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 canadian (8)


Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: Gettin' greasy

Jenn Hannotte: I don't think I'm alone in this: at the start of a renovation, life is great. Change is afoot. Things are gettin' done. But after a week and a half of the mess and noise with two kids, well, one finds that distraction from the madness is more than welcome. Kristina Moller (aka GreasyChickenFace) is a Toronto illustrator who I first fell in love with when I saw her illustrations of birds last year (you can see the one I'm lucky to own, in that first shot of my daughter Willa's old bedroom). Her work is super-saturated with colour, and can add some irreverence and fun to kid's and adult's rooms alike. I wanted to show off some of her new work below, plus you can check out more of Kristina's stuff at her Etsy shop here, and check out her portfolio here.

For more of Jenn's take on style, as well as to see the beginnings of her own reno project, click here.


{Giving it} Virginia Johnson for Hudson's Bay Co.

Giving it is all about my take on what makes a great gift. Phew, since last week my brain has been totally wrapped up in creating an overgrown English garden in a studio for a book cover shoot. Fun and lots of work... Anyways, back to gifting! I am a huge fan of Canadian designer Virginia Johnson, and just love her point of view, whether it's illustrating a book for Kate Spade or creating printed fabrics that always feel loose, fresh and summery. So, you can guess I was super happy to discover she'd created a special lightweight scarf smothered in bright and sketchy elks as part of HBC's new Hudson's Bay Company Collection. If you fancy one, or fancy giving one to a v. special person, then check out the full collection at The Bay's Queen Street location (yep, along with Best Made Co's point blanket inspired axes).


The forecast is grey and cool

Well looky-loo, my mate Bev Hisey has finally got with the technological times and opened the doors on her online store. It's filled with a special selection of best sellers of her handmade wool and wool blend pillows, blankets and carpets, as well as a few super snazzy web exclusives too. I'm such a fan of Bev's gear and think she has such a singular way with colour and pattern. I also know how hard she works both physically and creatively on everything she turns her hand too, and yep, of course I've posted about her before (you can see more of her stuff right here). Oh, and while you're noodling around her site be sure to check out In The Woods At Night. It's Bev's latest hand-knotted wool carpet inspired by one of her grandmother's paintings and tagged - of course - with the socially conscious RugMark label, though it's Pippin, the beyond beautiful owl, that (almost) steals the shot by photographer Donna Griffith.

Below you'll spot a few of my all-in-grey current design crushes from Bev's online store. The River Rock carpet and throw, and the slightly punky and random Flocked Letter pillow.



Chocolate and pretty paper

Sheesh, no rest for the wicked; I've been running around all over the place. No complaints though, since I've got a slew of cool projects on the go. The main one I'm completely jonesing over right now is designing a one bedroom suite inspired by Hershey's chocolatiest Milk Chocolate ever! Yes, I've tried the chocolate (delish!!!) - I had to, all part of the inspiration process, lol. Today myself and Karen Sealy hooked up to start the ball rolling on pulling everything together. Karen is doing the living room and I plunked on the bedroom and we've been wrangling drapes at inVU, sourcing furniture at Elte and wall-to-wall carpet from Carpet One, picking out wallpaper (I've found an absolutely brill paintable one from Graham & Brown) and deciding on a colour palette. The clock is ticking...

In the meantime, I wanted to share the great snap below. That wallpaper, though it looks quite stunningly modern, was first designed back in Ingram Taylor in 1897. It's called Arboretum and is available from Charles Rupert Designs; a smashing Canadian resource for historically accurate papers and fabrics. Be sure to check out the rest of their new Garden Collection, which is all eco-friendly and printed in the UK.


Two floors of fabulous

Okay, it's gush time. This morning I took a wander around the yet-to-open new 9,000 sq ft Teatro Verde store in Toronto and jeez louise, is it ever jammed to the gills with the most gorgeous gear. Teatro's owners, Shawn Gibson and Michael Pellegrino, and their stellar staff (hello John!) have been working night and day and have definitely outdone themselves. The 2-floor store features everything for the home (there is some absolutely standout lighting) as well as mini boutiques that showcase gear for kids and pets, not to mention a whole section dedicated to yummy Assouline books and - as always - Teatro's lovely fresh flowers. Take a look at the snaps below to get a feel of the place, I'll definitely be popping in again soon, since I spied a mini white ceramic cactus that I could definitely find a good home for (lol). The store opens this Friday at 100 Yorkville Avenue and, if you need any more reason to go, Donna Hay will be on hand to sign her new book No Time To Cook between noon and 1pm.


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