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blue and white porch cobistyle

Posted by Cobi on Monday May 16, 2016 at 01:38 PM
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We had some fun styling this little city front porch with blue and white cobistyle accessories. So classic and fresh!

cobistyle bllue and white porch

This bamboo and canvas folding director’s chair and ceramic garden stool are just as at home inside as out.

cobistyle blue and white garden stool

And the white metal and glass drum table has an airy, summery look as do the grass wrapped tumblers and white teapot.

cobistyle white table and accessories

I love the mix of blue and white pillows against the fresh white woodwork.

cobistyle blue and white pillows

The warmth of brass touches like this three-piece appetizer set is the perfect foil for the cool blue and white palette.

cobistyle dishes and brass servers

These brass and glass hurricanes are gorgeous - dressy and dramatic - one of my favourite items this season. They come in two sizes and would be stunning on a dining room table.

cobistyle brass and glass hurricane

We couldn’t decide of we liked the little touch of pink from the floral napkin rings or not. You be the judge:

cobistyle blue and white porch set up

cobistyle blue and white porch set up alt.

They do liven things up with their feminine flounces.

cobistyle floral napkin rings

Either way, it’s fun to play on the porch and hopefully invite a neighbour over for a spot of tea and little chinwag.

cobistyle blue and white porch overhead


summer whites

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday June 23, 2015 at 06:22 AM
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Last summer we threw a party in our backyard for some neighbours who were moving away. It was a casual get-together but I wanted it to look nice.


I decided to go with a white theme and put my rather extensive milk glass collection to work.

Cobi Ladner's milk glass collection

To keep the flower budget down, I bought a few bunches of white blossoms at the grocery store and then cut mint, fern, oregano, hosta and various leaves from our garden to fill in the rest.

Greenery and flowers for Cobi's backyard party

We set up folding tables, end to end, for one long communal table and lined them with white cloths. Neighbours loaned us chairs.

Cobi Ladner's summer table

I tucked, blossoms and greenery into some of the vases and votive candles into others.

Cobi Ladner's milkglass collection

The blossoms lasted so well, we hosted a family dinner at the table the following night.

Cobi Ladner's milk glass collection

To carry the white theme further, I added some cobistyle white lanterns.

Cobi Ladner's backyard with cobistyle lantern

And mixed them with some dollar-store battery-lit ones to line the pool.

dollar store lanterns line Cobi Ladner's pool

Our patio table served as the bar.

Bar in Cobi Ladner's backyard

Garden flowers and leaves in Cobi Ladner's backyard

And an antique French baby-bath I own stood in as the cooler.

Cobi Ladner's antique french baby bath cooler

Even the white plastic cutlery looked in place with the all white theme.

Cobi Ladner's white summer party

The only colour in the backyard were some flowers dotted around the yard.

Flowers in Cobi Ladner's backyard

Who says you have to spend a fortune to throw a nice party? I don’t mean to white-wash it, but it really was as easy as a summer breeze.

Cobi Ladner's backyard


celebrate summer solstice

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 15, 2015 at 12:09 PM
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Why not make the Summer Solstice a reason to celebrate this weekend?

cobistyle lanterns by Cobi's pool {cobistyle lanterns (no longer available) in my backyard.}

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

cobistyle lanterns brighten the garden {cobistyle lanterns (no longer available) brighten the backyard.}

In 2015, the summer begins with the solstice on June 21 at 12:38 P.M. EDT.

Paper lantern's in Cobi's backyard create a party atmosphere {Paper lanterns create a party atmosphere any time of day.}

The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

floating candles at Cobi Ladner's house {Floating candles ready for the pool in my backyard.}

Ever wonder why we recognize the seasons so late compared to the climate? Although the June solstice marks the first day of astronomical summer, it’s more common for people to use meteorological definitions of seasons, making the solstice midsummer or midwinter.

