Food: The Nugateau √Čclair

When I was in Toronto on the weekend, my friend and I picked up a pair of √©clairs from Nugateau – a sweet √©clair-focused patisserie. In fact, Nugateau is Canada’s first all-√©clair patisserie. As soon as I entered the shop, I was reminded of the classic French patisserie with colourful pastel creations. Every piece of dessert was so beautiful.

I had experienced Nugateau at the Terroir Symposium last spring, but this was my first time I was able to see all the creations in person. It was delightful!

We picked up the Pistachio Royal and Rosabelle. It was hard to take the first bite because I didn’t want to mess up the design. But the √©clair was delicious, so you know I couldn’t wait all that long! Because the Nugateau √©clairs are made with high quality ingredients, and no artificial flavours are used, their taste is rich and distinct.


I love the idea of bringing the French patisserie to Canada, don’t you? And for those of you who love √©clairs, definitely make a stop into Nugateau on your next trip to Toronto.

Event: Interior Design Show, Toronto

If you’re in love with the world of interior design, then the Interior Design Show (IDS) is the place for you! IDS is coming to Toronto this weekend, and there is a long list of impressive speakers and exhibitors that will be in attendance.

IDS speakers include Shauna Levy (President of Canada’s Design Exchange), Brian Gluckstein (interior designer), Lynda Reeves (of House & Home magazine), Tommy Smythe (designer and tv personality), Karim Rashid (designer), and Arren Williams (creative director, designer, writer).

IDS exhibitors will include many of my favourite brands, and I’m keen on seeing what’s new and upcoming in the world of design. This will be an especially fun visit for me as I have my own renos to plan, and I’m looking for what I can include in my designs. Here are just some of the exhibitors you’ll get to meet at IDS this year.

1925 Workbench


Bettencourt Manor


Bole Floor



Maison Basque

Urban Barn

If the weather cooperates, I’ll be in attendance, so stay tuned for future posts right here on White Cabana as well as on my Instagram and Twitter accounts.

If you’re interested to learn more, check out IDS. The show runs from January 18-21 at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre.

Gift Guide: For the Host and Hostess

I’m so grateful that Daniela has taken time out of her very busy schedule to share four amazing gift guides on White Cabana. Her earlier guides, in case you missed them, focused on babies and toddlers, tweens and teens, her and him.¬† In this last guide, she’s sharing more original ideas for the host. Or, as she told me, thoughtful “just because” gifts. And, yup, that’s Daniela…always thinking of others!


Are you always stuck for what to bring to that dinner party or holiday drop-in? Or maybe you’re stuck on ideas for a small token for a teacher, coworker, or friend? This list is made up of affordable (under $30, with the exception of one!) items that cater to all types of people, but it is especially geared towards those drop-in visits and dinner parties we attend more frequently this holiday season.

Candles. Who doesn’t love a nice smelling candle? This one comes wrapped so nicely, so it’s ready for gift giving!

candle, $14 CAD (on sale), Chapters Indigo

Ornaments are great for those of us who celebrate the holidays with a tree. An ornament is a thoughtful gift your recipients will remember you by year after year. These ones are monogrammed with an initial and can be given by first or last name.

monogram ornament, $6 CAD (on sale), Chapters Indigo

The pineapple trend is still hot, and people are incorporating pineapples in home d√©cor and accent pieces. This pineapple jar can be used for anything “dry,” or it can be left out empty. In addition to it being a trendy item, pineapples signify warmth, friendship, and hospitality. These are all the things you receive when going to visit friends and family over the holidays.

pineapple storage jar, $22.49 CAD (on sale), Well

The store Saje started off with only a few locations, but now you can find many all around. It has the best essential oils and aromatherapy items for home and body healing. No doubt this store will continue to grow and thrive as people are increasingly pursuing personal wellness. This great housewarming gift is priced just under $30.

electric ceramic diffuser, $29.95 CAD, Saje

Know anyone who loves stationery? Eighty Seventh St. is a Canadian company founded by Monica Smiley. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for great illustrations that are sure to bring a smile to your face. These items found online are sure to please the stationery-lover in your life.

notes, $12.50 CAD, Eighty Seventh St.

all occasion boxed notecards, $20 CAD, Eighty Seventh St.

greeting cards, Eighty Seventh St.

