Canadian

Uptown: How I Bought a New Mattress

As some of you may know, I have declared that this year is the #YearOfMyBed.

I bought a gorgeous (really gorgeous) antique French bed a month or so ago and added a set of night stands soon after that (after some DIY attention, they’re looking just perfect with the bed if I do say so myself).

But, what’s a bed without a mattress?

Until recently, I’ve been sleeping on a double mattress inside a queen frame. It’s been fine, but it was obviously not the look (or sleep) I was going for.

To complete the #YearOfMyBed, there was obviously one thing that I really needed to do – buy a new queen mattress set. This purchase has been on my mind for a long while, but I’ve been putting it off because, frankly, I found it a bit daunting. So many mattresses, so little time? Yeah, something like that.

In the end, I headed to the sleep experts at Sleep Country Canada. I figured that it was a one-stop shop that would have helpful and knowledgeable staff who could guide me through the process. Thankfully, I figured right. (This is not a sponsored post, by the way.)

So how did I find a perfect-for-me mattress? Let me tell you!

First, I sang the Sleep Country Canada jingle.

Jokes. Jokes. I didn’t. Okay. I did. I mean, what Canadian doesn’t know Christine Magee or the Sleep Country jingle?

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Moving on…

After I headed to my local Sleep Country, I met with a sleep expert (Hi, ES!) who asked me how I sleep (side, mostly) and what type of mattress I like (more firm that soft). I told her that the brand wasn’t one of my concerns, but I did want a really good mattress that would be super comfortable (who doesn’t, right?). She narrowed the beds down for me, then told me to try everything out. What? Pretend sleep on the mattresses in the store? It felt a bit weird at the beginning, but she encouraged me to just go for it. I went back and forth between the narrowed down mattresses and “slept” on them. Feet up and everything!

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White-Cabana-Sleep-Country-3 White-Cabana-Sleep-Country-1 I was a bit resistant at first – Would I actually be able to tell the difference between mattresses? What’s the big deal about the pillow top? – but I got into it. I did actually notice a difference between mattresses, and some were easy to take out of the running (e.g., too soft, too hard).White-Cabana-Sleep-Country-9

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I narrowed down my options to two – a Kingsdown and a Serta. In the end, I opted for the Serta (shown in the two photos above), and I was hoping that it would be just right! (As I’m writing this, it seems that I’ve turned into Goldilocks.) I honestly think I would have been happy with either the Kingsdown or the Serta, but the Serta was slightly more firm, which I liked.

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here I am learning about the coils (coils, coils, coils) and the details of the Serta mattress set; it’s a pillow top mattress, by the way

Still a bit nervous, I was told about Sleep Country’s amazing sleep country guarantee. If I don’t like the mattress, I can actually exchange it for another one. Isn’t that amazing? It’s a win-win situation if you ask me!

White-Cabana-Sleep-Country-7 My mattress arrived this past Saturday, and I’m sleeping soundly so far. It did take a couple of nights to adjust to it, which I think is completely normal. I think I’m happy with it, but it’s also comforting to know about the comfort guarantee.

Tell me, dear readers, have you bought a mattress recently? How’d you do it? What features did you look for?

Thanks, ES, for your help!

Food: Langdon Hall’s Terroir Noir

Yes, yes, I’m back with more news from Langdon Hall. I could easily start a regular Langdon Hall series on White Cabana. The place is amazing, and I’ve recently been calling it My Langdon Hall. Yes, I am totally biased and also completely smitten by the place.

Anyhoo – a few months ago, the team at Langdon Hall invited me to interview Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson. An interview, I asked? About what? Chocolate! Tough gig, I know.

You see, Langdon Hall decided that they should have their own signature chocolate (as if the place wasn’t special enough), and they wanted some help to get their story out.

You may have seen this post on Instagram recently if you follow me or @LangdonHall or @LangdonHallChef:

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via @LangdonHallChef

You see those words right there? Yeah, I wrote them (with some edits from LH)! So cool! Since that paragraph only provides a glimpse into LH’s chocolate, I was given permission to share the full story here on my blog. Read on if you’d like to learn more about how this chocolate came to be.

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Making of Langdon Hall’s Signature Chocolate: The Beginning
Jordana Garbati

Being whisked away to France on a highly unique chocolate mission seems like an incredible experience to add to one’s bucket list. For Langdon Hall’s Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and pasty chef Rachel Nicholson, this experience turned from dream to reality in February.

Jason and Rachel were invited to Cacao Barry’s prestigious Or Noir in Paris to develop a signature chocolate recipe for Langdon Hall. Only a few Canadian chefs, and only about 200 chefs around the world, have developed a signature chocolate recipe! Armed with a few goals in mind and a clear idea of the flavours the chefs wanted to include in Langdon Hall’s future house chocolate, the duo zipped off to Paris for a three-day chocolate adventure.

At Or Noir, Jason and Rachel were confronted with cacao beans from around the world and wasted no time working with Or Noir’s highly-qualified team to begin the process of developing Langdon Hall’s distinct chocolate.

Chef Jason wanted to ensure that Langdon Hall’s philosophy was well represented in its chocolate. He wanted the chocolate to instill ideas of the land, smokiness (we all know about Langdon Hall’s divine fireplaces), warmth, and tradition. Chef Rachel was on the same page and wanted to ensure that the final chocolate recipe would not only work beautifully on its own, but also become that more memorable when transformed into a chocolate ganache or pain au chocolat.

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 Chefs Jason and Rachel and the French team at Or Noir

The chefs went through Or Noir’s chocolate recipe development process whereby they explained their desired taste profile, explored cacao pastes from around the world, blended flavours, and tasted multiple production samples.

After a few gruelling days in the Parisian chocolate laboratory (as much as crafting a chocolate recipe can be gruelling), the chefs settled on the perfect recipes for dark and milk chocolate that are set to impress.

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Langdon Hall chocolate samples – some of the first pieces Langdon Hall‚Äôs dark and milk chocolates ‚Äď ready for a taste test

The dark chocolate has an ideal amount of bitterness. It’s great paired simply with an after-dinner espresso, and it is sure to increase the quality of Langdon’s popular chocolate-filled pastries and desserts. The flavour lingers on the tongue and is of beautiful texture and consistency. The milk chocolate is as creamy and shiny as you would want it to be, and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Both chocolate recipes are as distinguished as Langdon Hall, they embody luxurious hospitality as much as a chocolate could, and they are yet one more piece that will raise guests’ experiences to another notable level. Jason-Rachel-Langdon-Hall-TerroirNoir

Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson with the first chocolate production at Langdon Hall

For chefs Jason and Rachel, the signature chocolate brings prestige and innovation. The creation of the Langdon Hall chocolate brings outside-the-box thinking and creativity. This addition to the existing repertoire of phenomenal recipes will entice new and returning guests to visit Langdon Hall to experience its inimitable chocolate.

After the recipe was created in February, the chocolate went into production in France. Since the arrival of the first shipment of chocolate, the chefs have been busy in their kitchen creating new decadent recipes.

On April 25th, Executive Chef Jason Bangerter will travel to the Art Gallery of Ontario to launch Langdon Hall’s chocolate and its top-secret name at the Terroir Symposium, which is an event that brings together top chefs, sommeliers, and artists with the goal to promote innovation, collaboration, and creativity in the field of hospitality. Industry leaders will no doubt be enthralled by the story of how Langdon Hall’s chocolate came to be and I challenge them to stop at just one bite.

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I should say that Chef Jason did make sure I had my fair share of chocolate during the interview (Thanks, Jason.) I preferred the dark, but the milk was so darn smooth. I know, such a tough gig. Hanging out at Langdon Hall eating chocolate – life. is. good.

p.s. In recent news, did you see that Drake went to Langdon, too? Cool.

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via @ChampagnePapi, photo by @CaitCronenberg

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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‚Äôt a tub in our room, but maybe some rooms have one.

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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.

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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!

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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: 28 Hours in Toronto

What do you do when your friend (in Ottawa) texts you (in Waterloo) on a Monday, and asks what you’re doing on the weekend? First, you ask her if we’re going to Nashville (that’s a story for another day). When she laughs at you, you ask her what she has in mind, and she asks you if you’d be interested in a Toronto meet-up, you obviously say yes!

Heck ya!

