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 vintage chair (4)


{that one great thing} Jen's (two)one great vintage chair(s)

Can someone please explain to me how it's already Wednesday? I'm having a really work-y week and time is just whizzing by, which is why I'm super glad Jenn Hannotte's *that one great thing* pick popped up in my inbox, since she's always such a smartypants whilst I am - right now at least - feeling awfully fuzzy in the brain department. And yes, before anyone says anything, I know Jenn is slightly cheating by picking 2 things, but that's just how she rolls...

Jenn Hannotte: My One Great Thing is actually Two Great Things, but their stories are the same and I didn't want to leave either one out! When I was living in Winnipeg (holla!), I was working as an art director for a specialty advertising company. I was 20 years old, and while I cared a great deal about how my various apartments looked, I didn't really *know* anything about the history of industrial/furniture design. In a corner of the office sat these two chairs, stacked and dusty. I thought they looked cool and asked the boss if I could buy them, but he generously (it turns out!) gave them to me. This was my first experience exploring the history of an object; I turned over the chairs and discovered they were Fritz Hansen chairs and went to eBay (pretty much the only source at the time!) and learned their worth. From there, armed with a little more information I soon found myself hooked on learning about the history of design. I consider the discovery of these chairs the fuel for my passion for design, and on the downside, the impetus to my chair addiction! They always make an empty corner pop, and they've always worked with whatever look I'm loving. Here's round-up of their recent history of resting places in my various homes as an homage.



More chair business

Sheesh, you would think that I have a one track brain and it's all about chairs. Today I was checking in on fabric options for the wonderfully kooky vintage pair below, scored by my client/friend Marija who obviously has a really great eye. Of course we had to buy them, since they were so darned cool (as well as amazingly well-priced), but it's taken us (as in me) a while to get the fabric options together. We'll be simplifying the design a fair bit - no tufting - and I would love to see if the refinisher can hack off that little glued on moulding detail before they're re-sprayed (probably in a cream or soft grey). The first fabric pic shows a few samples from the racks at DFO, the second is a slightly more luxe collection of possibilities found at Kravet in Designer's Walk. Do you have a fave? Currently the random Greek Key-ish pattern in the middle of the first snapshot is the front runner, though that herringbone from Thom Filicia could be very handsome.


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]


Seriously fun

Saw this chair a couple of secs ago on Twitter and thought how great it was, and now here I go sharing it with you lot. It's a fantastically quirky Victorian club chair (love the turned black legs and casters) that's been upholstered in a metallic silver print on a dark purple Irish linen called D'ya-think-e-sauras, from PaperBoy in the UK. Victoria Cramsie of PaperBoy scored the chair at an auction, one of a pair, she's now itching to get the other one re-upholstered too. Check her firm out for lots of seriously fun prints on fabric and wallpaper - you should really take a look at Animal Magic and Hand Made - that are nice and un-sugary, and a v. sophisticated take on designs for kids. Oh, and thanks to Victoria (aka PaperBoyLondon) for posting the shots on TwitPic!