L’Occitane En Provence is sure to please anyone on your list. Below are two well-priced hostess/host gifts. I am a big fan of the hand cream and lip balm. They’re packaged beautifully in true “French” fashion.

shea butter holiday bauble, $14 CAD, L’Occitane

shea hugs and kisses, $20 CAD, L’Occitane

Who doesn’t love a magazine subscription? The gift of reading is perfect every time. Start someone’s year off right with a subscription to Style at Home, since it is priced perfectly, and it’s gift that will have your friends thinking of you each month.

Style at Home year subscription, $23.95 CAD for print, $19.95 for digital

As a true coffee lover, I can’t start my day without two cups. I have to draw attention to my favorite coffee – Dineen Coffee Company. We drive here monthly to pick up a few bags of their beans which we grind at home each morning. When I say “we,” I really mean my husband. There is really nothing like a good quality cup of coffee. If you happen to be in the Toronto area, trust me, buying someone a nice bag of Dineen’s temperance roast will not disappoint. It truly is my favorite cup of coffee.

Dineen Coffee

I know that many people won’t be able to make it down to Toronto, so on the subject of coffee, if you have a coffee lover on your host/hostess list, this coffee maker is not only one of a kind, but it makes an incredible cup of coffee. It is on the higher end of my price point for a hostess gift. However, if you know someone who really loves coffee, they will thank you each time you visit by making an exceptional tasting cup. And, cool bit of info, this Chemex coffee maker is featured in the MOMA in NYC!

Chemex coffee maker, $47.99 CAD (on sale), Well

Happy shopping!

– Daniela


Oh my goodness, Daniela! You’ve shared another excellent gift guide today! Thank you! I hope you get spoiled this holiday season!

Marketplace: Caribou Cabin

I’m thrilled to share news of the recent launch of Caribou Cabin – a Canadian company specializing in well-designed and beautifully manufactured chalkboards, corkboards, whiteboards, and pinboards. Organization and art all in one item? Yes, please!

One of the reasons that I’m eager to write about Caribou Cabin is because I have known one of the owners – Tim – since highschool (aka – years and years) and when he emailed to let me know about his newest venture, I was happy to help spread the word.

Each board is manufactured in the company’s Toronto workshop, and great care is taken to design and manufacture high-quality products that suit individual styles and homes. Frames come in multiple finishes for every board category, but you’ll see that (as per usual) I lean toward the white, black, and grey options.

magnetic chalkboard (top: black frame, bottom: white frame)


magnetic whiteboards

linen pinboards

Whether you’re in the market for a chalkboard, corkboard, whiteboard, or pinboard, you can browse the selection at Caribou Cabin, choose your size, select your frame, and easily place your order online. What’s not to love?

Stay tuned for another Caribou Cabin feature soon as I’d like to give you an up-close look at the linen pinboard that I have in my own home. Spoiler alert – it’s lovely!

Travel: White Cabana Goes to Toronto

I just came back from an extended stay in Toronto. I was there for an academic conference. My presentations went smoothly, and it was great to catch up with my academic community in person (#PhDlife). While I was there, I couldn’t help but snap photos.

Hydrangea pompoms in my parents’ garden. I love them!

The Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is one of my favourite buildings in the city.

Toronto in one photo: CN Tower in the background, TTC and postal-code-clad mail box in the foreground.

Skateboard action in front of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

Canadian chefs’ panel presentation at Terroir Symposium: Chef Lynn Crawford, Dufflet Rosenberg, Susur Lee, and Matty Matheson (full review coming soon)

If you’d like to see a few more photos (mostly of my outfits), check out #WhiteCabanaGoestoToronto.






Art: The Artbarn Auction

I love when people see white goodies and think of White Cabana! That’s what recently happened to Shannon (8foot6) who emailed me this photo of Tamim Sahib Zader’s white-on-white silkscreen.

silkscreen by Tamim Sahib Zader

This art piece is up for grabs at the Artbarn art auction online (currently) and offline this Thursday, February 9th in Toronto. The funds raised are going to support the Artbarn art school.


Beauty: A Salt Cave Experience at the Windsor Arms Hotel

Last week, when I shared how my friend and I spent 28 hours in Toronto, I mentioned that we started the day off at the Windsor Arms Hotel Spa.



