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 Design (6)


{that one great thing} Michelle's store clips

While I'm wrapping my head around a particularly difficult bit of writing today (oh, deadlines), I thought I'd hand things over to the talented Michelle Carangi of Montreal design firm, Holley & Gill, who, along with her husband Conrad Buck, creates gorgeous cushions and headboards with hand-printed patterns - love their Feathers design - in water-based inks on 100% cotton. Anyway, after meeting Michelle at the Interior Design Show I bugged her into contributing that one great thing, and she picked some very handy-dandy vintage clips.

Michelle Carangi: On becoming home owners almost seven years ago, Conrad and I have collected many special little items that have allowed us to inject some personality into our decor. 

Most of our finds have been vintage as of late simply because our taste tends to sway more towards the traditional and classic. Having been lucky enough to have traveled quite a bit over the last couple of years, we’ve collected so many different postcards, business cards and photos from places we’ve been and from people we’ve met. And so, when I found this set of vintage wall-mount store clips from Etsy shop AM Radio, I knew it would be the perfect solution to display them all. 

We need to be surrounded by what we love, and we’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, that buying things because they’re on trend will result in pieces that have no meaning and ultimately end up collecting dust. Whenever I walk by this display, I walk by all of our happy and unique memories and can add to it forevermore.


Sitting on Tartan

Sitting on a classic Blackwatch Tartan to be exact, which is what you'll be able to do with one of the new collections from Sung Outdoor, the outdoor line designed by Alfred Sung. The other night I actually got to meet Alfred (who is an incredibly dapper chap) as well as creative director for the line, Jordin Mimran, and hear how Blackwatch Tartan is Alfred's fave fabric and how the design team worked incredibly hard to get the colour and pattern on the handwoven faux wicker just right. Oh, and get this - The peppy (and kinda preppy) Blackwatch collection is available to order exclusively at the IDS, so head down this weekend to give it a test drive.


Guest blog / Julia Black: Going for the Loot

Julie Black: In my younger days, the first thing that would come to mind if I heard the word 'loot' would be treats and other giveaways grabbed on my way out of a birthday party. Now 'loot' is more commonly known as 'swag' yet still ignites rather ravenous excitement, with or without a slice of brithday cake. There's also another 'loot', and one that's particularly Canadian, Loyal Loot Collective. The all-woman collective are a brilliant set of artists - Doha Chebib, Carmen Douville, Dara Humniski and Anna Thomas - each bringing something different to the creative party. Anna Thomas thought up a swish way to hang your gear with her Monsieur Dressup (way better than dumping stuff on the floor) while the Log Bowls, designed by Doha Chebib, are handmade using locally reclaimed wood in combination with a high-gloss, vibrant finish (and are a totally perfect design prezzie if ever there was one). I can't wait to see what the Loyal Loot bunch comes up with next!


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...


Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: 15 years in the pantry

Hi one and all, time to welcome a new contributor to the blog, Jenn Hannotte. Jenn has a great eye for style, and practically a black belt in the art of Craigslist, in fact you can see her place (and some sweet finds) in the Spring 2010 issue of Design Lines.

Julie Gibb and Christian Morrison started  Pantry Press by installing a letterpress - you guessed it -  in the pantry of their home in 1995. 

Now, 15 years on, they've retrofitted  the old stables in the backyard of their current home in Toronto's West End and are busy hand-crafting and printing custom wedding stationery, greeting cards, posters and - to use their words - 'all manner of ephemera.' To celebrate, they've opened an on-line emporium where you can buy this poster (among other things) because, hey, everyone can use a reminder. And, if you fancy reading more from the world of letterpress, be sure to check out their blog, dubbed Ink In Your Veins, here.