Shelve it!

by Johanne

We’ve been talking about getting organized this year and there are some seriously sweet shelves at West Elm to get that home or office project started.

Angle Nesting Shelves, $99 for a set of one large, medium and small size at West Elm

Two sets make a great wall display.

We also really like these mirror-backed box shelves:

Mirror Box Shelves,$34 - $49 at West Elm

Looks great on its own, too

And more clean lines..

Modular shelves, $79 - $139 at West Elm

Modular shelves in black in a white cabana..

.. or tone on tone

Images and snazzy shelves from West Elm.

Spring Campaigns in B&W

by Johanne

As some of you know, my thoughts are typically walking the aisles of the fashion world although, these days, my ukulele is doing all the walking and talking.

Today I’m featuring images from two advertising campaigns that are getting a lot of rubber-necking. The campaigns have much in common:

– Both are in black and white

– Both feature ‘it’ model Lara Stone

– Both are photographed by ‘it’ photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot of Mert & Marcus

– Both are for spring/summer 2011

– Both are a little arresting.

Without further ado, our first campaign:

Calvin Klein’s Spring/Summer 2011

photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot of Mert & Marcus

I really like this Calvin Klein campaign: the simplicity of the styling works with the clothes’ minimalist cuts. Klein is known for his love of black & white in everything that communicates the brand: campaign photos and his logo, for instance, continue to stick to the recipe after all these years. He’s also infamous for launching the so-called anorexic model look of the ’90s and his affinity for half-naked bony models had us complaining enough that he’s toned it down a notch for 2011.

With Lara Stone for spring, we see the gender-bender play he’s also fond of but we get a few curves and not-so-straight lines among all the symmetry. The campaign images are classic examples of photo compositions that are perfect because of a slight disturbance in the proportions. In the top left photo, an otherwise symmetrical image gives the illusion of a longer leg because of Lara’s off stance.

In the top right image, the perfect symmetry of Lara’s face and her outfit’s geometric lines are challenged by the asymmetry of her sloped shoulders. It’s simply stunning.

And now for our second campaign:

Givenchy Spring/Summer 2011

photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot of Mert & Marcus

I like this campaign; it’s definitely one we’d call ‘unconventional’. Prints are a contrast to solid white and black, people are layers to each other within the images and odd shadows lurk about. Not a hair is out of place- literally- except perhaps on Lara Stone, and we can forgive her for that because of a certain menacing-looking and albino Stephen Thompson hovering behind. And he really is albino- that’s not his fault, either.

In terms of selling clothes, I’m not sure that this Givenchy campaign works. If it’s to relate a mood, a weird moment in time or the beauty in the odd, then it’s a perfect sales pitch.

Images courtesy of Givenchy and Calvin Klein.

Luxury in the New Year

by Johanne

Happy New Year!

This New Year, I’m making a resolution to live life better. In essence, I aim to truly manifest my father’s wisdom: “Work smarter, not harder.”

This motto can be applied to many facets of living: by working smarter, energy is focused on producing quality and time is valued as precious and limited. When working smarter, not harder, you actually free up hours in the day for what’s important in life. It’s a kind of de-cluttering; it’s definitely a philosophy.

Luxurious living is about enjoying the best in life and that doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money or effort. It’s about thinking and planning smarter and simpler, not harder.

Treating yourself to luxuries such as a bubble bath, a cozy throw, or de-cluttering the kitchen and office are some of the easiest ways to make small positive changes to brighten your daily life.

Wishing you luxuries big and small this 2011! I’m looking forward to hearing about how you’ll be working smarter, not harder, this year!

Images courtesy of Flor’s Blog on Design and AB Home Interiors Blog.

A few more last-minute gifts

by Johanne

3 days away and still lots to do.

I’m all for the one-stop shopping experience. This year I managed to cram my Christmas gift shopping list into four stops, including stores where I had to go anyway to buy supplies for my own holiday survival kit (ie. the wine & spirits store).

Hopefully you’re getting near the bottom of the list and maybe, like me, you’re already done (!). Either way, ain’t nothin’ wrong with taking a little peak at what’s happening at one of our fave all-around go-to suppliers: the Paper Source.