Considering the couple of crazy weeks my friend Shannon and I have had recently, a girls reunion weekend in the city is just what we knew we needed to make us both feel more energized!

After we confirmed that we were both available for a weekend away, I quickly got to work, contacted a few people, and started planning some girly fun for us. Today, I’m sharing our itinerary, and in the days ahead, I’ll share some specific reviews of what we did/where we stayed/what we ate.

Please join me as I take you through a 28-hour stay in Toronto.

Saturday

9am – I left Waterloo quite early in the morning, as I find Toronto traffic and parking to be unpredictable. It only takes an hour (in theory) to get to the city, but I often give myself two hours to get to the heart of downtown. I put my TomTom to use, of course, as I like knowing about the alternate route options if I run into traffic.

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11am – As my friend Shannon and I were coming from opposite directions, we opted to meet at our first stop of the day – the Windsor Arms Spa. Yes! What a perfect spot to meet. Since I arrived a bit early, I was able to nibble on some cookies and drink a tea before our spa experience – the Salt Cave.

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11:30am – Shannon and I met with our spa hostess. She led us around the spa space and told us about the halotherapy treatment in the Salt Cave. We changed into our bathing suits, threw on our plush robes, and headed in the Salt Cave for 45 minutes of relaxation.

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We left the Cave feeling refreshed and calm.

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1:30pm (ish) – After showering and primping at the Windsor Arms Spa, we headed to La Soci√©t√© for lunch. I’ve read a bit about this restaurant, but I had never been. Since we dubbed this weekend a #weekendofluxury, we figured that La Soci√©t√© fit our itinerary. It is where celebrities go after all (we didn’t see any).

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We opted to share the eggs benedict (with a side of salmon) and the pain perdu (French toast) with Nutella. This way, we got to try a bit of everything. This is what happens when you travel with your BFFs, you get to share the goodness! We had a very friendly server at La Société who was quite attentive and helpful with recommendations.

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time unknown – after lunch, we wandered in and out of stores around Bloor/Yorkville. The area is a gem for people watching, and to see what’s what in fashion, design, and luxury. While I have just about everything I need in Waterloo, when I’m in Toronto, I always like to see what’s going on at Club Monaco and Anthropologie, so we made it a priority to check out these stores…along with the prettiest of pretty, Kate Spade (so pretty!).

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5pm (ish) – After a couple of hours of shopping, walking, taking ridiculous photos, and being so happy because of the amazing spring weather, we hopped back in the car, and headed to our hotel (TomTom was put to work again, naturally).

It was great to spend the morning/afternoon in the Bloor/Yorkville area, but I was looking forward to seeing another part of the city while we were in town. Although I grew up in the ‘burbs of the city, I haven’t spent extended periods of time downtown in a long while, and there’s just so much to see and do and discover!

We drove south to King/Church to The Omni King Edward Hotel (affectionately called the King Eddy), and after we parked (I must say that parking in the two areas was completely easy on this trip! Bonus!), we checked in. We were greeted by a friendly staff member (Hi D!), and we had a good chat about why/how I blog only about white things (it does amuse a lot of people, I must say).

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At this point in our day, Shannon and I were were so eager to just lie on the beds for a while since we had done so much walking in the afternoon. Our reactions when we saw our room were priceless. We basically danced around the spacious suite, then flopped ourselves down on the beds (more on The Omni King Edward Hotel later this week).

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time unknown – We were pleasantly surprised by a visit from an Omni King Edward staff member who arrived with scones and biscuits in tow (I wish this could happen every day!). It was just the type of snack we needed! We pulled our seats up to the table by the window and had a little bite to eat.

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9pm (ish) – Earlier in the day, we had made a dinner reservation at one of our favourite restaurants – Terroni. It serves up delicious Italian fare, and since I could basically live on pizza and pasta for the rest of my life (hello carbs!), I was happy that Terroni had an open table for two for us. The Terroni Adelaide location was a three minute walk from our hotel, so it could not have been more convenient! It was the perfect spot for a lazy girls’ weekend! We walked over and spent the next couple of hours feasting.

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11pm – After dinner, we strolled back to The Omni King Edward Hotel, threw on our pjs (and hotel robes!), and watched some TV while we talked and laughed about all that we had experienced in the day.

midnight (ish) – We must have fallen asleep to the sounds of HGTV on the television at some point around midnight. Yes, yes, we’re very wild.

Sunday

7am – I really try to sleep in (especially on weekends), but I can’t! It’s ridiculously annoying. After a great sleep in a comfy bed with lots of comfy pillows, I woke up a tad annoyed at the fact that it was only 7am. I grabbed a few magazines and enjoyed reading them in the living space in our suite.

10am (ish) – After a lazy morning of chatter, an amusing photo shoot (to come later this week), magazine reading, and getting ready, we walked south toward St. Lawrence Market for breakfast. Again, I hadn’t realized how close the King Eddy is to so many great spots in the city. The St. Lawrence market area must have been only a six minute walk from the hotel, and Toronto’s flat iron building provides a perfect photo op. Easy! We chose to have breakfast at Hank’s because I had been there once before, and I had liked it (thanks for the intro to Hank’s, Sarah M.!) We enjoyed a classic breakfast, then set off on another adventure.

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noon (ish) – We had decided that our #weekendofluxury #WhiteCabanaTorontoReunion should include manicures, so we walked north to Queen West area (a pleasant 20 minute or so walk) as we were hoping to get into Civello salon. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get last-minute appointments, but the staff member recommended a nail salon a couple blocks away, so we went there.

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2pm (ish) – With our bright shiny nails, we walked back to the car (which I had left in the parking lot by the King Eddy) in the sunshine, and laughed some more as we thought about all the adventures we have been on together in the last 10+ years.

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3pm (ish) – At this point, our fun weekend reunion came to an end. After dropping Shannon off at Union Station, I drove back to Waterloo. We returned to our homes (and to reality) after a fun and fulfilling reunion weekend!

That’s how my friend Shannon and I spent our 28 hours in Toronto last weekend. I have a few more updates to share about this trip, so stay tuned for more posts this week!

Many thanks to the Windsor Arms Spa and The Omni King Edward Hotel for helping me plan this trip.

The Friday Five: Art at Citizen Atelier

I have featured Canadian-curator Alessandra Salituri’s Citizen Atelier several times here because Alessandra carries such an interesting collection of art in her online shop. It’s also been interesting to see how Citizen Atelier has grown over the years. The current shop has its pieces organized by limited editions, originals, and prints, and I’m using this same categorization to share my top five picks from the current collection (all prices are in CAD).

Limited Editions

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Hippodance by Darius Klimczak, $395+

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Silk by Ashley Woodson Bailey, $140+

Originals

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Moontower by Jenny Andrews Anderson, $625

Prints

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Ballerina I by Vanessa Paxton, $120 (I featured this one before, and I still love it.)

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HE lion by Francesco Formisano, $60+

Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers!

 

Marketplace: Chair Table Lamp in Cambridge, Ontario

You likely already know that I have really enjoyed my move to the Waterloo region. For a relatively small region, it has so much to offer, and the people I have met and the places that I’ve been to continue to impress me. A couple of months ago, I visited Chair Table Lamp in Cambridge after seeing a cool photo of the store from Rox-Anne, and I was in furniture heaven.

I was in awe as I stepped in the massive space. Owner Terry was ridiculously knowledgeable about everything antique, and we had a delightful conversation about furniture, design, and travel. On a subsequent visit, I met co-owner Katie who was equally enthusiastic about all things furniture! I really enjoy meeting people who are so passionate about what they do.

The inventory at Chair Table Lamp is incredible. There’s honestly something for every design lover – from art deco chairs to gorgeous Chinoiserie pieces to mid-century modern dining sets to gorgeous French armoires. Honestly. This place is a treasure! (I adore this piece and this one, too). You’re not going to find garage sale prices here, but you will find fair prices for the uniqueness and quality of the pieces.

Amongst the black credenzas and the wood dining sets, I spotted quite a bit of white (mostly newly painted), so here’s a tour of Chair Table Lamp through this white-lover’s lens…

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Design: NewWall Wallpaper Designs

My friend Tim works so well with wallpaper*. Christine does, too**. Me, on the other hand? Not so much.

I was basically traumatized when I moved into my own home 2.5 years ago, and I had to spend hours (and hours and hours) peeling off old wallpaper from my bathroom walls. It was absolutely a big pain in my arse.

