Canadian

Marketplace: Drake General Store

Still on the hunt for a cool Christmas gift for (insert the name of your favourite person who you haven’t yet bought for)? If you’re in Toronto then it’ll be worth your while to visit Drake General Store. The shop is full of quirky, interesting, amusing, and Canadiana products that are sure to fulfill your favourite (insert person)’s wish list.

ceramic cactus, $22

p’tite poutine bowl, $24

hidden owl mug, $32

countdown clock, $135

Winter: Real Snowflake

We had our first snowfall of the season this past weekend. Light flurries began on Friday and while I was walking to my car after work I noticed a few snowflakes landed on me and stayed long enough for me to snap a couple of photos. This snowflake, in particular, caught me by surprise as it is shaped like a star.

photo by me (not altered)

Pretty amazing, don’t you agree?

Marketplace: EQ3 – Proudly Canadian

EQ3 is a Canadian furniture and home decor design company that strives to offer well-crafted and highly attractive products which are (mostly) made in Canada. I think EQ3 has a lot of great things to offer in terms of their inventory as well as in its design aesthetic and business philosophy. While you discover EQ3’s collection, be sure you don’t miss out on the work by some of my design favourites – Marimekko, Vitra, Alessi, and Herman Miller.

EQ3 Oblong Lamp

EQ3 Mini Table Lamp White

Marimekko Lumimarja Pillow Case

EQ3+ Vitra Elephant White

Images courtesy of EQ3. EQ3 locations.

Marketplace: Animal Cutting Boards

It’s no secret that we have an interest in decorating with fake animals in recent years. Remember my growing menagerie? I love the quirky appeal of these animal cutting boards from Quebec design company Brut Design. They would make perfect hostess and birthday gifts, don’t you think?

polar bear cutting board, $60, Brut Design

white beaver cutting board, Brut Design

These and other Canadian-made products are available for purchase at Galerie CO.

To do: The Design Exchange

Here’s something for the upcoming rainy weekend in Toronto: check out the new and ongoing exhibits at the city’s  Design Exchange (DX).

Located in the spectacular space formerly the hectic trading floor of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Design Exchange “is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the pursuit of design excellence and preservation of design heritage.”

I highly recommend dropping by to see what’s in house and on display at the DX, and if you have no time for a proper tour, the gift shop is a mecca of cool finds, unique books and design gifts. I’ve always found a DX visit inspiring and refreshing and I know if you’re reading this blog, you’ll like your visit.

A few current exhibits you will enjoy at the DX:

Vertical Urban Factory, Sep. 3- Dec. 9. Looking at more than 30 factories to consider their integration within urban settings such as Detroit and New York, with case studies such as the American Apparel factory in L.A. and the VW “Transparent” factory in Dresden, Germany. (paid exhibit)

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge, Sep. 13 – Dec. 9. “Design meets practical application. Examples: From ARUP’s Hermès Building featuring the work of Renzo Piano Architects in Tokyo, Japan and their York University Subway Station with Foster and Partners in Toronto, to Daniel Libeskind’s Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, to Cast Connex’s seismic technology that will be included in New York City’s World Trade Center 3 design.” (included with general admission, about $10)

Permanent/ongoing exhibit –  the Must-See:

DXUNCRATED

This exhibit features iconic pieces from the Design Exchange’s permanent collection, which celebrates Canada’s rich industrial design history from 1945 to the present. Spanning over five decades, the Design Exchange’s permanent collection covers more than six hundred industrial design objects and archival materials including furniture, housewares, textiles, electronics, and lighting. DXUNCRATED illustrates political, technological, and social changes that occurred following World War II to present day. Items on display will include the famous Clairtone Project G Stereo (pictured below), Thomas Lamb’s Steamer Chair, and Russel Spanner’s Dining Chair.

The Clairtone Project G stereo produced by Clairtone from 1964-7 is a Canadian design icon

To celebrate all that is design and Canadian ingenuity, this year’s annual fundraising party coincides with the DX’s relaunch on November 16, featuring interactive design installations, fancy food from celebrity chefs, and today’s big names in Canadian design. Find out more here.

20 Below: Penny Paper Co. Packaging

The Penny Paper Co. is a Toronto-based stationery supply company owned by Lindsay Stephenson (of Little House Blog and BlogPodium fame). I’ve had my eye on her custom stamps for a while but I have only recently noticed these sweet cream-coloured drawstring bags.

large cotton drawstring bag, $6.25

Use them plain for wrapping small gifts or personalize them, fill them, and use them as party favours. Time to get crafty!

Forging French doors

This week I had the most exciting time meeting and getting to know one of Canada’s foremost window dressers, Philip Minaker. Having created hundreds of major storefront windows during more than 25 years as a style director for many iconic Canadian and international retailers in Toronto and his home town of Winnipeg, Philip is a fascinating individual unlike any other.

