of modern art.

Now, on to my initial thoughts of the venue. This was my first time attending a show at the Centre in the Square, and I was pretty impressed by the architecture and decor. The stage was wonderfully lit, the wooden seats were modern and well-maintained. The reception areas outside of the concert hall surprised me, too. They were full of over-sized loung-y grey casual sofas and sleek gold side tables. The audience definitely made use of these spaces pre- and post-concert as well as during intermission. It was really good to see the large space filled with excited audience members.

The lighting was also something to note. Totally modern! Completely hip! Who knew? Kitchener-Waterloo continues to surprise me with its approach to design and architecture. I feel proud to promote this city (read this).

White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-5White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-6White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-8  White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-7  White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-9 White-Cabana-KW Symphony-Centre in the Square-3At some points throughout the concert, I caught myself thinking about how great it is to live in Kitchener-Waterloo. Attending the symphony at the Centre in the Square was easy, convenient, and approachable. I’m curious about whether or not my Waterloo region readers have had similarly positive experiences. Do tell!

Many thanks to Kari at the KW Symphony for generously arranging my visit. Learn more about the events being held at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square.

The Friday Five: PM Lotto Oakville Showhome + Brunch with Brian Gluckstein

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go on a tour of the Princess Margaret Lotto Oakville Showhome. As Canadian readers may already know, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Welcome Home Sweepstakes is a huge fundraising event with incredible prizes to be won. Tickets are $100 each, $250 for 3, or $375 for 5. Each year, many local residents, Princess Margaret supporters, and the generally curious crowd anticipate the reveal of Oakville Showhome. The home is always in an exclusive Oakville neighbourhood (Oakville is about 30 minutes from Toronto, for the non-local readers of this blog), it includes top-of-the line electronics/appliances/gadgets, and it is designed by one of my all-time favourite Canadian designers, Mr. Brian Gluckstein.

For the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to preview the home, and each year, I’m blown away. This year was no exception. Mr. Gluckstein – or Brian, as I like to call him (um, first name basis with Brian!? Crazy!) – and his team worked magic once again. The house is beautiful. Rooms include traditional lines, soothing colour stories, beautiful artwork and objets, and a few surprises thrown into the mix as well.

I know I’m a day late with this week’s Friday Five, but here are five things that I learned about this year’s Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome:

1. A white bedroom is always in style, and when it includes a gorgeous lucite table, it becomes a little more special.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-1810 pillows – how many do you have on your bed? (I have 5)White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-17seating area with lucite coffee table in the master bedroom

2. Art is essential. Brian’s designs always include some stunning pieces. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-12art in the kitchen

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-6art beside the massage room (see #3)

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-5art in the hallway

3. A massage room is a ridiculously luxurious room to have in a home. I have never had a massage myself, but if I had a room for it, you can bet I’d be taking advantage of it! I adored the fully-lined walls in this space. The wall curtains are made of terrycloth fabric, and Brian told me that it was only around $3 a yard. Adding texture to the wall in this way is brilliant, in my opinion.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-10the massage room

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-84. Brian makes interesting lighting selections for the Oakville Showhome each year. This year, three pieces caught my attention. First – the kitchen light was formerly black and brass, but Brian (or his people) sprayed in white. Yes! Second – the light in one of the bedrooms had a pretty scallop which made it a pretty addition to the already-delicate room. Third – the chandeliers that lined the entrance hall are light and airy. Floating cubes of goodness, really.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-11white pendant in the kitchen

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-13scalloped light in a bedroom

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-3airy chandelier in the entrance hall

5. I am the first to admit that wallpaper makes me nervous. I much prefer plain walls and art work to wallpaper. I’m pretty sure it’s because I was traumatized by the 80s wallpaper chaos that I had to deal with in my own home. The wallpaper designs that were included in some of the bathrooms in the Showhome, however, caught my attention.

In the jack-and-jill bathroom, the wallpaper is whimsical yet serene.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-14Hi there!

The blossoming wallpaper in the master bathroom creates a cozy nook around the stand-alone bathtub.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-21  White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-19 White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-20Bonus: Since it’s Saturday, I’m going to make the executive decision to add one more item to today’s list. I could not leave the living room out of today’s Showhome recap because it is such a magnificent space. The oversized windows mean that light fills the room, the walls are a beautiful tone of grey, and the furniture placement (in true Brian fashion) is symmetrical. This room also includes a mirrored coffee table with a perfectly-arranged collection of silver boxes and luxurious drapery to match the wall colour.

