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 reclaimed wood (2)


Guest blog / Julia Black: It's in the grain

Julia Black: John Ross might as well win a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Truth be told he might not exactly be an athlete, though he is a supreme representative of the Canadian way. With his overwhelming compassion for nature, his creative brilliance, and his oh-so stylish designs, what more can you ask for? As logger for nearly 15 years in British Columbia, John decided to channel his passion into high-end one-of-a kind pieces crafted from cast-off wood. You might have caught his work in Oprah Magazine and Canadian House & Home, and to actually get your hands on his furniture and lighting you can pop into one of my fave Vancouver shops, The Cross. John currently resides on Vancouver Island, so those of you lucky enough to be on the West coast right now be sure to check him out! Who knows, maybe you’ll come away with an extraordinary, and very Canadian, piece of furniture.

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




Table talk

After looking for a fair while for a dining table for the new space we realized that something custom would definitely be the way to go. Errrr, custom=pricey, so we've embarked on a slightly crafty route and are in the midst of sorting something out.

Step 1 - We talked David's dad, who's in construction, into dragging home a few beaten-up old scaffolding planks.

Step 2 - I got totally soaked and filthy, while high-pressure washing the wood to get rid of the ground in grime and chunks of old concrete.

Step 3 - Once the planks were dry I used a belt sander, and then we hand-sanded, to smooth out the wood.

Step 4 - Then, on a warm and sunny day this past weekend, I finished the boards outside with a two-in-one stainer / sealer.

Step 5 - Well, we're not there yet, but the boards will be coming home and attached to a vintage stainless steel trestle base that I've been dragging around for years. Take a boo at the shot below to get a taste of the kind of thing we're trying to acheive, though our table is stained in a rich dark finish (and we don't have a beamed ceiling). [Image: Living etc.]

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