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!


 Subscribe in a reader

New posts delivered right to your inbox!

Powered by Squarespace
Add to Technorati Favorites

Entries in kitchen (5)


Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: The perpetual kitchen reno

Jenn Hannotte: Last October, after my youngest pulled what looked like 1930s underwear out from behind the radiator in our kitchen, I called John at Cera Stone. "GUT IT," I said. Really, I didn't *want* to renovate the kitchen, I wanted to live with it and save up for the real-deal. 

But after the underwear, and because earlier in the summer I had removed all the cabinet doors because they were covered in SLIME, and because after the bathroom renovation we had a big ol' hole in the kitchen ceiling thanks to the old toilet losing it's shhhhh all over the place - well, it wasn't a kitchen anymore. And so, like I do, I started to rip things apart myself and discovered the original asbestos-tiles, and while not exactly good for the lungs, they were in really good shape which gave me hope for the pine-plank subfloor. Yes, we were going to gut the kitchen, but, no, we weren't going to spend much putting it back! Once everything was out, I decided to have a wall framed out over the messed up plaster that held the old cabinets in place, and we clad it in beautiful birch plywood. The sink, stove and fridge all stayed in the same place to keep costs down. A couple of base cabinets from Ikea, an inexpensive butcher block countertop, rough-pine shelf from Home Depot ($12!) and bingo, we had a kitchen. 

Okay, it didn't go that smoothly - I have hung different cabinets and shelves, moved the fridge around, painted the floors after resolving not to, and painted half a wall black before deciding (surprise!) white it was! This is a temporary kitchen - if temporary means 5 years or more to you. So, because we'll be living with it for quite some time, we figured that we might consider getting some appliances that work. I know people go on about "function and form" all the time, but sometimes I like to ignore that and spend money in places we shouldn't instead of... .getting appliances that work.

And so, this week a new crop of appliances that will bring harmony to the kitchen are set to arrive. Appliances that marry form AND function. I know, what a concept. Once they're here and installed I promise a full kitchen tour. For now, here are some shots of the before and during - and a sneak-peak of the 'after', shot for the Marion House Book last month! (which, incidentally, already looks different!)

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


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.


5 for the counter

There's lots of things we need for the new place (believe me, the list is a mile long) but one thing I've found myself mulling over recently is the two stools we need for the kitchen counter. They need to be backless, and I'd rather they had an industrial edge as opposed to veering towards swish and modern. So, here's the shortlist -

The Tolix stool comes in a bunch of colours, including this raw finish, but no matter how lovely it is it costs an arm and a leg.

This is the Modern Times Factory Stool from the Sundance catalogue. I like the scale of this one, but I'm a bit iffy about the faux banged up finish on the base.

The Lyon Workspace Stool from CSN Supply is a low cost alternative to the Tolix, but we'd most probably have to have it sprayed since the grey is a little on the dullsville side.

Also from CSN Supply is the quite smashing Safco Diesel stool. I hafta say, this one is definitely a fave, and yep, CSN Supply does ship to Canada.

Finally, the brushed aluminum Spin stool from Crate & Barrel is edging it's way to the top of the list too.



Bookmark and Share

Brew your own

If you were to rifle through our kitchen you'd discover we have a whole cupboard dedicated to tea. In fact, if you fancy an Egyptian Licorice, a spot of delish and hard to find Lipton French Vanilla, or even a steaming brew of a rather potent Australian Green Tea & Mint, we've got you covered (not to mention all the sundry other boxes and bags picked up on our travels). But, who knew each tea should be steeped at a different boiling point? Ummm, not me, lol. Well thankfully Breville, one of my fave stylish countertop appliance brands, has just intro'd a brand new kettle that can raise the bar on your tea brewing abilities. Go ahead and push a button on the base of the Variable Heat Kettle to hook up the perfect temp for Green, White, Black and Oolong tea and - not forgetting the coffee-aholics - French Press. Easy peasy and chic. Click here to read more.

Bookmark and Share

A healthy obsession

Whenever I ask a photographer to share some of their favourite shots I never know quite what's going to happen, so when I bugged a good friend of mine, photographer Angus Fergusson, to send through his faves he kindly obliged and then revealed that he's 'kitchen obsessed'. Yep, 3 out of the 6 shots he sent through are of very posh kitchen spaces. Funnily enough Angus and his darling wife Beth have a luvverly kitchen of their own; the result of surviving a reno on horrifyingly run-down fixer-upper in Toronto's west end. They bravely managed to see beyond the filth, rotten panelling and oddly placed toilets to create a bright, open and modern space - Fingers crossed we'll see it popping up in a mag sometime soon (it's quite the transformation).

The first two shots are from the sadly defunct Wish Magazine, the next three are from House & Home, and that final snap is of House & Home's Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Dimma, at home with her feet up, from the Globe & Mail. Make sure to take a boo at the rest of Angus's portfolio here and, on a personal note; Angus shot our last house for House & Home (you can see some of the snaps here on Apartment Therapy) so I'd love to give him first dibs on shooting this one, whenever it's ready, lol...


Bookmark and Share