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 Goodwill (5)


Just a little rad

So thank heavens for the thaw and rising temps, because it meant we could finally get a slew of art hung. Let me explain - Our big ass extension ladder that we keep outside was finally un-frozen enough to drag in and tackle hanging close to a dozen pieces around the house. The big plan was to take on the blank wall in our mondo stairwell, since the other wall has been looking peachy and art-filled for ages so it was high time that we balanced things out.

We found space for stuff picked up in (and dragged home from) Glasgow, London, Buffalo, Tokyo and Hawaii, as well as gifts from friends and vintage finds from our local Goodwill. I love them all, but special mention goes to the largest piece, which is the gorgeous Brooks Brothers Suit (black line) by illustrator/printmaker - and sweetie - Alanna Cavanagh, while another fave is the small RAD print by artist R. Bennett that we grabbed from Chinatown Boardroom in Honolulu. Art is good!


Is it #1, or #2?

I'm having a table lamp dilemma. Last week, while sourcing vintage suitcases for a book cover shoot (not an easy task, I might add) I came across a crazy cheap - and fantastically lovely - table lamp at Goodwill. Then, about an hour later, I scored a brand spanking new never used vintage drum shade at the Sally Ann. Talk about kismet! I have a home for it, but it means I'll have to say buh-bye to a great lamp I already have.

Okay, so first up is the one that's been sitting pretty on that side table for quite a while. The base and silk shade are from Restoration Hardware. Next is the vintage lamp and shade I just couldn't say no to. The base was $10 and the shade $4, while the Resto lamp probably came in at a slightly pricier $300, or so. Which should stay and which should go?


Take one old lamp {before & after}

Oh my, what wonders a can of white spray paint can do. Not rocket science I know, but I spotted this shiny brass lamp at Goodwill for $10 and saw its potential. The shade was completely un-salvagable (buckled and oddy stained) so that was tossed. I taped up and bagged the cord as well as the socket, and screwed the little loop finial into a spare piece of cardboard, then set up an impromptu spray booth in the back yard (a cardboard box, actually). A few careful coats of matte white spray paint later and the lamp and finial were looking fantastic. The final touch was a chocolate brown silk lampshade that I've had sitting around for ages from Restoration Hardware (tho' you can find great ready-to-go shades at both HomeSense and Pottery Barn too). Oh, and if these pics look a little familiar, that's because this project showed up in Canadian Family! [Image 2: Colleen Nicholson]


One in, one out

David laughed when I brought this lamp in with the groceries the other day, and said he had a feeling I was at Goodwill. How could I resist? Absolutely impossible - It's massive, gorgeous, and was a total steal at $14.99, and that included the linen drum shade. A quick wipedown and here's the result; sitting awfully pretty on the rosewood credenza. Problem is, now we somehow have too many lamps (lol) so I'll have to let at least one of them go (as well as tons of other stuff) when we take part in a neighbourhood yard sale in June. After all, I yammer on about editing all the time so I have to be tough, and stick with the one in one out rule...

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Ummm, is it art?

David said the magic words this weekend, "Lets go vintage shopping." So we headed off with an empty car and, in a couple of hours, managed to hit three Goodwills, two Value Villages, two pretty dodgy fleamarkets and a Talize. Alack and alas, the vintage gods weren't with us. I have a specific shopping list in mind for the house - a long dresser, ceiling fixtures and dining chairs - and managed to come up empty handed except, ummm, for the clown pictured below.

Yep, it's a Paint by Numbers, and at $4.99 I totally couldn't pass it up. Does it creep you out? People either love or hate clowns (and Paint by Numbers, lol, though they're becoming increasingly collectible). The clown is pictured with a framed needlepoint, another cheapy-yet-cool recent find from my fave local Goodwill. Both will eventually find themselves hanging on a gallery wall that we're planning, but really, I have to get back on track with the gear we actually need!

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