Architecture

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

The Friday Five: Curved Windows

I’m a little late in writing today’s Friday Five, but the week was a full one! I was in Toronto today at a work meeting (academic work, not IDS-related), and on the train ride back to Waterloo, my colleagues and I got talking about our various approaches to design. Needless to say, they didn’t think that my all-white way of life was the ideal way to live (ha – don’t knock it until you try it, I say!). Anyway, in between talking about chandeliers, window seats, and cathedral ceilings, we chatted quite a bit about windows. All of our design talk has inspired tonight’s late-night Friday Five post.

Today’s five interiors feature some incredibly gorgeous (in my opinion) curved windows. I’ll have to poll my colleagues to see if they would agree.

4609199513_a7cfbd6678_b

via Domesticated Desk

tumblr_n3yac5Y2AN1rrfowao1_1280

via Ana Rosa

tumblr_n02iuf2MXp1r51pfyo1_500

 source unknown

blanco londres5

via Desde My Ventana

kathleen clements curved hallway hall arched windows brick floors herringbone pattern lanterns white walls cococozy

via Coco Cozy

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Travel: Even More from Paris

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I think I have finally finished going through my photos from Paris. Here is the final collection of photos from my recent trip.

White-Cabana-Paris-14

beautiful scrolls on a fence outside the Sacre Coeur

White-Cabana-Paris-15

Dior – in white

White-Cabana-Paris-13

children’s clothes at Ovale

White-Cabana-Paris-12

cool restaurant chairs

White-Cabana-Paris-10

Sonia Rykiel window display

White-Cabana-Paris-11

Le Bon Marché department store

White-Cabana-Paris-9

coffee & madeleine at Mamie Gateaux

White-Cabana-Paris-16

sculpture near Place de la Concorde

White-Cabana-Paris-18water selection at Le Bon Marché

Ah…Paris…I just loved seeing the beautiful design details in shops and restaurants around the city (and the architectural details, too!).

Design: Princess Margaret Home Lottery – Vaughan Showhome

Earlier this week I was invited to attend an event at the Princess Margaret Home Lottery Vaughan showhome. The evening included a tour with designer Jack Celli of Greenpark Homes, as well as wine tasting lessons from Krystina Roman of Rosewood Estates in Beamsville/Niagara, and delicious food and cooking instruction from Steve Gonzalez of Toronto’s Valdez (and Top Chef Canada – Season 1). Laura was our happy host for the evening, and design and food bloggers mingled and ate in a $4 million home. Not bad for a Monday night, right?

The Vaughan showhome is far…in the country…north of Woodbridge…almost in Barrie? Joking…it’s just north of Woodbridge, but it’s definitely in the countryside (and just over an hour drive from Waterloo). The massive showhome is surrounded by other massive homes and a beautiful landscape. The house is full of white so, naturally, I went a overboard with the photos. Black and gold are accent colours throughout the house.

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-1

first floor hallway

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-2

details in the dining room – moulding & art

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-3

main floor family room – beside the kitchen

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-4

open concept kitchen

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-5

white bathroom ensuite – 2nd floor

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-6

the elevator (yes, an elevator!)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-7

substantial doors throughout the home

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-8

high ceilings & crown moulding

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-9

Greenpark‘s Director of design – Jack Celli – in the master bathroom

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-10

Rosewood wines: Riesling, Semillon, Mead (honey wine)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-11

chef Steve Gonzales in the kitchen (cooking up things like ceviche, arepa, & chorizo…yum!)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-12

Danica (Country Chic Renovator) & me with our Rosewood honey

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-13

beautiful view from the lanai

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-14

hakwood floors & oversized armchairs in the library

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-15

winged art sculptures

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-16

one of the 2nd floor bedrooms with ensuite

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-17

master bathroom (the size of a football field – well, almost)

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-18

his & her toilet rooms in the master bathroom

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-19

door & floor details

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-20

the runway room

White-Cabana-PM-Lotto-21

half a dozen switches in the master bathroom

While the house is much too fancy for my taste, it has a good layout, it’s really airy, and the lanai off of the kitchen & family rooms is a beautiful space that can be used year-round. I also quickly noticed – and liked – how substantial the doors, moulding, and trim was throughout the house.