Cobi Ladner's pool shed {Our pool shed/sauna is the focal point of our backyard, day or night.}

On the June solstice, the midnight sun is visible (weather permitting) throughout the night, in all areas from just south of the Arctic Circle to the North Pole.

Cobi Ladner's backyard {Outdoor lighting makes a big difference to how much you use your space at night.}

On the other side of the planet, south of the Antarctic Circle there’s Polar Night, meaning no Sunlight at all, on the June Solstice.

paper lanterns on a string of lights {Try popping paper lanterns on top of a string of Christmas light bulbs.}

The June solstice dates vary. For example, it’s on June 21 in 2015, but on June 20 in 2016. A June 22 solstice will not occur until 2203. The last time there was a June 22 solstice was in 1971. The varying dates of the solstice are mainly due to the calendar system.

backyard solar paper lanterns {There are solar powered lanterns clothed in paper on the market now.}

One of the world’s oldest examples of evidence of the Summer Solstice’s importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June Solstice.

Backyard oasis {You don’t have to have a cottage to enjoy a summer evening outside.}

I suggest starting your own tradition of inviting friends over for a backyard celebration (bring a sweater) and stay out until the sky is finally dark.

Backyard dinner {A good excuse to have some Summer fun.}

And if you feel like treating yourself (and your backyard) to a couple of fabulous lanterns, look no further!

cobistyle white metal lantern cobistyle white iron candle holder (8” high) $50.00

cobistyle mustard porcelain lantern cobistyle large (10” x 11”) porcelain lantern, $60.00

cobistyle white porcelain woven lantern cobistyle porcelain lattice lantern (14” high) $60.00

cobistyle white porcelain lantern cobistyle tall porcelain cut out lantern (18”high) $70.00

cobistyle turquoise porcelain lantern cobistyle turquoise porcelain lantern (15”high) $40.00

cobistyle morrocan-style lantern cobistyle Moroccan-style lantern (19” high) $35.00

cobistyle decorative accessories are available at the best boutiques across Canada. Let me know if are looking for something in particular and we will find a store near you!


Sunbrella story

Posted by Cobi on Monday May 25, 2015 at 06:16 AM
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This is exciting! There’s a promotional story running in US magazines featuring one of our cobistyle Sunbrella fabrics!

Sunbrella cobistyle book

You’ve seen the fabrics before when we covered some furniture pieces to show that outdoor fabric is really just ‘high performance’ fabric and can be used indoors as well:

fabric on chair

Plus, it now comes in amazing colours, patterns and textures!

fabric close up

I noticed our striped fabric called SURF in the advertisement and then found the online story - The Beach House

Sunbrella double window seat in beach house

Sunbrella asked a designer to decorate an east coast beach house with Sunbrella fabrics:

Sunbrella beach house sitting area

She chose our SURF fabric for the kids headboards:

Sunbrella cobistyle striped headboard

It’s such a great idea to use high performance fabrics for kid-friendly zones:

cobistyle Sunbrella covered headboards

I love this little reading nook…

Sunbrella beach house reading nook

Next time you’re decorating a kids room or cottage, consider high-performance fabrics - they may cost a little more but the worry-free feeling will be worth it.

Sunbrella beach house window seat

If you’re interested in purchasing Surf stripe or any of the cobistyle Sunbrella fabrics for your own project, contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). It comes in 10 colour ways!


cute cottage decor “do’s” list

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 23, 2014 at 07:00 AM
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I’ve decorated our little cottage in PEI on a shoe-string. Here are a few easy ideas…

10. Framed maps of the area as affordable art.

framed map

9. Tin-topped kitchen tables from flea markets clean-up great for empty corners or porches. I painted this one with high-gloss marine paint.

tin top table

8. Trays add character to cookie-cutter, thrift-store dressers.

tray on dresser

7. Garage sale vases grouped with one or two wild flower stems make a statement.

milk glass vases

6. Paint-by-numbers are surprisingly cute and fun to do at the cottage!

paint by number

5. Choose a theme to work with your cottage and start an art collection.

ship prints

4. Put an old worn chair to work by holding towels.

red chair with towels

3. Let mundane supplies double-duty as pretty little moments.

jars of toiletries

2. Use large pickle jars half filled with local sand/stones/shells for porch lanterns.

pickle jar candle holders

1. Forgo plastic chairs for a pair of porch rockers - guests will fight over them!

porch rockers


patio party ~ cobistyle!

