Event

Travel: Fabergé Presents The Big Egg Hunt New York

While you may already be familiar with backyard Easter egg hunts, I’m sure you’ve seen nothing quite like The Big Egg Hunt that is currently happening in New York City. Artists have designed, sculpted, and transformed huge eggs and their creations have been placed around the city for us to find. The event is sponsored by the grand dame of gorgeous eggs – Fabergé – (obviously, right?) and every egg is up for purchase at auction. If the eggs are too big (or too pricey), mini eggs are available for purchase.

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B by Emma Clegg (current bid: $8000)

Shantell Martin-egg

Are You You by Shantell Martin (current bid: $700)

Zaha Hadid-egg

Liquid Skyline by Zaha Hadid (current bid: $31000)

Debbie Millman-egg

Egg White by Debbie Millman & Kevin O’Callaghan (current bid: $900)

Marc Quinn-egg

Untitled by Marc Quinn (current bid: $16000)

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The Rose Palace Egg by Marchesa (current bid: $1000)

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Dollop by Katherine Kokoska (current bid: $500)

David Ling-egg

Cracked Egg by David Ling Architect (current bid: $600)

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The Egg of Light by Indira Cesarine (current bid: $2411)

Rachel Hovanian-egg

Narcissus Egg by Rachel Lee Hovnanian Leila Heller Gallery (current bid: $3400)

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Untitled by Suydam Lansing (current bid:$1150)

See all the eggs here.

Thanks for telling me about this event, Mom!

Marketplace: Chapters-Indigo Spring Collection

Chapters-Indigo is one of those stores that is continually improving. Each season brings new home decor, fashion, beauty, and food and entertaining items, not to mention a variety of new and interesting books. I know I’m not alone when I say that spending an afternoon at Chapters-Indigo is really relaxing. If only I had more time, I would read every one of those best-selling books!

Anyway, I headed to Toronto’s Eaton Centre a couple of weeks ago to attend Chapters-Indigo spring kick-off. I snapped some photos of some of the things that caught my eye.

Mugs…why am I such a sucker for a good typographic mug? I’ve got most of the ones featured in these photos (I spoil myself regularly, it seems):

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The fashion/style department is the largest I’ve seen it, what with the jewelry, scarves, totes, clutches, and watches. The items are super cute.

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Chapters-Indigo has partnered with Etsy and has featured collections from 8 Etsy designers. Way to support artists, Indigo!

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I was surprised to see the Nest thermostat in the electronics department. Then again, I shouldn’t have been that surprised considering what a hot product it is for the design conscious customer.

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The selection of gourmet food and home decor items seems to be expanding. I loved the little jars of salt (reminds me of the jars I picked up in France earlier this year).

Chapters-Indigo-Spring-White-Cabana-food & decorAnd some books…of course…wouldn’t be a bookstore without a great selection of books!

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Photos by Jordana.

Fashion: Cartier Exhibit in Paris

I was pretty thrilled when I learned that there was a Cartier exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris during my stay. I arrived on Saturday and the last day of the show was Sunday. Naturally, after dropping off our luggage at our apartment, my friends and I walked over (through the Louvre, tuileries, Concorde, etc.) to the Grand Palais. I had never been to there before this visit. I could have stared at the architectural details of the building for hours, but I had diamonds to see so we headed directly into the show.

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The diamonds, and the rest of the Cartier collection (books, designs, templates, forms, clothing, paintings) was unbelievably beautiful. The diamonds sparkled brilliantly (well, that’s pretty obvious for a diamond that is 40 carats, right?). The collection included diamonds worn by Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Queen Elizabeth, among others. The show took us through the historical journey of Cartier, including the sources of design inspiration for Louis-Francois Cartier all those years ago. By the end of the show, I became pretty good at picking out the Tutti Frutti pieces – they’re too colourful for my taste, but oh so gorgeous to look at. Heck, I wouldn’t say no to Cartier. Who are we kidding?

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Unfortunately, the exhibit was very crowded on the Saturday afternoon that we were there, and it wasn’t a very enjoyable show to attend. The jewelry cases were quite close together and people did not flow easily around the small(ish) space. It’s too bad, actually, that it wasn’t more pleasant to wander around the exhibit. I know I missed a lot of up-close views of many important pieces. Perhaps I was also just a tad tired from the trip over (and I’m too impatient to deal with crowds).

