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.

Happiness

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!)