If not for this Christmas, surely other occasions will come up to justify a little bit of this:

Paper cardstock tree house, $29.95

Smencils smell deelish and are made from 100% recycled paper. Perfect for decorating a paper tree house! $15.95 for a yummy 10-pack

Bathtub tea, $3.95
Camera rubber stamp, $6.95
Printed in Italy utensil paper, $3.75 for a 20″ x 28″ sheet
Monogram letter press stationary, $6.50 for 10 flat cards
Donkey memo paper (includes 140 blank slips), $12.95

For these and more visit the Paper Source.

Stocking stuffers for the foodie

by Johanne

White stocking stuffers for the DIY foodie:

Beaded napkin rings, $30 for a set of 4 at Urban Barn

Peppermint hot chocolate and handcrafted marshmellows set, $32.50 at Williams Sonoma

Personalized apron, $29 at Williams Sonoma

Stainless steel moose corkscrew, $30 at Urban Barn

Koi glass tumblers, $24 at Urban Barn

Cookie jar, $14.95 at Crate & Barrel

Classic Century sauce boat, $47.95 at Crate & Barrel

Milk frother, $19.95 at Crate & Barrel

Microwave egg boiler, $4.49 at Kitchen Stuff Plus

Stainless steel pierogi maker, $8.99 at Kitchen Stuff Plus

Handmade cocktail picks, $0.99 for a set of three at Kitchen Stuff Plus

Mini lettuce spinner, $24.95 at Crate & Barrel

Matryoshka measuring spoons, $8 at Urban Outfitters

Lace dish, $6 at Urban Outfitters

Monogrammed soap set, $29 at Pottery Barn

Images courtesy of Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Urban Barn, Urban Outfitters, and Kitchen Stuff Plus.

Deep Design

Post by Johanne

Deep Design hard at work. The Bluebell prototype floor lamp takes its name from the plant it so perfectly embodies.

In case you missed it when you were traveling in Milan last year, lucky for you, we have images of the deepdesign exhibit at the Triennale Design Museum in Italy.

The fascinating exposition is about “l’anima sensibile delle cose” (“the sensible soul of things”) and showcases six objects and an assortment of photos featuring the innovative creations by Matteo Bazzicalupo and Raffaella Mangiarotti of the Milanese design agency Deep Design.

The show’s press release explains the design duo’s philosophy and approach to commercial and industrial design: “Taking as their model the dynamics of the natural world, deepdesign’s research aims to harmonize functional complexity and formal organicism to achieve a pure one economy of the shape.”

Here’s a sampler of the Milanese exhibit:


Deep Design duo Matteo Bazzicalupo and Raffaella Mangiarotti with the Dandelion lamp: a thin stalk topped with dandelion-like seed puffs, light as air.


The Flexica is designed to be able to slide under low-lying furniture in the home- unlike many electric vacuum appliances that simply don't fit. The reality of our furnishings is that there isn't a lot of space underneath our chairs, recliners, and love-seats and somehow, other vacuums on the market fail to address this challenge.

Deep Design's Flexica


The Pulse washing vessel is Deep Design's washing machine prototype based on the concept of centripetal force. The vessel is designed to keep air and water in continuous flow, and with the help of various membranes and pressure changes, the laundry gets done. When the device is in use, a light icon is activated via electroluminescence.

Flat Piano

The Flat Piano addresses that interior design question of where to keep the space-greedy but beautiful grand piano in today's smaller homes. Deep Design suggests an alternative to the dining room or work table: an electronic keyboard that runs under a large glossy white top with an electronic device that acts as its sound board. When not being played it becomes a work or dining table. With built-in amplifiers meticulously designed to evenly deliver 3D sound across the surface of the table, it's practical without compromising sound quality.


Deep Design's prototype hair dryer is designed to address the hairdresser's uncomfortable posture from using typical hair dryers. Its double airflow, L-shape and redesigned internal components are also intended to direct the airflow directly at the hair for better styling while also reducing the strain on the hairdresser's arm from twisting the typical hair dryer into a 90 degree position.

Images and more information about the Deep Design exhibit prototypes can be found at Plus Mood. For more information about the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, we suggest visiting the Museum website.