His boundless creativity and problem-solving know-how are only surpassed by his sweet and fun personality. Philip is a fashion force and he’s put on countless runway shows and deconstructed trends working for various styling and retail roles at The Bay, BCBG, Lipton’s, Eaton’s, Mondi, Parachute, and the list goes on and on.

He is known for his stunning sales-boosting windows and his ‘let me show you’ philosophy about sharing his fashion knowledge. His windows are known to increase sales; a job well done, then. Look for his work coming up at Toronto’s downtown Josephson’s in the next few weeks- he told me that he’s currently fabricating the set pieces for the fall windows.

Beyond having a keen eye for styling, trends and balance, Philip is an incredibly talented artist and he creates much of what you see in his displays. Today’s French doors featured below are an example of his incredibly simple take on getting what you need: make it yourself.

When I met Philip on the weekend during his first of two moving sales, he invited me in his home where he has these gorgeous antique French doors behind a bed (those aren’t for sale, though, sorry! but just DIY for these and drop in on Philip’s second sale for other very cool stuff).

These gorgeous French doors are not real; they’re two large format prints of doors that are glued to large pieces of foam. The antique look is truly outstanding and the quality of the print here is just right, working in favour of achieving that natural aged look that the doors have.

The best part about all this is that they weigh nothing! They’re made of foam! You know, the inch-and-a-half rectangle sheets of white foam from the craft store. So simple. Philip told me that he cut the print and foam in the curved shape at the top and he has another piece that creates an archway to really bring it all together. I think they are spectacular just like this.

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Images courtesy of me via Philip Minaker

You’ll want to be there for Philip’s second moving sale in a few weeks, September 13-16: he is parting with some of his window dressing treasures including props, decorative urns, industrial art, art hangings and artist canvasses, art that he has created, beautiful vintage mannequins, and so much more.

You’ll love meeting Philip- just drop in to say hi and check out all the fascinating pieces of his career that he’s selling to new good homes, and meanwhile take a look at his moving sale ad on Kijiji– lots more pics there to see what he’s got on the floor (including Herman Miller La Fonda chairs…).

Marketplace: Fierce Deer

Last weekend I attended the Home County Folk Festival here in London. There’s a festival almost every weekend here in the city but I think Home County might just be my favourite. The music is great, the crowd is relaxed, and there are always some creative vendors. This year I was most attracted to the pretty jewelry and the lace and vintage window display at Fierce Deer, a Toronto-based shop owned by Kate Swan.

pretty white lace backdrops at Fierce Deer

the Fierce Deer earring collection displayed on lace-backed vintage windows

Fierce Deer necklace charms

pretty knobs (remember this post?) hold necklaces

silver-plated necklace

a cup full of charms that are used for custom design

a creative vintage display at Fierce Deer

it’s the details – like the consistent deer theme – that make this shop so charming

Kate’s white cat – brings the shop good luck!

what I walked away with – a tiny bear on a long chain necklace – a must for my menagerie

It was great to meet Kate and to explore her charming jewelry shop. If you’d like to see more – go on and visit Fierce Deer.

Photos by Jordana.

At the cottage

This week I’m writing my White Wednesday post from our family’s beautiful cottage in the Haliburton Highlands, which is really just on the edge of Muskoka in Ontario. We’re on Livingstone Lake- a small, quiet lake near the quaint town of Dorset.

I came up here this week for a few days to relax and help out my dad who is building me a stunning canoe made from a cedar tree on our property that he cut and milled into cedar planks. The canoe has a ribbed interior that is now undergoing coats of clear varnish and its exterior is wrapped in a canvas that is coated with various fillers before being painted its final hue: a brilliant vermilion red! (My colour choice).

Today I share with you a few white things that caught my eye around here and give you a glimpse into the most special place in my life and the canoe that is nearly done.

There are all kinds of species of trees here, including birch (pictured above).

I quite like exploring clusters of trees, especially a magical spot where tall hemlock trees

create a very high canopy that prevents much underbrush from growing. Birch trees

let a lot of light through their leaves and many ferns and saplings grow underneath.

When you’re out on the Canadian Shield you’ll find lots of rocks

and since my dad is a geologist, rocks have always been in our viewfinder.

This is a piece of white granite that is a decoration in my stepmom’s garden bed.

These are the tips of kayak paddles. I grew up in cottage country in Québec and Ontario

and my dad is a perpetual sportsman, having always loved and sought adventure. He taught me how

to ‘Eskimo roll’ back in my early teens and we went down a river in kayaks when I was barely

barely 13 years old. We still have the kayaks and I paddled them last month.

Ta-da! Here is my canoe wrapped in canvas and coated in a white sealant.