I loved the Hakwood flooring throughout the house. My favourite room in the house was the library – it is currently set up with four large comfy chairs and shelves of vases and other interesting objects. If I lived there, I’d obviously fill those shelves with books. The room has good light from a large window, it’s near off the main foyer and living rooms, and it has a mini-kitchen beside it. How handy.

So, are you interested in this big ticket item? Have other prizes caught your eye? Have you bought your ticket?

Thanks to Laura Z. for being such a wonderful host and event coordinator.

Photos by Jordana. Additional photos here.

The Friday Five: Place Des Vosges

Place des Vosges in Le Marais is one of my most favourite places in all of Paris. It’s beautifully rosy and completely symmetrical. The archways are lovely to walk under and the centre courtyard is the perfect place for throwing a frisbee (not me, but I’ve seen others do it!), lounging around, and taking a break from the noise of the city. It is the oldest planned square in the city and it has a long and interesting history (going back to 1604!) that included several name changes (Place Royale to Place des Vosges and back again). At one point it was simply a lawn for hosting duels. People like Cardinal Richelieu (French prime minister) and Victor Hugo (author) lived in the apartments of Place des Vosges (during various centuries). Like all of Paris, this place has a story to tell!

White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-5White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-1 White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-2 White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-3 White-Cabana-Place-des-vosges-Paris-4Place des Vosges, Paris, photos by Jordana

Happy Friday everyone! Have a wonderful weekend!

Travel: Design Details in Paris

I feel so lucky to have spent so much time in Paris in the last decade. I’ve gotten to know some of the areas quite well, I’ve seen a lot of the major tourist attractions, and I now love to just wander the city. The store windows are inspiring, the architecture is unbelievable, and there is always always always something exciting going on in the city!

This post highlights some of the small(er than the Eiffel Tower) design details I captured in Paris.

1. This crazy cool light fixture that was in the Grand Palais gift shop.

White-Cabana-lights-Grand Palais

2. Angelina’s was a new stop for me this year. My friends and I stopped in for a rich hot chocolate and dessert. The interior was gorgeous and we had a really happy and friendly waitress. In between sips of hot chocolate, I looked up and noticed that Angelina’s has the same light fixtures as me!

s-Paris-White-Cabana

3. More amazing chandeliers were to be found at the Marché aux Puces. Amazing. There were hundreds (or thousands?) of crystal chandeliers around the market stalls and they were all brilliantly shiny. Oh man. So lovely.

White-Cabana-marche aux puces-Paris

4. Lighting wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye. I am fascinated by Paris architecture. This wall and window and clover-detailed window grate was on a wall behind the Sacre Coeur. While everyone else was staring at the magnificent cathedral, I was taking photos of lesser-known walls around Montmartre. Can you imagine lifting and laying each one of those massive stones?

White-Cabana-montmartre-paris

5. This little detail was on a rather simple building in St. Germain (on Rue Cherche Midi). It was just sitting up there over the doorway. Love the bow.

White-cabana-architecture-Paris-building

6. I think this next simple white door and wall was around Place des Vosges in Le Marais. I like that all the straight lines are broken up by a round window.

White-Cabana-door-Paris

7. I only just noticed that above the face is “J’écoute” (I listen). This was also above an entry way and I am impressed by all the details…look at those flowers. How, how, how did people do this kind of thing centuries ago?

White-Cabana-Paris-architecture

8. The Sacre Coeur. Okay – so I lied in one of the above comments. Just like everyone who visits Montmartre, I stared at the Sacre Coeur. It’s too incredible. And very white. It’s made of self-cleaning stone.

White-Cabana-Sacre Coeur-Paris

9. My friends and I attended Sunday mass at St. Sulpice. It was beautiful. No surprise, right? The organ concert after mass was incredible. Did the Da Vinci code mention the organ?

White-Cabana-St-Sulpice-Paris

10. A few bridges in Paris are getting filled up with padlocks-of-love, but I think Pont des Arts definitely has the most! I hope the bridge can handle the weight of them all.

Pont Neuf-Paris-White-CabanaAnd there you have it – another Paris update. See more here.

The Friday Five: Church Architecture

High ceilings. Big windows. Lots of seating. I’m talking about churches, of course! The architectural features of these white ones impress me.

dezeen_St-Moritz-Church-by-John-Pawson_ban1

St. Moritz church by John Pawson

via Capriciously Inspired

photo by Jordana

blogger-image--1990457112

via Curious Details

765415da8f7ac72688747ab712e49508

via Pinterest

Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Saturday! (I’m a day late, I know.)