Light my seat

Post by Johanne

Chester Lit Armchair, $680 at Design Within Reach

Light-filled chairs and chesterfields are the latest concoctions to arrive at Design Within Reach.

The company asked Italian designers Raffaella Mangiarotti and Matteo Bazzicalupo of Deep Design to refine the 2009 model and make it better suited to braving the outdoors.

(You might know Mangiarotti from her Dandelion Lamp now included in MoMA’s permanent collection, pictured below:)

Deep Design's Matteo Bazzicalupo and Raffaella Mangiarotti with the Dandelion Lamp

The collab between Deep Design and DWR is what we see today: the Chester chair’s button tufting and rounded arms are fun and comfortable while the innovative draining system ensures that the chair and built-in light fixture will remain dry and weather-proof.

What a brilliant solution.

Product image courtesy of Design Within Reach; Deep Design image courtesy of Plus Mood.

P.S. I was so inspired by Deep Design’s work that I embarked on a little search to feature more of their designs on White Cabana next Wednesday. Stay tuned for more inventive Deep Design!

Heart of Goodness

Last week I wrote about my love of coffee. Turns out that Johanne (Fashion in Motion editor and White Cabana contributor) has a talent for making hearts in her latte! Who knew?

Made with love: I spy a heart!

p.s. I know – the cup/saucer combo is pretty cool too!
p.p.s. Johanne swears this is an easy DIY. Perhaps we can convince her to share the step-by-step how-to!

Photo by Johanne.

The Modern Rocking Horse

by Johanne

Hi-Ho Rocking Horse, $875 USD at Design Within Reach

Made by Jarred Lim, the Hi-Ho rocking horse “reinterprets the traditional rocking horse with the idea that it can be viewed as a modern sculpture, capable of fitting into even the most sophisticated interior.

Says designer Lim: “The simple elements create a mature, timeless design that is fun without appearing childish.”

Trimmed with sheepskin from New Zealand that can be removed for cleaning, the Hi-Ho’s innards are made of recycled foam. Smart, stylish and fun- having little ones around doesn’t mean you have to compromise on design.

Image courtesy of Design Within Reach.

Leather in white

I confess: I often dream of living in a white home with white walls, white furniture trimmed with chrome and wood. Maybe you have these dreams too- a modern fantasy that is all about clean, spartan space. There’s a certain efficiency and an air of cool, calm and collected that comes in white environment.

I love leather and I love it on everything, so if I had a white home I would have more than a few white leather pieces like these:

White leather swivel chair, at Elte in Toronto

White leather dining chair, at Elte in Toronto

by Johanne

Images courtesy of Elte.

Lanterns for November

Perfect for every season and occasion: white lanterns, $15 at Pier 1

I was a little sad this week boxing up my Halloween lanterns and I thought what better way to say goodbye to orange glowing pumpkin lights than with a replacement: pristine white lanterns, anyone?

There’s something about white lanterns that feels at once festive and comforting. It will also be a nice touch in your living room as the days shorten and these small orbs glow softly into the November evening.

Go garland or try a few medium-sized battery-operated paper lanterns (below). These will work like magic (and we especially love that there will be no trace of an electric cord).

Battery-operated paper lantern, 14"W x 14"D x 16"H, $7 at Pier 1

Written by Johanne.

Images courtesy of Pier 1.

Scary Shower Time

Halloween is just a few days away and we couldn’t resist featuring this fun and rather scary shower curtain.

Scary shower curtain, $28 at Urban Outfitters

We suspect that even if you had it hanging in your bathroom for weeks on end, sooner or later there would be that one occasion in the middle of the night when you’d forget it was there, and then BOO!

That’s one way to wake up.

Scary shower curtain available at Urban Outfitters.

Two white stools

I just love these two stools, great for everything from piling up the newspaper as you leaf through it on a Saturday to being that extra seat when the loveseat’s taken at the party.

Ceramic white stool, crackle finish, at Elte in Toronto

Ceramic white stool, crackle finish, at Elte in Toronto

Images courtesy of Elte.

