About

 
Arren Williams is the name, and I'm a stylist, editor and trend reporter. You'll catch my work regularly popping up in print in the likes of the National Post, House & Home and elsewhere. I'm also a guest expert on Citytv's CityLine, and you can occasionally find me on HGTV as well as on ABC 7 News in Chicago.

To keep things fun I've tapped a couple of friends - Julia Black and Jenn Hannotte - to contribute their views on design too. Enjoy!

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Entries in Angus Fergusson (14)

Friday
Jul082011

guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: Magic ice and other kitchen stories

Jenn Hannotte: You know how when you're living with something you can convince yourself it's OKAY? Like the old fridge that was approximately 4 feet high and held a carton of eggs, a jug of milk and a loaf of bread if you packed it intelligently? NOT OKAY. And I only realized this after my Whirlpool appliances arrived and we set up the new side-by-side fridge (I put the other guy out on the curb for recycling, I didn't hold that much of a grudge!). It wasn't *just* that the kids squealed with disbelief when I got them ice and water FROM THE FRONT OF THE FRIDGE like a magician (we're simple people), but the fact that it's totally roomy and still counter-depth sold me. And the new dishwasher? Our old one was likened to a garbage bag with a hose attached by the appliance installer - and he wasn't far off. We had to close all the doors to the kitchen and basically vacate the house when that thing was running. My new dishwasher is quiet, yes, but it also has cool features (like Sheer Clean) and is smartly designed - something I can really appreciate after using our completely inefficient old monster. And, then there's the slide-in range that leaves more room for the birch plywood backsplash to do its thing, and which has a quick-heat convection oven to get those frozen pizzas cooked chop-chop! So why white, instead of the more expected stainless? White is fresh and modern and especially in a small kitchen like mine, it helps to unite rather than divide. 

Once the engine of the kitchen was installed, Angus Fergusson and Arren came over to shoot these stunning photos. My perpetual kitchen reno is all done and what's the verdict? For me (the only client who matters!), I absolutely love the ambience of this room, it's less a kitchen in the traditional sense, and more a cozy retreat. *AND* everything works, works well and looks good doing it.

Here are the deets:

Counter Depth Side-By-Side Refigerator, Whirlpool Gold Tall Tub Dishwasher,  Electric Slide-In Range. All Whirlpool.

Vintage industrial bins, Avril Loreti tea towel, Imm Living cruet. All Russet & Empire.

Lighting Design. Matthew Birch for Russet & Empire.

Kitchen Design. Russet & Empire Interiors.

Ikea kitchen cabinets, butcherblock counter, Ringskar faucet, Tral work lamp. West Elm Tripod Table. Breville Barista Express espresso machine. Areaware Numbers LED Clock.

>>> Catch the rest of Jenn's kitchen reno here, and click here to check out Jenn's take on style.

Thursday
Dec022010

All on the table

Now December is off and running it's definitely time to start getting into the Holiday spirit, so I thought I'd share a project I recently worked on with one of my fave photographers (and good friend) Angus Fergusson. It's three Holiday tabletops, each with an entirely different feel, and all sourced from the shelves at HomeSense.

Up first is probably the most trad of the lot, it's kind of a twist on candy canes and red and green, though the olive - instead of a boring old Christmas-y green - makes it feel much fresher. Oh, and isn't there something about the chairs that reminds you of wooden sleds? The next one is all about collecting, with a scatter of pitchers, a tea pot and cake plate, and loads of mercury ball decorations in a lovely robin's egg blue. And yes, that's an embroidered blanket on the table, rather than a tablecloth... Finally I thought some glam was in order for a New Year's table, so I grabbed a pair of hi-gloss black foo dogs (whish were too gorgeous to ignore), added in more black and white, then threw in that hit of colour in the picture frames that work perfectly as place markers. Time to pop the champagne!

Monday
Aug022010

No parking allowed

Yes, our media room used to be a drive-down garage, but that all changed back in the '80's sometime (way before we bought the house) when, in a rather hare-brained scheme, the old owners bricked up the garage door and filled in the driveway to create a v. dingy basement apartment. Oh, it was a delightful surprise when we discovered that that there was only one layer of bricks and some rotten chipboard holding back all the in-fill, take a look here, which meant we had to do a major bit of re-construction.