Nevertheless, it was pretty cool to be in a room with so much sparkle!

Thanks to the Grand Palais for supplying my show ticket.

Music: Stars in White at the 2014 Grammy Awards

So, what was the highlight of the Grammy’s for you? I watched most of it and I was not only entertained by the show, but I laughed pretty hard at the comments coming through my Twitter feed. Gosh, people are so quick to judge!

Many of the stars last night stuck to classic black and white. People like Beyoncé, Madonna, and Daft Punk changed from black to white outfits as the night progressed. In case you missed the show, here are some of the white highlights:

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Beyoncé (image via Global Grind) & Beyoncé in black

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Daft Punk (image via Billboard) & Daft Punk in black

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Madonna (image via Grammy.com) & Madonna in black

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Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons

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Steven Tyler

Is it just me or is it hard to believe that Lorde is only 17 years old and Pharrell Williams is 40?!

Event: Octaspring Bedroom Pinterest Contest

Who doesn’t love to get a good sleep? It’s unlikely that anyone would choose to have an evening of tossing and turning over a calm sleep when you wake up feeling really well-rested. But did you know that, according to Statistics Canada, an estimated 3.3 million Canadians – or 1 in 7 people across the country – have expressed difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

I love to sleep – especially on the weekend when I don’t set my alarm clock. When I’m at a great hotel, I love to get cozy under the covers and test out every pillow.

Which brings me to the focus of today’s post – pillows. The Octaspring pillow collection, to be precise.

These aren’t just any pillows, people.

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Okay, from the above photo, the Octaspring pillows may not look that much different from the pillows you currently have on your bed. But look how they’re made…

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Those are memory foam Octapillow springs which are designed to “cradle the head in blissful comfort” in a cool and airy fashion. This pillow looks like it was designed to set you up for some great dreaming.

So how did this pillow come to be? Let me share some info about its history. Octaspring comes from Dormeo, a Belgium bedding brand created by Willy Poppe. Dormeo – what a great name, right? Dormeo is the Latin word for sleep. It is very similar to dormir (French), dormire (Italian), and dormir (Spanish), which are all infinitive verbs meaning to sleep. Okay, getting back to the point here…

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Dormeo, available in more than 30 countries around the world, introduced Octaspring in Europe just a few years ago and is now coming to Canada through an exclusive partnership with Sleep Country Canada (insert catchy jingle – you’re singing it in your head right along with me, right?) (Dormez-Vous in Quebec). The Octaspring will be making its appearance in more than 150 Sleep Country stores across Canada. You can read more about Octaspring’s history here.

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Octaspring Contest:

To celebrate the introduction of Octaspring in the Canadian marketplace, Octaspring is currently running a great contest which includes me (and some other bloggers) as guest judges! Hooray!

Here are the details…

You’ll have until Monday November 18th Friday December 13th to create a Pinterest board focused on your ideal bedroom. Once your #OctaspringDream board has been created, submit the link to your board on the Octaspring Facebook page (under the Dream Bedroom tab) and fill out this contest entry form. Don’t forget to follow Octaspring on Pinterest and Facebook so you can stay in the (sleepy) loop.

The winner of the contest will receive a $250 Home Depot gift card and a set of Evolution Plus pillows.

Go on, get pinning! I’m so looking forward to seeing what makes up your perfect bedroom.

Halloween: Polar Bear Costume

Halloween is just a few days away. I’ve been enjoying reading about amazing Halloween DIYs and cool costumes but I have had zero time to focus on Halloween this year. I’ve got my pumpkin and that’s about all I’m going to get.

What about you? Are you dressing up? Did you already go to a Halloween party or two? Still looking for an easy costume? Here’s one for you…

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via Urban Outfitters

Video: White Cabana + Princess Margaret Lottery

When I toured the Brain Gluckstein-designed Princess Margaret Lottery Oakville Showhome I had the opportunity to share my opinion about the house with the Princess Margaret team. Yesterday the final video was published (thanks team PMLotto!). Have a look:

And while you’re watching videos…have a look at what other bloggers liked about the Oakville showhome: Thalita, Casey, Sarah, & Fatima.