And then there’s the ol’ commitment issue. If I install wallpaper, that would mean I’d have to commit to it. For a long while. Yikes!

So, why, you may ask, am I writing about wallpaper today? Well, let me tell you! While I do not like paper in my own home, I am definitely impressed by the art of wallpaper. There are so many beautiful prints out there that put a smile on my face, that make me curious, that make me contemplate wallpaper’s uses, and that demonstrate people’s creativity. It’s amazing, really.

When I came across NewWall’s Holden anchor print, I needed to have it. I’m going to turn it into a non-permanent work of art for my parents’ condo in Florida, and it’s going to look fabulous up on the wall. Holden is from NewWall‘s Abnormals Anonymous collection, and it’s such an amusing collection, that I thought I’d share it here.

Bruce_men_in_blackBruce – Men in Black

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Buggie – Men in Black

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Ernest – Gulfstream

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Gossip – Men in Black

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Mr. Blow – Bone Thugs & Harmony

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Wheel of Fortune – Concrete Jungle

I’m also surprisingly keen on the vibrant Lobby – Red Pepper lobster pattern. If I lived on the east coast, I would just have to put this in a sweet powder room.

If you’re interested in seeing more cool wallpaper patterns, I encourage you to check out NewWall.

*See Tim‘s recent feature in Style at Home magazine.
**Peak inside Christine’s office.

Event: What’s Happening These Days in Kitchener-Waterloo

Anytime is a good time to visit (or move to!) the Waterloo region (see my Design*Sponge Waterloo city guide here), but Christmas time is especially charming. The streets and stores are decorated, and it seems to me that the people around town are happier than their usually happy selves.

Here is some of what is going on in the next few weeks in the region. If you know of any other events, please add them in the comments!

What: Tree trimming party
Where: Langdon Hall
When: Nov. 25th (tonight!)
Cost: Bring an ornament for the tree at Langdon Hall, then enjoy a drink and music. Learn more about Langdon Hall’s tree trimming event here.

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What: Christkindl Market – At this traditionally German market in downtown Kitchener, you’ll find wooden German ornaments, delicious treats, and plenty of Gl√ľhwein.
Where: Downtown Kitchener – City Hall
When: The market is on from December 3rd to 6th.
Cost: free to attend

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What: The Grand Philharmonic Choir’s performance of Handel’s Messiah
When: Dec. 12th, 7:30pm
Where: Centre in the Square
Cost: regular tickets $24-$74, tickets can be purchased here

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What: The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s Yuletide Spectacular
When: Dec. 18-20, various performances
Where: Centre in the Square
Cost: regular tickets $19 and up, tickets can be purchased here

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What: Christmas at Castle Kilbride – Marvel at the gorgeous Victorian decor at Castle Kilbride. Go for a tour or enjoy an apple cider and entertainment at a Merry Victorian Christmas
When: now until Jan. 3
Where: Castle Kilbride – Baden, Ontario
Cost: tours – adults $6.50 (see more here)

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Marketplace: Sabri Studio

If you’re already shopping around for Christmas gifts, I’d like to suggest you have a look at Toronto-based blogger Fatima Sabri’s new shop. Fatima and I met a few years ago through blogger events, and last year Fatima wrote a guest post right here on White Cabana (read this).

I’m happy to see Fatima’s launch of Sabri Studio, an online shop featuring her photographs and stationery collection (including the ever-so-needed agenda book!).

24palm trees art, from $29.99

16palm tree notepad, $9.99

19don’t forget notepad, $9.99 (this was made for people like me!)

17kiss kiss notepad, $9.99

Check out the full collection of art and stationery at Sabri Studio. If you see something you like, now is the time to get it, since White Cabana readers get 10% off (enter the code whitecabana10). This discount deal ends at midnight on November 22nd.

Images courtesy of Sabri Studio.

20 Below: Style at Home November Issue

Today’s 20 Below item is really an exciting one!

1115_Cover [Print];30_View.inddStyle at Home, $5.99

The Style at Home November 2015 issue has a beautiful white cover featuring a tablescape by blogger Monika Hibbs. Not only that, but it features design work by my fellow design-savvy bloggers: Tim (Design Maze), Jen (Rambling Reno), and Christine (Bijou & Boheme). Each of them styled a holiday scene, and their styles are very distinct.

This issue also highlights Sarah’s (The Curated House) beautiful laundry room (a reno that was completed in only 6 weeks) and some gorgeous homes across the country.

Honestly, folks, it’s a good issue!

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.

The Friday Five: On Sale at Elte, Toronto

Elte, one of Toronto’s finest furniture stores, is currently having a summer sale. I bought my Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams couch from Elte, and if I lived in Toronto, I’m sure I would be popping in quite often. The prices at Elte are typically high, but so is the quality of the pieces. If you’re in the market for something fabulous, you might want to check out the sale. Here are my five pics from the sale (although I’d snap up every Kartell chair if I could!).

chair-kartell-lizz-elte-saleKartell Lizz Side Chair, $206 (originally $406; also available in black)

vase-white-gold-eltegold mid glaze bud vase, $17.97 (originally $29.95)

Ojai-sconce-Elte-saleOjai sconce, $215 (originally $365)

moroccan-wedding-pouf-elte-saleMoroccan wedding pouf, $238 (originally $595)

ceramic-stool-lattice-elte-saleceramic lattice stool, $120 (originally $195)

If you’re in Toronto and you go to the sale, let me know!

Travel: My Waterloo City Guide on Design*Sponge

Another blogging/writing/publishing dream came true for me a couple of weeks ago, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you.

I have been reading Design*Sponge since its creator, Grace Bonney, began publishing posts 10 years ago. Ten! She has been such a leader in the blogging world, and like many of her readers, I find so much inspiration on the pages of her blog (and her book, interviews, etc.).

DesignSponge-headerOne of my most favourite areas on Design*Sponge is the city guide section. These guides are written by travel enthusiasts who want to share the top-of-the-top that their cities have to offer.  In the past, I have used the Paris guide, the New Orleans guide, the Tampa guide, the Pittsburgh guide, the Dallas guide, the Halifax guide, and, most recently, the Orlando 24-hour guide. I totally put my trust into these guides, and they have yet to let me down!

DS-4Well, a few months ago, I wrote and submitted a Waterloo region guide for Design*Sponge, and it was published last Tuesday! (Insert shrieks and jumps for joy!) You can read my Waterloo guide right here. I am so proud of this article. I moved to Waterloo two years ago, and I have enjoyed living here ever since. I was very excited to share news of the region with Design*Sponge readers.

waterloo_cityguidetemplateI was beyond excited to see that Grace shared my article on Twitter and favourited related tweets, too. Eeek!

DS-2     DS-1Thanks to those of you who have read my Waterloo city guide and for those who have added their favourite spots in the comment section, too.

Celebration: Happy Canada Day!

Spreading some love for Canada today!

3ACanada Tee, Joe Fresh

3A-1Canada hoodie, Joe Fresh

large-tote-IMG_6966_530473d6-1940-48b1-9bf6-b722c081e184_largeProvince of Canada everything tote

Tank-White-Gold-IMG_9424_44627da6-ca03-4511-8ff9-3bdefe80d625_largeProvince of Canada tank

canada_mason_mug_webCanada mason jar mug, Drake General Store

maple_syrup_new_labelCanadian maple syrup, Drake General Storecanada-baseball-cap

Canada baseball cap, Hudson’s Bay

I’m wishing all my Canadian readers a very Happy Canada Day!

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.

Event: Pottery Class at Inspirations Studio

Recently, I was invited back to Inspirations Studio in Toronto to take part in a pottery class with a group of my blogging colleagues (hi Renée, Brittany, Shannon, Amy). It was so fun! You may remember that last year, I designed a collection of pottery that was sold at BlogPodium. This time, though, it was my turn to get behind the wheel. Oh my goodness. I made a mess! And it was fun!

The afternoon began with a pro-potter giving us step-by-step instructions on how to throw the clay and form it into a small bowl using the wheel.

White-Cabana-pottery-2In just a few minutes, she made this perfectly formed bowl:

White-Cabana-pottery-3I made several attempts, but couldn’t quite get a symmetrical bowl. A little wonky bowl is a conversational piece, though, right? We also had the chance to roll out the clay and use different materials to imprint patterns on our pieces. I made a tray and rolled a piece of lace over it to create some texture.