The kind folks at the Windsor Arms scheduled us in for a salt cave experience. Salt. Cave. Say what? Yeah. I had no idea what that meant, so I read up on it on the spa site and decided that it could be an interesting way to spend some time.

The salt cave is also known as a halotherapy treatment (halos means salt in Greek). The microclimate of the salt caves provides natural benefits. Through relaxation in the darkened room and inhaling the salt and negative ions in the air, the experience results in a feeling of rejuvenation. Apparently, regular salt cave treatments can improve respiratory ailments, allergies, blood circulation, and it can also reduce stress.

So after dawning our swimsuits and robes, we entered the salt cave. It was a small dark room covered in salt – salt floor, salt walls, salt everywhere! The four reclining lounge chairs had blankets on them waiting to be used. The room was much colder than I had expected, so the blankets were definitely a necessity.

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My friend and I chatted for the first 10 minutes or so, but we soon realized that what we really wanted to do was to take deep breaths and maybe even a short snooze. It was definitely relaxing!

After 45 minutes, the spa director came to let us know that our session was up. I hadn’t noticed the passing of time, but I was getting cold at this point, so the 45 minute time period turned out to be perfect.

I don’t know much about the spa way of life, to tell you the truth, but what I do know is that I left the salt cave session feeling refreshed and very very calm. It was a win for me – especially after a busy work week! Would I do this again? Heck ya!

Beyond the salt cave, the Windsor Arms Hotel Spa offers many services in a lovely white spa space.

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Many thanks to Christine K. and the Windsor Arms Hotel Spa for sponsoring this post. All opinions and photos are my own.

Travel: The Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto

Now that you’ve seen how my friend and I spent 28 hours in Toronto, I’d like to share some more detailed news about our reunion trip, and I’ll start with our hotel.

I booked us in for a night at The Omni King Edward Hotel (aka the King Eddy) at the south end of the city. Although I had never been to the King Eddy, I knew of its reputation of one of the top hotels in Toronto, so I was easily convinced that we should try it out. I’m happy to say that the hotel and its services did not disappoint (That’s the short version of the review. If you’d like to know more, read on!).

We checked into the King Eddy a little later than anticipated because we were having so much fun on our casual shopping at Bloor/Yorkville. Both my friend and I were excited to check in and plop on our beds for a bit of a rest before dinner.


The King Eddy impresses right from the entrance. Valet parking is available as is a park-your-own-car public parking lot about a block away. Once inside, the grand lobby awaits your attention. The architectural details in the lobby – moldings, railings, ceilings – are full of history. The hotel recently completed a $40 million renovation (forty!), and the lobby is a reflection of that. The furniture is modern and elegant, and the design theme of the hotel (chess, crowns, grandeur) is set right at the front door.

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I’m honestly always a tad cautious when I check into fancy hotels. I’m usually curious to know if the place is pretentious or welcoming. Luckily, the check-in staff at the King Eddy was very friendly (Hi D!) and was able to engage in an informal conversation while maintaining his professionalism and sense of hospitality. I am a very particular customer, so I pay attention to just about every detail of an experience (so tough, I am!).

We took the elevator up to our room, and when we opened the door, we were in awe. The room was large. The suite – yes, it was a suite – had a bedroom with two queen beds, dresser, TV, and closet (with robes and slippers, I must add); a living area with a couch, coffee table, arm chair, desk area, and dining/chess table, console and TV (why have one when you can have two?); and a bathroom with gorgeous marble and plush towels. The three large closets in the suite were more than we needed, but we used them (just because we could!). We also put our luggage racks to use, and I set up the chess board just in case we wanted to play.


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Shortly after we arrived, D (from check-in) called to make sure we were happy with our suite. Happy? Of course! When I jokingly asked what the heck we were supposed to do with all the space, D said that the living area is a great place for thinking! Oh, amusing! It was then that I had regretted not booking us in for a 2-night stay! (In the end, we used the living area for magazine reading…and some thinking, too!)

Shortly after we threw on our King Eddy slippers, a server knocked on our door and ushered in plates of treats. What a delightful surprise! Shannon and I had the perfect afternoon snack (scones, tea, and Niagara’s Greaves jam) by the window. Details, people, I love these thoughtful details!