Architecture: The Perimeter Institute

IMG_6348

A couple of weeks ago I attended the BrainStem festival at The Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario. The exhibits were very scientific, techy, and kid-friendly. It was an energetic and very public-friendly event. While the interactive science activities were pretty cool, I was really interested in the self-guided building tour. The Perimeter Institute event coordinators did an excellent job creating a tour that had us walking up and down the stairs and going through all the cool conference rooms.

IMG_6356_2


IMG_6352

IMG_6339

IMG_6297

IMG_6307

IMG_6323

I am so impressed with the architectural gems in Waterloo. The Perimeter Institute and the CIGI Campus are just two of the buildings that have injected vibrancy and innovation into the city.

Photos by Jordana.

NY withdrawal

Today I’m not in New York. Yesterday I was and it was fabulous, although drenched with thoughts of departure. What a five-day séjour I had and I’m envious of Jordana’s frequent bounce from here to there as her second home.

This morning I rode my bicycle to work like I do every day and I thought, New York, I miss you.

ny

 

Statue of Liberty’s gown card by Keith Marsh available here

Event: Brian Gluckstein & the Princess Margaret Show Home

As if my fondness for Brian Gluckstein could grow? Well, it did. Last week. Let me tell you about it.

I drove to Oakville one evening after work to attend a preview of the Oakville show home for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Welcome Home Sweepstakes. The house – from top to bottom – is pretty darn gorgeous. While it wasn’t all white, there was a lot of white and I was happy to see it. The open concept kitchen, family room, office, and a few bathrooms (I lost count of them, to be honest) were quite white. The other spaces were full of muted blue, grey, violet, and yellow. Each room was quite beautiful. It wasn’t the “don’t touch this because it’s so precious” kind of beautiful but more like the “have a seat, stay a while, get comfy, can I get you a coupe of champagne” beautiful. Ok, that’s kind of fancy too; but it didn’t feel untouchable.

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-6

main floor living room

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-4

upstairs grand hall

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-18

kitchen

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-15

kitchen cabinet detail

The furniture and many of the accessories is all from the Brian Gluckstein collection and the art was sourced from around the world. I didn’t sit on any of the furniture out of fear that I’d mess up a pillow and Brian would have to come and expertly re-chop it (chopping pillows is still in style, in case anyone wanted to know). But if he wasn’t around, I probably would have tested out every seat in the house.

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-3

main floor – grand hall

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-2

GlucksteinHome details

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-12

upstairs bedroom mirror

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-11

substantial doors in a bedroom

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-22

possibly my favourite piece of art in the house; Key by Tritan Braho

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-19

pear art

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-14

dining room details; my mom has this same antique tea set

I really eyed the details in all the bathrooms to see what details I could translate into my own home. The tile work and use of mirrors was lovely. And the towels were so new and fluffy.

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-9

tile floor in the master bathroom

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-21

basement bathroom; photo snapped by April

Ever the academic, I had to check out the office. I loved that it had a great big cork board (old school Pinterest) and a wall-to-wall desk. I’d really put that thing to work.

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-1

main floor office

The mouldings, the fireplaces, the tiles, and the lighting were all very impressive.

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-Lighting.jpg

 lighting around the house

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-17

fireplace in the main floor living room

So is there anything I don’t like in the home? Yes – two things. One: The wine cellar was a nice addition but I probably would have cut out the exercise room and made the wine cellar a whole lot bigger. Two: What really annoyed me as I walked through the house were all the TVs. Oh my goodness. There were a gazillion TVs in the house. They drove me crazy! Brian, Brian, Brian – why? How many TVs does one beautiful house need?

Overall, the house is really beautiful and the work that went into building it (in only 5 months) is incredibly impressive. Brian, the architect, the tradespeople, and all the other people who had a hand in this really did a phenomenal job.

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-13

Did all bloggers listen to Brian Gluckstein and tweet at the same time? (I spy Jennifer, Leigh-Ann, Brittany, & Tim)

Mr. Brian Gluckstein remained friendly, warm, and funny as he talked about the house and his design career with all the guests. Oh – and I couldn’t leave the home without taking a photo with him. I also took the opportunity to ask him if the bathroom in his own home is still as beautiful as it was when it was photographed for House & Home. The answer? Yes. The books are all real and they’re still there.