White-Cabana-pottery-1Our pieces should be ready soon, and I’ll be sure to show you how they look post-firing. For now, here are a couple more photos from around the studio.White-Cabana-pottery-4 White-Cabana-pottery-5If you’re in Toronto and would like to have your own pottery experience, you might want to register for classes at Inspirations Studio.

Thanks to Lindsey T. and the team at Inspirations Studio for organizing a wonderful afternoon of pottery!

The Friday Five: 5 Points about Scandinave Spa

Last weekend, Rox-Anne and I headed to Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain (Ontario) for a day of rest and relaxation. I’ve never been a spa girl, but several friends convinced me that I should give Scandinave a chance.

White-Cabana-ScandinaveWhite-Cabana-Scandinave-1photos by Rox-Anne

Here are five things to share about my first Scandinave experience:

1. It’s not as cold as you might think even when the outdoor weather thermometer says it’s 2 degrees Celcius. I thought we’d have a relatively warm day at the end of April, but we didn’t. It was cold! Even though the heat was on in the car during our drive up, and I wore a coat and scarf, I was not actually cold during the spa bath rotation. It was magical, really! Things that kept me warm during the day experience at the baths: the heated stone patios inside and out, the gorgeous solariums with incredible views, the hot baths (obviously), the fireplace lounge area outside, and the sunshine!

forest baths winterphoto via Scandinave Spa

2. Go early to avoid a lengthy line-up. The baths hold a maximum number of people, and so when when they’re full, they’re full. I have heard wait times can be as long as 4 hours (!!!), so it’s best to arrive during a non-peak time (e.g., the morning) or day of the week (e.g., mid-week). That said, the spa has thought of everything and has several suggestions of things to do while you wait for entry into the baths (e.g., the Caves at Blue Mountain, a cheese shop).

steam room 2photo via Scandinave Spa

3. What to bring: Bring your bathing suit (or two if you do not want to wear a wet bathing suit while you lounge inside or eat a meal), a robe, flip flops, and a water bottle. You might also want to bring your sunglasses on a sunny day and sunscreen to protect yourself against the rays (I forgot both of these things). You can bring your camera for photos of the indoor spaces and the property, but you are advised to leave your camera and iPhone in your locker rather than take these gadgets to the baths. When you check in, you’ll be given two towels (save one in your locker, bring one with you) and a locker key. The showers are equipped with soap, shampoo, and conditioner, so you don’t need to bring these items with you.

spring 3photo via Scandinave Spa

4. Shhh…relax… Scandinave strongly encourages silence or a spa voice. A spa voice. I love it. Although this was a bit hard for me to get used to at the beginning of my visit, I respected the recommendation, and it really worked out. Honestly. The silence (or near-silence) helped clear my mind of distractions and noise. It was so peaceful. Rox-Anne and I did talk (we weren’t in a completely silent zone), but we kept our voices down so as to not disturb the other guests.

spring 1photo via Scandinave Spa

5. Hammocks are awesome. I discovered this last year after I won my very own hammock. I rediscovered this at Scandinave. The rotation at the baths goes something like this: 15 min in a hot bath, quick plunge in the cold bath, steam room or sauna, and then rest. There are several options for the rest portion including relaxing on an adirondack chair on the patio, sitting around a fire pit, lounging in a solarium, or lying on a hammock. Rox-Anne and I tried all of the above, but lounging around in the outdoor hammock looking up at the trees and sky might have been my favourite rest option. It was too cold to stay out there for too long, but on a slightly warmer day, it would have been just perfect.

White-Cabana-Scandinave-Spa-Blue MountainRox-Anne and I enjoying lunch in the indoor space, colour version right here

Many thanks to Mallory at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain for arranging our visit.

Marketplace: Angus and Company in Elora

If you live in Toronto or you read House & Home magazine, chances are you already know about Angus and Company – a beautifully curated shop for housewares, owned and operated by designer Michael Angus. angus-and-company-logoWhen I was putzing around Elora a couple of weekends ago, I was completely surprised to stumble upon Angus & Company in its new home in Elora. How did I miss the news of its move?

The store is so well-styled, and I could easily take it all, transport it to my home, and be very happy. I was able to chat with Mike for quite some time, and he seems to be very happy about the new location of his store. I mean, it backs on to the water and faces the town square, so it seems pretty ideal to me!

Angus and Company_Elora_1 Angus and Company_Elora_2this hutch is a beautiful shade of blue and it is filled with the shiniest pieces of silver
Angus and Company_Elora_3 Angus and Company_Elora_4

Angus & Company carries a mix of new and vintage home wares, furniture, and art. This bright white store has so many pretty vignettes, and it easily draws you in. And Mike’s styling is enviable.

If you end up sitting on the couch and flipping through a book while you’re there, I’ll understand. Even though the store is certainly filled with some very luxurious blankets, antique consoles, oil paintings, and scented candles, it is casual, easy, and inviting. I just love the mix.

Thanks, Mike, for taking the time out of your day to chat with me! I wish you all the best in your new home!

Design: Real Estate Toronto

After years of watching the Toronto housing market, I shouldn’t be surprised by what I see. But, I am.

This place in Toronto has some gorgeous bright white rooms. How much do you think it is listed for?

52-Shaver-Ave-Toronto-5 52-Shaver-Ave-Toronto-3 52-Shaver-Ave-Toronto-2 52-Shaver-Ave-Toronto-1 52-Shaver-Ave-Toronto-4 52-Shaver-Ave-Toronto-652 Shaver Ave. S., Toronto

This modern rebuild in Etobicoke (near Kipling subway station) is listed for just about $1.8 million. Yes, that’s right, almost $2 million dollars. How close was your guess?

Thanks to Daniela for sending this my way.

Marketplace: Elora Antique Show

It’s not very often that I hop in my car and drive somewhere other than Toronto. This past Saturday, however, I took a 25 minute drive over to Elora. I have only been to Elora once last summer, so I was happy to make a return visit. The drive through the countryside from Waterloo is easy and enjoyable, especially when the springtime sun is shining. The reason for my trip this weekend was the Elora Antique Show. I wasn’t on the hunt for anything (besides a gorgeous French bed, which are impossible to find!), but I was interested to see what the dealers had in store.

There must have been about 50 or 60 dealers carrying things like: sparkly jewels, vintage dolls, woolen blankets, wood dressers, Pyrex, silver serving pieces, blue and white, cloisonné, quilts, books, and paper goods. There were a couple of mid-century dealers that caught my attention, and there was a gorgeous booth full of glassware. If I had an endless supply of money and space, I would have scooped up a few cake stands, pieces of milk glass, and silver bowls. There were a lot of pretty pieces!

Here are a few photos from the show:

Elora-Antiques-2 Elora-Antiques-1 Elora-Antiques-3 Elora-Antiques-4I also spotted some gorgeous cloisonn√© (I’m seeing more of it recently), classic teacups, and this pretty green dinnerware collection (someone help me out – what is this style called?).

The next Antique Shows Canada event will be in Orillia on Sunday, July 26th. Are you planning on going?

Marketplace: Celebrate Quebec design with Etsy

Etsy is currently celebrating Quebec design with The Etsy Design Awards: The Best of Quebec. Etsy artisans are so incredibly talented, and I’m happy to share some of my favourite pieces from Quebec designers.

il_570xN.737810674_t8mlfeather ring – Annie Lesperance, sterling silver, $32.28

il_570xN.626432891_3islscribble dress for babies and kids – Double Yellow Line, $60

il_570xN.754228481_d2zowhite handmade bowl – Looks Like White, $22

il_570xN.755179547_ny85handmade bead embroidered bracelet – Antonietta Presti, $125

I also think this pink birdhouse is sweet, this abracadabra patch is cute, these earrings are great for summer, and this lobster print makes me laugh.

If you’re interested in supporting Canadian designers and Etsy owners, check out the finalists and cast your votes!