It’s sitting like this under the deck drying for a few weeks and then

we’ll apply another coat of sealant

This is a closeup that shows the strokes of the paintbrush from coating the canvas

with white ‘stuff’ that has the effect of an egg shell finish, and the interior ribs sticking

out until they’re trimmed where the gunnels will be.

This is the can of filler that was brushed onto the canvas on the canoe

This is one end of the canoe and if you know your canoes, you’ll recognize the shape- it’s a Prospector.

This boat is slightly modified and built to be strong, fast and hold a good amount of camping gear.

Shifting, gears, we use a four-stroke motor to putter across the lake in an aluminum boat

during the in-between seasons when our regular ‘big’ boat is in storage for the winter.

I really like the type for this number four

This large buoy prevents us from accidentally scratching the hull of the boat

as we dock it. Not that we really *need* the bumpers but… just in case

Our cottage is off-grid and water-access, so learning how to tie knots is important.

Talk to seafaring folks and they’ll never call a rope a rope- it’s a ‘line’. A line can be used

for just about anything- I always keep one kicking around. I’ve been taught how

to tie a bowline knot but I always forget how, and this self-strengthening figure eight

is never quite right when I do it. My dad did this one when I arrived on Monday afternoon

and mine didn’t look nearly as nice.. so it’s not pictured

This is a danger warning sticker on the boat’s dashboard:

Warning! do not put your feet into the propeller. Ouch :S

I’ve been treated to beautiful sun and puffy white clouds this week.

I took this quick pic off the dock while looking for white stuff;

I’m hoping that when Jordana does make it up here for a visit she’ll

show me all the white things I’ve missed in today’s cottage tour for you all.

Happy summer, everyone!

Art: Abstract and Affordable

It seems that we’ve got summer activities and art on our brains this week. I was browsing through the amazing work of some Etsy artists last night in hopes that I would find inspiration for the three blank canvases that are waiting for me (this was the last piece I painted – a year ago!). What do you think of the works I’ve gathered here?

$50, Adriane Duckworth

$280, Tainted Canvas

$325, Letter Happy

$260, Linda Monfort

$81, Lulu & Drew

Do you buy original art? Do you always have a budget?

Or, do you prefer to make your own?

20 Below: Swim Goggles

I almost forgot that today was Tuesday. Oops. I guess I was still in long weekend mode!

Yesterday I learned that there’s a 50m outdoor pool just a 15 minute walk from where I live. Yeah – how did I miss that one, right? (I mean, I knew it was there but I assumed it was a regular 25m pool.) So last night I ventured out and I’m so glad I did because I had a great swim!

One of the things I love about the sport of swimming is that it is quite an affordable sport – all you need is a swimsuit and goggles. These are lightweight and require minimal storage which is an added bonus in my opinion. These look like my goggles except mine are navy (gasp!).

Speedo Hydrospex swim goggles, $19.99, Sport Chek

Another thing I learned – there’s an entrance fee for the public outdoor pools in London, Ontario. I wasn’t expecting this because I’ve always taken advantage of Toronto’s free access outdoor pools. How about in your neighbourhood? Are outdoor pools free of charge?

The Friday Five: Mugs

Do you have set criteria for the mugs you use? Do they all match? Or are they random? Does size matter? Colour? Shape? My mugs have one thing in common – they’re white (or mostly white). Surprised?

white and black J mug from Anthropologie

white and black J mug from Chapters Indigo (thanks Shannon!)

white mug from GlucksteinHome (thanks GH Team!)

black and white mug from Gstaad (featuring a scherenschnitte design)

black and white mug from Beauty’s in Montreal

I hope you all enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea!) in the summer sunshine this weekend. Enjoy!

Note: You can see I’ve been enjoying many meals and tea breaks on my balcony except for one day when it was raining.

Photos by me.

Celebration: Father's Day at Urban Barn

Although Urban Barn is advertising their Belvedere recliner as the perfect Father’s Day gift, I’d say that more than just dads would like lounging in something like this.

Belvedere recliner, $1199, Urban Barn

If you’re interested in a chance to win a recliner (or an Urban Barn chair of your choice), go ahead and “like” Urban Barn’s Facebook page and share your story about why your dad is number one.

Garden: Urban Barn Plant Pots

I mentioned on Twitter a little while ago that I was trying to grow herbs (from seeds) for the very first time. While I ended up killing a lot of the small plants when I tried to transplant them (I thought I was doing them a favour by spreading them out), a few of them actually survived and are slowly growing. While I don’t have enough basil to make pesto and if I break off some parsley for garnish I’d have nothing left, I’m excited to have even just a teeny tiny bit of fresh herbs on my balcony.

But that’s not all! I have also decided to grow tomato plants. I know, I know. Who grows tomatoes on a balcony? Well, I thought I’d give it a try and even though I have yet to see even a smidgen of cherry red, the bit of greenery compliments my herbs quite nicely.

