The Friday Five: My Mom’s Favourite Blogs

How long does it take for something to become a tradition? For the last two years, my mom has shared her top blogs/websites with White Cabana readers on the Friday before Mother’s Day. She’s ready to take over the blog again today. I’d say that this has now turned into a traditional post, wouldn’t you?

When I asked my mom for her top five blogs, she obviously could not resist expanding her list to her top six. Such a classic Italian mom – always filling your plate with more!

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. The Enchanted Home

IMG_1690-768x1024via My Enchanted Home

2. Mark D. Sikes

House Beautiful HD #42 1108_AN_HouseBeautifulvia Mark. D. Sikes

3. Thistlewood Farms

farmhouse-kitchen-decorvia Thistlewood Farms

4. Preppy Empty Nester

kitch5via Preppy Empty Nester

5. Summer in Newport

August Wren-artAugust Wren via Summer in Newport

6. Jenny Steffens Hobick

spring-pasta-peas-prosciuttvia Jenny Steffens Hobick

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Thanks for sharing your reads with us!

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Read my mom’s blog and website picks from 2013 and 2014.

Marketplace: Angus and Company in Elora

If you live in Toronto or you read House & Home magazine, chances are you already know about Angus and Company – a beautifully curated shop for housewares, owned and operated by designer Michael Angus. angus-and-company-logoWhen I was putzing around Elora a couple of weekends ago, I was completely surprised to stumble upon Angus & Company in its new home in Elora. How did I miss the news of its move?

The store is so well-styled, and I could easily take it all, transport it to my home, and be very happy. I was able to chat with Mike for quite some time, and he seems to be very happy about the new location of his store. I mean, it backs on to the water and faces the town square, so it seems pretty ideal to me!

Angus and Company_Elora_1 Angus and Company_Elora_2this hutch is a beautiful shade of blue and it is filled with the shiniest pieces of silver
Angus and Company_Elora_3 Angus and Company_Elora_4

Angus & Company carries a mix of new and vintage home wares, furniture, and art. This bright white store has so many pretty vignettes, and it easily draws you in. And Mike’s styling is enviable.

If you end up sitting on the couch and flipping through a book while you’re there, I’ll understand. Even though the store is certainly filled with some very luxurious blankets, antique consoles, oil paintings, and scented candles, it is casual, easy, and inviting. I just love the mix.

Thanks, Mike, for taking the time out of your day to chat with me! I wish you all the best in your new home!

Interview: Charlotte Cosby – Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – blogging has an amazing ways of bringing people together. I recently had the opportunity to interview Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative at the elegant and classic Farrow & Ball. (Amazing, I know!)

Charlotte Cosby

While I did try to focus my questions to Charlotte about how she uses white in interior design, I couldn’t help but ask her about what she loves most about her job (I’m nosey like that). Head of Creative – isn’t that an awesome job title? Are you curious about Charlotte’s day job? If so, read on…


Jordana: How did you come to the position of Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball? 

Charlotte: It was really just a case of being in the right place and the right time, although a love of design, interiors and colour certainly helps as well!

J: What is the best part of your work day?

C: I like to be on the go so always enjoy it when I’m working on something new whether it’s experimenting with colour, drawing potential new wallpaper patterns or having ‘the idea’ with my team.

J: What is the most challenging part of your job?

C: Because the output and end product of my job is so subjective, this means that it’s often quite hard try to get something that everyone is happy with. However, I’m very lucky in that I’ve worked closely with my team for a number of years, meaning that we’ve been able to develop a style that everyone agrees on. It’s just getting agreement on each individual piece that can be harder!

J: Now, let’s talk about colour! At the risk of sounding childish, what’s your favourite colour? Why?

C: My favourite colour changes every week! Currently I’m really loving lush vibrant greens like Breakfast Room Green, Calke Green, and Studio Green as they remind me of tropical holidays and treks through the jungle! When mixed with a navy, like Stiffkey Blue, these colours can look extremely deep and mysterious.

J: What is/are your go-to colour(s) for your own home design projects?

C: I was obsessed with one of our new 2013 colours, Stiffkey Blue, for a long time as used on the walls, it really brings the whole room to life and makes all the furniture look amazing. I also really like the current trend of using copper and natural wood together as they go together brilliantly.

J: Now, at the risk of sounding selfish, let’s talk about my favourite colour – white! What are your thoughts about white?

C: I love white – it’s the one colour that allows you to be most creative. To me, white represents potential – it’s a blank canvas ready to be filled with colourful ideas!