Real Estate: Multi-Million Dollar Canadian Homes

The latest issue of Toronto Life published another article about Toronto’s crazy real estate game. This time, the article was focused on a section of Forest Hill where home owners/developers/architects are basically one-upping¬†neighbours/competitors and building monstrosities that may or may not fit in with the Forest Hill aesthetic (I guess it depends on who’s judging). The article honestly made me laugh out loud. Toronto real estate is ridiculous, and it blows my mind that¬†a $3.25 million house comes with only 1 garage (for example).¬†It also seems unbelievable that $1.5 million houses are torn down for new builds. Or, even when they’re not torn¬†down, they require¬†unbelievable amounts of money to bring them up-to-date.

The article Рand my ongoing fascination with real estate Рpushed me to browse the Toronto real estate listings. Here are some of the pricey properties that caught my attention.

500 Wellingston-Toronto 500 Wellingston-Toronto-2

500 Wellington St. PH1001, Toronto, $7.9 million

88 Davenport-Toronto-1 88 Davenport-Toronto-4 88 Davenport-Toronto-3 88 Davenport-Toronto-2 88 Davenport-Toronto-5

88 Davenport Rd. #2401, Toronto, $8.988 million

Glen Rd Toronto -4 Glen Rd Toronto -2 Glen Rd Toronto -5 Glen Rd Toronto -3 Glen Rd Toronto -1

100 Glen Rd., Toronto, $9.5 million

50 Yorkville-Toronto-3 50 Yorkville-Toronto-5 50 Yorkville-Toronto-1 50 Yorkville-Toronto-2 50 Yorkville-Toronto-4 50 Yorkville-Toronto-6

50 Yorkville Ave., Toronto SP 1, $11.9 million

50 Yorkville-2402-4 50 Yorkville-2402-3 50 Yorkville-2402-1 50 Yorkville-2402-2

50 Yorkville Ave., Toronto #2402, $12.995 million

118 Yorkville-901-5 118 Yorkville-901-3 118 Yorkville-901-2 118 Yorkville-901-1

118 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, PH901, $18.9 million

I also expanded my search to all of Canada to see what $10+ million dollar properties¬†looked like elsewhere. Here’s a sample:

650 lowry Lane-N Vancouver-1 650 lowry Lane-N Vancouver-2

650 Lowry Ln., North Vancouver, $10,988,800

2156 marine Drive - Vancouver-1 2156 marine Drive - Vancouver-2 2156 marine Drive - Vancouver-3 2156 marine Drive - Vancouver-4

2156 SW Marine Dr., Vancouver, $11.9 million

13283 56th ave-surrey-5 13283 56th ave-surrey-6 13283 56th ave-surrey-7 13283 56th ave-surrey-3 13283 56th ave-surrey-1 13283 56th ave-surrey-2 13283 56th ave-surrey-4

13283 56th Ave., Surrey, $12.888 million

1116 Highland place West Vancouver 3 1116 Highland place West Vancouver 2 1116 Highland place West Vancouver 1

1116 Highland Place, West Vancouver, $19.7 million

Image2

Magog, Quebec, $25 million (click the link – it’s basically a castle)

And, now, for something a little closer to home…this gem in Kitchener, Ontario is full of white, and it seems like a major deal at only¬†$2.5 million!

12 Westgate-Kitchener-1 12 Westgate-Kitchener-2 12 Westgate-Kitchener-4 12 Westgate-Kitchener-7 12 Westgate-Kitchener-5 12 Westgate-Kitchener-8 12 Westgate-Kitchener-6

12 Westgate Walk, Kitchener, $2.5 million

What was that about “if I had a million dollars”? Seems like it can’t buy a whole heck of a lot in Toronto (besides Kraft Dinner, naturally).

At Home: Styling my Dresser with Posterjack

How is everyone enjoying Family Day (here in Ontario) and Presidents’ Day (in the USA)? I am completely enjoying having an extra day to do, well, not a whole lot! I still have an annoying cough that is really just slowing me down.¬†It’s very annoying.

A few weeks ago,¬†my Posterjack order arrived, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the French¬†photo¬†and the white lacquer framing. It’s a beautiful piece. I placed it¬†in several¬†spots around my home before settling on my bedroom. I leaned it over my dresser, lived with it like that for a few days, and realized it¬†was an ideal place to put it. I played around with some minimal styling, too.¬†Have a look…

Style 1: set of three hourglass sand timers (the colours match perfectly)

White-Cabana-style-1

White-Cabana-style-2

Style 2: vintage and new crystal

White-Cabana-style-3

White-Cabana-style-4

Style 3: classic white

White-Cabana-style-5White-Cabana-style-6White-Cabana-style-7

Thanks to Tim F. & Posterjack for sending me this beautifully framed Parisian photo.

Travel: Some Things to Do and See in Kingston, Ontario

Yesterday, I reviewed the Four Points by Sheraton in Kingston, Ontario. Today, I’m sharing some of the photos I took of places and spaces around the city.

White-Cabana-Kingston-2#ygklove

White-Cabana-Kingston-4

lakeside sculpture

White-Cabana-Kingston-3

brrr…just a tad chilly!

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the beautiful half-frozen lake

White-Cabana-Kingston-6

impressive entrance at City Hall

White-Cabana-Kingston-7

limestone walls at City Hall

White-Cabana-Kingston-8

a gorgeous vintage set of drawers

White-Cabana-Kingston-9

the Grand Theatre

White-Cabana-Kingston-10

pretty architectural details

White-Cabana-Kingston-11

stone laneway

White-Cabana-Kingston-12

a meal at Pan Chancho is a must

White-Cabana-Kingston-1

drinks at the Red House

White-Cabana-Kingston-14

chalkboard art at Tango Nuevo

White-Cabana-Kingston-15

classic Italian food at Olivea

White-Cabana-Kingston-16the market square skating rink and City Hall

Travel: Review of the Four Points by Sheraton – Kingston, Ontario

A couple of weekends ago, I drove myself over to one of my most favourite places in Ontario – Kingston. I love this little town. The downtown is quaint, it’s easy to navigate, and the¬†lakefront location is pretty darn perfect. I hadn’t been to Kingston for over a year, so I was very eager to plan a little getaway.

I booked myself into the Four Points by Sheraton Kingston because it’s¬†centrally located – just a block away (barely even a full block) from the market square and city hall. It’s a block up from the lake and¬†tourism office in another direction, and it’s a couple of blocks away from the park in yet another direction. The location¬†is ideal for a city visit!

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-1

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-11

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-2

The rooms are very well-appointed; plenty of towels, a bathrobe, a fridge, and a microwave certainly come in handy, even for just an overnight stay. My king-size bed was ridiculously comfortable (I am now looking into the possibility of ordering a Sheraton mattress! Thanks for the advice, Rox-Anne!) and I very much loved the view of the lake (even though it was icy and snowy).

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-3White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-6White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-12

king size bed – I want one!

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-14

super white bathrooms make me happy

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-4

sitting area (or place to dump my clothes) with a view of the lake

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-10

I brewed some tea.

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-5

I watched some TV.

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-9

I wore the robe.

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-13White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-15

I did not make the bed. ūüôā

White-Cabana-Four Points Sheraton-Kingston-8

some handy guides

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about my stay was the cappuccino I had from the hotel restaurant (King Street Sizzle). It just did not suit my tastebuds. Then again, I am sort of particular about coffee.

If anyone is heading to Kingston, I would definitely recommend booking a room in the Four Points by Sheraton. If you would like my advice about some things to do in the city, come back tomorrow as I’ll be sharing my weekend recap.

Although I did in fact book a room at the Four Points by Sheraton Kingston, the hotel surprised me with a complimentary stay. Thanks to Erin and her team for making my experience at the Four Points extra special!

Art: Posterjack

Some of you may already know that Posterjack is¬†a great online resource for photo printing and for photo mounting options that go beyond basic framing (e.g.,¬†photo canvases, specialty prints like metal and acrylic). This Canadian photo printing¬†company has certainly grown in popularity over the last seven years, and I’m especially keen on it because it was started by one of my highschool friends, Mr. Tim Faught. I love watching other people succeed!