Have you bought your ticket yet?

Event & Giveaway: Art Toronto 2013

It’s that time of year again (and I’m not talking about Tim Horton’s roll-up-the-rim campaign). It’s Art Toronto 2013! This month, art dealers from around the world will bring the best of the best art to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I’ve been a regular attendee* for a few years now** and I am always impressed with the show. I encourage you to attend, browse, and buy at this impressive show. Let’s take a trip around the art world, shall we?

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Tamotsu Fujii, MA2 Gallery, Japan

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Elio Ciol, 3D Gallery, Italy

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Igal Pardo, Contempop, Israel

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Tae-hoo Park, Nine Gallery, Korea

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Liao Yibai, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York

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Caroline Attan, Bicha Gallery, London, UK

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Louise Nevelson, Caviar20, Toronto

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Otino Corsano, PM Gallery, Toronto

The show is from October 25-28th and general admission tickets are $18. More details can be found here.

Giveaway Details:

Want to attend for free? I’m pleased to announce that Art Toronto has generously sent over 2 pairs of tickets that I am happy to giveaway to 2 lucky readers! To enter, leave a comment below telling me why you would like to attend Art Toronto 2013. The contest will close on Thursday October 10th, 2013.

*One day I’m going to be a big spender. One day.

** 2011, 2012

Event: Brian Gluckstein & the Princess Margaret Show Home

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

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

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main floor living room

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upstairs grand hall

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kitchen

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kitchen cabinet detail

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

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main floor – grand hall

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GlucksteinHome details

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upstairs bedroom mirror

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substantial doors in a bedroom

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

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pear art

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

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

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tile floor in the master bathroom

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basement bathroom; photo snapped by April

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

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main floor office

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

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 lighting around the house

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fireplace in the main floor living room

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

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

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

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

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Me and Brian; photo snapped by Leigh-Ann

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

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

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

Photos by Jordana.

Event: The BlogPodium 2013 report

Collaboration. Honesty. Respect. These are just some of the words that I repeatedly wrote in my notebook at this past weekend’s BlogPodium in Toronto. Bloggers, PR agents, and brands artfully invaded the Hyatt hotel on King Street on Saturday to learn and share strategies about the world of blogging.

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photo by Jordana

This year’s BlogPodium, just as in previous years, completely impressed me. Organized by co-founder Jennifer Flores (Rambling Renovators) and her BlogPodium 2013 crew, the event showcased the important work of bloggers, the brands that recognize their influential abilities, and the ways in which bloggers have come together over the last several years to form one of the most engaged, vibrant, and energetic communities around.

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decorations by Minted, styling by We Create Hoopla; photo by Jordana

This BlogPodium was an extra special one for me as I gave my first blog-focused conference presentation. Several months ago, I submitted a proposal to Jennifer after a BlogPodium Call for Presenters was released. A little while after I sent in my submission, Jennifer put me in touch with Giulia Doyle (Audrey’s) and suggested that we partner. Our topic? Balancing a day job and a successful blog. While Giulia and I had never met, I was excited to work with her and give back to the blogging community through this presentation.

Over the period of a few months, Giulia and I worked together (via Skype, telephone, Dropbox, and email) to write two posts for the BlogPodium blog (one and two) and to prepare a cohesive presentation for BlogPodium attendees. I am so grateful to Jennifer for brining Giulia and me together. Not only did I learn about Giulia’s approach to blogging, but I appreciated her professionalism, her commitment, and her creativity. Giulia – thank you. (It surprised many attendees to find out that Giulia and I only met about 2 hours before our presentation. Kind of cool, right?). For those who are interested in our full presentation, the slides should be available soon via the BlogPodium site.

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me and Giulia; photo by Anna With Love

Presenting at BlogPodium was hugely satisfying for me and it allowed me to connect with bloggers – new and experienced – on a whole new level. We were able to take our conversations offline and speak in sentences that were longer than 140 characters. While I love the online world, face-to-face interaction is hard to beat.

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photo by Giulia Doyle

Another highlight for me was Sarah Richardson‘s keynote speech. She was funny, intelligent, and engaging. She was approachable, spoke clearly and with ease, and really shared how hard work, determination, and talent, got her to where she is today. Having respect for colleagues, being nice, and working collaboratively, were just some of the points that she shared during her presentation. Creating successful relationships has been a really important contributing factor to her success.

