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 interiors (9)


Spring has sprung 

Right now I'm sitting in Vancouver, amazed at all the blossoms on the cherry trees, stunned by gorgeous tulips in full bloom and gobsmacked by a rather warm breeze that doesn't have any clue what 'wind chill' is. Yep, it'll be short lived, since I'm only here for a day on the last stop of a whirlwind tour for Graham & Brown wallpaper (I was in Calgary yesterday, and Edmonton the day before). A major shout out to all the great folks I've met along the way, including everyone at Breakfast Television and Shaw TV !

Spring is definitely springing, and not just in balmy Vancouver. These gorgeous snaps of what HomeSense is offering up this coming Spring and Summer are a lovely taste of warmer days to come and have a bright and fresh vibe to them, oh, and they were shot by my talented mate, photographer Angus Fergusson. I'm totally loving those antiqued metal chairs and the knit ottoman (they're definite hot picks), as well as the smashing shadow box framed butterflies!


Marcel in the kitchen

Let's end the week with a bit of kitchen inspiration. The space below is a slice of one of the condo suites at the Mondrian South Beach designed by Marcel Wanders. The hotel/condo is quite the fantasy world, designed to resemble an up to date take on Sleeping Beauty's castle with lots of trademark Wanders witty excess. The kitchen really caught my eye since it feels modern, yet uses those blue and white Delft tiles in a wraparound to stunning effect, all set against white, tangerine and black. Though to keep things running in that Miami vein the tiles picture lifeguards, sharks and bikini clad girls, rather than windmills and tulips, lol. To see more of the over-the-top interiors from the hotel check out travel website Mr & Mrs Smith, and to see Wanders describe his design direction in video click here. It's all quite barmy really, but you have to admire Wanders guts and very singular vision.


White, white, white

I was feeling terribly uninspired today until I saw this; the French home of designer Jane Whitfield, Marc Jacob's right hand woman at Louis Vuitton. It's quite the de-lovely modern rustic place with lots of white, white, white. Setting off all the white are scads of vintage finds and wallpaper (that's Farrow & Ball Silvergate in the first shot). I'll let the beautiful images speak for themselves, so take a look and enjoy, and click here to read the full article on the Telegraph newspaper's site. [Images: Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer]

Via Telegraph 

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5 quick questions: Alex Bates

I was lucky enough to have a fascinating chat with Alex Bates, West Elm's creative director, back when West Elm opened up in Liberty Village in October of last year. She was just back from a whistle-stop tour of incredibly inspiring places and was starting to plan the next collections for the affordably on-trend brand (which also happens to be one of my fave places to shop). To continue that conversation I recently asked Alex if she wouldn't mind answering a couple of questions on her personal style and she happily obliged. And, from the sound of it, she's also racking up more Air Miles as we speak.

Below you'll find a couple of snaps of recent West Elm intros - The Beanstalk bed linens, Beach Glass vases and Twist melamine dishware. Click here to check out more 5 Quick Questions interviews.

Arren Williams: What's inspiring you now?

Alex Bates: All things Calder. His recent show at the Whitney blew me away. The installation of his wire face sculptures was a stroke of genius. I also loved the Met’s exhibition of his jewelry – crazy and elegant. I’m loving simple wire and pencil sketches in general; especially Martin Ramirez’s black and white sketches at the American Folk Art Museum.

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

AB: I am fixated with all shades of grey, still. You can see it manifested in our summer collection at West Elm. I’m dying to paint my front hall. I think it would be very cozy and create a great background for my art. There is also a pair of vintage Cherner Chairs I want. I know they would look like pieces of sculpture against the gray.

AW: How would you describe your current style, and how has it changed over the years?

AB: My house is more about collecting that decoration. It’s very laid back and comfortable with worn family antiques mixed with modern – and of course a lot of West Elm. It’s a hodge podge of things I absolutely couldn’t live without from years of traveling. Every wall is covered in paintings and tons of books. I am officially out of wall space and have stacks of paintings and books growing in the corners. I’m trying to pare back and I fantasize about a certain Piet Boon house – spare but cozy. I know my little bits would start to slowly creep back in.

AW: Is there anything that can drive you crazy when you walk into a room?

AB: Bad art. Fake flowers. “I Married Adventure” by Osa Johnson.

AW: What's next?

AB: Spring is a busy time for us. We just opened out our new West Elm store at Broadway and 62nd in New York with an amazing opening party and a fun collaboration with David Stark. We’re finishing up our spring 2010 collection and trying to continue to be as green as we can in our processes, materials, and finished products. Next we're off to Italy for the Milan furniture show and then India. We have started some great new partnerships, working with Craftmark and Aid to Artisans in India, and I’m excited to explore new ideas with them.


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A bit more Kips

Where did the warm weather go? It's totally looking all drab and grey out there, and yesterday there was a little too much horizontal rain for my liking. Time for a bit more fantasyland inspiration then from the Kips Bay Show House in NYC. This looks to be the pretty much last of it that is really my cup of tea (the rest is a tad fusty), though I'm still jonesing to see the whole thing in person. In the meantime I'll be traipsing through another glam showhouse soon enough - The Junior Leaugue of Toronto Showhouse, which will be running May 8th through to the 31st. Participating designers include Jeanette Hlinka, Katherine Newman and Timothy Mather; so it promises to be completely worth checking out!

The couple of rooms below totally have a thing for colour. The first is a bright living room designed by Eileen Kathryn Boyd (love that Homegrown Green rug by Edward Barber and Jay Ogersby for The Rug Company). The second is a bolthole designed for a swank recessionista by interior designer Christopher Coleman and fashion designer Angel Sanchez that's kitted out with an electric blue astroturf carpet and includes a slightly over-the-top mirror-polished steel ping-pong table (really!).

Via House Beautiful and Habitually Chic

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