WhiteCabana-BrianGluckstein-PrincessMargaret-16

Me and Brian; photo snapped by Leigh-Ann

So? Did I convince you to buy your ticket? Good luck!

Many thanks to Brian, Cheryl, and the Princess Margaret Oakville show home team for welcoming us so warmly!

Related posts:
1. Remember when I toured the product design office of GlucksteinHome? That was fun!
2. Did you see that Brian Gluckstein was featured on The Coveteur

Photos by Jordana.

Architecture: CIGI Campus

I was recently given a tour of the CIGI Campus, one of my favourite buildings in Waterloo. The CIGI Campus was built on the former site of the Seagram’s Distillery and is now home to innovative academic and research programs.

IMG_6101_2

The CIGI Campus is home to the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) as well as the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI). I have been fortunate to work with some of the scholars and students at the CIGI Campus and I am impressed by their professionalism, intelligence, and the pride they have for the work that they do.

The CIGI campus is impressive for several reasons. First, the exterior’s modern design is a striking focal point in the Uptown Waterloo landscape. Second, the interior architecture is innovative, bright, and sleek. Finally, the clean lines, repetitive forms, and interior courtyard are attractive and inviting. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

P1010406

front lobby

P1010414

front lobby walls and ceiling

P1010416

stairway to patio and auditorium

P1010423_2

auditorium

P1010425

sleek auditorium walls

P1010433

chairs made from recycled materials

P1010436

overlooking the courtyard

P1010438work bar

Stylish, right?

For additional information about the CIGI campus click here.

All photos by Jordana. Many thanks to Lauren A. at CIGI for the tour!

Architecture: New from Lego

I love so many things about the new Lego Architecture Studio – it’s white, it reminds me of my childhood, and it encourages imaginative play for children and adults.

Studio_21050_prod

Lego Architecture Studio, $149.95, Barnes & Noble

lego-architecture-studio-Janet-Paik

photo by Janet Paik

What I don’t like about it? It’s not available in Canada. Darn.

Thanks to Boba for sending this my way.

Interiors: A Gstaad Garage

I have been lucky enough to have spent quite a bit of time in Gstaad, Switzerland. The area is beyond beautiful what its typical chalet style housing and the lush green mountains in everyone’s “backyard”. It is a really special place for me filled with so many happy memories.

Every once in a while I check in on Gstaad real estate. Not that I’m going to be investing there anytime soon (um…prices are ridiculously high) but real estate sites are great for showcasing an area’s architecture, style, and for giving us curious folks a glimpse into how people around the world live.

The garage below is an example of what I mean. It’s so darn clean! With flowers, a floor-to-ceiling window, and floors that shine. Isn’t it amazing?

imagereader

via Sotheby’s Realty

The Friday Five: Bathrooms

I have a feeling I’m going to be talking about bathrooms for quite some time here. Let me know if you’re bored. I’ve got two bathrooms in my house that I need to do something with. I’ve ripped off the wallpaper and although I don’t have the budget to do full-on makeovers, I do need (want) to do some updating. I’d like to replace the vanities in each bathroom asap. The paint, faucets, and lighting are also pretty big priorities. Eventually I’ll replace the floors and figure out a better use of space in the main bathroom upstairs. I’ve been floating around online searching out some great white bathrooms for inspiration. Mine are going to be white…no surprise there.

In this first space I love the free-standing tub. This is definitely on-trend for 2013 (and a few years after that, I predict). My own main bath is big enough to do the same so when I get more money (a big lottery win?) I may consider doing something like this. It’s so sleek!

Mandatory Credit

Town Hall Hotel

In this second bathroom I love the thought of putting the mirror over the wall of windows. The windows act as an artistic backdrop for the gorgeous gold mirror.

white-bathroom-via waterworks

via The Perfect Bath

I think the layout in this third bathroom is pretty unique. It looks like the shower was installed in between the two vanities. I think this is a pretty interesting use of space.

TIME-20

via Style at Home

The fourth bathroom has the most incredible window and molding details. It’s just so striking. The vanity seems too small for the space and the grand ceilings though. What do you think?