And lucky me – Urban Barn recently sent over some amazing white plant pots (en français) to support my cause! Bye bye terracotta, hello white!

my small-but-mighty tomato plants – in Urban Barn’s Le Jardinier pot

Gloxina plant (I think) – in Urban Barn’s Le Jardinier plant pot

There is much more to the Le Jardinier (which means gardener, by the way) collection than the two pots in the photos above. I’ll soon be transferring my herbs into some of the ones below and hopefully they’ll have a growth spurt soon!

Le Jardinier Planter – small : $12.00, large: $22.00

Le Jardinier Handle Pot – small: $7.00, large: $14.00


Le Jardinier Handle Pot – set of 3: $12.00

Photos by Jordana and courtesy of Urban Barn. Many thanks to Robbyn W. for arranging to have these pots sent my way.

Note: If you would like tips on growing herbs indoors, read this article by Sharalee on Chatelaine.com.

The Friday Five: Black & White at Caviar20

As you know, we’re a big fan of Caviar20 around here. I’m always excited to see what Troy has in store and recently I’ve been drawn to some impressive works of art. The black and white pieces by Canadian artists Harold Town, Charles Pachter and Kent Monkman are of diverse subjects and styles but I think they actually look great together for today’s Friday Five!

Harold Town “Gable & Crawford” Litho, $1400

Harold Town “Yoko Ono” Litho, $1650

Harold Town “Toy Horse” ink drawing, $1500

Charles Pachter “Untitled Portrait”, $3500

Kent Monkman “Study of Apollo & Hyacinthus”, $4500

If colour is more your thing – then be sure to check out Troy’s segment on House & Home TV where he shares his advice for collecting art. Very interesting stuff (even though there’s not much white in the clip)!

Architecture: Squish Studio

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

And here is its wicked exterior:

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

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

Reading: The Lab Magazine

I feel a bit sad that I neglected Issue 5 of The Lab Magazine for a couple of months. I was pumped when it first arrived (many thanks to Tony for sending it my way) and I had a good initial browse through it. But then my life became quite hectic and I have barely been at home to really sit and review it. So this past weekend I made it a priority to spend some good quality time with Issue 5.

I have to admit that even though actor Willem Dafoe is on the cover of this issue, when I first got a hold of The Lab Magazine I was actually more attracted to the large format, the shiny gold lettering, and the quality of the paper of this Canadian (woohoo!) publication. I’m such a sucker for beautifully crafted works.

The magazine’s stories and photos are beautifully and artistically arranged which made it a true pleasure to read. And because I’m not as much of a movie or music buff as my friend Drew (who initially introduced me to the Lab), I learned a lot about the lives of some pretty fascinating actors (e.g., Ty Burrell, Shailene Woodley, Greta Gerwig) and musicians (e.g., Electric Youth, Hey Ocean!). (Have I mentioned before how much I like to learn new things?)

While each article has its unique appeal, I really enjoyed the Making the Shoot story toward the end of this issue. The Making the Shoot, an international competition, invited photographers to submit their work for judging. The grand prize – a full editorial shoot – is featured in this issue. Marta Dymek, the winner, was flown to Los Angeles to photograph Selma Blair (amazing) and the results of this shoot are beautiful. I’ve included a sneak peek here and as you can see Marta’s photos of Selma are simply stunning in this editorial spread (if you want to see more – buy a copy!).

Kudos to Editors in Chief Justin Tyler Close and Jeremy Power Regimbal and their team for The Lab Magazine! It’s apparent that a lot of thought and effort went into this – and I’m sure every – issue.

Notes: The Lab Magazine is available at Barnes and Noble, Chapters, and news stands across the world. Stay tuned for more of their online presence. Thanks to Tony for sending me this issue. Thanks to Drew Nelson for introducing me to The Lab Magazine. Photos of The Lab Magazine by Jordana.

Canadian: Hudson's Bay sans Stripes

Yes, it’s true, the Hudson’s Bay Company has become quite famous for its stripes. But I actually think this white city tote would be perfect for carrying my stuff to and from the beach (which I plan on doing a lot as soon as the weather cooperates!).

Hudson’s Bay canvas city tote, $50

p.s. I know it’s called a city tote but I’m not going to let the name restrict its possible functions. Call me crazy.

Marketplace: Ginger's

Ginger’s is one of the top places in Toronto to visit if you’re looking for exceptional bathroom fixtures, gorgeous hardware, and beautiful bathroom accessories. My mom and I popped in a couple of weeks ago and we were inspired by all the white and crystal pieces that filled the store.

You can see why I love this place so much, right? White, sparkle, and a little bit of glam – everything a bathroom needs!

Images by Jordana.