What I recently learned is that¬†Posterjack¬†has quite an extensive art shop, too. As I’m always on the lookout for interesting art for my home (e.g., in my office), I was thrilled when Posterjack offered me a print of my choice. I¬†spent way longer than I thought I would browsing through the¬†selection. Honestly, just about any keyword search is going to reveal dozens of cool prints.¬†Here are some of my favourites:

petra-jordan-diak-[posterjack

Petra, Jordan by Diak

rorschach-akova-posterjack

Rorschach Test by Akova

ears-of-wheat-radist

Ears of Wheat by Radist

audio-cassette-PosterJack

Audio Cassette Isolated on White by Hayati Kayhan

vintage-racing-car-PosterJack

vintage racing car detail by seewhatmitchsee

Placing an order is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3. Customers can easily¬†select a product, select a size, and upload a personal photo or buy one from the art shop. There is plenty of information available regarding finishes, sizes, and photo quality. My order should be arriving any day now, so I’ll be sure to share with you my complete review once I’ve seen the print in person. It’s going to be a¬†pretty one!

Many thanks to Posterjack for sponsoring this post. 

20 Below: Heart Pouch

I¬†am so impressed by Indigo’s latest home¬†and¬†style¬†collections. When¬†I was in the store last week, I was¬†thinking about how the store’s approach to its lifestyle collection has changed over the years. Stores slowly made room for some carefully curated items for the home, and now¬†the home/style/beauty/jewelry section (in my home store, at least)¬†seems to expand with each new season. At the moment, there are so many black and white products under $20. Case in point – this sweet heart pouch:

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Christmas: White Trees

We all know that I’m addicted to white. Yes, it’s true. When it comes to Christmas, however, I can’t resist adding green and red to the mix. I know, I know, it’s shocking. I¬†love having a¬†real live green tree (mine is from Ikea, and it smells so good!), and my colourful decorations remind me of the places I’ve travelled. That being said, when I saw this white tree at Rona last weekend, I wondered if I¬†should give a¬†white artificial tree a try one year.

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I probably would end up just putting lights on it and calling it a day. Maybe I’ll¬†wait for it to go on super sale, and then¬†try it out next year.

I thought these Christmas decorations were also pretty cute:

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Interview: Deborah and David from Green Light District

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah and David Peets, owners of Toronto’s Green Light District. The shop carries beautiful furniture and accessories from around the world, and it holds a prominent place in Toronto’s Roncesvalles area (Roncy, for short).

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Loves Me, Loves Me Not

Read on to learn about more about this duo’s approach to curation.

***

J: How did Green Light District come to be?

D & D: We restored a 160 year old country inn and ran it for a dozen years.  When we sold it all the furnishings went with the sale which left us with a completely empty condo to fill. We saw a need for something different and thought why not fill that need!

Where did the name Green Light District come from?

Our neighbourhood in Ottawa had formerly been a red light district but it was changing quickly and we were part of that change so we thought let’s be forward thinking (green=go) as well as referring to the home furnishings we were offering.

I believe the original Green Light District was in Ottawa, yes? Why did you make the move to Toronto?

We originally were from Toronto but had been away for 20 years in the Rideau Lakes & Ottawa but wanted to come home to be closer to family. A larger audience to sell to certainly helped make that decision!

Describe Green Light District in 140 characters or less (hashtags are accepted).

Personally sourced home furnishings; unique designs that are functional & timeless with a significant hand made component #warmcontemporary

What is your favourite piece currently in the shop?

Oh that’s easy! We just got in a hand stitched saddle leather Acapulco chair with a solid iron frame. It’s incredibly comfortable and you know it’s just going to get better with age.

How often do you travel to source products?

We’re big travellers so while sourcing is hard work it’s always thrilling going to Buenos Aires, or Paris or Cape Town …. We travel somewhere every year or two, sometimes multiple trips.

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hand-stitched leather and oak bench

What is your favourite travel destination?

South Africa has a special place in our hearts. We first visited over 20 years ago and were blown away by their unique sense of style back then! The landscape, the people, food & wine but most of all their designs – so sophisticated, yet cool with just a whiff of Africa.

What is the best part of your job?

Sourcing in person of course. We knew it was important to get to know our suppliers; to see how and where their furniture & accessories are made. Every piece has a story to tell – then we found out how important it was for our customers too – to feel that personal connection as well – through us.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Finding well made, hand crafted furniture & accessories that people will love at an affordable price – the search is never ending.

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large open bowls

I know you actively engage with Twitter ‚Äď this is, in fact, how we first met ‚Äď and so I‚Äôm wondering if you have any social media advice for other small business owners. How has social media impacted your business?

There isn’t a better way than social media to get your name and business out there! I’d have to say firstly be true to yourself, be consistent in the amount you tweet or Instagram or blog, engage regularly with others on topics other than your business that interest you. Be helpful. Remember that is how we connected? Two women obsessing over fiddle leaf ficus and other indoor plants. Imagine – we connected via plants which led us to our love of design!

I am having so much fun with social media I’ve decided to take it to more of a personal level by visiting someone once a month in the city that I’ve connected with. It’s the reason we’re all on board right – to help promote each other!

***

Thanks so much for sharing a part of your story, Deborah and David!

Readers, browse Green Light District and find Deborah and David on Twitter and Instagram.

Design: The Princess Margaret Oakville Showhome Designed by Brian Gluckstein

Brian Gluckstein. Damn, he’s good.

This past weekend, Brian Gluckstein and the Princess Margaret Welcome Home¬†Sweepstakes¬†invited a group of bloggers to attend Brunch with Brian at this year’s Oakville Showhome.¬†Our private event included an¬†detailed tour led by¬†Brian, delicious food by Chef Logan,¬†drinks from Pluck Teas and¬†Rosewood Wine, and an amusing Q & A session with the man of the hour.

So,¬†let’s go on a photo tour, shall we?

The foyer and grand staircase in the Oakville showhome is beautiful.¬†It reminds me of¬†entrances I’ve seen in France. I love the iron railing¬†and¬†the massive windows. The light in this foyer – and throughout the house –¬†is¬†enviable.

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front foyer with grand staircase and herringbone porcelain tiles

Just off the foyer is one of my favourite spots in the house (but too¬†dark for White Cabana). Believe it or not, the all-black powder room really caught my attention. Luckily, the dark powder room has¬†natural light coming through, which makes it more moody than dreary. The tile work also reminded me of European homes. (Sorry, I don’t have any photos to post. You’ll have to go to the showhome to see what I’m talking about!)

Just to the left of the foyer is the grand living room. The see-through fireplace that connects the front foyer to the living room is a beautiful addition. It was manufactured in and shipped over from Portugal. Classic shades of cream made this space bright and classy, and the floor-to-ceiling windows are impressive.

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white mantle in the front living room

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the see-through mantle in the front foyer

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bright and white in the living room

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the living room and dining room viewed from the staircase

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Q & A session with Brian Gluckstein

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How many pot lights around the perimeter?

Everyone and their sister is talking about the indoor tree in this showhome. Yes, an actual tree…planted in the ground! I was fascinated by Brian’s explanation about the amount of thought¬†went into this tree; flooring, ventilation, etc. were all¬†considered when Brian designed this¬†room around the tree. I’m such a sucker for offices, as you may know, and¬†this one is stunning.

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a house built around a tree

This house is full of interesting art and gorgeous skylights.

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one of the many beautiful pieces of art

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 one of the many skylights

The kitchen’s toaster wall is completely unique. The collection of toasters from the 1930s turned into a beautiful art installation and feature wall in the reasonably-sized¬†white kitchen.

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toasters – just for looks

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there’s a fridge behind these doors

Of course, the La Cornue stove adds to the beauty in this space. I could make killer scrambled eggs on that gem, I’m sure!

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La Cornue + Pluck Teas

There is more delight upstairs. The master bedroom is big and airy. The white bedding and layers of pillows add luxury to this space, the sofa adds comfort, and the walk-in-closet is, well, pretty much perfect.

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white linens in the master bedroom

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creamy details in the master bedroom

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Who wouldn’t love this closet?

Brian is a wizard when it comes to bathroom design. The tile work in each bathroom in this house (I lost count of how many there actually are…six maybe?) is something to¬†really note. The master bathroom is generously sized and the layout is flipped. Here, the vanity is in front of the windows and the bathtub is floating on the other end.¬†I loved it when Brian talked about the affordable route he took to install the vanity¬†mirrors. Brian and affordability – not the combo you’d¬†really predict, right?¬†Although it looks like the mirrors are framed in steel, they’re actually framed in painted wood. The bars are made of shower rod¬†holders and¬†pipes. That’s where the affordability ended, though. The cast iron Kohler bathtub costs a pretty penny! It’s the same one that Brian has in his own home.

