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 Julia Black (28)


Guest blog / Julia Black: An underfoot explosion

Julia Black: If I had to choose just one element of style that I love most it would have to be textiles. All that colour, pattern and texture is magnificent, though recently I’ve been especially attracted to what lies underfoot, so when I discovered Morris Etc. a new found obsession for rugs exploded.

Amy and Brett, the insanely talented Brooklyn-based couple behind the firm, have spent many a day working in design and media, but came to realize their true passion was handcrafted, one-of-a kind rugs. The collection is filled with predestined heirloom pieces in eye-popping fruit-punch combinations of bold stripes and neo-traditional patterns that'll definitely help lift us out of hibernation and catapult us into springtime. A big plus - Morris Etc. invites you to customize your own wool flatweaves, as well as shop their creations online, not to mention that you can stay connected with them here on Twitter, and via email updates (which will let you know when new shipments arrive). No matter what you’re obsessing about this season, don’t forget to treat your feet! [Images: Joyce Lee]

To read more posts from Julia click here, and to check out her cool blog click here.


Guest blog / Julia Black: Art Interiors chat and giveaway

Julia Black: For nearly 18 years, Art Interiors in Toronto has been shining a light on emerging and established artists. What started in their parents’ basements has since grown to become one of the most influential galleries in Toronto, if not Canada. Owners, long-time friends (and busy working moms), Lisa Diamond Katz and Shira Wood continue to bring us accessible, enlightening art, and kindly shared their expertise with me in a quick chat, as well as let me in on the art of buying art. 

Julia: Art Interiors is so welcoming to those of us who aren’t art collectors and who frankly, know very little about art. Do you find people are intimidated by art? 

Lisa: Absolutely! Huge intimidation factor with art! People fear judgment for what they put up on their walls- they feel it’s a reflection of them, which it sort of does, but hey, you have to be who you are, and like what you like- you have to live with the artwork, so it should appeal to you! We try to encourage people to buy what they respond to, not what matches the room or fits the space necessarily. 

J: Do you feel there are any rules to follow, or to break, when it comes to blending artwork, or different styles and mediums? 

Shira: No rules! Buy what you like and it will all work together. We encourage an eclectic grouping involving many different artists work, styles, genres, and mediums. It shows your personality and shows confidence. Mix up your frame choices as well! Too much of the same can be dull and boring!

J: Are there any areas in a home that aren' appropriate to hang art, or build a gallery wall? 

L: No way! You can put artwork up in the laundry room! The only caveat is a small steamy bathroom- works on paper or on canvas can get damaged by the humidity. But you can hang smaller works that won’t buckle or crack. Just ask when you buy it. 

J: Finally, for all of us who are looking at introducing art into their lives, any words of wisdom? 

S: Don’t be intimidated when buying art, original art is for everyone and is easily accessible through local art fairs, community centres and hey, our gallery! Educate yourself and ask questions when buying what you like. Starting small is an easy way to begin. 

S: And Canadian artists are so undervalued! They are the best deal in town! 

GIVEAWAY: Aaron Emerson Jones Glory (Revisited)

California native, Aaron Emerson Jones, came to Canada to study Fine Arts at Queen’s University, and over the years has exhibited in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and throughout Canada. His passion rests in creating dreamy landscapes, composed of layers of paint and photographic images suspended in multiple pours of high-gloss resin.  This young artist is undoubtedly one to watch for - Read more about Aaron on Julia's blog here.

Prize: One grand prize of Glory (Revisited) by Aaron Emerson Jones. The 24" x 24" artwork is valued at $550 and is pictured in the last image below.

1. Just 'Like' Art Interiors on Facebook here before Thursday March 24th, 2011, at 12pm EST, for a chance to win. The contest is also open to all Facebook peeps who have already 'Liked' Art Interiors.

2. One grand prize winner will be chosen by a random number generator and will be announced via Facebook and as an update to this post on the morning of Friday March 25th, 2011, at 9am EST. Good Luck! 

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY  Void where prohibited. Odds depend on number of applicants who participate. Participants may enter the contest by following the steps mentioned above by Thurs March 24th, 2011, at 12pm EST. Applicants must be of the age of majority in his/her province, territory or state of residence or older at the time of entry to participate and win. Contest open to residents of the US and Canada, excluding residents of Quebec.  


guest blog / Julia Black: Getting into Auggie

Recently I was invited to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Auggie, a splendid children’s boutique in the charming Yorkville neighborhood. The delightful shop and its big sister fashion store next door, Augustina, are top-notch destinations for your holiday shopping. At Augustina, the stupendous in-house brands have recently expanded to include fragrances, jewellery and leather goods, and over at Auggie you will find all sorts of darling gift ideas such as vintage Babar and Winnie The Pooh framed prints, 3 Sprouts organic canvas storage bins, durable Beatrix backpacks, and so much more for your child and home — all of which can now be ordered online here. And while toasting the 1 year-old Auggie I was so happy to find out store owner, Cristina Burgess, and her sister (and graphic designer) Genevieve will soon be adding a super-marvelous kid's bedding collection that includes sheet sets, duvets, pillows and quilts to the mix. So, while we all venture out to tackle our last-minute shopping lists, I hope you get a chance to enjoy all the holly-jolly goodness found at Auggie and Augustina. Happy shopping!


guest blog / Julia Black: Personally cute

Every once and a while, well maybe more often then I like to admit, I tap into my inner child and look for fun ways to impress my three gorgeous little nieces. If I’m not on top of what's playing on Treehouse channel or covered in sparkles then I’m just another boring adult, so when I came across Em Tanner Designs and her super cute work I knew it could make me the best auntie ever! Em has created a magnificent little world that delivers a crazy, bright and lighthearted sense of style, whether it be colorful plates, lunchboxes, aprons, beach towels, iPhone cases (love those polka dots!!!) or even laundry bags you can shop her designs then completely personalize whatever you pick to make them your own and - yay - they will ship anywhere in the world! If that isn't enough, Em's fun-filled website offers family-tested recipes, downloadable wallpapers, and coupons and giveaways galore. So whether you’re trying to make a lasting impression on the little ones in your life or are searching for a special holiday gift, Ms. Tanner has definitely has got you covered.



guest blog / Julia Black: Stark the halls!

We all appreciate the elbow grease behind planning a really fabulous party. From weddings and bar mitzvahs, to red carpet galas and grand openings, orchestrating and executing a positively memorable soirée takes talent. So as the season creeps up and you’re realizing it’s your turn to play host/hostess, who better to turn to for inspiration then one of New York's most esteemed party planners, Mr. David Stark. David is an extraordinary designer who’s been creating hot ticket parties for over twenty years, and now - for the second holiday season in a row - his distinct approach for transforming everyday materials and spaces into complete magnificence can be yours. The David Stark Holiday Collection is available at your favorite West Elm store, and this time Mr. Stark has repurposed recycled paper and cardboard, and even vintage garden books, into garlands, trees, and witty objects and accents to help you create a brilliant party. Furthermore, the collection is distinctly eco-smart and eco-chic. Careful though, by adding Stark to your halls you might just be voted into another hosting gig sooner than you’d like. Check out the video below to see how the collection came about.

To read more posts from Julia click here, check out her cool blog click here, and click here to see her new Get Fresh online videos for CTV!