{ Author Archive - Sara Cation, Author at Style at Home blog }

mix tapes: 3 playlists to listen to this weekend

So, have you found your Summer Song yet? That song that seems to be on repeat, and when you hear it, you open the sunroof, turn the volume up, throw your hands in the air and just sing along? The one that accompanies your barbeques, pool parties, beach days and every long drive? I’ve got a lot of contenders, but haven’t yet decided on the finalist. THE Song.

But in an effort to help everyone discover their Summer Song, here are some playlists to accompany your activities this weekend.



Screen cap from one of my favourite moments in Garden State


1. What I’ll be doing: Enjoying an afternoon in the garden (hopefully getting some gardening done)
What I’ll be playing: A Garden State of Mind
Featured artists: All the best crooners: Joshua Radin, Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab for Cutie The Shins and Zero 7.
Why it’s perfect: Inspired by Zach Braff’s movie Garden State, the playlist is soothing and relaxing, mixing folk and soothing electro. It pairs perfectly with a quiet day in the yard, sun shining, birds chirping and a refreshing glass or rosemary-cucumber water in hand.




Viceroy, Skyler Greene Photography


2. What I’ll be doing: Sunning on the beach at Toronto Island
What I’ll be playing: Viceroy’s Remixes
Featured artists: Sing-along-worthy remixes of songs by artists you know and love: Maroon 5, Passion Pit, Montell Jordan, Two Door Cinema Club, Lady Gaga and Mark Morrisson.
Why it’s perfect: Viceroy’s motto is “summertime all the time” and his synth-pop sound featuring steel drums and peppy make-you-dance beats has easily become my soundtrack to summer.




Image from mikebloomberg.com


3. What I’ll be doing: Hosting a summer barbeque
What I’ll be playing: Gracie Mansion Backyard BBQ
Featured artists: A great mix of hits from Blues Traveller, Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson, Jason Mraz, Hootie and the Blowfith and Gotye.
Why it’s perfect: Curated by Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City from 2002-2013, as the soundtrack to summer at Gracie Mansion (the official residence of the New York mayor), this mix tape is chock-full of upbeat crowd-pleasers guaranteed to have guests tapping their feet and singing along.

words of wisdom wednesdays: the kitchen cousins’ two things to look for when hiring a contractor

Last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing hunky handymen Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri of the HGTV shows Kitchen CousinsCousins on Call and Cousins Undercover. With so many years in the biz, they’re bonafide experts in kitchen renos and can tackle almost any challenge dished their way. But since we aren’t all as comfortable with kitchen renos as the cousins, we’ll take all the advice we can get. And coming from these experts? Even better. In an interview last year, I asked them what to look for when hiring a contractor (assuming the cousins aren’t available, of course) – here’s what they said.



image courtesy of HGTV Canada

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editor’s pick: shadow-casting tea light holder

Picture this: a humid night with cool glass of wine in hand under a sprawling open sky densely speckled with stars. Stargazing is the stuff of summer dreams – mine, anyway. But being located in densely-lit Toronto, I seldom spot more than a few. And the way Mother Nature is treating us these days? Even if I was outside the city, I doubt I would actually be spending time outdoors. So to stave off my craving for a starry, starry night, I’m coveting these tea light holders by daring designer Tom Dixon (one of my faves). A modern geometric play on traditional Moroccan cut-metal lamps, their intricate cut-outs cast elaborate shadow patterns all around you, giving off a surreal starry effect.



Etch Candle Holder in Blass, Copper and Stainless Steel, from $85 US, Tom Dixon.



Personally, I’d opt for the copper one. I’m a glutton for mixing metals and there’s just not enough copper in my world.