10-juliecharbonneau

Julie Charbonneau’s home via House & Home

Finally, in Sarah Richardson’s design, the tiling is an obvious eye-catching statement. I love the shades of white used in this space and the vanity is beautiful. But am I the only one who thinks that the sconces and mirrors are completely out of proportion in this space?

house-home-sarah-richardson-design-gustavian-kids-bathroom-photobystaceybrandford-march2012

Sarah Richardson design via House & Home

So, I’m curious – what are your essentials for a worthwhile bathroom reno? Do you go for the whole room or is it possible to update the space without tearing out all of the existing fixtures?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! It’s a long one here so I’ll see you back on Tuesday if I am too relaxed to post on Monday!

Travel: Mexico City

by Troy

I came to Mexico City for Zona Maco – the largest art fair in Latin America. The artwork was incredible.

White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-4 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-10 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-11 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-14

Troy at Zona Maco, Mexico City

While I had a lot of professional responsibilities and I didn’t get to visit the numerous museums I did get to do a bit of exploring in the neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma Norte and Polanco.

Mexico City reminded me a bit of Brussels – lots of different styles of architecture from many different decades – from 19th century to 70’s brutalist to hyper-contemporary. Unlike Brussels, Mexico City is enormous.

I hope you enjoy some of my snapshots…for “Cabaña Blanca”.

White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-16 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-15 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-13 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-12 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-8 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-7 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-6 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-5 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-3 White-Cabana-Mexico-City-Troy-2

 finding white in Mexico City

Photos by Troy.

 

Design: Queen’s Human Media Lab

I am so happy to share the news of the Queen’s Human Media Lab designed by Karim Rashid because not only am I happy to shine the spotlight on Queen’s (I did my Master’s there) but I’ve been a fan of Karim Rashid for quite some time and I just love that he did his part to increase the hipness factor at Queen’s. The Human Media Lab’s sleek modern space offer a nice contrast to the traditional stone buildings that make up the majority of the buildings on campus.

office1

The Human Media Lab is located in Jackson Hall and the almost 2500 square feet space  includes a workspace, office, kitchen and corridor. The space is coming up to its one year anniversary in May. The space was designed by Karim Rashid and his team (including Camila Tariki, Evan McCollough, Kamala Hutauruk, and Juliette Hyunju Lee).

From my perspective (aka the perspective of a professional student), I love that the workspace includes a large meeting room for collaborative tasks, pods for individual work. The curved walls and windows are a stark contrast to the typically linear styles that are in traditional buildings.

windowshapes2

 windows at the Human Media Lab, Queen’s University

The Human Media Lab concept, Karim says, “is an open space with work stations that allow a flexible, interactive space where digital and physical can merge to shape and experiment and inspire. The design also allows the offices to close off to afford intense focused work”. Intense focused work – yes!

This space is so futuristic! There’s an interactive display with gesture technology. What does this mean? It means that people use in-air gestures to move objects around the wall-sized display screen. In addition, when people in adjoining cubicles are looking at each other, the translucent glass between them becomes transparent for communication. How does this happen? Two words: eye trackers. Cool!

office2

 Queen’s Human Media Lab, Kingston, Ontario

lab3

The Workspace

kitchen

Kitchen

cubiclepod

Office

applemuseumThe Apple Collection

Photos courtesy of Jessica P. and Tre C. at Karim Rashid. Many thanks for your help.

 

The Friday Five: Bookcases

I am currently drowning in work. There’s a lot going on in my PhD life at the moment – all exciting and challenging stuff – which means that my eyes are tired from reading, my brain hurts from thinking, and I fear my fingers will soon be stuck in a perma-typing position. So, in the spirit of hard academic work, today’s post is all about fabulous home libraries.

bookcase_Jane_Matchbook

Jane Lilly Warren’s home, photo by Courtney Apple, via Matchbook Magazine

bookcase_white_79 ideas

via 79 ideas

25363769530

via

bookcase

via

item2.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.library-03-simon-jacobsen

photo by Robert C. Lautman, via Architectural Digest

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy a wonderful weekend!

 

Pop Up! Scotland

by Corie

Last summer my husband and I ventured to Scotland for a few days. It was a huge treat to see the dramatic landscape, meet some great people, try haggis and get to explore a fabulous new (for us!) country.

A trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without touring a whiskey distillery so we opted to go to Dalwhinnie, which is located in the stunning Highlands. It was a perfectly moody Scottish day to sit inside and enjoy a dram and stare at the beautiful architecture!