J: What Farrow & Ball white would you recommend for the white enthusiast?

C: We really do have a white for every occasion! Currently, my favourite it Wevet – a delicate but extremely versatile white. One of our most popular whites is Wimborne White which works with absolutely everything! However, to be able to see the subtleties between them, you really need to have a reference point. For example, by putting both of these colours against All White, our cleanest and whitest white, you’ll be able to notice the very slight hint of colour that makes them so special and completely unique.

J: White can be used in every room in a home – even in children’s rooms. What do you think about using white in childrens’ bedrooms, playrooms, or bathrooms?

C: Children are among the most creative beings in the world so using white in a children’s bedrooms and playrooms would be a great way to encourage creative thought.

Not only would white be a great backdrop for the host of multi-coloured toys, it also means that if you did want to use a small amount of brighter colours, like our vibrant St Giles Blue, Yellowcake or Charlotte’s Locks, throughout the room – on furniture, woodwork or even in cupboards or shelving, using white on the walls and ceiling will really help to make these colours pop!

From a more practical point of view, white will also stand the test of time as they’re growing up.

J: What advice would you give parents who are hesitant to incorporate white (walls, furniture, toys, etc.) into their children’s spaces?

C: It’s easy to see why parents might feel hesitant to use white in their children’s rooms as children are well-known for being attracted to muddy places.

By using either of our Modern Emulsion, Full Gloss or Estate Eggshell finishes on the wall of your child’s room will allow for wiping away wandering hand and finger prints. These finishes are also more resilient and hardwearing meaning that the walls are less likely to scuff.

White rooms needn’t be boring and by adding a simple feature like a stripe, will instantly add fun to a plain white room. Another technique is to layer different whites on the walls which will help to add a real depth and softness to the room. You can get creative with this techniques, like we have here by painting a simple mountain scene onto the wall.

J: Thank you, Charlotte, for taking the time to speak with me about white!


So, how about that? Colour expert Charlotte Cosby loves white! I love that she thinks white is timeless, is a great backdrop for kids’ rooms, and represents potential. Amazing. Let the creativity shine on!

Here are the Farrow & Ball whites that Charlotte made reference to:




Wimborne White (there’s a sample there, I swear!)


All White (another sample image, honest!)

And here are a variety of rooms – not just for children – featuring gorgeous Farrow & Ball paints.

2004EE_5EEG_S Farrow-Ball-White-2 Farrow-Ball-white-1 Farrow-Ball-white-2001 EE_228EEG Farrow-Ball-2005DF_22EEG_S Farrow-Ball-2005EE_2005EEG_2005FP_S F&B_FloorPaint-23 F&B_Modern_Emulsion-8 farrow-ball-white-3

Naturally, I gravitate toward that sunny white office with wood plank floors! Isn’t it lovely?

What do you think? Would you paint your children’s room – or other rooms – fully white?

Thanks to Rebecca M. at Farrow & Ball for arranging this interview.


The Friday Five: Canadian Designer Series – Debbie Travis

The fabulous and talented Debbie Travis rounds off today’s Friday Five. Technically, she’s a Brit, but she’s been part of the Canadian scene for so long that she must surely have citizenship here. I just had to include her in today’s series…accent and all.

Her first show, Debbie Travis’ The Painted House, aired in 1995 and it was here that I learned all about faux finishes. I clearly remember watching her create this Fornasetti dining room and this wild blue wall. It was because of Debbie that I added words like crackle varnish, anaglypta, and battik into my vocabulary.

Debbie Travis is an accomplished artist, designer, author, and business woman. In addition to Painted House, her more recent shows, Facelift and From the Ground Up have been successful in Canada and abroad. She has written many books and has won several prestigious awards. She also has a line of products available at Canadian Tire. Needless to say, Debbie is a woman who wears many hats.

Debbie Travis’ designed kitchen and bathroom

Debbie Travis Expo Cut mirror, $39.99, Canadian Tire

Debbie Travis Tie-Up shade, $24.99, Canadian Tire

Debbie Travis lantern, $34.99, Canadian Tire

Debbie Travis lighting

In recent years, Debbie has headed to Tuscany and now hosts a Debbie Travis’ Girls’ Getaway. The experience includes 7 nights accommodation at her Italian villa (wow!), delicious meals and drinks, winery tours, and more. La dolce vita, I’d say!

You can learn more about what Debbie is up to on her blog or you can follow her on Twitter.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Happy Canada Day!