The beds in our suite were as comfy as you’d expect from a 5-star hotel, and there were plenty of pillows for added comfort. The black-our curtains darkened the room and added to our restful sleep.


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The bathroom, oh, yes, the bathroom. The shower was my favourite part because it was large, had amazing pressure, and a couple of shower heads…you know, because one might not be enough. There wasn‚Äôt a tub in our room, but maybe some rooms have one.



I also wandered around this historic hotel to see what it had to offer outside of our gorgeous suite. I can definitely see why the King Eddy is a hot-spot for parties, weddings, and every sort of event. The venue has beautiful spaces that can be reconfigured to suit various events. The art and architecture serve as beautiful backdrops for photos, and the recurring design themes of chess, elegance, and royalty are consistent throughout the property.



White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-26 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-25 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-24 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-23 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-22 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-21 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-20 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-19 White-Cabana-Omni-King-Edward-18 The King Eddy also houses a spa and multiple dining options. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to try either, but this just means that I’ll have to make a return trip!


Check out the rooms and rates at The Omni King Edward Hotel if you’re planning a visit to Toronto and would like to be surrounded by luxury!

Thanks to The Omni King Edward Hotel for sponsoring our stay. All opinions and photographs are mine.

Travel: 28 Hours in Toronto

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

Heck ya!

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

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

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


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


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

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


We left the Cave feeling refreshed and calm.

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


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


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



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

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

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


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


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



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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The Friday Five: On Sale at Elte, Toronto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real Estate: Bridle Path Home in Toronto

Not only is the home mansion below in one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, but it was also the home of Regina George (played by Rachel McAdams) in the Mean Girls movie. Cool? Yes!

The 20,000 square foot home is now on the market, and it has received quite a bit of media attention already (see US Weekly, Refinery 29, Vogue, USA Today, Daily Mail). Naturally, I was drawn to some of the impressive white spaces in the home, so I thought we should really just take a tour today. What do you think the listing price is?

The entrance could probably house a few smaller homes inside of it. The chandelier/ceiling must have been incredibly reinforced before the fixture was hung.

_E8A2467_8_9_E8A2716_7_8The kitchen is immaculate. The fridge-freezer combo is enviable (as are all the appliances if I’m being honest here)._E8A2700_1_2 _E8A2697_8_9 _E8A2672_3_4 _E8A2667_8_9The living room has an incredible wall of windows, sleek low furniture, and a fancy fireplace. The marble columns, however, are puzzling. I’m not sure about the purpose of the short ones. The harp in the corner is so cool. What an interesting instrument!

_E8A2541_2_3_E8A2571_2_3 _E8A2565_6_7_E8A2552_3_4 Marble continues in one of the 12 (twelve!) bathrooms. The tub is perfectly centred._E8A2756_7_8 _E8A2761_2_3 11 High Point Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

As if all of this wasn’t enough – check out the library, wine cellar, and tennis courts. Impressive to say the least.

So, what’s the price tag? This property is currently listed at $14.8 million (Canadian dollars).

Listing by Paul Maranger, Christian Vermast, and Fran Bennett of Sotheby’s. Images via Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

Event: Pottery Class at Inspirations Studio

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel: A Quick Trip To Toronto

A friend and I met in Toronto last weekend for a fun weekend away from reality. It was glorious. Here’s a quick recap of what we did, saw, and ate during our 24 hours in the city.

Shopping…what girls’ weekend doesn’t include a bit of shopping? Anthropologie was a highlight – mostly for the styling, I have to say. It’s such a pretty place!

White-Cabana-Toronto-9I saw the white background and thought it was perfect for a selfie. Please note: I am actually wearing sandals (spring has finally made an appearance), and I do not have a jacket on. There were big changes in the weather last weekend!


White-Cabana-Toronto-1On the recommendation of a friend, we went to The Carbon Bar for dinner. The menu has all the goodness of southern cookin’ – ribs, cornbread, slaw, grits – and the cocktails to match I was torn between the brisket and the squid/mussels/pork belly + lentils dish, and in the end, I opted for the fish. I don’t think you can actually make a wrong decision at The Carbon Bar. Everything that was coming out of the kitchen looked delicious.

