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 style (69)


Tables, eggs, milk, bananas

Oh I am so getting into the it's-almost-summer spirit, especially since I got to check out all the new PC Home outdoor gear yesterday. My faves were the 3 styles of occasional tables below, all available in peppy colours as well as good old white, and all affordably priced between $25 and $29. If you ask me, they're useful and cool enough to look smashing both indoors and out. Keep your eyes peeled, since the full collection - and there's loads more - will start hitting select Loblaw's and Real Canadian Superstores in the next couple of weeks (I'll definitely be tossing a couple of the tray tables into my cart the next time I go grocery shopping).



Pretty tempting

This time of year is all about predictions and resolutions, especiially when it comes to decor. If you ask me I predict lovely slightly worn out ice-creamy colours will be hot, and I resolve to keep my decor as interesting and as vintage-filled as possible. Talking of predictions, Sico did a lovely job with their colour palettes for 2011, making the three looks they picked very tempting indeed. My fave is Inviting, that's the first one (LOVE the idea of a big patch of colour on the wall), followed closely by the second palette there called Dazzling, just for the sheer colourful hell of it. And finally, a look called Authentic, which - while it's perhaps the least 'me' - has a relaxed time-worn vibe and a great handsome feel to it. Which do you like, and are you feeling inspired to paint?


{that one great thing} Jason Hudson's birdcage lamp

I bumped into Jason Hudson at a party over the Holidays and bugged him about his lovely birdcage pendant lamp that I'd seen over on his great blog These Roving Eyes. Anyway, he was happy to share the story behind the piece, and thus begins a new occasional series on the blog - that one great thing.

Jason Hudson: My partner Jeff fell in love with this old wooden cage when he saw it at an antique shop when he was a kid. He proudly brought it home and it sat in the living room for years. After his father passed away, we found it amongst junk in the garage and I could see that it had a special place in Jeff's memory.  

I'm a firm believer in taking meaningful objects and adjusting them to work in a contemporary setting. Like your Grandma's old piano - the cherry finish isn't working in your mid-century modern dwelling, but it holds a ton of sentimental value, so have that sucker refinished! It's still the same piano, still full of memories, its precious ivories untouched. So make it work! 

Because the honey-coloured wood and sad-Cat-Lady-overtones weren't working for me, I convinced Jeff to let me spray out the cage in a high-gloss black. We wired-it-up with a great Edison bulb and just like that, had our very own, ultra-cool, one-of-a-kind lamp, rife with Jeff's childhood memories but within the limits of our (read: my) personal style. 

It casts lovely shadows on the walls and adds a certain warmth and organic quality the room was lacking before.


Quick and red and white

Here's a quickie for you since I'm in transit today (more on that later). Okay, the Holidays are a comin', so how about we just try to get through it with a sense of calm and grace, huh? Wobblies and meltdowns will not be tolerated. So, with that in mind, just take a deep breath and remember that decorating in a chic/simple style needs restraint. Take a look at this lovely shot from Ikea - You've got the clean workaday lines of the Sockerart enamel pitcher that's been wound with Snovita sisal twine and then filled with Amaryllis. Glorious and just Christmas-y enough if you ask me. [Image from Livet Hemma, discovered via Tiger Hellström's great Tumblr blog From Scandinavia With Love]



Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: New kid 'off' the block

Jenn Hannotte: It's no secret to Torontonians that the Junction, a west-end neighborhood, has become a go-to spot for amazing decor stores over the last few years. And now open a short skip north of Dundas on Keele is Russet & Empire, a home accessories and gift store. 

Carefully curated by owner Micah Lenahan, she says that the neighborhood was lacking " a lot of options for shopping unless you wanted to buy a big piece of furniture." Now, I'm not talking traditional gifts and accessories. These are vintage toys (with the tags still on!), impossible-to-find soaps, gorgeous jewelry by local artisans and other super on-trend home accessories. Micah says she was aiming to create a gallery-like space by "adding only products that are beautiful and that i can claim that I absolutely love." Open only a month, she has events, and in-house products in the works with new products rolling in all the time. Check out some of Micah's favorite pieces below, then go say hi at 390 Keele St!

To read more of Jenn's take on style, as well as to track her reno project, click here.