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Sarah Richardson & Jennifer Flores; photo by Anna With Love

Lunch was good…but dessert was amazing! Way to go Hyatt!

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bloggers love chocolate, right?

Lunch was extremely enjoyable for me as I had the pleasure of sitting with such a talented and diverse group of bloggers. Thanks to Christine (Just Bella), Brittany (Gallery No. Eight), Megan (Hodge Podge), Gabrielle (Bee and Daddoo), and Sara (Saige Wisdom) for sharing your stories.

After lunch we heard from a panel of influential blog & magazine insiders: Margot Austin, Jacqueline Clark, Emma Reddington, and Rhonda Richie. This panel was moderated by the uber-talented Leigh-Ann Allaire. Oh man – she always always asks the questions that I am itching to ask. She know what to say and when to say it – she’s a talented moderator and I look forward to seeing more of her soon. This group of presenters shared their experiences with publishing – online and offline.

I am also pleased to recognize the generosity of the sponsors and exhibitors. They spoiled us with artistic, useful, and pretty supplies (everything from paint to caulking to candy to fabric)!

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Sarah Richardson + Kravet

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dishes at Urban Barn

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Poppin in white at Chapters-Indigo

BlogPodium 2013 will always be something that I look back on with incredibly happy memories. Thanks again to the attendees, presenters, and sponsors for making this day so fun!

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Cheers!

*Note: The original post vanished after it was published due to a server error. This piece was written from an earlier draft.

Fashion: Styling with Saffron Road

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A couple of weeks ago I was invited to style outfits and be part of a  fashion shoot with Jennifer at Saffron Road in London, Ontario. I had so much fun!

I browsed the amazing designer collections…

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and tried to apply what I’ve learned from America’s Next Top Model in my own personal fashion shoot!

For my first ensemble I went for all-white. The Theory peplum shirt was so crisp and is a great match for a skirt or pants. I paired the shirt with a textured knee-length Theory skirt. I added a bit of gold and sparkle with House of Harlow’s starburst necklace. The House of Harlow shoes added more texture to the outfit, not to mention, a lot of height.

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(worst smeyes ever)

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such a great pair of heels!

For my second look I grabbed a gorgeous Lida Baday suit. I love the black and white pattern and the boxy modern jacket. Generally I’m a fan of a classic pencil skirt so this suit was a clear winner. I paired the suit with a beautiful silky transparent black Theory shirt. The outfit is complete with a beautiful black leather M0851 tote and nude-coloured strappy heels by Modern Vintage. I opted to wear my own stack of silver bracelets and bangles to go with this outfit.

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And here’s one last photo of Saffron Road’s all-white fitting rooms…you can imagine how pleased I was to be in there. White is the perfect backdrop for the beautiful clothes in this London store!

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I learned quite a bit from my photo shoot…

* I am becoming such a big fan of the brand Theory. The few pieces that I already own and the pieces I tried on at Saffron fit me well and are made of fabrics that feel so good.

* I love Lida Baday but the pieces that I picked didn’t fit me as well as I had wanted them too. They’d definitely need tailoring. The fabric was absolutely beautiful.

* Modelling is harder than it looks. Figuring out what to do with your face and your body is tricky. Note to self: watch more episodes of America’s Next Top Model.

* I tried to channel one of my favourite fashionistas Blair of Atlantic-Pacific when I was styling outfits but this, too, was harder than I thought it was going to be. I had the whole store to choose from so I’m not sure why I felt challenged. Maybe I was simply overwhelmed?

* Sometimes it’s just best to trust the salespeople. When they’re good, they’re good. They know the labels, the merchandise, and spend so much time with clothes and getting to know what works on different body types that it is worth drawing on their knowledge.

Update: Good news for shoppers –  all Theory items are currently 50% off at Saffron Road. So if you’re in London, be sure to stop in! But don’t think you’re going to be able to buy the white shirt in the first photo because I went in about a week after my fashion shoot and bought it. I needed another white shirt.

Many thanks to Jennifer and the Saffron Road team for welcoming me in. Photos by Jennifer. I have previously written about Saffron Road here.