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here I am in the master bathroom

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double vanity surrounded by natural light

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white monogrammed towels in the bathroom

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floating Kohler tub in the master bathroom

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floor tiles in the master bathroom

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my favourite light fixture in the house

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the jack-and-jill bathroom vanity

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here I am in the white jack-and-jill bathroom

Also upstairs is a sweet little office. Brian maximized storage¬†in here with floor-to-ceiling shelves. In fact, this space was originally a hallway, but Brian suggested that the walls be bumped out (and a foot taken from each of the rooms on the other side of the walls) to make it a useable room. The skylight provides loads of natural light. And, yes, I could see myself working in here as well. I’m a sucker for offices, remember?

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a white hallway leading to the office area

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a bright place to work on the second floor

Another one of my favourite spaces in this house is the wine cellar. Just look at it.

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I want one.

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 Brian, the wine cellar, and the exercise room

You can work off the calories you drink in your private exercise room.

The basement family¬†room is¬†darker than I normally like, but I’m wondering if this is something I should consider for my own basement. Would I dare go dark? The white matting on the gallery wall art brightens up the room as does the sofa and the lighting.

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the basement family room (it doesn’t feel like a basement, does it?)

The white and grey laundry room in the basement is spacious and has top of the line machines. The cabinetry, we learned, is from a big box store that was painted and framed with additional moulding.

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laundry room details

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the spacious laundry room in white and grey

Brian was kind enough to take photos with all his blogger fans. Here we are…

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 Brian Gluckstein and Jordana

Other things I learned during #BrunchWithBrian that might interest you:

1. Brian eats the same breakfast every day: yogurt and berries. Brian, I eat the same thing every day, too (toast, berries, and a latte).
2. Brian enjoys Pinterest just like the rest of us!
3. About 60-70K people come through the Oakville showhome each year.
4. Brian¬†can’t imagine a space without art.
5. Brian reads the blog The Blue Remembered Hills.
6. Brian’s design influences include Billy Baldwin, Jean-Michel Frank, Edwin¬†Lutyens, and Kalef Alaton.
7. It took less than a year to buy the Oakville showhome lot, demolish the original house, build a new house, and decorate it.
8. Brian did not shy away from mixing metals in this house.
9. Brian is as classy, approachable, and intelligent as you may imagine.
10. The foyer drapes are 30 feet in length and the trim is made of one continuous piece.

As if you need any more convincing! Order your ticket!

Photos by Jordana. For more photos (really beautiful ones) of the Oakville showhome, click here.

To see the 2013 Oakville showhome design by Brian Gluckstein, click here.
Remember the time I toured the GlucksteinHome design office? That was fun.

Many thanks to Brian Gluckstein, Cheryl K., Laura Z., Chef Logan, Rosewood Wine, Pluck Teas, and the Princess Margaret Lottery Foundation for hosting a classy and fun brunch.

Event: BlogPodium 2014 is this Saturday!

Every year at around this time, design and lifestyle bloggers gather in Toronto for BlogPodium. Led by Jennifer Flores, and organized by a crew of talented people, BlogPodium gives bloggers and brands the opportunity to take their conversations offline. Yes, of course there will be lots of Twittering and Instagraming going on during¬†this Saturday’s BlogPodium, but I know I’m not alone in saying that one of the best things about the event will be the face-to-face¬†conversations.

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There is so much to look forward to this year. I have no doubt that these speakers, these sponsors, and these exhibitors will make for a rich and informative day at the historic Fairmont Royal York.

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 via

I’m especially looking forward to this year’s BlogPodium because¬†my first ever ceramics collaboration with Toronto’s Inspirations Studio will be up for¬†auction. Here’s a teeny peek:

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 White Cabana + Inspirations Studio

In addition, I will be presenting for the second time at BlogPodium. My roundtable discussion, titled Blog Writing 101: Crafting a cohesive, concise, and conversational post, will be centred on how to write effective and credible blog posts.

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I’ll be sure to share a recap of the big day in the weeks that follow. If you are itching for the play-by-play, follow along¬†via Twitter and Instagram.

p.s. I haven’t yet figured out my outfit.
p.p.s. Walk down memory lane Рread my posts about BlogPodium 2012 and BlogPodium 2013.

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

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

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

 

Art: Citizen Atelier

If you haven’t already come across Canada’s art shop Citizen Atelier, let me introduce it to you.

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Citizen Atelier was founded by art dealer and PR pro Alessandra Salituri with the help of her web whiz cousin Gabriel McCay. Alessandra curates a highly interesting collection of art from around the world and the pieces in her online shop are certainly unique.

Although there are many dreamy pieces at Citizen Atelier, these are some of my most favourite works that are currently in the shop.

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Amy Friend – Atlantic City, 1948, $695-$1495 (Canada)

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Amy Friend – They Still Bloom, $695-$1495 (Canada)

Amy Friend‘s pieces¬†are delightfully sparkly.

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Georgianna Lane – Versailles Chandelier III, $75-$175, (USA)

Speaking of sparkle, Georgianna Lane‘s collection of photographs from Versailles are so uber-glam and sharp.¬†These images make me want to just go ahead and book a flight to France!

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Krysztof Wladyka – Animaly 15, $825-$2850 (Poland)

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Krysztof Wladyka – Animaly 22, $825-$2850 (Poland)

Krysztof Wladyka‘s animal prints are whimsical,¬†dreamy, and completely amusing.¬†I love pretty much every one of them because they are so out of the ordinary. Come on, that elephant? Awesome, yes?

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Vanessa Paxton – Ballerina I, $120 (Canada)

Vanessa Paxton‘s collection of ballerinas¬†are at once¬†strong and delicate. There’s serene movement in Paxton’s¬†images, and I can see them making a dramatic addition to a bedroom.

I encourage you to go ahead and click on through to the artists’¬†bios. You will¬†be completely¬†impressed with the artists’ experiences, awards, and educational achievements. I totally was!

So how exactly do these gorgeous¬†pieces of art look in real rooms? Have a look at some of the photos from¬†Citizen Atelier‘s lookbook (styled by Christine of¬†Bijou and Boheme, photos by Toronto-based photographer¬†Ashley Capp).

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art by Antonio Mora

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art by Ashley Woodson Bailey

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art by Michael Wou

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Alessandra Salituri

I was thrilled when Citizen Atelier’s owner Alessandra Salituri agreed to answer a few of my questions about her work and approach to design. Read¬†on to learn about Citizen Atelier’s¬†beginning and what inspires Alessandra.

Jordana: How did Citizen Atelier come to be? 

Alessandra: I have always had a love for interior design and art. My mother is a painter and I grew up in a creative environment, attending art fairs and gallery openings. Becoming an art dealer was a natural progression. Though even in that line of work, I always felt there few places to purchase art in Canada that fit my style and also offered the option of some affordable pieces. Over the years and through my travels in Europe and the US, I had come across the work of some very talented international artists. I wanted to share their pieces with a Canadian audience.

J: Where did¬†the¬†name “Citizen Atelier” come from?

A:¬†The name was very much inspired by my hometown, Montreal. In the city, having your own atelier where you produce creative work, whether it be art, jewelry and sculpture, is quite common. I too have an atelier where I store and display the work of artists I represent. I wanted the store to feel homey and approachable, as though you were spending an afternoon touring a friend‚Äôs French-inspired studio. And I liked the word ‚ÄúCitizen‚ÄĚ because I wanted the name to have a little edge to it. Citizen Atelier literally means ‚Äúthe people‚Äôs studio.‚ÄĚ

J: What three words would you use to describe Citizen Atelier?

A: I would say that three words that I hope define the brand are dreamy, luxurious and accessible.

‚ÄúDreamy‚ÄĚ because I have always been attracted to art that has a magical quality. A lot of the work in the atelier is surrealist photographs where the photographer explores the inner world of dreams and their intersection with reality. I personally have filled my home with this type of art and find it inspires me to live my best life.

‚ÄúLuxurious‚ÄĚ because I wanted to ensure that every piece in the atelier was special and made with the highest-quality materials, like long-lasting archival canvases and Hahnem√ľhle photo rag paper which has a beautiful smooth surface. I also wanted to offer some pieces, even large-scale statement artworks, at a more accessible price point.

J: How do you go about curating the Citizen Atelier collection?