White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-1White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-23  White-Cabana-PMLotto-Gluckstein-2There you have it – five six things I adore about this year’s Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome designed by Brian Gluckstein. The golf room and library fascinated me, too!

Photos by Jordana. For more photos of the preview event, check out #BrunchWithBrian on Instagram and Twitter. You can’t win this house if you don’t buy a ticket – tickets can be purchased here.

Fashion: Clare Distenfeld’s Fivestory in Manhattan

I read about luxury boutique Fivestory in Elle Decor‘s October issue, and I was enticed to browse through its online collection. Fivestory, owned by Clare Distenfeld, is located on Manhattan’s upper east side and it caters to those looking for diverse high-end  brands including Roland Mouret, Alexander Wang, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Rosie Assoulin.

Before I share some of the shop’s collection, let’s just have a quick look at the sleek interior of the 5-story (get it?) townhouse.

smallmainentrance_217237d70d66Fivestory-0892via Life and Times

Fivestory-0871via Life and Times

Fivestory-7And here’s some of what Fivestory carries:

Fivestory-1Dreaming of Diamonds eye mask, $110, Morgan Lane

Fivestory-2ziptop pouch, $495, Anya Hindmarch

Fivestory-4georgina pouch, $747, Anya Hindmarch

Fivestory-3metallic leather suede PVC pumps, $745, Gianvito Rossi

Fivestory-5starburst peal drop earrings, $250, Fallon

Fivestory-6fringe cube charm, $255, Pierre Hardy

Images via Fivestory unless otherwise noted.

Art: The Beach in Washington, DC

In the most recent issue of Architectural Digest, I read about a new all-white art installation called The BEACH at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. As I often do, I opted to do a bit more research about The BEACH online.

The-Beach-Washington-art-4The-Beach-Washington-art-3Essentially, a large area was walled off in the middle of the Museum’s Great Hall. The installation, a collaborative effort with Snarkitecture, has covered 10,000 square feet with one million recyclable translucent plastic balls (Remember those from your childhood?).

The-Beach-Washington-art-5  The-Beach-Washington-art-6 The-Beach-Washington-art-1  The-Beach-Washington-art-2The-Beach-Washington-art-7 The lounge area is outfitted with comfortable chairs and white AstroTurf “sand”. The scattering of rolling plastic balls at the “water’s edge” are reminiscent of real waves.

This beach is only open until September 7, 2015, so if you’re in the area, get there before summer ends!

Learn more about The BEACH, including ticket information, here. Photos via The National Building Museum Flickr.

Travel: Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario – Part II

Yesterday, I took you on a tour of Langdon Hall’s interiors, showcasing the delicious breakfast I enjoyed and the details in the guest rooms. Today, I’m taking your outdoors. Let’s go!

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-6White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-5Rox-Anne and I enjoyed a tour of the garden with Mario, Langdon Hall’s head gardener. It was an impressive tour because Mario knows everything about everything in the garden, and his passion for his work really shines. Mario showed us how plants are thoughtfully arranged in order to maximize sight lines, use, and growth.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-3here, Mario is telling us about how he and his team purposefully left space between the plants so that air could circulate around themWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-9here, Mario is teaching us about sight lines and layering techniques; he thins out the grassy water plants so that the view beyond is not hiddenWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-2the climbing hydrangea in this section of the garden is so pretty

The garden tour happens every Saturday at 10:30am for Langdon Hall guests. I know it’s easy to sleep in and linger over breakfast, but the tour is really fascinating, and I’d definitely encourage guests to take it. I honestly felt like I was in a Martha Stewart magazine as we walked through the various gardens.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-7   White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-4Now, I know Langdon Hall guests are meant to be professional and poised…

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-1 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-8 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-13 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-11but I couldn’t resist going back to my jumping roots in the presence of such incredible backdrops. It only took two tries to get the photo below (thanks, Rox-Anne!).

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-10I hope you enjoyed the two-day tour of Langdon Hall. Do let me know if you plan to visit (or if you already have visited).

See Rox-Anne’s photos and review here.

Thanks to Kate M. for showing us around Langdon Hall. Photos by Jordana unless otherwise indicated.

