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 Holiday (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!


guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: What's behind door #1?

Arren has been Christmas-ized since July when the magazines do their holiday shoots. Thankfully for the rest of us we don't have to worry about the holidays until about...well...NOW. I've rounded up some out of the ordinary advent calendars to keep the countdown looking cool. 

This trendy pennant look finds its way into the holidays and on to the mantel doing double duty as an advent calendar and taking care of dressing the fireplace. You fill each number with your own treats and can re-use it each year. The second one here is more traditional, but I love it for its patchwork look and shot of turquoise. And for a little irony - if you love these last two you better hurry since they are limited to 50 and the seller says they go quick. For good reason, these gorgeous Amsterdam or Brooklyn streetscapes with a little holiday image behind each door or window will bring a little grin to even the grinchiest of us!


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]



Midsummer madness

Oh, I lead a rather odd life. Over the past couple of days I've been checking out a flurry of previews for what retailers will be carrying over the Holidays. And last week, in the midst of an extra hot and sticky July day, I actually dressed my first Christmas tree of the year. So, to help you all cool off from this heat, I thought I'd share a quick take on what to expect to hit the stores as we plunge headlong into fall and winter. PC Home has some lovely cabin and craft influences, as well as tons of affordable sparkle. The Drake General Store has a lock on just about the coolest gear you'd want to gift or receive, including a standout gold-hatted gnome cookie jar (really). Indigo is all about charming chunky knit accessories (love those extra long reading socks!), as well as a fantastic selection of toys and specialty candies. Holt Renfrew has glittery gold covered, in everything from nailpolish by Deborah Lippmann to heels by Christian Louboutin. Sears has a covetable selection of countertop appliances, not to mention a swish washer and drier duo in a deep royal purple, plus they've completely re-vamped their Whole Home furniture and upholstery collection. It's now all made in Canada (yay!) and is uber-customizable, and did you know they also do a great line of Quebec made kitchen cabinetry? Me neither!

This all adds up to the fact that I've been kinda busy, so, with that in mind, I've stolen the extra-pretty shot below from my sister's fashion and style blog, Blink London, from her interview with talented floral designer Victoria Brotherson of Scarlet & Violet. Click here to check out the interview, and to see more gorgeous floral arrangements.


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.