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 Jenn Hannotte (17)

Tuesday
Jul272010

Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: What's the 211?

Jenn Hannotte: If you're reading this, chances are it's because you're a design blog-aholic. Never one to leave the party first, I offer to you this new reno-blog (complete with live-cam!) that promises to be thoroughly intoxicating. The Temporale's are a young family who have decided to move up - literally. They've been living in their east-end Toronto home for 6 years and have gutted it and smartly transformed it into a modern nest. But with only two bedrooms and four family members, it was time to make the decision: sell, or renovate? With no where to go but up,  they are constructing a 3rd floor pre-fab addition, and if the pictures from the rest of their home are any indication, it's going to be spectacular. The snaps below show the before and after on the front of the house, and a peek at the interior, before the old roof was peeled off and construction started. Check out 211 Bain to follow along!

For more of Jenn's take on style, as well as to see the beginnings of her own reno project, click here.

Friday
May212010

Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: What goes around

Jenn Hannotte: While Arren had the good fortune to physically enjoy the ICFF this year, I had to get my virtual fix and have been scouring all the blogs who have covered it. Apartment Therapy's founder, Maxwell Gillingham- Ryan, recently posted this over-view of some of the new wallpaper designs showcased. What really caught my eye were the new bold florals from London-based pattern designer, Camilla Meijer. Check out her 2010 intro, and compare to a wall in my new home with its original vintage paper. Now that's a bit of a déjà vu!! Maybe I should keep it... [Images 1,2 via Apartment Therapy]

For more of Jenn's take on style click here.

Tuesday
May182010

Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: Movin' on... up?

Jenn Hannotte: Okay, everybody relax. No need to get up in arms about my absence; let me explain. And no, I'm not going to blame it on the kids (this time), I'm going to blame it on Real Estate - capital R, capital E. I let the beast take hold of me again and I've gone and sold our house and bought another one a few blocks away, all thanks to the most amazing agent in Toronto, Nutan Brown. But I had good reason - a couple of good reasons, actually. We moved into our current house about 2 1/2 years ago and transformed it from a gold damask (in a bad way, trust me), brown carpeted, stippled mess into a pretty charming and hip abode if I do say so myself (check out my Flickr page here for the befores-and-afters of that ordeal). The main floor got a new kitchen, new floors, new laundry/mud room and upstairs got a coat of paint on every surface, including the floors. There are a lot of classic elements that remained intact from the 101 year old home that are blended with a modern and trendy reno. And that's the thing, folks - it's trendy. That, combined with a housing market that may or may not 'burst' meant that if we were going to reap the rewards from all our hard work, it was now or never. Thankfully, a young couple fell in love and in 5 short days the showings and open houses were over.

Our new house is a 'forever' kind of home. She's big and beautiful and needs a TON of work, so I'll be sharing some of that work and inspiration here as we move from project to project. Oh...did I mention we have to do it for practically free?* We're dubbing it the No-Money-Makeover and it's going to likely mean Craig's Listing, dumpster diving, recycling, street-walking....no, that's too far....and how ever else we can work towards a 'temporary' solution using cheap and clever tricks until we can get to the big stuff in a few years.

Here are a few snaps of the 'new' house below to kick-start brainstorming! Is that a fire place in the entry way? Why, yes it is! Beamed ceilings in the dining room? Check. Stippled plaster everywhere? Sure!

For more of Jenn's take on style click here.

*A disclaimer: The whole house needs the knob and tube wiring removed - a big job at an even bigger ticket price that needs to be done ASAP. so it doesn't count. Because I said so.

Friday
Mar192010

Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: Feeling cross?

Jenn Hannotte: My favorite new store in Toronto pandering to my want/need/can't have tendencies is Mjölk. Owners John and Juli offer an amazing selection of clean-lined, pale-wooded, Scandinavian and Japanese pieces from the classic Børge Mogensen 2226 Spanish Chair (take a look below, and if anyone out there is wondering if I'd like a gift, the answer is yes: I'll take two), to this gorgeous Hiroshima extension table by Naoto Fukasawa and a set of Arne Jacobsen cutlery to go on top. They also have affordable design objects, like this gorgeous Grass Vase by Claydies for Normann Copenhagen as well as adorable things for the Scandi-wanna-be baby like this cool/odd Norwegian Lice Onesie. But the one thing I really went to see and covet was the Pia Wallén Crux Blanket. It's so soft, so simple and so PERFECT. It's also all-wool, made in Sweden, and $850... Now, I don't like a little thing like price to get in the way of instant gratification, so I headed off to Etsy in search of some Swiss cross inspired textiles and found this coffee sack burlap basket with a cross screenprinted on the front by Brin and Nohl It'll be perfect for toys, magazines, or even small storage in the bathroom. Okay, it's not a blanket, but it's a wee bit more in my snack bracket.

Below you'll see snaps of the 2226 Spanish Chair and the Grass Vase, plus a couple of inspiring shots of the Crux Blanket in action (via Door Sixteen). For more of Jenn's take on style click here.

Thursday
Feb252010

Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: Things are piling up

Jenn Hannotte: I've been noticing the floor getting a lot of attention by stylists recently. From piling magazines and books straight off the ground to create side tables, to using the surface to display art and objects. 

It's a fast and dirty way to update a corner or a whole room, and likely won't cost you a penny. Now, I'm not a designer in any professional capacity; I'm a mother of two who usually writes these wearing a house coat and drinking coffee while the baby naps! But I do love design and I think there are a lot of you out there like me, so take a look at my inspiration shots below and how I styled it up in my own home in that last shot. I have a soon-to-be mobile baby, Beatrix, and an off-the- wall 5 year-old, Willa, so it wasn't practical to have things directly on the floor for safety reasons. Instead, I've taken a vintage low coffee table, stuck it in an awkward corner and used books and mags to give the lamp and other objects some practical height, but it also conveys that sort of super-relaxed, eclectic aesthetic that we see in those delicious inspiration shots. [Image 1: Dos Family. Image 2: Andrea Ferrari. Image 3: Manolo Yllera]

For more of Jenn's take on style click here.