About

 
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 Ikea (23)

Friday
Aug282009

PS I love you

The other day I overheard an interior designer say how much he hated Ikea, slagging it off as cheap and nasty, and I thought to myself how he'd completely missed the point. Their affordable design means that anyone and everyone can have access to cool gear, no matter what stage of life and how deep their pockets might be. I've gotta say, if you're too posh to have Ikea in your house, then you obviously far too posh for me, lol.

The new Ikea PS collection is finally in select stores across the country (hello Boucherville, Etobicoke, Edmonton and Coquitlam) and is definitely on the cool side. The line employed hot designers such as Hella Jongerius, and edgy all-woman Front Design group, to come up with a slew of fab stuff. In researching the stories behind each piece I stumbled across a bunch of Ikea PS videos that I thought would be sweet to share. The first gives an animated overview of the collection, the second (subtitled in French) digs deeper and follows Hella Jongerius to India where the Mikkel wall hangings are made - and how brilliant that each one is signed by the craftswoman that made it... Click here to check out the rest of the videos (be sure to watch them in HD).

   

Friday
Aug142009

Buh-bye serial killer's den

We are totally ending the week on a high note. The laundry area is now a picture of streamlined modernity, completely kitted out with Ikea kitchen cabinetry to maximize on desperately needed storage (errr, coz we had none, lol). Just take a look at that first shot below, snapped when we first bought the house 13 months ago. Ummm, yep, it was obviously the vile den of a serial killer. If anything, the photo makes it look way nicer than it was - Seriously.

I hafta tell you the Ikea installers were stellar. Apart from doing a brill job fitting the cabinets into quite the wonky space, they swept up after themselves and left the place spotless. So, here's the what's what in laundry land, with a few extra pics below to help figure things out - Abstrakt white hi-gloss doors, aluminum and white Numerar countertop, Strecket handles, a Lagan sink and a completely gorgeous white Ringskar faucet (which'll be installed on Monday). It's laundry love fo' sho'.

     

Thursday
Aug132009

A pocketful of sunshine? No, a van full of furniture

The house has been turned upside down, and I've been relegated to a small island in the middle of the living room whilst controlled pandemonium occurs, well, everywhere else. The Ikea installers (hello guys) have almost finished all the cabinetry in the laundry area, plus they've started in on the Besta media storage for the basement tv room and the Pax wardrobe in the bedroom (more info on that soon). Oh, and Rod the wallpaper guy is about to put up the last panel of grasscloth in the bedroom and then he'll be onto the paper for the living room and powder room.

Below is the truck full of furniture that we drove, bleary eyed and very early, out to Tim the furniture finisher to get sprayed. We managed to fit a motley crew that included eight dining chairs, two 2-drawer end tables, a 4-drawer chest and a 9-drawer dresser. We'll have to wait a week or so, but everything will be coming back in either a lovely Benjamin Moore Oxford White or Baffin Island. In the meantime all of our clothes have been relegated to plastic bins dotted hither and yon. Ummm, when will this be over? lol

Wednesday
Aug122009

The uproar continues...

Mucho is happening on the house today (yay). Rod, my intrepid wallpaper guy, has started in on the grasscloth in the bedroom. It's a Gramercy wallcovering available through Design By Color and it's already looking mah-vellous. And Rod, ever the perfectionist, is carefully cutting the paper down so each wall has equal sized panels. Take a look below at the first few pieces up on the wall...

Downstairs in the basement we have the Ikea installers working their magic fitting the kitchen cabinetry into the laundry area. I'd planned out the cabintery last week with the Ikea Kitchen Planner - we went with the yummy hi-gloss Abstrakt white doors - then everything was delivered in super-zippy fashion. Now the work is happening very, very fast. A few hours ago all that was down there was this SmartDispense laundry pair from GE Profile, and by tonight most of the cabinetry will be finished. Phew! Oh, and btw - the latest Ikea catalogue smacked down on my doorstep this morning, so in a quiet moment (lol) I'll be leafing through and dog-earing all my new faves.

And then finally, that last shot is the media room, after we'd gone to town with the Ralph Lauren Paint in Palais Royal (take a look at the before here).

  

Wednesday
Jun102009

Going with Vandyke in the bedroom

The last few days have been nailbitingly bananas. I've basically been living on Hershey's new Milk Chocolate, and let me just say there's been plenty to go around, lol. This is all, of course, for the chocolate inspired hotel suite I've been working on with Karen Sealy.

After the carpet was ripped out Sunday night, and the bedroom was wallpapered with this Graham & Brown paintable paper, the painters stepped in early Monday morning and lickety-split primed the old vinyl wallcovering in the living room and then painted throughout (I went with Para's Steamy Hot Chocolate for the bedroom, which is absolutely perfect in so many ways!). Then it was time for the carpet to show up and I get a phonecall saying the truck has broken down - aaagh - though Carpet One was beyond brilliant in dispatching another truck to rescue the stranded wall-to-wall and keep us on schedule.

Tuesday was the the everything else day; a whack load of furniture from Elte, carts filled with frames and accessories from Ikea, and both myself and Karen showed up with cars packed to the gills with bits and bobs. A few crazy hours later of non-stop lugging, unpacking, tidying , installation of drapes (thanks inVU!) and ironing of bedding - one of my least favourite things - my room was done and looking, imho, pretty darned peppy. Both spaces were shot this morning, so I'll be posting the snaps soon, but in the meantime I wanted to spill part of the beans and show the furniture line I picked for the bedroom. I love its handsome modern lines, great proprtions and on-trend brushed brass detailing; though my fave surprise is when you pull open a drawer and discover it's painted a zingy tomato red inside. The Vandyke line by Mitchell Gold+ Bob Williams is available at Elte. And oh, you just have gotta try the Hershey's Black Cherry and Almond bar (it totally rocks out).