White dreams

Don’t you think you’d have the most marvelous dreams if this lovely white bed was yours (below)? How’s this for sweet dreams: this bed is made from FSC certified sustainable ash wood.

White ash bed, $3,900 for Queen size at Area

Maybe all you need is a few pillows and a throw to spruce up your bedroom or living room. We love this white Reed blanket (pictured below) because it’s super soft and made from recycled plastic bottle fibres (75%) and cotton (25%).

Reed blanket in Snow colour, $200 at Area

We’re also feeling this crochet vibe on the Violet pillow (below):

Feather down insert pillows covered with 100% linen and hand crochet detail. $145 each at Area

Bed, pillows, and throw available at Area.

A Good Boy

This White Poodle is really good at sit & stay. $139 at Urban Barn

Need a little company in your condo? How about “man’s best friend”, but not just any canine- an elegantly coiffed white poodle (made of white poly resin) sitting patiently at your knee. With a generally blank but friendly face, this silent companion is already fed, walked and requires little obedience training.

We also really like our furry friend standing up ready to chase a ball. Not to worry: you don’t even need to lift a finger. As long as you don’t mind being the one doing the fetching.

Good boy, Fifi!

The Standing Poodle will wait for you. $149 at Urban Barn

Images courtesy of Urban Barn.

Writing White

The ACME rollerball pen collection is a collaboration between designers and Stylus to create contemporary writing instruments. What's more, they can be converted into fountain pens with a separate kit. Above, the "Metamorph" pen by Asymptote, $90 at Stylus.

Well, actually, it’s the writing instruments that are white, although we highly recommend opting for some white ink for your next “Dear Secret Admirer” correspondence.

As writers and fond friends of paper and pens, we’re excited to feature the ACME collection of writing instruments available at Stylus. These modern and beautiful pens are the product of industry designers’ take on this most under-rated everyday tool.

Our fave: the “Punctuation” rollerball pen by Harry Allen (pictured below). Don’t you just adore all those exclamation points and accents “aigus“?

ACME "Punctuation" pen by Harry Allen, $95

ACME "Halftone" pen by Todd Falowsky, $95

ACME "Petal" pen by Gabrielle Lewin, $95

ACME "Geometri- Blk/Wht" pen by Verner Panton, $95

Images courtesy of Stylus.

Swooning over Dedon

Timeless classics in outdoor furniture, by none other than German outdoor fibre weavers Dedon.

Happy 20th anniversary, Dedon!

Dedon furniture is crafted to be waterproof. It's worth the investment, wouldn't you say?

Yin chaise longue

Summer cloud beach chair

Orbit loveseat with canopy

Slim triangle table

Daydream four post bed

Images courtesy of studio b, where Dedon furniture is available for your triumphant acquisition.

Stamping White

Frost White Ink is a shimmery white pigment ink perfect for stamping. $6.61, at Stampin' Up!

With the fall season breezing in this month I’m proposing a white stamping option for your paper projects.

I’ve had a thing for stamps since I was but yay tall (as they say) and my stamps are still kicking around in a shoebox, waiting for a fresh coat of shimmery white ink to modernize their rubber faces.

As it turns out, white ink can be hard to find and I was delighted to stumble upon Stampin’ Up!‘s Frost White pigment ink (pictured, top). I really like the idea of using white ink instead of coloured ink because:

1. White ink will look fab on coloured paper.

2. White ink will add a certain texture and sheen to white card stock.

3. I love white.

I’m also coveting some new additions to my informal stamp collection. Here are my best picks for fall’s paper projects:

Woodgrain rubber stamp, $13.95 at Paper Source

Bird trio stamp set, $15.95 for three stamps at Paper Source

Oak leaf stamp, $8.00 at Paper Source

Pinecone rubber stamp, $5.50 at Paper Source

If you’re thinking of going all-out with fall’s lovely warm colours, might we propose this fall colour wheel (which includes a white ink pad- of course.)

Colorbox inkpad, $16.95 at Paper Source.

Images courtesy of Stampin’ Up! and Paper Source.

Jigsaw joy

Hey commuters, here’s a quick and fun game you won’t resist: a white Jigsaw puzzle!

