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!


 Subscribe in a reader

New posts delivered right to your inbox!

Powered by Squarespace
Add to Technorati Favorites

Entries in Farrow & Ball (6)


Finished out front

Okay, just a quick one - I'm having a barmy week, and next week will be the same - but I did want to share this while I had a sec. Take a look below and you'll see the finished front of the house!!! You'll have to excuse all the exclamation marks, but compared to the way it looked when we bought the place (take a look here), it's a MASSIVE difference. Major thanks go to our stellar contractors, Cera Stone, who pulled it all off on very short notice (thanks John!), and thanks too to our next door neighbours who kindly allowed us to park the skids of interlock bricks on their driveway while all the prep work was happening. Oh, the bricks - We went with the Charcoal Cobble Lite Paving Stone from Home Depot, laid in a nice and chic herringbone pattern, which works fantastically well with the facade of the house that the contractors painted in Farrow & Ball's dark and lovely Railings. I popped in a couple of close-up shots below so you could get a better look. And finally, how fantastic (and eco-efficient) are the Jeld-Wen windows and front door? Gotta fly, but what do you think?


Getting it going out front

The driveway is happening!!! Luckily our Plan B worked out (major thanks to my brill contractors), and on Friday a big yellow backhoe made fast work of excavating all the old concrete and aphalt. Believe me, I was happy to see it all carted away. The next day, a crew arrived and everything was levelled, then the forms were built and set in place for the concrete curbs that will run from the house to the sidewalk. Plus, for some extra greenery - and really because we don't need parking spots for 3 cars - the crew also built forms for a second raised planting bed. Then the Home Depot flatbed truck arrived with our delivery of the chic and simple charcoal grey interlocking brick I'd picked out (more on that soon). Finally, the concrete mixer showed and gingerly backed into the driveway, dumping 8 cubic yards to create a stable bed for the interlock and to fill the curb and planter forms. Oh, and did I mention this was in the midst of a busy neighbourhood yard sale that we were participating in? Thanks to a v. kind neighbour (hi Mrs Fong!), we were able to set up all our bits and bobs on a yard a couple of doors down while all the construction action was happening on ours...

Before the crew shows up to lay the interlocking brick in the next day or two the painter is here slapping up a couple of coats of Farrow & Ball's super durable and environmentally friendly Exterior Masonry paint in Railings on the facade of the house. Okay, I will admit to butterflies when it first started going up, but imho, I think it looks totally fantastic!


F&B's 4 takes on '10

Here we go, a bit of a look forward (hopefully past lots of nasty wintry weather) into the gorgeousness that will be 2010 from Farrow & Ball, since the nice folks there have come up with 4 key colour trends for next year that all sound - and look - simply lovely.

From the top, Industrial: A strong but fragile fusion of colour which slides tradition up against modernity and is inspired by industrial architecture. Next on the block is Aquatic: A soft, watery palette inspired by the elements which is a palette that starts out with an inky blue then softens to something more tranquil. Then we move into a stronger, more fashion-forward and graphic direction in dramatic plums and greys for Urban Decay: A vibrant scheme with an unpredictable twist. Finally, on the more opulent tip of things you'll find Glitz & Glamour: A decadent look that celebrates excess with lots of gold and hints of Middle Eastern influences.    




Inky and pretty

In my line of work I get to see gorgeous stuff, well, almost on a daily basis, but every now and then I get completely gobsmacked by something that's just so jarringly lovely that I'm rendered speechless. Hello, did you take a look at the shots below? Are they not completely fantabulous? All that colour against that inky black wall is just so inspiring - let alone the vintage pottery and all the other collectibles - it just makes me want to grab a paintbrush and a gallon of Farrow & Ball's darkly glam Railing and paint over all our white walls. Let's give a big gold star to both the brilliant photographer Janne Peters and stylist Maria Grossman, who collaborated on this project, and thanks too to both of them for letting me share the images with you!


5 quick questions: Nikki Chee

Nikki Chee, Farrow & Ball's communications manager, has made the treck over from the UK a few times recently, and I've been lucky enough to catch up with her whenever she's in town. I think Nikki has one of those dream jobs, working for one of the world's best paint and wallpaper firms and getting to spread the news about all their new gear, so I thought it would be fun to put her on the spot and ask her 5 quick questions!

Below you'll find snaps of Nikki's latest design crushes from Farrow & Ball, as well as a peek at the Bamboo wallpaper, which debuted last month. Click here for more 5 quick questions!

Arren Williams: What's inspiring you right now?

Nikki Chee: Paint always inspires me – it’s so versatile and you can create a whole new look and feel in a room in a weekend! Creative use of finishes is great with paint too – such as using Full Gloss teamed with Estate Emulsion or Modern Emulsion to create stripes or patterns on a wall for added texture and contrast. Apart from that, it’s the use of dramatic wallpaper prints to create a feature in a room, or using contrasting wallpaper inside cupboards or behind shelving for a design twist.

AW: Is there anything that should be banned from interiors?

NC: It’s all a matter of personal taste and I don’t think anyone should feel restricted by doing what’s perceived as ‘right’ all the time.  But I’ve never been a fan of painting dado or picture rails in a light colour which just creates white bands around a room.  The same goes for radiators – painting them white makes them stand out more, but if they are painted in a complementary shade they can blend into a scheme.

AW: What's the next thing you have your eye on for your own place?

NC: My next focus will be the dining room – it’s a small, anonymous room that could do with livening up and I have a dilemma. I’m either going to use The Lotus Papers in Drawing Room Blue with Pitch Black or paint it in Pelt, a fabulous rich purple. Pelt is winning at the moment, as I’d use it in Estate Emulsion combined with Dead Flat on the trim to create a seamless flat finish to really enhance the depth of colour, and create a dramatic feel which would look stunning in candlelight.  

AW: How would you describe Farrow & Ball's style, and has it changed over the years?

NC: I don’t think our style has changed significantly over the years – it has definitely evolved but our colours and the colour palette remain timeless classics. The ‘Farrow & Ball look’ is as relevant and popular as it always has been but to a much wider audience – it’s no longer confined to traditional interiors of large country estates; Farrow & Ball is as at home in a contemporary loft or warehouse as it is in a country cottage, but still with the signature look everyone loves. In the last year we’ve introduced a more contemporary use of colour in our wallpaper collections, and the launch of our new eco-friendly paint finishes in August was a big step forward. All our new eco finishes are zero VOC - as tested to the US Environmental Protection Agency standards - and have little or no odour, reduced drying times, and no change to sheen levels or performance. So now redecorating your home in an environmentally responsible way couldn’t be any easier!

AW: What's next for F&B?

NC: Continuing to create more colourful interiors and exteriors and helping our customers to get there! Our latest wallpaper collection, Bamboo, launched in September. Featuring an exotic pattern adapted from an iconic 19th century Japanese print, the collection gives a fresh new look to the enduringly popular and timeless bamboo design. We also have some exciting new wallpaper collections coming up for next year and we’re always on the lookout for new showroom locations too, we currently have 25 worldwide. That’s just a snapshot - there’s a lot more to come!