White-Cabana-Toronto-2White-Cabana-Toronto-3¬† White-Cabana-Toronto-4For Sunday brunch, we did a bit of a Google/Trip Advisor search and settled on Smith (Church & Wellesley). I’m rarely on this side of town when I’m in Toronto, so it was nice to see what’s on the go east of Yonge. If you don’t know where Smith is, you might just walk right past it (like we did), but once you find it, you’ll feel like you hit the jackpot. Our dining neighbours told us as much. I opted for the salmon plate (with cream cheese, capers, and bagel crisps), and my friend got the croque madame. We were both pleased. The food was plentiful and fresh. I loved the design of this space, and the patio and bathroom both looked really cool.

White-Cabana-Toronto-7White-Cabana-Toronto-8White-Cabana-Toronto-6   White-Cabana-Toronto-5So there you have it Рa peek into my quick weekend in Toronto.

Design: Real Estate Toronto

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

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

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

Thanks to Daniela for sending this my way.

Real Estate: Multi-Million Dollar Canadian Homes

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

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

500 Wellingston-Toronto 500 Wellingston-Toronto-2

500 Wellington St. PH1001, Toronto, $7.9 million

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

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

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

100 Glen Rd., Toronto, $9.5 million

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2156 SW Marine Dr., Vancouver, $11.9 million

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

13283 56th Ave., Surrey, $12.888 million

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

1116 Highland Place, West Vancouver, $19.7 million


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

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

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

12 Westgate Walk, Kitchener, $2.5 million

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

The Friday Five: #HappiMess with Delta Faucet Canada

My life this fall has been slightly chaotic. Sometimes I¬†do wonder why I decide to take on so much work and extracurricular and blogging activities. Why, oh why, do I do this to myself? Then I realize that I have so much fun doing what it is that I do that I have no reason to complain about my sometimes-overly-packed days. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I headed to Toronto to join the very colourful Tiffany Pratt¬†and about 20 other¬†bloggers and influencers to create a #HappiMess sponsored by Delta Faucet Canada. Here’s my recap in five points…

1. Delta Faucet Canada welcomed us into a very white event space at Andrew Richard Designs. The long white table was all set with artsy materials.



2. Tiffany encouraged us to create and paint and sparkle up a unique clutch. I was totally frozen when I saw the palette of colourful paints. Luckily, the Tiffany and the PR crew had a spare tube of black paint, and I put it to very good use. I definitely felt more at ease once the black paint made an appearance! (Thanks, team!)


That’s my clutch! (It sparkles more in real life!)

4. We mingled and laughed and played with paint. And then washed our hands…obviously. Here I am washing up (and pretending to be a hand model):


 great faucet, right?

3. We nibbled on delicious eats by the Food Dudes and talked about Delta’s collection.


5. In addition to the painting, the clutches, the food, the drinks, and the Skittles, we filled our Instagram and Twitter feeds with photos of lovely flowers from Blush and Bloom.


It was a very fun evening, and completely different from my day-to-day university life. Kudos to Tiffany and Delta for bringing out our creative sides (and for showing us how magical sparkles can be!).

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Do let me know if you make a #HappiMess over the next couple of days!

Photo credit: Koko Photography

Fashion: The Opelle/Capsule Debut Collection

A friend recently sent me news of a fabulously chic collection of limited edition leather handbags handcrafted in Toronto. The bags are the result of a collaboration between artist and stylist Beth Nicholson Crago and Opelle.


Prism Pochette, $260 (limited edition of 50)


Lapped Clutch, $620 (limited edition of 5)


M. Vanda, $488 (limited edition of 20)

Opelle is located at 1234 College St. West in Toronto.

Many thanks to Kathlyn M. for sending this story my way.

Interview: Deborah and David from Green Light District

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


Loves Me, Loves Me Not

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


J: How did Green Light District come to be?

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

Where did the name Green Light District come from?

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

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

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

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

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

What is your favourite piece currently in the shop?

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

How often do you travel to source products?

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


hand-stitched leather and oak bench

What is your favourite travel destination?

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

What is the best part of your job?

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

What is the most challenging part of your job?