20 Below: Breakfast at The Bag Lady

One of my most favourite things to do in London is to have breakfast with friends at The Bag Lady. The colourful kitschy decor always entertains me, the servers are always smiling, and the food is delicious (try the peanut butter cookies – yum!). The plates at The Bag Lady are always mismatched but on one of my last visits I noticed that a collection of white serving pieces formed on our table. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo.

Breakfast at The Bag Lady, price varies but it’s always less than $20

So if you’re ever in London (Ontario), be sure to stop by for a bite to eat at The Bag Lady. Better yet – let me know you’re coming and I’ll meet you there!

Design: Seven Continents

adjustable wall display unit at Seven Continents

A few weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to have a guided tour of Seven Continents. This Canadian company, established in 1977 and based in Toronto, manufactures mannequins, bustforms, furniture and display fixtures for the likes of Victoria’s Secret and Nordstrom. When Brooklyn from Seven Continents invited me to tour the showroom and factory, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Mannequins might be cool, I thought, and I’m usually up for a new learning experience, but mannequins, really?

mannequin forms on display at the Seven Continents showroom

Anyway, I’m thrilled to say that visiting Seven Continents was a very fascinating experience for me!

Mannequins are everywhere in the Seven Continents building – in all sorts of forms and colours and at every stage of production.

Here are the getSMART and PM Sasha mannequins all finished and styled:

getSMART dressed by Cydelic by Choryin

The PM SASHA with Colette Harmon Jewelry

And here are some mannequins at various stages of production:

Here is Athena – in her most original form:

It appeared to me that the mannequins had personalities of their own and it seemed as though Brooklyn talked about them as if they were real people (I’m not going to lie – it did take me a bit of time to get used to seeing Athena and others all dressed and just hanging out around the building.) The dressed-up mannequins, many positioned as if holding intense conversations, didn’t seem to phase anyone in the office but me.

In addition to the various mannequin forms, Seven Continents designs and manufactures an ever-evolving collection of store fixtures and furniture.

The SPUNBOOTY fixtures, made out of bamboo, is a great collection to feature fashion accessories. The Bodality model is used for purses and the Ovality and Wavality duo is designed to display belts (and are not used as lamps, as I mistakenly thought!).

The SPUNBOOTY Collection

The showroom at Seven Continents includes a handful of pop shops where clients can see how the mannequins and store fixtures might be put to use in store. One of my favourite of these pop shops was the one below. The wall of movable wire arms really makes an impressive visual impact.

Pop Shop at Seven Continents

The factory floor at Seven Continents includes a group of dedicated technicians, engineers, painters, and upholsters who work together in an open, bright, and well-organized space. I was drawn to the rows of fabrics!

And there you have it – a very quick behind-the-scenes tour of the Seven Continents showroom and factory.

a collection of fixtures at Seven Continents

Many thanks to Brooklyn B. and the Seven Continents team for arranging my visit and for taking the time to show me around.

Photos by Jordana.

Celebration: La Pasquetta

Ah…Monday morning. I’m feeling a bit jealous of those people who have an extra day off today!

This weekend I learned that when my mom was growing up in Italy, Easter Monday – la Pasquetta – was a day for packing up the Easter Sunday leftovers and taking them to a space al fresco (outdoors) to have a picnic with family and friends.

I think Lorea Sinclaire’s Tiffin lunch kit would be perfect for a beautiful Easter Monday picnic, don’t you? Mind you – the way Italians tend to feast, we would need quite a few of these!

The Tiffin Lunch Kit by Canadian artist Lorea Sinclaire, photo taken at IDS2012 by Jordana

I would love to continue this tradition but work calls instead. How about you? Do you have the day off today? What are your plans?

p.s. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this Italian tradition before yesterday.

20 Below: Easter at Artistry Cards

One of our favourite eco-friendly Canadian stationery companies, Artistry Cards, has recently released a couple of sweet cards for Easter.

Origami Rabbits Easter Card, $4, Artistry Cards

Easter Egg Card, $4, Artistry Cards

Easter cards, $4 each, Artistry Cards

Good news! Artistry Cards is offering White Cabana readers a 10% discount on purchases made before Easter (April 8th, 2012). Enter ARTIST (all caps) at checkout. Click here to start shopping.

Office: GlucksteinHome

As a blogger I sometimes get the opportunity to do some pretty cool things. Most recently, I was invited to visit the Toronto offices of GlucksteinHome. (Hooray!)

I feel so grateful that the GlucksteinHome team stopped their work for a while (don’t tell Mr. Gluckstein) to show me around their all-white space. And of course I am thrilled to be able to share my photos with all of you.

White artwork at the GlucksteinDesign offices

GlucksteinHome product planning

Now, if you know the work of Brian Gluckstein, you know that he’s pretty much a traditionalist. Gorgeous neutral fabrics, rich woods, and perfectly placed accessories come together to create the most inviting spaces. What you may be surprised to learn is that the office space of the GlucksteinHome division is a super sleek, well-designed, modern, all-white work space that is filled, almost floor-to-ceiling, with IKEA products.

