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 Donna Griffith (7)


Lath and plaster and carpets

While this weekend is going to be bananas, it's also definitely gonna be fun. One thing that I'll for sure be doing on Saturday is checking out all the hot design openings for Do West Design that'll be happening along Dundas West between Bathurst and Grace. One must-see for me will be the collaboration between a couple o' friends of mine, Bev Hisey and Donna Griffith, that'll be happening at R.A.D. 899 Dundas West. Bev has been going through a major home reno and was so inspired by the lath and plaster discovererd during the demolition that not only did Donna capture it on film (take a look at some of the gorgeous pics here), Bev also created carpets with the same look and feel. Click here to get a Do West Design postcard and map.

There's tons more happening in the city for the IDS and the Toronto International Design Festival so I'd suggest a little pre-planning is in order. You can download a TIDF guide and discount passport here, and for more info on off-site design shenanigans (with parties, exhibits, lectures and maps) you can download a Toronto Design Offsite app for your iPhone here.


Roughing it

Sometimes, in the midst of renovation hell, while you're ripping down walls and tearing out old plaster, something unexpectedly gorgeous can suddenly appear. Just check out these shots by Donna Griffith, over on my friend Bev Hisey's new blog, covering her full-on back to the studs reno. That got me thinking, about how imperfection and history in a space really can add gobs of charm. Have a look at the snaps below from Zanotta. Those rooms wouldn't look half as cool with plain old beige painted walls. But really, do you want to be brushing flakes of plaster off your shoulders every time you toss yourself into that sleek William sofa, or sit down for a bite at the Album table? Well maybe, especially if it would mean living with those vintage herringbone parquet floors...


Having a flutter

Okay, I've been slightly awol due to the IDS 10 and the mega workload involved, let alone spending every day in the space too. One of the massive hits of my Ultimate space was definitely Bev Hisey's wool felt Butterfly Chairs. In fact, if I was giving out awards, her ultra-comfortable two-seaters (plus that cute wee ottoman) would definitely win 'Most Sat Upon' at the show. They were irresistible and quite a few people refused to move, lol. Check out the lovely shots below by Donna Griffith and imagine yourself sinking into them... And, because Bev is a creative genius/workaholic, she also contributed a carpet to Radiant Dark, the fab show organized by the cool folks at Made. Since I was kind of stuck at the IDS I didn't make it down, so to get more info - and to check out pics - head over and read what Kitka Design had to say about it.


Snaps of Christmas past

Happy Hols to one and all! Below you'll see a few shots from a Holiday feature I did a few years back with Donna Griffith for Flare Magazine. I still love the mix of vintage and new pieces and thought it would be a nice send off before all the festivities begin. Looking through the shots reminded me that the silver angel's wing, in the pic with the chair, was a flimsy piece of a Halloween costume that I found sitting forlornly on a shelf at Value Village and saved to use one day (wish I knew where it was now!). Oh, and to see more of Donna's beautiful work, click here.


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.