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 ICFF (9)


Carmen - a lover or a fighter?

This'll have to be quick-sticks for me, since I'm about to slap some fresh-caught Chinook salmon on the grill and uncork a lovely red - It's been that kind of day. I did want to taken a sec to share my favouritest (I know, it's not a word) lamp that I spotted at the ICFF a while back. It's Carmen from FontanaArte, and comes in the lovely table version below, as well as a pendant option too.

I think it's the witty shape, and the crisp lines in white powder-coated steel that make me just love it so. Funnily enough Héctor Serrano, the designer behind Carmen, was inspired by medieval armour, but if you ask me I see more of a frilly bathing cap thing happening. To each their own I guess. Oh, and I also scored a snap of Serrano's notebook with his initial sketches for the line. Don't you love getting a peek into the creative process?



A couple o' owls

Can I hear a hoot-hoot? Okay, apologies for the punny intro, but owls are just not going away. This morning I caught a behind-the-scenes Facebook snap of some prop owls that Dwell Studio will be using on an upcoming shoot (here), then there are some incredibly cool owl bookends that Indigo will be intro'ing in August - along with the rest of their fantastic new home collection, not to mention Uhu, the cool wall-mount lamp from Contraforma that's pictured below. I caught the Contraforma line at the ICFF and I hafta say, I was super impressed by the Lithuanian crew behind the line.

And then there's the rather sad looking owl vase in that second shot. It doesn't have a name, and has probably been languishing in a shady corner in my mother-in-law's garden for at least 10 years. Well, I decided to stage a rescue, and its now been brought home, washed and is on its way for a bit of a fix-up. So keep an eye out for more owl pics soon!


New York whirlwind

As I write this I'm close to comatose on my bed at The Hudson hotel in NYC. Yep, it's been a bananas couple of days running around Manhattan checking out everything that's going on during New York Design week and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and it's not over yet. Below is a snap of all the catalogs, postcards and mags I've collected so far that caught my eye - and yes, before you ask, I've already edited it down to the stuff I really, really like. Luckily it all fits in the Tom Dixon bag that I snagged, which seems to have gotten the vote of the coolest ICFF bag around (hot on the heels of the gold metallic bag Tom Dixon doled out last year). And keep your eyes peeled, I'll be posting lots of my NYC design faves over the next while...


Brief, colourful and pixelated

Sheesh, I'm having two short weeks in a row, what with the ICFF last week and the just-happened long weekend. At least we got the planting done on our back yard vegetable beds (I can't wait to check out the Tigerella tomatoes!), but other work beckons so I'll keep this brief - What are your thoughts on pixels? And, for that matter, fractal patterns? Have we all had enough, or, is this all still - to quote Martha - a good thing? I don't know about you, but I could totally work the brand spanking new Cristian Zuzunaga for Nanimarquina hand-knotted wool Digit rug into my place at a moment's notice...


Spectacular and charming

Out of all the gazillion things that passed in front of my eyes at the ICFF, two were standouts for me for very different reasons.

First up, let's deal with the spectacular side of things with the Steel Cabinets designed by Sylvie Meuffels for JSPR. You'll know JSPR from these rubber covered baroque chairs, but Sylvie, a cum laude graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven, is a bit newer on the scene. The handmade cabinets she's designed are wonderfully barmy, with a nod to both architectural forms and dusty old museum displays. They're brill, and I can imagine them filled with collectibles or turned into a terrarium - I just wish I had the space for one!

On the charming end of the scale is the work of Brit designer Matt Pugh. While Matt is well-known for his signature Owls (which I wouldn't mind a flock of some day), it was his playfully simple - and entirely anti-serious - Cat and Silly Duck lamps that managed to plaster a grin on my face, even after a very early Porter flight from Toronto to New York. Can't you see these looking ever-so-cute in a kid's room?