GlucksteinHome work station

Corner cabinet at the GlucksteinHome office

Amazing storage solutions at the GlucksteinHome office

A perfect meeting space

Organized Pantone colours for upcoming collections

Gorgeous fabric swatch

A lot of white paper at GlucksteinHome

Even the pushpins at the GlucksteinHome office are white and clear

Product designer Lauren hard at work

Lauren, me and Cheryl, the GlucksteinHome PR pro

Me at the GlucksteinHome office – with a little bit of Pantone colour

Yes – even the ceiling and wires are white. This makes me smile.

I feel so lucky that Cheryl, Lauren and the whole GlucksteinHome team welcomed me so warmly into their work environment. I have to admit that I’m pretty envious of their lovely white space. But of course, with Brian Gluckstein at the helm why should I expect anything less than perfection?

Many thanks to Cheryl and the whole team at GlucksteinHome for welcoming me in, showing me around, and treating me to an all around fabulous afternoon. 

Photos by Jordana.

20 Below: The Public Library

It has been one year since Nonno, my grandfather, passed away after living a very long and healthy life. One of Nonno’s favourite things to do was to go the library (St. Clair branch) to pick up the latest issues of Oggi and Gente. He always spoke so proudly of the librarians who helped him and of the things he got to read for free.

Today I’m encouraging you all to get a library card (or renew yours), to visit the library, to take a child to the library, and/or to donate $20 (or more) to your local public library.

membership to your local public library, free

It makes me so angry when I learn about libraries shutting down, denied funding, and being inaccessible. This is one resource that I don’t think we can afford to lose.

To donate:

London Public Library

Toronto Public Library

Kingston Frontenac Public Library

New York Public Library

Please leave direct links to your local public library in the comments section. Thank you.

Music: Au Palais

Hello Monday! I’m getting energized this morning with a little music from Canadian-born, London-based, electro pop band Au Palais. The band, made of up of duo Elise and David, has recently released their video for Tender Mercy and it is just full of white – yay!

Au Palais will be at SXSW later on this week so if you’re in Austin, Texas be sure to check out the performance. You can also follow the band on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Thanks to Mark C. for introducing me to Au Palais.

Marketplace: Gluckstein Home

Today I am happy to share two beauties from Canadian favourite GlucksteinHome. Chrome and white are a classic combination and Brian Gluckstein doesn’t let us down with his latest art-deco inspired collection, Regatta.

Regatta bar stool, $89.99, GlucksteinHome

Regatta lamp, $89.99, GlucksteinHome

These products and the entire Regatta collection are available exclusively at Home Outfitters. The GlucksteinHome line of home furnishings is available at the Bay and Home Outfitters in Canada and at Lord & Taylor in the United States.

Images via GlucksteinHome.

20 Below: IKEA Family

On my most recent trip to IKEA (dinner date with my dad!) I joined the IKEA Family. To tell you the truth, I always considered myself part of the family because I’ve been a life-long fan. But now it’s official. And I have a card to prove it.

IKEA coffee and IKEA Family card, free, photo by Jordana

One of the main benefits of becoming part of the family is the exclusive access to special discounts on products. Members also get a free coffee at the IKEA restaurant…and if you’re anything like me, no trip to IKEA is complete without a coffee break. Oh – and membership is free!

(Please note: I can’t seem to find the IKEA Family website for Canada or the USA. If you have the direct link, please post it in the comments. Thanks!)

Design: TOMA

I had the opportunity to meet Montreal-based designer, and leader of the TOMA design studio, Anne Thomas in person at last month’s Come Up to My Room event in Toronto. She was there showing off the prototype for one of TOMA‘s latest designs, the Inside Out closet. White, functional, and very cool.

So while we wait for the closet to appear in retail spaces in Canada and abroad, we can be on the lookout for some of TOMA‘s other well-designed products, including this newly released shadow clock which are printed and die-cut out of synthetic paper.

Photos by Maude Chavin via TOMA. You may purchase TOMA objects in these stores.

Marketplace: GlucksteinHome

I was at The Bay recently and I checked out the latest collection from GlucksteinHome, which is brought to us by Canadian interior designer Brian Gluckstein and his team. The full GlucksteinHome collection includes a good selection of furniture, bedding, bath accessories, and cooking items but at the moment I seem to be most drawn to the smooth lines of these three covered pieces.

GlucksteinHome covered butter dish, $24.99, The Bay

GlucksteinHome cake plate, $99.99, The Bay

GlucksteinHome cheese dome, $49.99, The Bay

Event: Interior Design Show

Ideas. Inspiration. Innovation. What more does one event need?