Event: Announcing BlogPodium 2013

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Okay so – yeah – I have pretty exciting news to share. Ready? Here it is – I will be presenting at this fall’s BlogPodium! (Did the above logo give it away?) BlogPodium is Canada’s conference for design and lifestyle bloggers and I couldn’t be more happy and proud to be involved in this wonderful event.

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Me and Giulia are co-presenting a session about work-life balance. Our session will be full of great tips and tools that we use to organize our blogging lives and to expand our knowledge of this creative field. You can view the full schedule here. As you’ll see, Sarah Richardson – The Sarah Richardson – will be the keynote speaker!

Past BlogPodium events have left me energized, engaged, motivated, and excited and I have no doubt that I will, once again, be amazed by the people I meet and the things I learn. Bloggers of any stage of their blogging careers will surely enjoy the full day event. I encourage you to attend and if you do, please be sure to say hello!

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Photos of BlogPodium 2012 via Mango Studios.

 

Event: Blog Break

Dear Readers,

I thought I would find time to blog while in Victoria but it’s proven to be more difficult than I had anticipated! Time for a blog break. Of course I want to leave you with something lovely to look at while we take a moment to pause so here’s a photo from the airplane as we flew to Vancouver. Snow on mountains…white, white, white!

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Back to regular posting next week!

Be well.

Jordana

Fashion: Lolë Activewear

I recently discovered Lolë, a Montreal-based activewear clothing company, and I was instantly impressed. I’m one of those people who generally wears activewear for active pursuits rather than for doing errands around town or meeting friends at a café. I like my workout clothes to look great but to perform well too. When I landed on Lolë’s website, I first browsed the tennis section since this is the sport I have decided to learn more about this spring/summer.

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twist tank top, $48

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essential cardigan, $100

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jump-up tank top, $60

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ace skort, $65 (and don’t you love the hi-top runners?)

But Lolë is much more than tennis wear. The full collection includes items that are most suitable for yoga, golf, running, and water sports. In addition, there is a selection of pieces that are suitable for travel and city living. The clothes online look to be fashionable and very functional. And, of course, many other colours do exist!

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balasana cardigan, $90

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vinyasa capri, $80

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rennie 2 pants, $90

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delightful 2 jacket, $150

Lolë is one of those companies that is committed to promoting healthy living. The company organizes a large outdoor yoga tour called the Lolë White Yoga Session and it will be in Toronto and Montreal this summer. Just look at these photos…doesn’t the yoga session look like such a great community activity? Plus, everyone wears white!

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Stand-alone Lolë stores are located in Montreal, Toronto, Oakville and in dreamy places like Chamonix, Biarritz, Paris, and Zurich. Lolë’s activewear collection can also be found in other stores around the world.

All images courtesy of Lolë.

Paper flower inspiration

Happy first day of spring!

As we wait for the season’s fresh blooms, I’m totally in love with and inspired by Balushka‘s over-sized paper flowers. Easy décor for any wall- but I think I’d like to place these in a hallway where people tend to just wiz through.

Wouldn’t these give you reason to pause?

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Balushka’s beautiful paper flowers are available for sale or rent here

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All images courtesy of Balushka.

 

Event: World Figure Skating Championships

London, Ontario is home to this year’s ISU World Figure Skating Championships. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the transformation of the downtown core as the city has prepped for this big event. There’s excitement and energy downtown and I just love being surrounded by it all!

So – here we go, a figure skating-themed post to mark today’s start of World’s!

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Go Figure by Lori Doody, $25

via Sweet Montana

via Sweet Montana

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Marilyn Monroe

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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Go Canada!)

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via All the Beautiful Christmas

Welcome to all the skaters and visitors to London this week!

Fashion: Golden Globes 2013

Well, well, look at all the celebrities who opted for shades of white at last night’s Golden Globe awards.

Fashion at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards (L to R, T to B): Hayden Panettiere in Roberto Cavalli; Isla Fisher in Reem Acra; Mayim Bialik; Amy Adams in Marchesa; Amanda Seyfried in Givenchy; Julianne Hough in Monique Lhuillier; Kerry Washington in Miu Miu; Anne Hathaway in Chanel; Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad; Helen Hunt

Who were your favourites?

