Design & Fashion: Signs of Summer

The weather in Waterloo has been unbelievably perfect these last couple of weeks and I wish the¬†easy, breezy, sunny days could stay all year long. I’m in a much happier mood and I love living most of my non-working days outdoors. The arrival of spring (and summer in no-time, I’m sure) means that people are craving lighter, brighter spaces. Current issues of Style at Home and House & Home have fully embraced white¬†and I have the impression¬†that¬†more¬†people appreciate¬†my white-loving tendencies¬†at this time of year.¬†It’s awesome.

I thought I’d round-up some of my favourite spring/summer items for those of¬†you¬†who may normally¬†lead a colourful life, but who may also want to inject some white into your¬†homes and wardrobes.

I’m one of those people who has flowers at home all year long. I love taking care of my plants and bringing cut flowers into my home instantly makes me happy. I’ve been a long-time fan of white flowers – as¬†a teenager, I loved calla lilies, and in my adult life I’ve alternated my preferences for hydrangea, carnations, and roses. I know everyone is pretty obsessed with peonies at the moment (I am too, let me assure you), but I hope people aren’t forgetting the loveliness of flowers like lilacs and lily of the valley. I’m currently loving dahlias and have planted a couple¬†pots of them for my balcony. Apparently they’ll grow all summer long, just as geraniums do.

white-dahlia

via

White linens are perfect for any time of year, but they’re especially¬†welcome in the springtime. A crisp white table cloth sets the perfect backdrop for a delicious meal, preferably outdoors. Table settings can be brightened up with¬†colourful napkins, candles, or glassware, but I¬†still tend to prefer something neutral, like the setting in the photo below.

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photo via Food Studio

When I was living in London, Ontario,¬†I didn’t use my bike at all. I walked a lot and drove a lot,¬†but I never really felt like it was a¬†bike-friendly city. Kitchener-Waterloo has surprised me with its lengthy, smooth (and flat)¬†trails and I’ve been¬†trying to get out on my bike a few times a week. It’s been glorious. I¬†don’t really¬†like biking on busy roads, but many of the roads here have bike lanes so I feel pretty safe. My bike is an old pink Raleigh mountain bike with a basket on the front (so handy), but I’m pretty sure my next bike will be a stylish white one. Biking is great exercise and it’s a great way to discover new places.¬†If you don’t want to invest in something¬†expensive, pick one up at a yard sale (like I did years ago!).

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photo via Favim

In terms of fashion, I love picking up a few new pieces in white to¬†freshen up my wardrobe.¬†I can never have too many white shirts, and¬†for spring, I like something that’s a little lighter and airier than a classic oxford. The lightweight tuxedo shirt from J. Crew below would look¬†great with jeans or colourful¬†pants. It would also look chic paired with white jeans – another staple for your spring wardrobe.

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swiss-dot tuxedo shirt – J.Crew

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white jeans – Gap

Now that our boots are all packed up, it¬†is time to lighten up our footwear. While I don’t wear sneakers or flip-flops at work, I¬†usually spend my downtime in them. They’re easy and comfortable, so what’s not to love? I’ve recently purchased a pair of white Superga (to alternate with my Converse), but I think they’re 1/2 a size too small, so I may have to return them or pass them on to my sister. What was I thinking? Word to the wise:¬†make sure you really test out shoes before buying them. Regardless,¬†buying a new pair of shoes seems like a necessity in the springtime.¬†Don’t you agree?

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white Superga sneakers

When I was in New Orleans a few years ago, I picked up a Panama hat. It’s been one of my favourite summer accessories ever since. It’s chic, classic, and, best of all, it protects your face from the hot sun. Perfect.

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straw Panama hat

What are your spring traditions? Do you change your decor with the seasons?

The Friday Five: Watering Cans

Are you already tending to your spring/summer garden or is still too cold? The grass gets a bit greener and flowers (or leaves) are blooming every day now. Spring’s arrival is such a wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

While the rain may be responsible for some of your garden’s growth, you mustn’t forget to water the plants and flowers that the rain may not reach. The best tool for this job is a watering can, of course!

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1-gallon watering can, $5.97, Lowe’s

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3L watering can, $5.49, Home Hardware

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Karim Rashid watering can, $29.99AUD

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Esschert Design Russion watering can, $35.96

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Burgon & Ball watering can, $60-$65, Gracious Home

Have a wonderful weekend!

Away we sail

Do you know how to sail?

I’m a beginner and like all new pursuits, learning the sport comes with learning another language: there’s the terminology (ready to tack!) and the parts (hoist the spinnaker!). Then you hold your breath and hope for smooth sailing.

This weekend I’m heading up north for a sail aboard our new Hobie Cat 16! I can’t wait.

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hobie16

And so this might be handy:

points-of-sail

Marketplace: Summer Barbecues

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Life Magazine

One of the best parts of summer in Ontario, in my opinion, are barbecues. When I was little it was all about hot dogs and hamburgers. Nowadays I love grilled veggies and shrimp. The barbecue has grown to be a sophisticated cooking machine and accessories such as veggie trays and rib racks make grilling that much easier.

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Weber Genesis BBQ, Weber rib rack, Weber roast holder, Weber vegetable basket, Weber Skewer set, Weber BBQ tool set

Images via The Home Depot.

The Friday Five: Around Town

It always makes me happy to see bits of white wherever I go. Here in London over the last few weeks I have seen white in some of my favourite places to hang out.

white fire extinguisher at Saffron Road

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white life buoy at Thames Pool

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white cream and milk containers at The Bag Lady

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white menu at The Morrissey House

white mug & table on my balcony

Any London readers out there? Where are your favourite places to go?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Note: If you see something white, snap a photo and send it my way for our White Out series (whitecabana at gmail dot com).

Photos by Jordana.