Waterloo Region: Doon Heritage Village

Last weekend, Rox-Anne and I took a trip to Doon Heritage Village at the Waterloo Region Museum. Just a few weeks earlier, I had gone to the Museum, but the Village was closed, so we didn’t have a chance to take a tour. On this visit though, the Village was all decked out for its Country Christmas event, so it was a festive and cheery way to spend a couple of hours.

Doon Heritage Village is a “60-acre living history village that shows visitors what life was like in Waterloo Region in the year 1914.” I was impressed by the knowledgeable staff who provided us with information about food, tradition, family living, and marketplace routines as we moved through each of the buildings in the Village.

There was a lot of natural wood in the homes and merchant shops in the village, but I spotted quite a bit of white, too (as per usual…I’m always on the lookout!).

some tools by the fire in one of the home’s kitchens

wood and wood and more wood in a home’s basement storage area

saddles in the leather shop

white and wood in the leather shop

saddle supplies in the leather shop

pretty wreath on the church door

simplicity in the church

winter white

a glimpse of the loom in the rug weavery

a home dressed for Christmas

food storage in a home’s basement

I love this image of Father Christmas waiting to greet guests, and I’m going to be on the lookout for a wall match strike like this one.

Rox-Anne will be sharing more photos on Celebrating This Life this week, so be sure to check in if you’d like to learn more.Save





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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


Marketplace: Celebrate Quebec design with Etsy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



lakeside sculpture


brrr…just a tad chilly!


the beautiful half-frozen lake


impressive entrance at City Hall


limestone walls at City Hall


a gorgeous vintage set of drawers


the Grand Theatre


pretty architectural details


stone laneway


a meal at Pan Chancho is a must


drinks at the Red House


chalkboard art at Tango Nuevo


classic Italian food at Olivea

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

The Friday Five: Halifax

A few weeks ago, I took my first trip to Halifax. I was only there for a weekend, and I spent most of the time at a work conference, but I had a few hours here and there to tour the city. Here are five photos from my collection.


church at Argyle/Prince


Pier 21 plaque


church on Barrington St.


detail of church door on Barrington St.

White-Cabana-Halifax-5construction site on Argyle St.

I’m planning on sharing more photos and recap¬†soon, but for now, I’ll just wish you all a very happy weekend!

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

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

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

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

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

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


screen shot from video

Hamel-Broom-Co-St Jacobs

screen shot from video


screen shot from video

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

Photos by Jordana and video from JLM.

Giveaway: #PanasonicStyle

Hi all. Was the weekend a good one? Did you cook up a storm? How do you feel about getting creative this Monday morning? Good. I’m glad. Have I got a contest for you!


I wrote about Panasonic’s induction products last week and this week I’m challenging you (it’s an easy challenge, I swear) to create your own Panasonic kitchen style inspiration board using the¬†Panasonic induction cooktop and convection oven.

Here’s my inspiration board to serve an example:


White Cabana’s #PanasonicStyle

My inspiration board includes items that are smooth, sleek, and highly functional – like the Panasonic appliances, the Kaiser Idell light, and the Bialetti coffee maker. I’m also inspired by natural sunshine, so this board includes gorgeous large windows. The fresh flowers promise the arrival of springtime and growth. The fresh squid ink pasta and black and white art show the beauty that comes from making things by hand.

But enough about my inspiration…it’s your turn!

What would you include in your #PanasonicStyle kitchen inspiration board? Go ahead, create one. When you’re done with your board, email it to me along with your contact info and I’ll add it to the #PanasonicStyle Pinterest board. That’s all you have to do to enter the contest!

So, you probably want to know what’s up for grabs, right? This is your chance to win…


A Panasonic Mid-Size Genius Inverter Microwave! The winner will receive the microwave as well as the trim kit (so that you can mount the microwave above the stove/over the counter). This prize is a biggie – valued at $470! Um, yeah. I told you it was going to be worth your pinning efforts!¬†Who doesn’t want a new microwave, right?

To recap:

1. Create an inspiration board (i.e., collage) featuring the Panasonic induction cooktop or convection oven.

2. Email me your board – whitecabana [at] gmail [dot] com

3. The contest deadline is¬†Friday February 21st, 2014¬†and it’s open to Canadian residents (over the age of 18, excluding Quebec).

Your popcorn kernels will thank you for entering and so will I!

Many thanks to Panasonic for sponsoring this giveaway and related posts.

Architecture: Squish Studio

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

And here is its wicked exterior:

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

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