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 photography (5)


Guest blog / Julia Black: Me & Minagraphy

Julia Black: Photographer Mina Georgescu first got hold of a plastic panoramic camera as a child growing up in Romania, and I'm very thankful she never let it go. Sure she has a nicer camera these days, but it is her youthful eye that's definitely behind her magically captured moments. Mina’s latest collection, Coney Island and Other Magical Places, is a series of nostalgic snapshots that romanticize our memories of hot summery trips to the beach and time spent munching candy corn while riding a ferris wheel. The sensational textures, saturated hues and softly blurred motion make her modern-vintage prints perfectly refreshing (kind of like a cool glass of old fashioned lemonade!). I’ve ordered a set for my cottage, and I’m pretty sure they’d make a wonderful gift for a summer wedding (or two) that I have pencilled in on my calendar. You can shop Mina’s prints here on Etsy, and be sure to check out her fabulous blog too!

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


Roughing it

Sometimes, in the midst of renovation hell, while you're ripping down walls and tearing out old plaster, something unexpectedly gorgeous can suddenly appear. Just check out these shots by Donna Griffith, over on my friend Bev Hisey's new blog, covering her full-on back to the studs reno. That got me thinking, about how imperfection and history in a space really can add gobs of charm. Have a look at the snaps below from Zanotta. Those rooms wouldn't look half as cool with plain old beige painted walls. But really, do you want to be brushing flakes of plaster off your shoulders every time you toss yourself into that sleek William sofa, or sit down for a bite at the Album table? Well maybe, especially if it would mean living with those vintage herringbone parquet floors...


Up and at 'em

Well, what do ya know, my crazy/funny/talented friend Samantha Pynn's website is finally up and running! And it's not just all pretty pictures either (though they're stunning, btw, all shot by Virginia Macdonald), nope, she and her team - Julia Black and Malcolm Patterson - are also launching her Design Binders service that'll help you get your own place all sorted out and decorated, room by room. She calls it a paint-by-numbers approach to decorating and, if you ask me, I think it's a brill idea! Take a look below at one of the binders, as well a snap of one of her recent projects, and then click here to watch the design_lab webisode I shot with Sam.


I want an axe (no really, I do)

Well, we do have a crappy one that we bought when we were chopping out 20 years of roots and weedy sapplings in the garden. In fact, I lie, that is actually axe number 2, since the first we bought snapped after a couple of whacks. To quote William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” That is the reason we need an axe from Best Made Co.

I discovered Best Made while working on this piece for the National Post (they've created a special Hudson's Bay Company axe), then realised that they've been featured in a ton of spots, including *Wallpaper and I.D. magazine. Check out a couple of beauties from their Fall /09 collection, Bluerightby and Sam Hain. Below you'll find a snap from the firm's Manhattan workroom, and finally some Axe art (seriously) shot by Adrian Gaut, and available for purchase. For even more Best Made Co you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and click here to read how the two owners met in '84 as kids at Camp Ahmek in Algonquin Park. 



Nice shoe

Today I'm shooting with Tracy Shumate for an upcoming Trendwatch for Canadian House & Home Magazine. She is the kind of effortlessly cool girl that we could have all done knowing in school (to raise our cred), but Tracy has another side to her too: she's quite eccentric scavenger. Her studio is filled with objet trouvé set up in clever vignettes on almost every surface. The shot below, a perennial favourite, is of a shoe Tracy found on the train tracks - I'd love to see it blown-up and framed in a simple white gallery frame. The faded glamour of the shot really gets to me, and what ever happened to the wearer?