This jigsaw puzzle by Game Design is animated in Flash and very easy to use- just drag and drop the shapes into place on the game board. It’s simple enough to complete in a minute or two and reward you with a perfect score.

Simple and fun. Free white Jigsaw puzzle by Game Design.

Click here to play a round (or two).

Image courtesy of Game Design.

Deelish Inside Out

Doily-wrapped cupcakes are my idea of a white tea party treat

This Wednesday I offer you a very easy do-it-yourself project to make a pretty treat even more fun. Use these white cupcake wrappers at your next gals’ night in and you’ll earn major domestic goddess points.

I found this little project featured one of our favourite blogs, How About Orange, who in turn found it at Intimate Weddings. I reproduced the instructions here to show you just how easy it is to create these lovely white cupcake wraps. To make the doily cupcake wrap you will need to download the semi-circle pattern shape here.

What you need:

Doilies (About 11 inches across, makes two cupcake wrappers)

Everyday tools: paper, scissors, glue stick

How to make the cupcake wrapper (3 super easy steps):

Step 1: Trace inner part of the the semi-circle pattern on the doily (see images A and B below). Semi-circle pattern available for download here from original source.

1 Paper doily approx. 11 inches across

Trace the inner semi-circle pattern on the doily. Trace the side edges. One pattern tracing = 1 cupcake wrapper.

Step 2: Cut out the inner circle and sides.

Cut your doily along the semi-circle pattern line you traced.

Step 3: Glue the edges of the wrapper together.

Use a glue stick to glue the edges together.

And voila.

Happy tea party!

Images and instructions courtesy of Intimate Weddings, as seen on How About Orange where you can get your doily fix with a post today rounding up of doily projects (!). Happy doily day!

Wallpaper Impact

This blown-up rose wallpaper in two shades is one of my favourite tricks for delineating spaces. Wallpaper and image from Scandinavian Wallpaper Decor.

Last week I took you on an imaginary trip aboard a mobile white cabana lined with beautiful wallpaper from Scandinavian Wallpaper Decor.

This week I’m back on the job looking at the impact of wallpaper in everyday spaces. Let’s explore what wallpaper and the use of white can do to proportions, furniture, atmosphere, and our creativity.

Repetition is the name of the wallpaper game. Stacked tables meet the curves of the pedestal chair in this Wave wallpaper a la '60s.

A geo use of white in the background gives definition to the room, tying the interior together and making the plush furniture float.

A genius use of white gives shape to an otherwise square space.

More angles: colour and positioning of this wallpaper transforms a rectangular corridor into a lofty room with upward reach.

Intensity reigns in this room thanks to this powerful wallpaper...

... While here, the same room is serenely anticipating a docking ship.

Have a seat and relax in our waiting room.

White lace wallpaper has a barely-there, texturizing effect in the bedroom, and it's subtle enough to play nice with bold jewel tones.

White is never, ever boring. Here, it's the star of the show and packs a punch to this regal purple. Careful disorder adds life to otherwise studied symmetry.

Silver adds shine to this white think tank.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Why not from business suit staples?

White on white is the ticket for clean and airy spaces. This white wallpaper dress embodies the swirl of design possibilities.

Images courtesy of Scandinavian Wallpaper Decor.

Special thanks to my sister Stephanie for inspiring me; her wallpaper boudoir transformation is at home among these model spaces.

White Cabana- To Go

OAS collection wallpapers drape the inside of this delightful White Cabana on wheels.

While researching for the wallpaper post appearing next week I found these lovely examples of wallpaper as the backdrop to various interiors of this oval white motor home trailer.

Wouldn’t you love a white cabana to go?

P.S. Thank you to Jordana here at White Cabana for taking me on this wonderful white blogging trip: I’ll go anywhere with you in this white white world!

Images courtesy of Scandinavian Wallpaper & Decor.

Marimekko World

Cityscape and people watching on your duvet by Marimekko

What can I say? I have Marimekko graphics on the mind this week and I couldn’t help featuring some of the latest collection.

The Finnish company continues to build on their renowned use of bold graphics and cheerful colours hailing back to the brand’s conception in the swirl of mid-century design aesthetic.