What do you think? Are you adding these to your wish list? 

words of wisdom wednesdays: alfred sung’s close encounter with givenchy

One of the highlights of my job is, without a doubt, the opportunity to interview iconic designers who have influenced, if not altered, the decor landscape. Whether we’re sitting down face-to-face or catching up over the phone, it’s invariably one of the most inspiring experiences to be able to pick the brain of someone I admire and hear nuggets of wisdom I wouldn’t have expected as well as fascinating stories I can hardly fathom. I think about those interviews often, revisiting some of the more compelling conversations.

So every Wednesday, I’ll share a favourite moment from a designer interview and hope that inspires you as much as it did me.

First up? An interview with iconic China-born Canadian fashion and decor designer, Alfred Sung, that I conducted in winter 2011.



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editor’s pick: ostrich-feather pen

Everyone needs to make a purely indulgent purchase from time to time. And if you’re looking for an excuse, I’m a queen of making them. (Need an excuse to update your artwork, even though the existing piece still perfectly fits your room? Life’s too short to not live with what you love. Want a reason to buy a third pair of sparkly gold shoes? They’re on sale – they’re basically free! Craving that bottle of black truffle olive oil straight from France? It’ll probably inspire you to eat more salads! Besides, isn’t your birthday sometime this year? Go for it!)

I’ve been coveting this over-the-top ostrich-feather pen by French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela for quite some time, but without a wedding on the horizon – and being someone far more likely to write with a keyboard than with a pen – it just didn’t feel like a practical purchase.

But, hey! It’s National Letter Writing Month, and I probably need something to celebrate the occasion, so I think I’ll indulge. Just think of the whimsy and texture it’ll add to my desktop! Think of the inspired letters I’ll write! Maybe I’ll even channel my inner Shakespeare and pen a new novel? Decision made! I was meant for this pen and it was meant for me.

photography, totokaelo art-object


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editor’s pick: 3 fun graphic wallpapers

I’m still celebrating National Letter Writing Month (being a literary nerd, it feels only natural), and today, the letter-writing is on the walls. Literally.

York Wallcoverings boasts a beautiful selection of wallpapers that pay homage to the lost art of letter writing and, when used in an office area, they may just inspire more handwritten correspondence – outside of letter writing month! Here are a few of my favourites.



Sculpted Surfaces III Collection Manuscript in Cream on Black, $80 US per roll, York Wallcoverings.


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3 cute illustrated cards sets for national letter writing month

As you can probably tell by now, I’m a total card junkie. I’m not even great about writing cards, I just like collecting them and knowing they’re there for whenever an occasion arises. And National Letter Writing Month is an occasion for letters like no other (except Christmas season perhaps). The last in my roundups of cute cards to help with your correspondence for National Letter Writing Month is three illustrated boxed variety packs, so you can choose the card that best matches the recipient!



Studio Oh! Woodland Creatures Set, $14 (set of 12), Indigo.


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3 chic personalized cards for national letter writing month

So, how many letters have you written for National Letter Writing Month so far? NONE!? Maybe your lack of monogrammed stationery is holding you back? Here, I’ve rounded up three of my favourites to get you started in style. Because if you own monogrammed stationery, let’s face it, you’ll want people to know about it. (Or is that just me?)

Now, to whom to write my first letter….


 For the Earth-loving free spirit:

Rifle Paper Co. Floral Monogram, $18.50 (set of 8), Indigo.

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3 cards that say “stay in touch” for national letter writing month

Tomorrow marks the start of National Letter Writing Month (who knew that was a thing!?), so I’ll be rounding up some of my favourite greeting cards this week.

Who doesn’t love to receive unsolicited snail mail? So pull up a chair, turn off your computer, put pen to paper and reach out to some of the people you love…the old fashioned way.

Don’t know what to write? With their cute sayings, the cards I’ve rounded up today will start you off in an easy way.

(Don’t forget your stamps!)

Why Hello There, $25 US (set of 10), Kate Spade New York. 


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editor’s pick: custom pet toss cushions

Taxidermy may be out (wait, was it ever really in!?), but fear not! There’s another way to immortalize your unique, fluffy little loved one: with silk-screened toss cushions, obviously!

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