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday April 22, 2014 at 07:04 PM
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I am so excited about the new cobistyle patio-ware collection at sears!

patio display

Not only is the product terrific ~

patio green check plates and white jugs

But the packaging is too!

boxes cropped

Which means it’s great for gifts - Spring showers, Mother’s day, birthdays…

patio white and turquoise plates

patio - overall

The placemats are 100% cotton and reversible (lime/navy or lime/turquoise).

patio - placemats

And the plates all mix and match - fresh gingham prints with solids.

patio - turquoise and white plates

Think of what fun you’ll have setting a summer table!

patio - table set

Dishes and drinkware are all dishwasher proof (top rack) and microwave proof.

cobistyle patio bowls

The only tough part is choosing between the navy combination…

cobistyle navy and white

Or the turquoise combination…

cobistyle turquoise and lime

Which is my cue to remind you of what a terrible winter we just endured and say, “Why not treat yourself and get it all?!”

patio overall display


postcard from PEI

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 08, 2013 at 07:00 AM
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Part of the fun of owning our cottage on Prince Edward Island is that we get to share it with others through renting for a few weeks each year. We leave a book out for our guests to sign and encourage them to write notes on their finds around the island; recommendations; warnings, etc.

This year I was lucky enough to be given a series of pictures taken by one of our (talented!) guests, Annette Snowdon of Kitchener, Ontario, as she explored our favourite little island on her visit. Many of the snaps are of sites I see each trip, and I’m so glad to now have them recorded as lovely photographs! Please enjoy…

carriage house lounge, PEI

Pam Price fence, PEI

abandoned diner, PEI

perfect fishing hut, PEI

2 fishing roofs, PEI

hut with tuna tales, PEI

Boyes on Swans shed, PEI

cl up of traps beside hut, PEI

3 fishing huts, PEI

Thank you Annette - what a treat! Don’t you just love it that everything is kind of crooked? The simplicity and charm of Maritime life, never loses its appeal to me.

I’m enjoying the island right now for our annual family holiday. I hope you’re having a great summer too!


the last hooray!

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 27, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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Summer decorating is special.

pretty porch

There’s a simple ease about it that makes us all say “ahhhh”….

beach hats in hall

I tend to think ‘country’ when I think summer…

summer picked flowers

But not everyone does. Some think ‘exotic’…

summer terrace

And far off places…

summer patio

Even if they live in a downtown apartment.

pink fabric in apt.

But that’s the beauty of summer.

summer pots in garden

It is what you make it.

And hey - there’s still enough time to make this - one of the cutest, cheapest ideas I’ve seen in a long time!

bandana table runner

Enjoy the last unofficial week of summer 2012!


the root of beauty

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 30, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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Sometimes we take things for granted that are cheap and plentiful.

bunch of radishes

And to be honest I didn’t start out writing this blog about radishes - but then I found this image…

radishes on fabric

And I was amazed at their beauty!

radish at place setting

And how creative people are with them!

radish 2

Even Martha has taken a stab at radishes…

radish mice

So cute! As are these ~

radish mushrooms

They make me want to grow radishes again like when I was a kid.

radishes in garden

Although I must admit, mine never looked like this…

handful of radishes

But whether we grow them or just buy them, we don’t have to do much to create this beauty in our kitchen…

gorgeous radishes

Maybe a little more effort to do this…

pickled radishes

But we could all do this…

radish salad

Or this…

radish and ricotta

So reconsider the humble radish on your way to the arugula ~ who knows how they’ll inspire you?

painting of radishes


red, white and phew!

