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 Christmas (5)


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!


Quick and red and white

Here's a quickie for you since I'm in transit today (more on that later). Okay, the Holidays are a comin', so how about we just try to get through it with a sense of calm and grace, huh? Wobblies and meltdowns will not be tolerated. So, with that in mind, just take a deep breath and remember that decorating in a chic/simple style needs restraint. Take a look at this lovely shot from Ikea - You've got the clean workaday lines of the Sockerart enamel pitcher that's been wound with Snovita sisal twine and then filled with Amaryllis. Glorious and just Christmas-y enough if you ask me. [Image from Livet Hemma, discovered via Tiger Hellström's great Tumblr blog From Scandinavia With Love]



Boxing day comes early

I do love a bit of good packaging, so when I was shopping in H&M the other day and saw these fab gift boxes I knew I had to post them. The snaps below show the lids of the boxes which have a cool trompe l'oeil photo of a box-in-a-box-in-a-box-in-a-box. Love the fashion-y animal print one, the red patterned option feels fresh, crafty and Swedish, and the painterly kid's design is super sweet. All three were designed at H&M's Swedish headquarters, and are free with purchase. And hey, anything that doesn't need to be wrapped with paper and then tied with ribbon this time of year gets my vote, though you might decide they're too cool to gift and keep them all for yourself.


Inedibly gorgeous

I was explaining this morning how the Holidays are making me feel - Christmas is the iceberg and I am the Titanic. I guess I'm feeling a bit of seasonal stress, lol. It's been a busy week taping a CityLine - you can catch the show this coming Monday - shooting book covers in studio and one outdoors on location (in a very balmy -10C), plus gearing up even more for the Interior Design Show. Oh, and not to mention I have a pile of cards that have to be written, addressed, stamped and posted. Oy.

In the meantime this e-card popped into my in-box this morning and was too delicious not to share. Cupcakes, yes, but look closer and you'll realise they're all made of fabric (though I think I still got a sugar high looking at the shot). Maybe Lelievre, the swish French fabric house behind the shot, should get into the buttercream icing and baking business?


Every day is a holiday

Wouldn't that be nice? Yes, we're rushing headlong into that busy time of year. So, rather then letting things look like Christmas has exploded in your house why not take a more pared back approach to the whole shebang? Talking of pared back, you should definitely pop in to Ikea to rifle through their Holiday collection. The line this year is simple, fresh and graphic, like the cool Kallt light fixtures below that - I think - are fab enough to leave up all year round. Thankfully they haven't forgotten the nuttier side of things, just take a gander at these hilariously quirky gift bags printed with what looks like a veritable army of elves. I think they'd be just the ticket filled with chocolate covered almonds and tied up with a scrap of red ribbon. There, I just sorted out all the folks on your impossible-to-buy-for list.