Travel: Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario – Part I

I learned about Langdon Hall last summer when I Googled something like “fancy hotel Waterloo,” and it came up in the search results. I thought I had just discovered an unknown treasure, but when I began asking others about this “fancy hotel” so close to where I live, everyone already knew about it. Where had I been living that it was unknown to me? (Kingston, London, Toronto, Europe…that’s where).

DSC_0028DSC_0034Fast forward a year, and I finally took the 20 minute or so drive to Langdon Hall, and I’m so glad I did! What a beautiful place to spend a morning (or longer). Rox-Anne (from Celebrating this Life) and I drove over early Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago to meet our host, Kate, for breakfast and a tour.

DSC_0041DSC_0045 DSC_0044 DSC_0047Everything at the country breakfast buffet was beautifully presented, and looked to be absolutely fresh and delicious. Rox-Anne opted for the lobster omelette, and, because I have such a sweet tooth, I couldn’t resist the pain perdu (French toast). The smaller slices of bread were not soggy or too sweet. The topping included slivered almonds. Yum! Chef Jason Bangerter – you’ve got my thumbs up for this meal!

DSC_0048DSC_0058 DSC_0061I followed the pain perdu with a croissant (why not!?). I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to try the croissant because I’ve been spoiled by Golden Hearth’s croissants, but I did. And it was delicious. It was more buttery than Golden Hearth’s, but it had a beautiful texture, lots of layers, and was the perfect mix of soft and crusty.

After breakfast, Kate led us on a tour (had to walk off those calories, of course), and I was absolutely blown away by the architecture, decor, and details in each and every room. The main floor rooms include beautiful millwork, coffered and paneled ceilings, rich deep colours, and warm textiles in a mix of cohesive patterns. Brass, gold, and blue & white also make their appearances in almost every room.

DSC_0067 DSC_0065 DSC_0064above: one of the dining rooms (with walk-out to the conservatory) set up for a wedding celebration

White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-9White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-10above: a bright lounge with walls of windowsWhite-Cabana-Langdon Hall-8White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-7above: Wilks’ Bar

The fireplaces in the rooms in the main house really caught my attention. They would be so pretty (and warm) in the winter. They’re giving me inspiration for my own fireplace re-do that I’m planning on tackling this summer. The smaller tile set in a brick pattern are classic.

White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-1fireplace in the pool room

White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-2fireplace in one of the guest suites

Let us take a closer look at a a couple of guest rooms, shall we?  White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-5White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-6creams, blues, and rich woods make this suite very inviting

DSC_0091such a charming space

Look at the well-planned closets (and the fluffy robes!). A fridge and coffee station are not pictured.

White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-3The bathrooms have a spa-like feel; they’re white, bright, and have lush towels.

White-Cabana-Langdon Hall-4DSC_0089Before I leave you for the day, here are few more photos from around the mansion:

A row of paneled doors in the basement bathroom:

DSC_0097

A gorgeous stairwell in the main house:DSC_0149 DSC_0151

Commemorative plates neatly lined on the paneled walls:DSC_0152

A pretty place to perch:DSC_0154

Langdon Hall thinks of everything, so guests can really relax:DSC_0155I have a bit more to share, so come back tomorrow for Langdon Hall – Part 2.

Many thanks to Kate at Langdon Hall for arranging our visit. All photos by Jordana.

Design: The Claska Hotel in Japan

If I do make it to Japan like I have been planning to, I would definitely like to check out the Claska hotel. It looks ridiculously clean and calm. The 21 rooms are designed in 5 styles: modern, tatami, contemporary, DIY, and weekly residence.

The Modern:

japanese_room503_slide1-thumb-1260x840-453japanese_room503_slide2-thumb-1260x840-454-1The Tatami:

tatami_room605_slide1-thumb-1260x840-457 tatami_room605_slide2-thumb-1260x840-458The Contemporary:

contemporary_room704_slide2-thumb-1260x840-462 contemporary_room704_slide1-thumb-1260x840-461The DIY:contemporary_room701_slide1-thumb-1260x840-493 contemporary_room701_slide2-thumb-1260x840-494The Weekly Residence:

weekly_room602_slide1-thumb-1260x840-501Images via Claska.

Real Estate: A Villa with Views in Alicante, Spain

I have recently featured some gorgeous properties in Puslinch and Toronto, but now I’m taking you all the way to Alicante, Spain to view a beautiful villa with incredible views.

Have a browse through the photos and let me know how much you think the property is listed for!