Fast-forward to now and things are all peachy - That's a Gus* Carter sectional sofa, silk velvet pillows and woven cane hassocks from Constantine, and a fab hand-knotted floor cushion from Bev Hisey. The striped velvet curtains have been discontinued at Ikea, but you can still get your hands on the Kvartal curved curtain rail, as well as the wall-mount Besta Burs DVD storage (topped with a few of my fave collectibles). On the other side of the room you'll catch a white leather tufted chair, an end table, and more of the shaggy rayon rug, all from Elte. Then there's more of that great Ikea Besta media storage, working both as a stand for the LCD TV, and mounted on the wall (we had fun tricking it out with Dioder LED lighting strips). The paint colour is Palais Royal by the no-longer-available Ralph Lauren Paint line from Home Depot. And, thanks again to Angus Fergusson for doing such an outstanding job in shooting the house for House & Home!

Tuesday
Jul202010

The last of up top

While the sun is beaming outside, I thought I'd let you know I've just worked on my first Holiday project (for inVU Drapery), and have been finding glitter in all sorts of odd places. Yep, it's Christmas in July in my world! Anyways, I'm still working through posting the rest of the House & Home feature, and thought it was time to flip you the last shots of the top floor.

First up is my home office which, as David would be happy to tell you, is often ignored in favour of the sofa. We had a piece of glass cut to fit the width of the room and set it on top of a pair of Ikea's Vika Lerberg trestle bases. The chair was picked out of a neighbour's garbage, the rug - look closely - is actually a macro view of botulism, from a series of rugs by Bev Hisey called Dirty Dishes, and the vintage lamp is from Zig Zag. And, honestly, it doesn't normally look as tidy as this. Then, in the second bedroom (ignoring the two smiling goofballs), between a pair of great Ikea bookshelves that have sadly been discontinued, you'll find a re-finished vintage sofa that originally looked like this, and a poster from Shelf. Oh, and that's another Bev Hisey rug on the floor, called Mommy Dearest, which has a pattern of wire coathangers woven into it. Then there's a snap of a dresser, which was a crazy-cheap Goodwill find for $15 that was refinished in white at Beresford's. It's topped with paintings by Zebedee Helm, a pair of Foo Dogs dragged home from Macao, and a print by Bold & Noble. And, as always, the talent behind all these great shots is Angus Fergusson.

Thursday
Jul152010

Principally speaking

Where, oh where, has the week gone? All my best laid plans of it being a quiet week have literally been chucked out the window, and now it's practically the weekend for heaven's sake! Getting back on track, I wanted to show you lot the pics of the principal bedroom and bathroom from the House & Home feature (shot by Angus Fergusson, of course), so without further ado, here we go.

That first pic shows the bedroom under construction, when we'd knocked out the teensy old closets. Now the walls are all papered with grasscloth from Design by Color, the upholstered headboard and bedskirt are in my fave David Hicks designed Hexagon House Chenille from Lee Jofa, and the cream velvet curtains are from inVU Drapery. The ceiling fixture and lamp on the left of the bed are both vintage, while the one on the right (as well as the shades for both lamps) was snapped up at HomeSense. The closet now runs wall-to-wall, and is the Pax system with Vinstra doors from Ikea, and really, we couldn't live without all that built-in shoe storage, lol. The night tables were a sweet $10 each from Value Village, and the dresser was from Frontier, both were refinished to match in that khaki tone by Beresford's. On the dresser is a kooky vintage lamp, enamelled boxes from AT Design, and above there's a lovely West Elm mirror.

The bathroom was tiny, filthy and all pink, so we knocked out the walls and made it 18" wider to make the space that bit more generous. The vanity is KraftMaid kitchen cabinetry, the integral sinks and counter is Corian, and the walls are tiled in a Carrara marble lookalike porcelain tile called Montova, and yep, it's all from Home Depot. The sconces are from CB2, the mirrors are from Walmart (really), and the towels are Ikea. All the plumbing fixture and fittings in the space are from Kohler, and include the swish Oblo wall-mount faucets, the Purist Hatbox toilet (you can just about see it in the reflections) and the ceiling-mount WaterTile shower head. Oh, and I have to give a shout out to Home Depot Installation Services, as well as our contractors Cera Stone, for all their amazing work on the bathroom!