IMG_1473 IMG_1474 IMG_1478 IMG_1479 IMG_1608photos by Corie

Pop Up! – W Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale

A little late but…a few months ago my husband and I had a great time on a fabulous Caribbean cruise where I mostly slept, slept and slept. I  couldn’t ask for a better week given the state of my current New York life. We stayed at the wonderful W Fort Lauderdale beforehand where I spotted some interesting art and architecture!

Below are two photos of the lobby. The ceiling of the lobby is actually the bottom of the pool. Pretty great, right?

Has anyone else stayed at the W Fort Lauderdale? What did you think?

Post and photos by Corie.

 

Design: Review of King & Grove Tides South Beach

As I mentioned last week, during my two weeks in Florida, I made a quick trip down to Miami. South Beach to be more precise. While the beaches, the nightlife and the architecture were all selling points for me, one of the things that I was most excited about was staying at The Tides. As in The Tides! Perhaps you’re already familiar with this hotel because I featured it on my first ever post on White Cabana. The iconic hotel is also known for the interior design work by Kelly Wearstler. Yeah, her.

If you’ve not yet heard about The Tides, let me introduce you to it.

The Tides, one of the King & Grove group of hotels, is perfectly situated on Ocean Drive.

The Tides lobby

My friend Shannon and I were instantly impressed with the courteous service we received by all staff members. They treated us with a smile and did their best to make sure our stay was as perfect as it could possibly be. Check-in was a breeze and staff had answers to any question we asked. Over our two days at The Tides, we always felt extremely welcome.

Photos from around the hotel (L to R; T to B) – console and lighting by the elevators, numbered door, cream window shades, Miami news of the week, K & G paper and pencil set, artwork

Each hotel room is at least 550 sq feet. This basically translates to spacious, larger than normal suites. Our room had two double beds, two desk areas, a seating area, a walk-in closet, and a spacious bathroom. While the hotels on Ocean Drive are not directly on the beach (as opposed to where we stayed at Madeira Beach), all rooms have an ocean view. Complimentary wi-fi is also offered which made our stay that much more comfortable.

Photos from around the hotel – bathrobes, white linens, large furniture pieces, orchids, restaurant, outdoor dining area

In classic Kelly Wearstler style – big, bold, glitzy and glamorous elements are found throughout the hotel.The furnishings throughout the hotel are golden and pink with large hints of white. Linens are all white, of course. The number of mirrors in our room was impressive. There were two large full-length mirrors and another couple of large mirrors throughout the space (perfect for two ladies who like to admire their tans, hmm…). The bathroom was large, comfortable, and full of marble. Delightful!

Bathroom included white linens and toiletries

The outdoor pool area was beautiful although much smaller than I expected. The chaise lounges were a perfect place to relax after a hard day at the beach (hee hee). On Troy‘s recommendation, we ordered the guacamole and had it delivered to us poolside (yes, we indulged!). It was perfect (although the delivery charge did make us laugh).

Poolside at The Tides

Complimentary breakfast in the hotel lobby was a good way to begin the day. The basics – coffee, tea, pastries and apples – were served in a casual and inviting manner.

Breakfast at The Tides and a water station by the fitness centre

And, if you haven’t already noticed, a variety of patterns and textures were every where to be found!

Patterns at The Tides – poolside and in the lobby

While we definitely did enjoy our time at The Tides, this review would not be complete without a brief look at some of the less luxurious aspects of the hotel. One of the first things that my friend and I noticed in the bathroom was the toilet paper. Um. It was so un-luxurious. I’m talking the 1-ply variety. I would have expected at least 3 ply. Right? I know it may seem ridiculous to mention the toilet paper but it really struck us as being a bit odd. Second, while the shower stall in the bathroom looked gorgeous, it did not function very well. Each shower resulted in a pile of water on the floor outside the tub area. The shower head was good – it was the hinged shower door that was the culprit. Not a very big deal but a definite design flaw. Third, while the bathrobes were comfortable, they were not as plush as I have experienced elsewhere. They did look great hanging on the padded hangers though. Finally, there was a $2 per coffee charge for the in-room coffee station (Nespresso I believe). I was surprised by this as I’ve stayed in many hotels where the coffee and tea in-room is complimentary. The issues I mention here really aren’t make-or-break issues but if The Tides is trying to be the best of the best, well, I would encourage the hotel to consider these points.

And a word of caution – be sure to make use of the in-room safe while you’re staying at this and any other hotel. Unfortunately our credit cards were compromised during our stay which has inevitably left a sour taste in our mouths. An unfortunate ending to an otherwise very pleasant experience.