Images courtesy of Huffington Post.

20 Below: Art Toronto 2012

This year’s Art Toronto is sure to inspire. Modern and contemporary art will fill the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from October 26-29th and event goers will enjoy thousands of works of art from more than a hundred galleries from 23 countries. This is Canada’s only modern and contemporary international art fair so, go on, buy your tickets (less than $20)!

adult ticket is $18; via Art Toronto

I attended Art Toronto 2011 and wrote about it here and here.

Event: My Floridian Vacation

Well, well, two weeks sure can fly by! How have you all been? Thanks to those of you who continued to visit the blog and who said hello on Twitter while I was away.

I had a most excellent vacation in Florida over the last two weeks – I soaked up plenty of sun (yes, I wore sunscreen), swam every day, did “some” shopping, and ate delicious meals. Today’s photos are a bit random but there you have it – it is Monday after a vacation after all!

My family has been a fan of Madeira Beach ever since I was 6 or 7 years old. I loved being there as a kid and I still love it after all these years. It’s one of the few places I can completely relax. It’s easy living and the people are nice. In addition, the Gulf of Mexico is gorgeous, the beach is well-maintained, and the sand is squeaky clean (yes, it actually squeaks!). My friend Shannon and I stayed at Ocean Sands – the best place in Madeira as far as I’m concerned (and not just because it’s white).

As with many beach town shops, the clothing is bright and bedazzled. I managed to find one white t-shirt at John’s Pass.

I wish I counted the YOLO sightings over the two weeks we were in Florida. Every other person seemed to have it emblazoned on their t-shirts.

We also saw some interesting signage in our travels…

At first we thought the sign (above) spelled “right” incorrectly. But then we realized that maybe the sign was supposed to say “straight”. Maybe. Either way, it amused us.

This isn’t how we spell pretzel in Canada.

Finally. Way to go Marshalls for this little touch in the dressing rooms.

I wish we noticed this sign (above) last year – we were pretty much attacked by seagulls as soon as we stepped foot on the beach with our ice cream cones. This year we knew better.

We had some fun with an underwater camera. And we definitely stayed within the limit.

Above: Will you be my girlfriend? Yes. No. Maybe. I guess the girlfriend said yes!

Below (same car): Cutie driving.

I’m not sure what they teach in driving school down south but I’m 100% sure it’s fully unsafe to sit on a lawn chair in the back of a pick-up truck.

Stay tuned for a review of our stay at the King & Grove Tides South Beach and some photos from Miami.

Event: Blog Break

Well…it’s time for this gal…and this blog…to take a break. I’m off to pretend I’m a retiree down in Florida. I’m so looking forward to a couple of weeks of real down-time. As such, I’ll be taking a break from the blog for the next two weeks. I’ll pop in to say hello if possible…otherwise, let’s meet back here in two weeks. Yeah? Great!

14 days lying on this beach – yes, I feel very lucky!

(And yes, I realize the photo is over-exposed but I think it looks cool. Photo by me.)

Stay well!

Jordana

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.

Art: A Noiva by Joana Vasconcelos

Take a closer look…this is not your average chandelier.

A Noiva (The Bride) by Joana Vasconcelos

A Noiva (The Bride) by Joana Vasconcelos, via Le CentQuatre

At first glance, this is just a gigantic (as in 5m high) chandelier. But with a closer inspection, you’ll discover that this sculpture by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos is actually made up of tampons. Yes, tampons. Over 14,000 of them!

A Noiva is at Le CentQuatre in Paris until mid-September 2012. Joana Vasconcelos also has an amazing exhibit at Versailles until the end of September 2012.

Many thanks to CC for sending this my way.

Event: Dove's Women Who Should Be Famous

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 26th at 7pm EST, Dove will host its first ever live-streamed event. It’s called Women Who Should be Famous and the goal of the evening is to share stories of inspirational women in the fields of science, leadership, environmentalism, and the arts. The hour-long even is hosted by actress, song-writer and singer, Mandy Moore.

If you’re interested in tuning in (and have a Facebook account), you can register now on Dove’s Facebook page. This is a unique event for people across Canada and if you do tune in, please do come back and share your thoughts in the comment section.

