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 art (18)


3 for the framers

I could totally blow the bank on artwork, and have fortunately/unfortunately found someone new on Etsy to jones over. I don't know much about Hocus, except she has a bit of a thing for vintage Danish pottery, and that she (?) is a designer/illustrator based in Toronto. Her work is sweet, but not too sugary, and I love all the textures and detail in each piece. Below you'll find all three of her limited edition, signed and numbered prints - Key Finder, Feathers and Snyder Goes For Walkies. For my money I think they'd all look brill in simple white gallery frames, hmmm, now to find a spare wall to hang them...


A modest veil in Vancouver

Yes, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver are pretty inescapable right now, and yes, I'm not exactly a sporty type (to say the least). One thing that has caught my eye, and just about everyone else's in Vancouver, is the gorgeous facade of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The piece, titled A Modest Veil, is by artist Michael Lin and was commisioned as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. I've seen shots of it turn up on Twitter (thanks to Flare Mag's Lisa Tant), and on Facebook (courtesy of designer William MacDonald) as well as all over Flickr, so wanted to see what else I could dig up.

Lin is known for his monumantal murals which reference trad Taiwanese fabrics, with their intense colours and stylized floral patterns. In the past his work has shown up on the floor and walls of places like P.S.1 in New York and the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, though by size alone A Modest Veil was a massive task; each panel was hand-painted and then mounted on a huge framework to cover the museum's Goergia Street frontage. If you fancy, you can snag a piece of Michael Lin for your own place, since he designed a carpet called Formosa for Nanimarquina (though I'd love to know what's gonna happen to the Vancouver piece once it comes down). For fun, I've also added in a Youtube interview with the man himself. [Image 1: Cara_Rouge on Flickr. Image 2: CityCaucus.com on Flickr] 



I want an axe (no really, I do)

Well, we do have a crappy one that we bought when we were chopping out 20 years of roots and weedy sapplings in the garden. In fact, I lie, that is actually axe number 2, since the first we bought snapped after a couple of whacks. To quote William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” That is the reason we need an axe from Best Made Co.

I discovered Best Made while working on this piece for the National Post (they've created a special Hudson's Bay Company axe), then realised that they've been featured in a ton of spots, including *Wallpaper and I.D. magazine. Check out a couple of beauties from their Fall /09 collection, Bluerightby and Sam Hain. Below you'll find a snap from the firm's Manhattan workroom, and finally some Axe art (seriously) shot by Adrian Gaut, and available for purchase. For even more Best Made Co you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and click here to read how the two owners met in '84 as kids at Camp Ahmek in Algonquin Park. 



A fashionable seat

Rick Owens. Rick Owens. Rick Owens. If you don't know who he is, the NY Times - for one - thinks him influential enough to dedicate this Profile In Style to the man and his passions. He's actually a Paris-based American fashion designer (here's his website; his look definitely on the darker side), who also designs limited edition furniture with a sculptural Neo Gothic vibe. His influences range from Modern design icons like Eileen Grey, and artists like Brancusi, to the skate parks of his native California. Cool? Definitely. Brutal? Yep. The kind of thing you'd like in your house? Well, I think I could find a spot, but how about the rest of you?

If you're in the UK over the next while you'll be able to see more of Owen's work at the London gallery of Sebastian + Barquet.



What's a Hoogovens?

Last weekend we played around with a new toy - a GPS - and plugged in the addresses of a bunch of Goodwills and Value Villages far and wide. We ended up hitting Barrie, Orillia and Newmarket zigzagging all over the place. The haul at the end of the day was quite impressive; a nine-drawer teak dresser, a dining chair, two barstools, three pieces of artwork and a dozen records. How much did we splurge? Ummm, the princely sum of $50 on the lot.

One of the pieces of artwork, a signed and numbered print snagged for $5 in Barrie, really caught my eye (I love the industrial look of it). We brought it home, snapped off the water damaged frame and Googled the artist; Michael John Hunt. Well, la-di-da, we found him and sent off an e-mail asking if they could decipher the name of the piece and give us any background on it. A day or two later Rosemary Hunt e-mailed us back - "The etching was commissioned by the Hoogovens Steel Group which was a Dutch based steel manufacturer. The commission was placed during the 1980's through the Pieter Breughel Gallery in Amsterdam, with whom Michael had an association for 30 years since 1976. We are racking our brains to try and remember why the etching was commissioned - we think to celebrate something, but we can't remember what!" How cool.