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 02, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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Friends of ours were transferred to the US last year and finally made it home for a visit. Even though it’s a busy time of year, we decided to surprise them with a Canada Day party so they don’t forget their roots are red and white with only a few blue flowers mixed in to show our Canadian open-mindedness.

flag in lobelia

Of course I love a theme party and this one started with summer market flowers in red and white, like carnations and freesia…

flower prep



…and gerberas…


I pulled out my thrift-store milk glass collection that always looks great in the summer with candles, flowers or fruit…

milk glass

And added some hosta leaves and lemon verbena from the garden…

bar trolley

It gave me a giggle that as I was arranging the flowers our copy of Macleans arrived and fit right in!

mcleans mag

Even the food looked patriotic!


Oregano from the garden… mmmm…


It’s tough to pick The Great Canadian Soundtrack - too many choices!

Canadian cd's

Of course we used a hockey puck as a napkin weight…

dessert plates with hockey puck

And I know Dollarama is American but their Canada Day stuff is way fun and dirt cheap…

cowboy hat

I found these priceless dinner napkins there too ~ good for a few laughs -


And Bob says I could have been arrested for using their cheap flags for a tablecloth (something about the flag act?) but they looked great!

flag tablecloth

He created a quiz for the night that was really fun - questions about famous Canadians - our daughter wrote up the clues as name tags.

name tags

Everyone got in on the act and many arrived dressed in red and white!

Hito with bandana

It was a great party and one I would do again in a minute - after all, what else am I going to do with all these little flags??

fireplace flower shot


screened-in porches

Posted by Cobi on Monday April 23, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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There’s something about screened-in porches. porch gr and wh

They’re so relaxed. porch w pink table

And they’re the perfect place to enjoy ‘outdoor decorating’! porch w green shutters

Like painting a ceiling blue. porch w blue ceiling

porch w blue ceiling and table

And playing with all those great new indoor/outdoor fabrics. porch gr and white

porch on angle

You can see my own porch by clicking here to an older blog entry.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to watch a movie in a screened-in porch on a summer night?

porch w flat screen

Screened-in porches have that ‘family-board-game-feeling’ like at the cottage.

porch w family

Kids of all ages love the ‘camp’ feeling they evoke. porch w girls

I guess it’s just that whole romantic notion of living life at a slower pace. Porch SEA

And hey, if it gets us to do that, we might even be able to say they’re good for our health!

porch w tub


cobistyle comes to the backyard

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 04, 2011 at 06:59 AM
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We spent a day in my friend, Laurie’s backyard playing with some of my favourite cobistyle accessories…have a look!

I’ve decided these fabric lanterns are my ‘signature’ piece. Although they aren’t weather-proof, they’ve got such great character - and look as good on the patio as they do on the dining table. Look at how they turn a plain-jane ledge into a thing of beauty. They’ll look even prettier lit in the evening.


The smaller size lantern is perfect to hang on those garden shepard hooks many of us have for flowers or solar lights. They’ll mark your walk, day or night…


You know I’m devoted to the colour combo, blue and white (I’ve preached about it’s classic quality forever). The beauty is that it looks great anytime, anyplace, including the garden!


And look at it here with the addition of a few hits of orange… gorgeous!


And what would summer be without our favourite tastes from the garden? You simply can’t get a better appetizer than Tiny Tim tomotoes and basil from the garden with a little bocconcini cheese. Our bamboo skewers are perfect for party bites and reusable if you like. 50 skewers come in a clear branded box making them a great little hostess gift along with your contribution to the buffet table. (The bowls and tray are cobistyle too)


The cobistyle multi-coloured cotton napkins are a natural to brighten up classic white plates at a garden party. Guests will enjoy getting their favourite colour and won’t even notice if your flower bed isn’t blooming.


Setting up a summer table is so much fun and such a great excuse to play with colour. Who wouldn’t be happy to sit down to this table?