Big top

The Big Top of Cavalia’s Odysseo production in Toronto, Canada

In case you’re not living in Toronto or have passed through in the last month, you wouldn’t know that the city’s whiteness just went to new heights: the big top of Cavalia’s Odysseo show is here! (and you can still get tickets!)

The beautiful big white tent is the largest touring big top in the world and it is currently at the Toronto Port Lands on the city’s east side waterfront where each night, skilled performers and 61 horses create a spectacle combining music and acrobatics to make your childhood equine fantasies come true.

Many horse breeds are in the show. Image via Cavalia’s Odysseo

The big white tent is a sight to behold- I see it frequently from the Gardiner Expressway and I’m always admiring how lovely it is. The structure was conceived in Canada by set designer Marc Labelle, director Erick Villeneuve and Cirque du Soleil creator Normand Latourelle.

It is more than twice as large as the big top used for Cavalia’s original production and was designed with the help of the Italian firm Cannobio. The massive arches were built by Show Canada and the tent structure was manufactured in Italy. More than 60 people were involved in its creation process over the 11 months it took to finalize.

Big Top Facts

Dimensions: 125 high, covering an area of 393 feet long by 311 feet wide, which is more than 120,000 square feet.

Inside: A stage covering close to 8,200 square feet, no obstruction on stage or in the audience. Seating capacity: 2,290 people.

Assembly and transportation: Assembly requires more than 40 motors and a mechanical crane. The four arches are 88 feet high by 203 feet wide. 20 trucks are required to transport it all.

Below is a video of the assembly- amazing!

Event: International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)

The centerpiece of many design events taking place in NYC last week was the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (known as ICFF).

While oriented towards furniture retailers and “the trade” (aka interior designers and architects) the fair is open to the public for one of the four days.

This was my first year attending (for inspiration and potential new merchandise for Caviar20) and many design professionals I spoke with shared my enthusiasm for this year’s display.

While it was no surprise to see powerhouses like Vitra and Knoll, the strength of ICFF came from the small and medium sized studios that offer bespoke furniture or manufacture their own products (Grain, Rich Brilliant Willing, and Misewell are paradigms)

Strong American design was out in full force – earnest young talent creating work with great lines out of fine materials. Brooklyn-based studios were noticeably well-represented.

While some say ICFF lacks the avant-garde creativity found at the rival fair in Milan, there is a significant and consistent display of fresh, commercial, and livable furniture. Another surprise is how affordable many of the pieces are. If you’re looking for preposterously priced limited edition à la Marc Newson you’re at the wrong fair.

Below is a selection of amazing white pieces I encountered. With the exception of two pieces – everything is priced below $750.

Rock Chair designed by Fredrik Färg

Grant side table by Gabriel Scott

Tiffin lunch kit by Sinclaire

Dakar chair by Skitsch

Hanging light by Lukas Peet

Fern table by Egg Collective

Sydney pendant by Mary Wallis

Delta V pendant by Rich Brilliant Willing

Lockwood chair by Misewell

Events: Coffee Station at BlogPodium

This past Saturday I attended the second BlogPodium event. It was a huge success and if you followed my Twitter feed at all over the weekend then you might have guessed that I had a great time! Toronto-based Mango Studios took some incredible photos of the event and I’m happy to share this one with you today.

photo by Mango Studios

I just love this photo because of the repetition of the perfectly arranged shiny coffee dispensers and all the white that surrounds the silver. Plus – you all know how much I like coffee (e.g., one, two, three)!

p.s. Shout out to my Mom who is celebrating her birthday today! She loves coffee too! (We’re Italian. We like a lot of lattes!)

Type event in Toronto this Thursday

Rest assured, you’re not alone with your type love.

Creative Type is holding its fourth typography exhibition in Toronto this Thursday, May 24 (tomorrow!) at 6pm at Cooper Cole Gallery.

The exhibition is a curated show of artwork selected by Creative Type’s founding members, designers Carla Poirier, Jacqueline Lane and Blair Johnsrude. This year’s theme, “History”, brings “informal cohesion to some of the most compelling typographic work to date.”

Check out the show and mingle with local artists, illustrators, graphic designers and type thinkers interested in how words and letters affect visual expression and messaging. More details and to rsvp for the event, check out the Creative Type four event page on Facebook.

