The Friday Five: Bathrooms

Is anyone tackling a bathroom renovation any time soon? Here are five serene bathrooms that may inspire you to renovate yours! (What else have you got going on this weekend? Right?!)

photograph by Ben Anders via House to Home

Per Gunnarsson

via AirBNB

the Hansgrohe Metris C collection

photo by Colin Poole via House to Home

Additional Reading: See previous posts featuring bathrooms here, here, and here.

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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.


Design: So-An Architecture

Isabelle Stanislas and Leiko Oshima are the design duo behind Paris-based architecture firm So-An Architecture. Their work, which can be found beyond the borders of France, is mostly modern with a few quirky twists. The firm creates dramatic dramatic spaces which are filled with rich products and neutral colours. So-An has completed incredible projects in architecture, interior design, retail spaces and events and have worked with companies including Cartier, Zadig and Voltaire and Novotel. Let’s have a look, shall we?

white loft

Rue du Mail

Rue le Notre

Rue le Notre

Place des États-Unis

Place des États-Unis

I love the marble-clad bathroom in the last space. Black matte fixtures are so in vogue!

Which of the above spaces are you most attracted to?

Photos courtesy of So-An Architecture.

Many thanks to Alessandro V. for sending this my way.


Architecture: London, Ontario

Okay – it’s time to take a break from all these beautyrelated posts I’ve been writing. Let’s get back to design and architecture! I’m taking you to London, Ontario today…

When I first moved from Toronto to London four years ago, I have to admit that I really didn’t like it. It’s not that I’m one of those “Toronto is the center of the universe” people but I didn’t really get a great vibe from the city and I found it really hard to meet people. Fast forward 4 years and I now find myself really enjoying my time here. I love that I live in the downtown core – close to independent shops and cafés, and there certainly are a lot of interesting things to see.

The architecture of the houses in my neighbourhood continue to surprise me. The houses that have obviously been well-taken care of have amazing details. Even the not so well-loved houses have great architectural details and I like to imagine who has lived in them and what stories each house might have to share.

Like I said in my last post about London architecture, many of the original houses in the city are made of yellow or red brick. I think they look equally striking in black and white.

houses in London, Ontario

Photos by me using my iPhone and the Camera+ app.


The Friday Five: A Gorgeous Paris Apartment

Would it be so wrong if I spoiled you with five photos from a gorgeous apartment in Paris? Nah, I didn’t think so.

If you’re in Paris and need a place to stay, you can rent out this beautiful space on AirBnB.

Have a wonderful weekend!


The Friday Five: London Architecture

The arrival of the sunny warm weather in the last few weeks has meant that I have been spending a lot more time outside. On my walks around the neighbourhood I have begun to really notice the amazing architectural features of the buildings around me. I have started to bring along my camera and I have been snapping away. With all the traveling I have done these last couple of months, it feels really good to shine the spotlight on some local gems for a change.

architectural details in London, Ontario

Photos by Jordana.


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.