The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-08-850x1133The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-12-850x478 The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-10-850x566 The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-13-850x1133 The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-11-850x478 The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-09-850x477 The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-10-3-850x477  The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-07-850x1133The-Cliff-House-Blueport-Altea-04-850x1133 Isn’t it amazing? This house is currently on the market for 5.8 million Euros (about 7.8 million Canadian dollars).

Images via Meg van Amstel International Realty.
Read all of my real estate posts.

The Friday Five: Vaulted Ceilings

Okay…I’m a day late with this post…but hopefully the gorgeous interiors I’m featuring today will make everyone forget the fact that today’s Saturday.

I was planning on writing a post featuring stunning beach houses, but then I got distracted by vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. Check out the homes below and you’ll understand why my post plan altered.

jcs-esertsstudio-montecitoresidence-14Montecito, California, photo by Jessica Comingore

Winchelsea_023beach studio, East Sussex, UK

casa-sanchia-5Casa Sanchia, Cape Town, South Africa

dormitorio_principal_-_cama_484x519El Noque, Spain (via Inspiring Interiors)

b2lgThe Lighthouse, South Africa

Aren’t these spaces gorgeous? The high ceilings make them so breezy.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Design: Celebrating the Quatrefoil

Okay, so I know St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner and green-themed parties, foods, and decorations are dominating Pinterest and blogs, but around here, the green stays far away. While I wouldn’t paint my walls green, I do love greenery in my home. I absolutely love having living plants in every room around my home. If I lived in the French countryside (yeah, if), I’d definitely try to have a green house. I’d probably call it a conservatory or a garden room (look at all of these beautiful conservatories).

inspired8_l

Oak Leaf Conservatories

v_xthus_006

via Julias Vita Dommar

1856.66

via Home & Garden

Okay, I’m now off topic. Let’s get back to what I really want to talk about today: quatrefoil. The quatrefoil is a four-leaf symbol that we see a lot in art and architecture. It was most popular in the gothic and renaissance eras (read more here). I’ve gathered some photos of quatrefoil products and gorgeous interiors with quatrefoil details.

quatrefoil-headboards

quatrefoil headboard, Christopher’s of Nantucket via DecorPad

il_570xN.420960238_dkr3

quatrefoil pillow cover, Decidedly Chic

s11

Suzanne Kasler’s home, via Architectural Digest

HCH54K5_cx

quatrefoil mirror, Horchow

IMG_2784x_grande

quatrefoil detail in this gorgeous farmhouse kitchen, Magnolia Homes

quatrefoil-van cleef arpels

quatrefoil necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels

Living Room Complete31

via AM Dolce Vita

cache_460_460_1_0_80_16777215_edward

Edward ottoman

100556221.jpg.rendition.largest

via Better Homes & Gardens

quatrefoil-photograph-Posterjack

quatrefoil photograph, via Posterjack

The Friday Five: Things I Learned This Week

It has been one helluva week. I worked a lot, tackled several chores, met up with friends, and battled the cold weather (it’s always a battle!).It’s been a week of long days and nights, that’s for darn sure! Today I’m sharing five things I learned this week:

1. The Tiny House Movement. I had only vaguely heard about this trend, but I had a lengthy conversation with a colleague about them, and then that obviously led to several Google searches. Check out this tiny house in North Vancouver.

Pod-tiny-house

via POD Idladia

Could you live in a tiny house?

2. In my MBA world, I learned about linear regression. Scatter plots are not my favourite, but I do like polka dots. Ha ha. As if I would ever say that in class!

Linear_regression

linear regression

3. I got on a greek-yogurt-for-breakfast kick this week, and it totally worked for me. Big change from my usual toast and jam combo.

supernarket-standoff-greek-yogurt-taste-test

photo via Bon Appetit

4. I realized (again) that my Black and Decker Matrix with air inflator attachment is pretty darn convenient. I won this set a while ago via Twitter, and it has definitely come in handy over the last few months.

BDCMTHPI_1_330X330

Black and Decker Matrix inflator

5. I’ve been pinning bathroom photos like crazy. I would love to renovate my small laundry/bathroom this spring, and I’m gathering loads of inspiration photos. I love that this small bathroom even has room for art and an air plant:

5195171474c5b62b6e000cc2._w.540_

via Apartment Therapy

Did you learn anything new this week? I’d love to know!

1 2 3