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.

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 Clôture 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 clôture, $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!

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.

Interview: Robert and Cortney Novogratz

Robert and Cortney Novogratz do keep themselves busy. Not only have they been successful and inspirational designers for more than two decades, this dynamic duo has also been sharing their knowledge of design through the medium of television, most recently on HGTV’s Home by Novogratz. They’re also the authors of the successful book, Downtown Chic.

Robert & Cortney Novogratz (via)

Oh, and if you haven’t already heard, they have seven kids to take care of too!

The Novogratz Family

I recently had the opportunity to ask Robert and Cortney some questions about their approach to design. Before I share their responses with you, I thought we could have a little peek into their own homes (yes, multiple). I really love seeing how designers design for themselves (and, of course, how they incorporate white).

In New York…

via Novogratz

via Novogratz

via Novogratz

via Novogratz

In Great Barrington…

via Novogratz

via Novogratz

In Brazil…

via Novogratz

The Novogratz also bring in quite a bit of white into the spaces they design for their clients.

via

via

via

I just love that while this couple obviously loves high-impact colours, industrial design, and a variety of materials, they also use white to make their designs complete. I recently asked them about their fondness of white, among other things, and I am happy to share their responses with you today.

***

1. What is one of your favourite spaces to design?

We love all different kinds of spaces. Homes, stores, schools – we are always looking for a new challenge.

2. What are two of your best organization tips, tricks, or tools?

Two great tricks for instantly improving your space: 1. Get rid of clutter and watch your room open up and feel more spacious. 2. A new coat of paint can work miracles. Don’t be afraid to try a little colour (or more) if you are feeling bold.

3. What three elements define a well-designed space?

Does it work for the people using it? Is it comfortable? Is it chic?

4. What are four of your best ways to avoid clutter?

Get rid of what you don’t really need. Kids don’t have to have boxes and boxes of toys. Just keep their favourites and what they use regularly. Donate the rest, give it to friends or family, or have a tag sale! For what is left – get some good storage. Make it easily accessible to the kids. The same applies to adults. If you have a collection of something you really love, or books you don’t want to part with, find a cool way to display them that does not look cluttered. Closed-cupboard storage is great for things you really need but don’t necessarily want out for the world to see.

5. What are five of your favourite white accessories/objects/pieces of furniture (that you own or that you often use in your designs)?

We love white candles, white flowers, and white walls. They are all excellent for different reasons. Because we love bright pops of colour in our design, white is a really good way to make art, accessories, and brightly-hued walls pop. We have great white vintage dining chairs made from washable leather so they are easy to clean. The floors in our country home are painted white, which really opened the space. White is classic and always looks good.

6. What are your six top shopping destinations (i.e., for home, clothing, food, etc.)?

We have lots of shopping destinations. We love a good flea market anywhere in the world and the one in Brimfield, MA, is one of the best. We also love shopping for vintage pieces in Hudson, NY, and several locations around NYC. For decor items that are affordable, CB2, IKEA, Target. For clothes and food, there are nine of use, so the shopping choices are quite diverse.

7. What are seven of your kids’ favourite toys/books/objects?

Legos (especially Star Wars) are big with our twin sons, who are six. One of our sons loves music and musical instruments. Our girls love to read. Our oldest is an athlete so many of his favourite things are in that arena. Our three year-old has a stuffed dog he likes quite a lot.

***

Many thanks to Robert and Cortney Novogratz for taking the time to respond to my questions. Thank you to Sarah Stevens at Shaw Media/HGTV Canada for arranging this interview.

Read more about HGTV’s Home by Novogratz here.

Event: Art Toronto 2011

I was lucky enough to spend yesterday afternoon surrounded by incredible and varied art work at Art Toronto.

cover art by Edward Burtynsky

If you’re in Toronto and looking for a great way to spend an hour (or many as I did!) I highly recommend a visit to this international art fair as you are sure to be amazed and inspired.

There is so much to see and a lot to take in and this week on White Cabana I will be sharing with you some of the art that really caught my attention. For now, I’ll just let you know that I was especially amused by Kent Monkman‘s The Art Game – an interactive “funhouse” at this year’s show.

The Art Game by Kent Monkman

The event is at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and runs until October 31st. For more information click here.