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 Tommy Smythe (8)


{giveaway} Sarah Richardson fan decks signed by Sarah + Tommy

Hot on the heels of the fantastic/exhausting/inspiring IDS I have a super-duper fun giveaway for ya! Yep, you have the chance to win one of three Sarah Richardson Designer Palette by Para Paints fan decks personally signed for you by both Sarah and Tommy. Not only that, one grand prize winner will walk away with a gift certificate for enough Para Paint in Sarah's scrummy colours to re-paint a whole room - 1 gallon of ceiling paint, 1 gallon of primer and 2 gallons of eggshell. The other two winners will receive a gift certificate for a gallon of Para Paint in one of Sarah's tints (which comes in 75 lovely shades, available across Canada at Lowe's and select retailers), plus all three winners will receive the addition of a little fun extra swag from SR's hit shows on HGTV. Sweet indeed!

Here are all the deets:

To enter for a chance* follow these easy steps -

Prizes: One grand prize that includes a Sarah Richardson Designer Palette fan deck personally signed by Sarah and Tommy, a Para Paint gift certificate for 1 gallon of ceiling paint, 1 gallon of primer and 2 gallons of eggshell (redeemable at Para's dealer locations), and assorted other items. Two other winners will receive Sarah Richardson Designer Palette fan decks personally signed by Sarah and Tommy, a gift certificate for a gallon of paint (redeemable at Para's dealer locations) and assorted other items. 

1. Leave a comment below the contest blog post (please include your email where asked) explaining why you'd like to win, before Tuesday Feb 8th, 2011, at 12pm EST. 

2. One grand prize winner and two other winners will be chosen by a random number generator and will be announced by email and as an update to this post on the morning of Wednesday Feb 9th, 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 Tuesday Feb 8th, 2011, at 12pm EST. Applicants must be of the age of majority in his/her province or territory of residence or older at the time of entry to participate and win. Contest open to Canadian residents, excluding residents of Quebec. Contest winner will be announced on ArrenWilliams.com, contacted via blog post comments, and must correctly answer a skill-testing question to win a prize. 


Sign that Panton!

So tonight is the big Opening Night fun-fest for the IDS, and one of the funnest (is that a word?) parts of the evening is the unveiling of all of the customized white Panton chairs that will be auctioned off in support of Casey House. You'll see twenty of the modern classic chairs re-interpreted by everyone from Anwar Mekhayech, Matt Davis and Allen Chan of The Design Agency (get a sneak peek at their chair here) to Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe. Sarah, Tommy and their intrepid team have been lugging their Panton chair all over the place asking just about everyone in the design community to lend their support and sign it. Take a close look tonight and you'll see the signatures of folks like Miles Redd, Glenn and George of Yabu Pushelberg, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine, plus - as you can see from the caught-in-the-act snaps below - Tommy, Samantha Pynn and Suzanne Dimma. That is one well travelled chair! For more deets on the auction click here.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled - I'm working on a fun Sarah Richardson giveaway for next week!


A chair story, part two

So you might remember a while back I was challenged to makeover a pretty ugly vintage chair by Chatelaine's decor editor Virginie Martocq, well it's time to share all the pics (thanks VM!) with you lot so you can see the results. Firstly I hafta say it wasn't just me involved, since Virginie also dragged in Tommy Smythe, Jeffrey and Deborah Fisher and Candice Olson to re-do chairs too - And looking at the bunch of them together they couldn't be more different.

That first snap shows the chair in all its - ahem - original glory. Next up there's mine, which looks fantastic thanks to inVU Drapery for the delovely DwellStudio Vintage Plumes fabric, as well as tackling the upholstery (you can see all my prep work here). Then Tommy's chair is ultra chic whith a white glossy frame and wide black and white stripe for upholstery. Jeffrey and Deborah slipcovered and skirted theirs, which did a nice job hiding the rather ugly legs. Finally Candice gave hers a preppy tween feel, dressing her chair in white, kelly green and fuchsia. Got a fave? Then you can vote here. [Images: Roberto Caruso]


It Gets Better Canada

Here we go. Tommy Smythe and I couldn't be prouder of the It Gets Better Canada video, it was posted on YouTube yesterday at around 5pm and has already reached more than 1,600 hits. Major thanks again for everyone's unfailing support on the project, and we have to give a shout out to the incredible crew who worked behind the scenes, including director Jean-Marc Piché, everyone at Peace Point Entertainment Group, the team at Imported Artists, and Corinne McDermott. Thanks too to Audrey Hyams-Romoff and Amanda Losier, and the rest of the stellar crew at OverCat Communications. Oh, and a special hello, we think you're just great! to the CBC's online, radio and television news, as well as Rick Mercer and George Stroumboulopoulos for being so kind and getting the word out.

So, what's next? Well, we're planning on expanding the video into something longer (that's what happens when you get an incredible 10 hours of interviews) and would love to be able to offer it as a resource to schools and anyone else who'd like to screen it. In other words, this is just the beginning.


More on that Very Important Project

I mentioned a while back about a Very Important Project that Tommy Smythe and I were working on, so here are the deets - In case you didn't happen to catch CBC's The National on Friday (have a look at a clip here), we have pulled together (with absolutely tons of incredible help) a Canadian video for the It Gets Better Project, which was all started by writer Dan Savage as a show of strength by the LGBT community over the awful series of gay teen suicides reported in the press. We got in touch with Rick Mercer, Mark Tewksbury, David Clemmer, Joeffer Caoc, George Smitherman, Anne Marie Macdonald, Peter Fallico, Diane Flacks, Rex Harrington, Deb Pearce, Enza Anderson, the cast of MTV’s 1 girl 5 gays, and many, many more and they all agreed to share their personal stories. 

It launches tomorrow night, and we couldn't be more excited to share it with as many people as possible. Watch this space, because I'll be posting the video here as soon as it's live on YouTube!


On the design side of things, here's some of the latest stuff that I'm ogling at Crate & Barrel. C&B have hunted through the Dansk archives and re-issued this great capsule collection of mid-centrury Jens Quistgaard designs in eco freindly acacia wood.