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 Toronto (10)



Ah, Friday, the best day of the week. And I'm ending it on a high with a new store that's opened up in my neck of the woods - Love The Design. Stationary designer/photographer Christine Flynn is the talent behind the place, which is jammed with tons of covetable gear - both vintage and new - and with walls filled with Christine's photography. I'm loving the shots of Levi the horse in that last snap, not to mention all the burlap upholstery and that newspaper wall (yum). LTD has been open for less than a week and already there's been a nice bit of buzz about the place (the folks from Covet Garden also stopped by), so it's definitely worth a peek. Ah, and talking of Covet Garden, keep your eyes peeled for a that one great thing post from one of the founders next week! Love The Design is at 1362 Queen St E in Toronto.



A small look at design history

The other day I got a chance to check in on a v. cool small exhibit that's recently shown up in Toronto. Dimensions Of Design - 100 Classical Seats features perfectly scaled Vitra Design Museum miniatures that range from the 19th Century Windsor Chair at #1 all the way to the 1991 Philippe Stark designed Louis 20 at #100, and is a fascinitaing glimpse into the history of design, not to mention the vagaries of fashion and taste. The exhibition, which runs until March 9th, is housed in a pared back industrial gallery space in the Consulate General of Germany on the 25th floor of 2 Bloor St. East and has, as an added bonus, incredible views of the city that'll definitely make you want to get snap happy. Click here for deets, and check, check, check it out. Oh, and yes, if this exhibit turns you into a raging miniature chair-a-holic fear not, since you can buy them direct from Vitra here or, if you're in the city, pop in to Plan B for a quick fix.


{that one great thing} Jennifer's chandelier

You guys might know Jennifer Flores as the smarty-pants behind that great blog, Rambling Renovators, while I've gotten to know her better as the tireless organizer - along with her husband Sean - of the always interesting and inspiring Pecha Kucha design talks that happen at the IDS and throughout the year (which, thanks to Jennifer, I have loads of fun hosting). You can find more about Pecha Kucha Toronto right here, and below you'll get the scoop on Jennifer's fave piece in her home in my series, that one great thing.

Jennifer Flores: This chandelier is my favourite thing in our house. Its made of translucent capiz shells edged in metal. I love its mix of hard and soft, masculine and feminine. Capiz comes from the Philippines so having this in my home reminds me not only of my heritage but also brings back fond memories of those kitschy capiz lamps and souvenirs scattered about my parents’ home in the 1970’s. 

I bought the chandelier on eBay seven years ago for $60. It was such a beautiful piece that I didn’t want to hang it just anywhere – so for most of the last seven years, it sat packed away in a box! I first hung it in a bedroom in my old condo when I needed to stage the room to prepare the condo for sale. The condo sold quickly so only two weeks later the chandelier went back into the box, no real time to enjoy it. 

Since then, it has survived two moves and only recently found a permanent home. We renovated our master bedroom and essentially planned the space around the chandelier.  Can I tell you how much I love lying in bed looking up at it? It was meant to be there all along.


Slightly awol

Yep, I have been slightly awol from the blogosphere of late, since Tommy Smythe and I have been working together on a Very Important Project that's been taking up a fair bit of time. More news on that soon (it actually starts shooting today!).

In the meantime, how about checking out a fantastic new exhibit called 10x10x10 that photographer George Whiteside is working on. I saw George the other night at Azure Magazine's 25th anniversary party and he told me all about it, here's the deal - Starting on 10/10/10, he'll be hanging 1,000 of his photographs at Toronto's One 800 Gallery. Each day more will go up - including Polaroids, test prints, collages and one of a kind images - and you can even volunteer to help in the process (call 416.986.9900 for deets). The show opens Oct 20th, and yes, everything hung on the wall will be available to purchase. Oh, and for even more inspiration, check out George's stellar portfolio here.



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.