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

large-open-bowls-Green Light District

large open bowls

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Marketplace: Green Light District in Toronto

I “met” Deborah of Green Light District on Twitter many months ago and we instantly bonded over fiddle leaf fig trees. She gave me¬†suggestions about how to take care of my tree,¬†and our online conversations continue to revolve around design, plants, and food. Recently, I made a trip out to #Roncy (i.e.,¬†Roncesvalles area in Toronto) to have dinner with friends (at the Westerly, on the recommendation of Deborah). Since I was in the neighbourhood, and Toronto traffic cooperated, I had the chance to make a quick stop in to Green Light District to say hi to Deborah in person.

Owners Deborah and David Peets took my friend and I around the shop sharing news of the furniture and designers that fill up their store. I quickly picked out a few favourite pieces: the acapulco chair in the courtyard, the large wood dining tables, and the beautifully designed chairs. Oh, and the ceramics, the tree stump side tables/stools, the benches, and the mini bar also caught my eye.

Here are a few photos I quickly snapped during my visit:

photo 1 copy

hand stitched leather and oak bench

photo 3

acrylic and kirel trees console

photo 4

soho chair


hand stitched leather and oak bench + hand made pottery


wonki ware + botanical print


handmade pottery


wonki ware


handmade pottery + stitched leather and oak bench


hand hooked rug + saddle leather chairs


Jordana and Deborah (thanks for the photo, David)

The Peets source furnishings from around the world; Canada, South Africa, and Argentina were mentioned several times as I touched almost every item in the store.

Emma Reddington and Kim Johnson have always had good things to say about Green Light District, and the shop and furnishings have previously been featured in Chatelaine, Style at Home, Toronto Life, The Toronto Star, and BlogTO. I can totally understand why. The furniture is beautiful, and Deborah and David are such warm and welcoming owners.

If you’re in the area, be sure to stop in and say hello to Deborah and David, and when you do, be sure to tell them that you know me…you’ll likely get a chuckle out of them*.

*Apparently some of my friends from other Canadian cities (Hi Nora!) have gone around Toronto (well, not the whole city, but I have¬†to exaggerate the story so¬†it’s more amusing) asking people if they know me. “Hey, do you know Jordana?” Ha. I love my friends!

Art: I’m a Ceramics Designer

Okay, so I’m not really quitting my day job to become the next Jonathan Adler, but I am currently working on a very cool project which has required me to put on my very first ceramics designer hat (eek – so exciting!). Let me explain.

This fall’s BlogPodium will feature¬†a local organization called Sistering¬†that offers supportive and educational programs to homeless¬†and¬†marginalized women, so that they can develop new¬†skills and have more control over their lives. Inspirations Studio is a division of¬†Sistering that develops participants’¬†knowledge¬†about crafting ceramics.

This year, I have the opportunity to design a collection of ceramics in collaboration with the artists at Inspirations Studio that will be auctioned off at BlogPodium in September with all proceeds going back to Sistering. Earlier this spring, I met with¬†Victoria at¬†Inspirations Studio, and I shared my designs. Under¬†her guidance and instruction, the artisans¬†are¬†bringing my designs to life (um, amazing!). The process thus far has been really cool and creative, and the items are coming along so darn beautifully! I’m impressed, and I’m eager to see the final products soon (it’s so hard to be patient, but I’m trying).

white-cabana-ceramics-inspirations-studio-2 white-cabana-ceramics-inspirations-studio-3 white-cabana-ceramics-inspirations-studio-1 I hope to eventually share more stories from the artisans at Inspirations Studio-4

 Inspirations Studio, photos by me

I hope to eventually share stories from the artisans at Inspirations Studio and the full production process, but for now, here’s a very small sneak peek of one of my designs¬†(I can’t give everything away quite yet!).


photo by Victoria

Christine Dovey of Bijou and Boheme is also busy designing items, and attendees of BlogPodium have a chance to win a¬†chance to design pottery of their own! I encourage you to submit your design if you’re attending BlogPodium this September.¬†Read all about it here.