A: My vision for Citizen Atelier was bringing together both well-established and emerging artists/photographers from across the world. I pick the art based on what I would have in my own home (and my home is actually filled with many pieces from the store!). I found the artists and photographers while visiting galleries, attending art fairs, searching online and some I had previously collaborated with as an art dealer. It took a year for me to curate the initial collection. The exciting thing is the site is ever-evolving and we have some wonderful artists/photographers joining the atelier throughout the summer and fall.

J: What is the best part of your job?

A: The best part of my job is definitely meeting and connecting with the artists. They are all such creative and kind individuals who chart their own path. There’s also such a thrill in finding new artists and photographers whose portfolio takes my breath away. And getting to work with my only cousin who does the website design and development is such a blessing too. We were born one week apart and live on opposite ends of the country. It allows us to keep connected on a regular basis!

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

A: The most challenging part is probably balancing it all! With Citizen Atelier, I wear numerous hats: creative director, marketing manager, (learning-as-you-go) financial officer! I also work as a public relations consultant for a Montreal firm. It requires a lot of organization and long hours. At the end of the day though I am lucky to be doing work that is creatively stimulating and makes me happy. You’ll often find me at my favourite coffee shop on a Sunday brainstorming on how to make Citizen Atelier the best it can be. I do try to fit in as much downtime when I can, whether it be playing tennis, dinners in Montreal’s Le Plateau neighbourhood or relaxing with a pile of magazines and my dog! 

J: Describe your favourite space in your home.

A: My favourite space in my home is definitely my bedroom. It has a monochromatic palette with a lot of white and textures like faux-fur throws and wood furniture. I wanted to keep the design minimalist and serene to have a quiet place to relax in at the end of the day. My room faces a local park so my favourite part is definitely feeling like I live in a cozy little treehouse!

***

Alessandra, thank you so much for sharing¬†the¬†Citizen Atelier¬†story¬†with us. I appreciate¬†your approach to curation and¬†commitment to a balanced¬†work life.¬†Like many of my¬†readers, I’m sure, I am inspired by¬†places and people¬†I come across in my travels, and I love how art completes (or inspires) a space. How fun (and difficult) it is to fill your shop with such beautiful pieces of art!

Many thanks to Alessandra. 

Marketplace: Hamel Broom Co. in St. Jacobs, Ontario

In a couple of days, I’ll be celebrating my one year anniversary of home ownership. Yay! The past year has been rewarding, happy, and full of hard DIY work. I’ve loved it! Sure,¬†it’s been a year, and¬†I still have artwork to hang, and walls to paint, but¬†my home has been transformed and I’m so pleased with the progress.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I moved to Waterloo a year ago. I think I had only been to visit¬†twice before I started house shopping! I had zero sense of direction, and I really didn’t have a clue as to what the city or region had to offer (no, not a scary move or house purchase at all). Thankfully, I have really enjoyed discovering this region¬†of Ontario! The people here are so¬†nice, it’s easy to get around, there’s no traffic (except maybe from 5-5:30pm on some roads), and my quality of life has¬†been¬†pretty darn great.

The village of St. Jacobs is about 10km from where I live. Tia and I rode our bikes there recently¬†(along paths from Uptown Waterloo – amazing!), and I try to make regular trip to the St. Jacobs farmers’ market and antique shops.

When my parents came for a visit a few weeks, I took them to the village of St. Jacobs. I was completely amused when they picked up their walking pace and headed quickly into Hamel Brooms. Apparently my parents love corn brooms. Who knew?

Hamel-Brooms-St-Jacobs-White-Cabana-1Hamel-Brooms-St-Jacobs-White-Cabana-2I had never been into Hamel Brooms, and I was completely mesmerized by the broom making process (owner John Davenport makes them by hand!). I encourage you to watch this video of broom making.

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screen shot from video

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screen shot from video

If you’re in the area, I encourage you to visit Hamel Brooms (and buy a broom, too). It¬†is in the old blacksmith shop, and the floors in the¬†place are crazy cool. Unfortunately, I don’t have a really good photo of them, but just imagine almost¬†flattened chunky trees (knots and all).

Photos by Jordana and video from JLM.

Event: Wine, Thai, & Blogger Time

Last weekend, a bunch of bloggers got together at Melissa’s (The Sweet Escape) fun and colourful loft for a wine tasting event sponsored by local favourites Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai.¬†Lucky us, right?

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The first wine¬†was¬†Union Gold and this stack of white plates didn’t stay empty for long.

Andrew von Teichman from Union Wines was on hand to teach us about four varieties of wines (gold, white, noir, & red) and to make sure our glasses were never empty! Union is a virtual winery owned and operated by Andrew and his partner Allan Jackson (former owner of Jackson-Triggs), and it sources all grapes from the Niagara region. All Union wine varieties are less than $20 a bottle and are available at select LCBO stores.

The chefs¬†from Toronto’s Linda Modern Thai served up some delicious nibbles¬†that paired extremely well with the four wines we tasted over the course of the afternoon.

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Union Wines and Linda Modern Thai made an excellent pair.

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Melissa’s home has so many beautiful vintage details.

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Melissa’s¬†milk glass collection looks amazing on her floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Read Melissa’s recap of the afternoon¬†(her photos are much more colourful than mine) and see her beautiful home in Covet Garden Home. Thanks for¬†hosting, Melissa, and thanks for spoiling us, Union & Linda!

Photos by Jordana.

Design: Mirrors in the Princess Margaret Home Lottery Showhome

What did you think of yesterday’s tour of the¬†Princess Margaret Home Lottery Vaughan showhome? One thing I didn’t mention was that the house¬†was full of mirrors! Just full of ’em. They were practically calling my name and screaming “selfie, selfie”. Ha ha. I couldn’t resist taking a few…

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white, black, and gold in the dining room

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unframed mirror in an ensuite bath

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framed mirror back in the kitchen’s desk area

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floating, back-to-back mirrors in the master bath

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roman numeral framed mirror in the stairwell

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sleek rectangle mirror & small grey tiles in the teen retreat

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studs near the laundry room

I’m so bad at taking iPhone selfies (I seem to always need both hands), but I love that, with these photos, I can highlight the mirrors and show off tiles and other design details through the reflections.

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.

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first floor hallway

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details in the dining room Рmoulding & art

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main floor family room – beside the kitchen

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open concept kitchen

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white bathroom ensuite – 2nd floor

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the elevator (yes, an elevator!)

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substantial doors throughout the home

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high ceilings & crown moulding

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

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

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

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

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beautiful view from the lanai

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hakwood floors & oversized armchairs in the library

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winged art sculptures

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one of the 2nd floor bedrooms with ensuite

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

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his & her toilet rooms in the master bathroom

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door & floor details

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the runway room

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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.

20 Below: Drip Maple Syrup

I LOVE waffles. Love ’em. I also love maple syrup. Put those two together and you’ve got a perfect (any time of day?) meal. Yum. Yum. Yum.

I read about Drip maple syrup in the LCBO’s recent Food & Drink. Great packaging, beautiful website, and I am sure Drip’s maple syrup is pretty darn delicious.

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The three maple syrup varieties Рblond, copper, amber Рare each $20 and can be purchased online.

Marketplace: Caviar20

Taking a tour of Troy’s online shop, Caviar20, always puts me in a good mood. Caviar20 is a beautiful site filled with unique pieces. Here are a few of my current faves…

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giant leaf floor sculpture, $1250 (A modern Christmas tree, perhaps?)

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Fornasetti “Temi e Variazione” #39 plate, $425 (Troy¬†always¬†has an awesome Fornasetti collection.)

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set of op-art highball glasses, $225

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Alissa Cole brass table lamps, $4800

And now…I’m going to buy a lottery ticket!

 

 

Marketplace: Christmas at EQ3

Yup – the shops are in full-on Christmas mode (and have been since November 1st, right?)! Let’s have a look at a few of the goodies that Winnipeg-based¬†EQ3 has to offer this year…

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Christopher decorative tree, $19.99

 

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owl ornament, $14.99 for 3g3nAizCQuzUUu_B4UMEWOCRr53QfMlnIVN4G3oi0D4M

 

Radiate paper star, $7.99

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Marimekko fabric – Kuusikossa

Note: Marimekko fabric is 25% off until November 25th at select EQ3 stores in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Winnipeg.