Photos by me.

Design: So-An Architecture

Isabelle Stanislas and Leiko Oshima are the design duo behind Paris-based architecture firm So-An Architecture. Their work, which can be found beyond the borders of France, is mostly modern with a few quirky twists. The firm creates dramatic dramatic spaces which are filled with rich products and neutral colours. So-An has completed incredible projects in architecture, interior design, retail spaces and events and have worked with companies including Cartier, Zadig and Voltaire and Novotel. Let’s have a look, shall we?

white loft

Rue du Mail

Rue le Notre

Rue le Notre

Place des États-Unis

Place des États-Unis

I love the marble-clad bathroom in the last space. Black matte fixtures are so in vogue!

Which of the above spaces are you most attracted to?

Photos courtesy of So-An Architecture.

Many thanks to Alessandro V. for sending this my way.

Architecture: London, Ontario

Okay – it’s time to take a break from all these beautyrelated posts I’ve been writing. Let’s get back to design and architecture! I’m taking you to London, Ontario today…

When I first moved from Toronto to London four years ago, I have to admit that I really didn’t like it. It’s not that I’m one of those “Toronto is the center of the universe” people but I didn’t really get a great vibe from the city and I found it really hard to meet people. Fast forward 4 years and I now find myself really enjoying my time here. I love that I live in the downtown core – close to independent shops and cafés, and there certainly are a lot of interesting things to see.

The architecture of the houses in my neighbourhood continue to surprise me. The houses that have obviously been well-taken care of have amazing details. Even the not so well-loved houses have great architectural details and I like to imagine who has lived in them and what stories each house might have to share.

Like I said in my last post about London architecture, many of the original houses in the city are made of yellow or red brick. I think they look equally striking in black and white.

houses in London, Ontario

Photos by me using my iPhone and the Camera+ app.

The Friday Five: London Architecture

The arrival of the sunny warm weather in the last few weeks has meant that I have been spending a lot more time outside. On my walks around the neighbourhood I have begun to really notice the amazing architectural features of the buildings around me. I have started to bring along my camera and I have been snapping away. With all the traveling I have done these last couple of months, it feels really good to shine the spotlight on some local gems for a change.

architectural details in London, Ontario

Photos by Jordana.

Architecture: Squish Studio

With a name like Squish Studio how can I help but be intrigued? This is what the Squish Studio looks like on the inside:

And here is its wicked exterior:

Designed by Saunders Architecture in collaboration with the Shorefast Foundation and the Fogo Island Arts Corporation, this white gem is not only supporting the Fogo Island arts community, but it is also bringing plenty of attention to this tiny part of Newfoundland (area: 110 square miles; population: 2700).

Notes: Images via Tevami. Thanks to CC for sending this my way.

New Series: White Out

I’m happy to announce that we are starting a new series on the blog today! White Out will be a monthly (for now) post featuring the work and photos by our readers. If you see something white that catches your eye – cool architecture, innovative product, great design in any form – snap a photo and send it our way. Each month we will post our favourite images.

So – let’s kick off the series with a couple of photos that have landed in my email inbox and Twitter feed over the last few weeks. While the subject matter of the photos is so completely different, I love that they have one thing in common – repetition. The repetitive, but very different, forms in each of these photos have definitely caught my eye.

NYC architecture, photo by Alisha H.

antique goblets, photo by Elizabeth L. of Shock the Bourgeois; sent to me by Caroline C. V. of Paloma’s Nest

I am so happy when someone sees white and thinks of White Cabana! Thank you to our first couple of readers for sharing your photos.

Note: You can send your photos of delights in white to me at whitecabana (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Friday Five: Boston Architecture

As Johanne pointed out earlier this week, I’ve recently gone on a bit of a tour of cities. My week of travel included a visit to Boston and, as always, I was on the lookout for white. While many of the buildings in this friendly city are constructed of red-brick, I did spot several beautiful white structures as I went about my explorations. Here are five white structures that caught my eye.

building with rounded corner on Huntington Ave.

mostly straight with a bit of curve, The Midtown Hotel on Huntington Ave.

This was the only white building I saw on the Harvard campus. Are there others?

Two Center Plaza – more curves hereon Cambridge St.

pretty doorway on Park St.

As you can see, Boston did not let me down. And red as an accent colour – I can probably approve that!

Photos by Jordana.