Design: Mirrors in the Princess Margaret Home Lottery Showhome

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


white, black, and gold in the dining room


unframed mirror in an ensuite bath


framed mirror back in the kitchen’s desk area


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


roman numeral framed mirror in the stairwell


sleek rectangle mirror & small grey tiles in the teen retreat


studs near the laundry room

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

Design: Princess Margaret Home Lottery – Vaughan Showhome

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

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


first floor hallway


details in the dining room Рmoulding & art


main floor family room – beside the kitchen


open concept kitchen


white bathroom ensuite – 2nd floor


the elevator (yes, an elevator!)


substantial doors throughout the home


high ceilings & crown moulding


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


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


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


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


beautiful view from the lanai


hakwood floors & oversized armchairs in the library


winged art sculptures


one of the 2nd floor bedrooms with ensuite


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


his & her toilet rooms in the master bathroom


door & floor details


the runway room


half a dozen switches in the master bathroom

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

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

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

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

Photos by Jordana. Additional photos here.

Marketplace: Vintage Fine Objects

Vintage Fine Objects opened its doors just about a year ago in Toronto and it has been on the radar of many magazine editors and bloggers ever since. Owner Kevin J. Austin has – and continues to – carefully curate a collection of vintage objects to please a variety of vintage enthusiasts – the decorator, the collector, the countryman, the traditionalist¬†(and of course, you aren’t expected to stay within any one category).


While I do love some of the traditional wood pieces (like this drop front desk), my interest mostly lies in light, airy, versatile pieces in white.


faux bamboo cabinet, $2495


faux bamboo tub chair, $495

patterned glass vase-vintage-fine-objects

patterned glass vase, $39


lucite & leopard lamps

Images courtesy of Vintage Fine Objects.

Drop of white

I’m absolutely in love with this stunning drop lamp in the window at Zig Zag, of one of my favourite neighbourhood shops that specializes in mid-century modern furniture. Joe Graafmans, who owns the store and curates its offerings, has very good taste and the best modern lighting pieces I’ve seen in the city.

The light fixture I’m featuring here today is made in Italy by Vistosi and is an outstanding piece of art by day and night. As far as I know it’s still for sale ($1,195). I stopped by recently to admire it in the evening:


Image by me.

Event: Announcing BlogPodium 2013


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.


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!


Photos of BlogPodium 2012 via Mango Studios.


Marketplace: Decorium

A couple of weeks ago I attended the opening of Decorium‘s new Toronto showroom – located in the heart of Rosedale. Decorium is one of Toronto’s go-to hot spots for well-designed, high quality furniture and accessories for the home. Founded in 1986, Decorium offers its customers a collection of unique furnishings from around the world. The Yonge St. showroom proved to be a wonderful space to feature the cleverly curated collection of home furnishings. It was also an inspiring place for a party!

Decorium-White-Cabana_1 Decorium-White-Cabana_2 Decorium-White-Cabana_3 Decorium-White-Cabana_4 Decorium-White-Cabana_5 Decorium-White-Cabana_6 Decorium-White-Cabana_7

The event was wonderfully organized and Chef Warren and his team spoiled attendees with a delicious selection of food (mushroom ravioli, poutine, stir fry, oysters, etc.) and deserts by Bite Me Bakery were perfectly suited for the event.

The Decorium showroom is located at 1212 Yonge Street in Toronto.

Photos by Jordana.


Fashion: Lol√ę Activewear

I recently discovered Lol√ę, 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 caf√©. I like my workout clothes to look great but to perform well too. When I landed on Lol√ę’s¬†website, I first browsed the tennis section since this is the sport I have decided to learn more about this spring/summer.


twist tank top, $48


essential cardigan, $100


jump-up tank top, $60


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

But¬†Lol√ꬆis 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!



balasana cardigan, $90


vinyasa capri, $80


rennie 2 pants, $90


delightful 2 jacket, $150

Lol√ꬆis one of those companies that is committed to promoting healthy living. The company organizes a large outdoor yoga tour called the Lol√ꬆWhite 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!

wys_banner01 wys_banner02_en wys_banner03_en

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

All images courtesy of Lol√ę.

Art & Design: New Use for Urinals at the Sheraton Toronto

I was at a conference at the Sheraton Toronto last weekend and I got an unexpected surprise when I walked into one of the women’s bathrooms.

plant holders in the women’s bathroom at the Toronto Sheraton

I laughed when I saw how the Sheraton transformed (or tried to disguise?) the urinals (yes, in the women’s bathroom). While I didn’t ask anyone about this particular design choice, I imagine that the men’s bathroom was converted to a women’s bathroom for the purposes of the conference (women’s bathrooms always have long lines, or haven’t you noticed?). Whatever the reasons, I found this setup particularly amusing!