My experience at this year’s Interior Design Show began with The Party, continued with BlogPodium, and ended with a lot of photos and information about what’s new and exciting in the design world. Mix these elements up with designer talks, the Studio North exhibit, and a crowd full of beautiful people and it’s no wonder that I’m still on an IDS high.

Reports and reviews of cool design, innovative products, and designers’ takes on trends have been circulating around the web for a few days now and hopefully you’ve had time to read some of them. As for my recap? Well, here it is…all in white!

At the entrance to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, event goers were greeted by Strip Tease, the collaborative effort of RAW and Mark Tholen. Not only were the hundreds of white felt strips interesting to look at, but they doubled as a projection screen. A white welcome…yes, please!

Strip Tease

La ClĂ´ture is a hold all for coats, hats, mail, umbrellas, and anything else you might want to drop off – or pick up – at the entrance to your home.

La clĂ´ture, $149.95, Six Point Un

It was wonderful to see Tahir Mahmood’s beautifully crafted pieces in person and I appreciate having the opportunity to chat with Tahir about his background, his design process, and his plans for future projects. While many of his designs are colourful, my eye was drawn to this wood and white spinner.

Spinner by Tahir Mahmood

Like almost everyone at IDS, I fell in love with the space designed by Italian architect and designer, as well as International Guest of Honour, Piero Lissoni. Ah – those books!

BY_LISSONI

While many of us are now used to our stainless steel appliances, Jenn-Air is bringing back white and making it super sleek and simple.

Jenn-Air appliances

I can always count on IKEA for injecting a dose of white into a space and this time was no different. The white kitchen (with black counters and back splash) was in classic IKEA style – storage galore, simple design, and repeated forms. I could really use a wall of cabinetry like the one below for my growing shoe collection.

IKEA

The display at Eurolite was gorgeous overall but it was this white fixture’s layers and form that really caught my eye.

Eurolite

The Hansgrohe faucet is sleek and sophisticated. Gorgeous.

Hansgrohe

The texture on the chairs at the Andrew Richard Designs exhibit was just lovely.

patio chair at Andrew Richard Designs

The Magus Julius chair was transformed by a selection of designers for Cherish, an auction in support of the ONEXONE non-profit children’s foundation. I wonder who were the winners of these two white chairs.

Magis Julian chairs in white (right: with lights; left: textured)

And, of course, the people were great!

Troy Seidman, Mazen el-Abdallah, Suzanne Dimma at the How do you live? exhibit

Troy Seidman & Tahir Mahmood

So, there you have it. My recap in white. What are your thoughts? Did you attend IDS this year?

Photos by Jordana.

Events: BlogPodium & Design Blogger Meetup

Canadian design bloggers have got it going on!

From their blogs, I already knew my blogger colleagues were a dynamic group of talented individuals. But meeting some of my blogger friends in person at two recent events – BlogPodium and the Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup – confirmed the fact that this community of bloggers is also friendly, supportive, stylish, and smart.

BlogPodium is the first and only Canadian conference series for design bloggers. I was delighted to attend the inaugural event at IDS2012 in Toronto. The founders, Jennifer Flores and Lindsay Stephenson, set the bar high and achieved success with this first event. They put together a wonderful panel of presenters – Margot Austin, Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, Jennifer Flores, and Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault – who shared their opinions about blogs and the media. The talk was informative, engaging, and entertaining, and the crowd of design bloggers eagerly soaked up as much information as they could. I think it is safe to say that we all wished it would have lasted just a little bit longer!

Left to right: me; IDS Founder Shauna Levy; The Panel: Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, Margot Austin, Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault, Jennifer Flores (photos by Jason Hudson)

The event was well-designed, well-orchestrated, and best of all, it was fun! Many thanks to Jennifer and Lindsay for organizing this event and for making us all feel so welcome. Many thanks to the presenters for their candid advice, their approachability, and for making us laugh. And of course, thank you to the many sponsors, including Delta Faucets and House & Home, for supporting our design blogger community!

***

As if BlogPodium wasn’t enough, I also had the pleasure of attending my second Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup at Brassaii in Toronto. Vitania and Daniella continue to amaze me with their dedication, their style, and their optimism. They designed a warm, welcoming, and entertaining evening of blogger fun. The meetup included talks by Cameron MacNeil and Lisa Murphy of House & Home, as well as Cassandra Lavalle of Coco+Kelley. Oh – and I must not forget the surprise speaker – Brian Gluckstein. It was great to hear the speakers’ different perspectives on the world of design blogging, the potential for collaborative opportunities, and what inspires them.

Clockwise: Cameron MacNeil, Lisa Murphy, Brian Gluckstein, Cassandra Lavalle (photos by Alessia Lamonaca)

The meetup also gave us bloggers a perfect opportunity to mingle with people who we’ve only known in the online world. For me, chatting with people whose blogs I enjoy was a real highlight of the event. So many people are doing such interesting things – hosting workshops, teaching classes, writing for magazines, designing products – the talents of this group of people is really inspiring!

