Colin and Justin: Diner en blanc

White, say Colin and Justin, is your recipe for a brighter life…

With white a veritable tour de force on the runway (witness Miu Miu and Roland Mouret) and similarly au courant in terms of décor, there’s no better time to talk home style (to which we’ll return in a mo’) and everyone’s favourite white on white extravaganza, Diner en Blanc.

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Last year we hosted the Toronto party (which, to be fair, was spectacular) and this year we’re heading west to host the white carpet at Vancouver’s sister event.  Follow the fun, as it unravels, via


So what’s the gist?  Well, aside from gathering en masse to party, we love the event’s clandestine nature: until the last moment only a ‘holding pattern’ location is given from which, at a pre appointed time, attendees are ushered (to the actual site) by foot, bus or public transport.  Guests are expected to bring tables, chairs and napery (white, of course), as well as baskets of food (though a catered option is available if required) glasses and crockery.

And then the magic happens.  Tables are dressed with candles and silverware and as much bling as revellers fancy.  Last year’s Toronto event took place at Canoe Landing Park (just round from where the hotly anticipated Canada House condos – built by DeB sponsors Concord – will shortly emerge) and the Vancouver event at two locations: Devonian Harbour Park and Harbour Green Park in the West End.

This year’s locations?  Come on: of course we know, but our lips are sealed tighter than a gnats ass in a sandstorm.  Sorry!  For registration, visit and navigate towards Toronto (August 16th), Ottawa (August 18th) Vancouver (August 23rd) or, for that matter, a Diner en Blanc party in a city near you.

If not attending, savour the spirit via a contest that could win you (and a friend) a 3 Michelin Star Diner Getaway to Paris.  The prize includes airfare for two, four nights at the Sofitel Le Faubourg, tasting dinner at the Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and $1,000 to spend. If 19 or over, and resident in Canada, follow @ConcordSocial on Instagram, click the giveaway post and tag the friend you’d take in the comments section. Rules apply – see for details.  Good luck!

But anyway: décor.  White goes with everything, right?  Wrong: make that almost everything.  As a pairing for bold colour, it provides pop, yet along side other shades of white it can be problematic.

Managing the white scale

Searching, prepare to be tempted by apple, linen and daffodil whites, as well as bone, pebble and countless others. Certain whites mix well, but those with a pink undercarriage, for example, may fight with pebble-toned options, whereas bone shades will work well with soft grey choices.

Is white right for you?

If you have pets or children, white can be tricky, though it all comes down to give and take: perhaps you long for carpet, but would tile and a washable white rug provide compromise?

Texture trail

Bolstering your project’s touchy-feely quotient creates interest. A linen sofa beside a white wood chest, or a crystal lamp teamed with a woven shade, may share similar colour, but it’s their textural jigsaw that provides depth.

Just a hint

Delicate whites with a suspicion of yellow work well alongside natural wood. Whites with beige undertones evoke a cosy look, those with hints of blue freshen proceedings (especially in bathrooms) while those with a whisper of grey perform well in kitchens as a complement to stainless steel and glass.

Mix and match

If proposed whites seem uncomfortable, chances are their undertones are either different or non-complementary. The simplest way to conjure the “whisper” tone (in an apparently white accessory or paint chip) is to hold it against purest white art store paper to make your whisper scream.


Against white, as far as artificial light is concerned, incandescent globes generate a yellow hue, halogen bulbs a fresher feel and fluorescent tubes a range of blue tones.  Before choosing paint, fabric and finishes, view everything under multiple light variants to analyse that which you have.

If your room’s orientation is north, light will be bluish, if south, slightly orange. East facing rooms may take on a yellow tone, whereas those that face west will impart reddish hues.

Whichever route you pursue – and however much white you include – one thing is certain: championed confidently, your pale scale scheme will be gorgeous.   And hey: if you need extra inspiration, you could always bag a spot at your nearest Diner en Blanc.  Where we guarantee it’ll be all white on the night!

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