Or move things around to colour-block the place settings using a throw, lantern, napkin and chopsticks of similar colours…


The little cobistyle mini white ceramic bird vases are just right for holding sprigs from the garden (no need to spend money on flowers!).


I love the idea of throws ready in the garden for when the cool of evening comes. The juicy colours of our super-soft throws (and their washability) make them them perfect for the job. (I wish I could say this garden stool was mine too but it isn’t unfortunately.)


There’s just something about the idea of putting out lanterns and throws for an evening party in the summer - it’s so romantic…or, as my friends are now starting to tease me, so… cobistyle! ; )



the black hole of summer decor

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 20, 2011 at 07:00 AM
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Fireplaces tend to get abandoned in the summertime, leaving us with a big black hole in the middle of our living rooms. Take advantage of the display space and treat the darkness as a backdrop to lighter, brighter things.
Here are some cheap and cheerful ideas to get your noggin noodling…

Place a big potted flowering plant in front…


Fill the hole with a mirror for the summer…



Paint a pretty old fire grill white…


Fill the grate with white birch bark logs…




Or clean, split wood with the ends showing…



Lean a painting…


Lighten the darkness with houseplants…


Decorate with some dried hydrangea from the garden…


Put a couple of Chinese garden stools or large ginger jars and a bamboo screen in front…



Give one or two of your favourite objects centre stage…




Or if it isn’t a working fireplace and you’ve cleaned it up, use it as a place to store books…

cobi cobi

And then of course there’s always the option of buying cobistyle lanterns (I know, I’m shameless). They sure do add cheery colour and a beautiful glow when lit in the evening…



I hope one of these ideas lights your fire this summer!


backyard oasis

Posted by Cobi on Monday May 23, 2011 at 07:00 AM
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In 2007 we did a major overhaul of our backyard. You may remember it from the pages of H&H. My dear friend and very talented photographer, Virginia MacDonald captured it beautifully. You’ll notice how my daughter (then 8 yrs old) wanted into every picture, and you won’t notice my son because he wouldn’t come near the camera!

Here’s the porch that we added on to the house. It’s our favourite room 3 seasons of the year (we added an electric fireplace and put plexi sheets on over the screens from late fall to early spring to extend the season).


Here’s Hito, our pearl gray Porty, weighing the consequences of sneaking some of the popcorn prop…


And there goes Charlotte…


Here’s Charlotte at the bbq which is under a retractable awning - no more holding an umbrella while flipping patties…


And here’s Charlotte at the pool’s edge - we painted it grey so the water is a little deeper shade of blue…


Our furniture is from Hauser and I love the black and white theme but plan to have some fun mixing in colourful cobistyle pillows and accessories this year.


I love this shot that Virginia snapped of Charlotte. I’d like to blow it up poster size for her room some day…


Can you imagine the size of the house this oval window came out of? We converted it to a mirror to create some interest on the pool shed/sauna wall.


This furniture isn’t special but light was so pretty we had to grab it…


These floating candle holders are for the pool - I found them at Lee Valley.


Here they are at nighttime…


Although the backyard cost ten times what I thought it would (landscaping seems to be like that) we love our backyard and use it day and night.


Looking at these pictures again makes me want to get out there and set it up for another summer of fun - we just need the sun!



something new to tackle

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 30, 2010 at 06:59 AM
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I have a little collection of fishing tackle boxes at our family cottage.


Here they are sitting on a children’s chair I have. I love the colours of them.


Particularly the beautiful greeny blue on the bottom one. It’s the colour of water.


But any of the greens are lovely too.


If not pretty, there’s something charming about the rough findings of a well worn tackle box.



I have to admit, I have yet to find a function for my boxes, but here are a few ideas I found…




And so as summer winds to a close, and life becomes more organized, maybe I’ll tackle one of these ideas at the cottage in the fall. Or maybe I’ll just go junk hunting for another hidden gem of a treasure box.

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