Clockwise: Welcome to the meetup; Sponsor GlucksteinHome (photos by Alessia Lamonaca); Lindsay, Sharalee & me; me & Troy

Again – let me take this opportunity to thank Vitania and Daniella for organizing such a classy event, the speakers for sharing their experiences, the sponsors for their continued support, and to my fellow design bloggers for being such a cool group of people to hang out with online and in person!

Marketplace: Valentines at Artistry Cards

Look at what one of our favourite Canadian stationary shops, Artistry Cards, has in store for Valentine’s day.

Feathered Heart card, $4

Three Red Hearts card, $4

Tweet! card, $4

Finally, here’s a treat for you! Artistry Cards is offering White Cabana readers a 10% discount on all their products. Enter ARTIST (all caps) at checkout. Click here to start shopping.

Event: Come Up to My Room

Each February, the gorgeous Gladstone Hotel in Toronto gets taken over by talented artists who transform twelve rooms with their innovative, creative, and jaw-dropping installations. The event, Come Up to My Room, began in 2003 and was co-founded by Pamila Matharu and Christina Zeidleris. I had a chance to see the installations in person this past weekend and I was impressed by the talent of the artists, designers, engineers, and architects at this year’s exhibition.

Among Bruno Billio and Sam Mogelonsky’s mirrored room with shiny spinning things, and Matthew Blunderfield and Skanda Lin’s hanging installation exploring the disposable nature of the digital world, there was plenty of whiteness to be seen.

Wendy Fok

Gareth Bate

Interstice Studio

Matthew Davis & Aurelia Adams

TOMA

Redux Lab

Redux Lab

Redux Lab

Sonia Tyagi

WE-3

Did anyone get to Come Up to My Room this year? What was your favourite exhibit?

Photos by Jordana.

Design: Peacock Chair by UUfie & Dupont Corian

Now – is this a chair, or is this a chair?

Jordana sitting on the Peacock chair, at the Interior Design Show, Toronto

The Peacock chair is the result of a collaboration between UUfie architectural firm and DuPont Corian (yes, as in the countertop material) which was completed for IDS 2012. If you can believe it, the Peacock is made from a single sheet of DuPont Corian which has been cut, bent and folded through a process of thermoforming (sounds like quite a process, right?).

If you want to see the Peacock chair up close, be sure to get yourself to IDS this weekend.

The Friday Five: Holiday Gift Giving

If you’re still thinking of gift giving today, then perhaps you’ll consider making a donation to a favourite charity in honour of someone you love. There are so many wonderful causes to support but here are five wonderful organizations that I contribute to at this and other times of the year.

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Canadian Cancer Society

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Hospital

Children’s Wish Foundation

Heart & Stroke Foundation

To which organizations do you contribute? Please share.

Photography: London, Ontario

A few weeks ago I gave my photographer friend Joel the following challenge – to take photos of white things in London, Ontario. Nothing so complicated, right?

Joel accepted the challenge (even though he admitted that he doesn’t love white as much as I do) and he recently sent along this photo and title:

Advertising: White Cabana Style

photo by Joel Lopata

Clever, Joel, clever.

The Friday Five: Artistry Cards

Eco-friendly stationery company Artistry Cards is ready for the holidays with its selection of toque-toting birds. Aren’t they sweet? 

holiday card box set (in blue & red), $12

holiday pocket notebook (in blue & red), $12

holiday card, $4

thank you cards box set, $12

holiday card box set, $12

You may have already gathered that Artistry Cards is a Canadian company. I mean, I used the word “toque”. Does anyone else in the world use that word? (It means winter hat in case you were wondering.)

Great news – Artistry Cards is offering White Cabana readers a 10% discount on all products. Enter ARTIST (all caps) at checkout. Click here to start shopping. (Discount is valid until December 15th.)

Marketplace: Fleet Objects

We do love good Canadian design here at White Cabana so today I am happy to share some great pieces from Vancouver-based Fleet Objects. Designed by Zoe Garred, Fleet’s line of ceramics is simply beautiful.

I recently had the chance to have a close-up look at the Eyelet ornament. I just love simple design and this one is made by hand so what’s not to love? Perhaps you’ll think about sending one of these ornaments to friends this holiday.

photos by Jordana

Although I prefer the Eyelet hung in a bowl shape, it can also be hung with the opening on its side where you can hide a special treat. Zoe, creative as she is, also suggests stitching the holes for decoration.

Eyelet ball ornament, $28

I think Fleet Object‘s range of products would make lovely gifts so if you’ve already got holiday on the brain, then definitely have a look at what Zoe has to offer.

ribbon modular ornament, $15

Pools 1, $16shell lamp, $100