The Friday Five: Art Toronto 2012

Exactly one week ago I was browsing amazing collections of art at Art Toronto – Canada’s largest modern and contemporary art fair. Galleries from around the world came to display (and sell) some very special works of art – including eye-catching sculptures, photography, paintings and drawings.

Meddle by Andrew Smith, beeswax acrylic and plaster on plywood

Surrogate (monkey topiary) by Bethany Krull, porcelain & paper

Self-portrait White Marilyn by Yasumasa Morimura

as the wind carried it away by Matt Donovan & Hallie Siegal

Evocations by Andrew Fernandez, mixed media on paper

Images by me.


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.

Design: Review of King & Grove Tides South Beach

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

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

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

The Tides lobby

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

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

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

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

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

Bathroom included white linens and toiletries

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

Poolside at The Tides

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

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

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

Patterns at The Tides – poolside and in the lobby

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

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

Photos by me.

The Friday Five: Kitchen Renovation (Almost the End)

Six months ago my parents began a renovation of their main floor kitchen, laundry room, and powder room. You may have read about the progress here and here. I’m happy to report that the kitchen is (almost) complete. Here are five views of their new space.

What’s left to do? Well, my parents are currently dealing with a kitchen table DIY and the hunt is back on for the perfect set of chairs. It’s almost the end!

Custom kitchen by Parada Kitchens. Photos by Brunida Kaso.

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.

Giveaway: Evoke & Imagine

Artwork these days isn’t just about landscapes and portraits. We are seeing more and more inspirational words and sayings used as artwork in living rooms, offices, and bedrooms around the world.

via Stylizimo

via Made By Girl

via 365 ting jeg liker

Toronto-based Evoke & Imagine offers a good selection of inspiring art prints. They also offer a custom option where you can decide form, colour and quote and they’ll print it for you.


Life Goes On

Love Never Gets Lost

Everything Will be Alright

How Far You’ve Come

custom prints

The kind folks at Evoke & Imagine are offering one lucky reader an 11×14″ print of their choosing (including the custom design option). To enter this giveaway leave a comment telling us what your favourite print is. It’s as easy as that! Winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends Friday July 6th 12pm (EST).

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!

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!)

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: 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.

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 Cl√īture 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 cl√īture, $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!


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.


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


The Hansgrohe faucet is sleek and sophisticated. Gorgeous.


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!

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: Studio Luna at Waterworks

I’ve been looking at bathroom accessories this week – not really sure why as I don’t need any – and the Luna line from Waterworks has really caught my eye. I love the polished marble and the simple lines. It’s such a classic and timeless design, don’t you think?

Luna soap dish, $45

Luna soap dispenser, $50

Luna tumbler, $45

Luna jar, $63

Luna waste can, $125

Images via Waterworks.

Art: Cathy Daley

When I was at Art Toronto earlier this fall I was really  drawn to the work of Toronto-based artist Cathy Daley. Through her drawings, Cathy explores cultural representations of the feminine and the body. I like how these black and white pastel pieces are full of movement.

Cathy Daley, untitled, 2005

Cathy Daley, untitled, 2009

Cathy Daley, untitled, 2009

Cathy Daley, untitled, 2010

Cathy Daley, untitled, 2010

Cathy Daley, untitled, 2010

Cathy Daley, Installation, Birch Libralato, 2009

Images courtesy of Birch Libralato. Birch Libralato is located at 129 Techumseth Street, Toronto.

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.)

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.

inVU Drapery Co.

A few weeks ago I got the chance to finally – yes, finally – visit inVU Drapery Co. in person. This company has been good to us here at White Cabana (remember this giveaway) so I feel a bit ashamed that I hadn’t visited one of their stores. Well, I’m happy to report that it didn’t disappoint.

In addition to the colourful Cobi Ladner line, and a great selection of fabrics in various textures and colours, inVU Drapery Co. carries wonderful white fabrics and curious, quirky and classic accessories for the home. Here are some photos from my visit.



photos by Jordana

Have you been? Click here to learn about the inVU Drapery Co. locations.