Despite my rainbow tendencies, I fell for today’s white and black accessories for the home. My favourite print: the urban city scene outlines that are like a flash in time capturing the essence of movement with a few sketches.

Marimekko kitchen accessories

Marimekko tray

Marimekko kitchen accessories

Marimekko kitchen accessory

Marimekko kitchen accessories

Marimekko plywood tray

Marimekko kitchen accessories

Marimekko duvet cover

Marimekko duvet cover

All images courtesy of Marimekko.

Paper world

Matthew Sporzynski's paper creations appear in Real Simple magazine.

Artist Matthew Sporzynski is the kind of artist we love to celebrate. His paper creations are whimsical and cheerful, reviving everyday objects and reminding us of our Western lifestyle.

We love peeking at his replicas and wondering how he created a bowl full of popcorn or a clothesline of office basics.

Laundry clothesline by Matthew Sporzynski

Pencils by Matthew Sporzynski

Pots and dirt by Matthew Sporzynski

Tomato plant by Matthew Sporzynski

Strawberries by Matthew Sporzynski

Popcorn by Matthew Sporzynski

Images courtesy of Real Simple Magazine where you can view many more of Matthew Sporzynski’s beautiful paper creations.

Temp Art

For those who always wanted something a little different: cloud raining dandelion puffs temporary tattoo, $12

It’s the year 2010 and perhaps there’s never been a more liberated era than ours today. So much so that the temporary body art decals we are featuring in this post seem almost yesteryear.

In a Lady Gaga world, is there really anything risqué, rebellious, or even sexy about a tattoo? And how about a temporary one?

Do tattoos still have the power to provoke? Or are tattoos a private joy for the bearer?

To help with these questions, we’ve featured the best temporary body art decals from UK provider Inkwear. What’s your take on tatts?

Inkwear temporary tattoo sets are unique and fun- with zero commitment.

Celebrity tattoo collection.

Images courtesy of Inkwear.

Metal Lace

We love the delicate cut-out shapes of these metal lace table top accessories. They strike that contemporary balance somewhere between Moroccan lanterns, Art Deco aspirations, and grandma’s doilies.

The trays are obviously useful as well as simple decorative pieces, and to be perfectly honest, I predict the napkin holder will manifest itself in my home in the near future.

Round metal lace tray, $20 at Urban Barn

Square metal lace tray, $22 at Urban Barn

Napkin holder, $8 at Urban Barn

Candle holder, $16 at Urban Barn

Images courtesy of Urban Barn.

Google White

The Google background image in plain white is my new default setting.

Apparently there was quite the panic online last week as the world logged into their computers, booted up their web browsers and –gasp!– Google had changed its background image to a garish nature scene.

It didn’t take us very long to find the ‘Remove background image” link and change the background to this simple white option (pictured above), located very last in the Editor’s Picks.

Why stick with Google’s trademark colours when you can enjoy the classic simplicity of those rounded letters, lightly shadowed and wonderfully spartan in white?

Sea shells are summer

Set of two double-sided measuring spoons, $14, at Anthropologie

For those of us who count few and treasured yearly brushes with sea shores and their lapped up marvels, sea shells encapsulate all things warm, paradisaical, and escapist.

From time to time we dip into fantasies of eternal summer and stretches of hot sand and turquoise waves harbouring the lives of creatures we hardly know. If we had to sum up visions of southern climes in a singular symbol, wouldn’t the humble sea shell win the prize?

Add shells to your daily life and bring in a little bit of sun, sea shores, and summer.

Urchin terranium, $118

Tropical shell curtain with washed driftwood bamboo, 74" L x 24" W, $118

Driftwood garland, $48

Coral branch measuring spoons, $24

Urchin shell door knob, $10

Barnacle centre piece, $48

Diving whale terranium, $178

Shell candle, $36

Images courtesy of Anthropologie.

Welcome Johanne!

Today I am so so so happy to welcome Johanne to White Cabana. Johanne (of Fashion in Motion fame) is White Cabana’s first contributing author and I am overjoyed that she has decided to join me on this journey into whiteness. Hooray!

You can get to know more about Johanne here and here.

Bienvenue Johanne! Good times ahead...

Image courtesy of Banter Banner.