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 (61)


The last of up top

While the sun is beaming outside, I thought I'd let you know I've just worked on my first Holiday project (for inVU Drapery), and have been finding glitter in all sorts of odd places. Yep, it's Christmas in July in my world! Anyways, I'm still working through posting the rest of the House & Home feature, and thought it was time to flip you the last shots of the top floor.

First up is my home office which, as David would be happy to tell you, is often ignored in favour of the sofa. We had a piece of glass cut to fit the width of the room and set it on top of a pair of Ikea's Vika Lerberg trestle bases. The chair was picked out of a neighbour's garbage, the rug - look closely - is actually a macro view of botulism, from a series of rugs by Bev Hisey called Dirty Dishes, and the vintage lamp is from Zig Zag. And, honestly, it doesn't normally look as tidy as this. Then, in the second bedroom (ignoring the two smiling goofballs), between a pair of great Ikea bookshelves that have sadly been discontinued, you'll find a re-finished vintage sofa that originally looked like this, and a poster from Shelf. Oh, and that's another Bev Hisey rug on the floor, called Mommy Dearest, which has a pattern of wire coathangers woven into it. Then there's a snap of a dresser, which was a crazy-cheap Goodwill find for $15 that was refinished in white at Beresford's. It's topped with paintings by Zebedee Helm, a pair of Foo Dogs dragged home from Macao, and a print by Bold & Noble. And, as always, the talent behind all these great shots is Angus Fergusson.


Principally speaking

Where, oh where, has the week gone? All my best laid plans of it being a quiet week have literally been chucked out the window, and now it's practically the weekend for heaven's sake! Getting back on track, I wanted to show you lot the pics of the principal bedroom and bathroom from the House & Home feature (shot by Angus Fergusson, of course), so without further ado, here we go.

That first pic shows the bedroom under construction, when we'd knocked out the teensy old closets. Now the walls are all papered with grasscloth from Design by Color, the upholstered headboard and bedskirt are in my fave David Hicks designed Hexagon House Chenille from Lee Jofa, and the cream velvet curtains are from inVU Drapery. The ceiling fixture and lamp on the left of the bed are both vintage, while the one on the right (as well as the shades for both lamps) was snapped up at HomeSense. The closet now runs wall-to-wall, and is the Pax system with Vinstra doors from Ikea, and really, we couldn't live without all that built-in shoe storage, lol. The night tables were a sweet $10 each from Value Village, and the dresser was from Frontier, both were refinished to match in that khaki tone by Beresford's. On the dresser is a kooky vintage lamp, enamelled boxes from AT Design, and above there's a lovely West Elm mirror.

The bathroom was tiny, filthy and all pink, so we knocked out the walls and made it 18" wider to make the space that bit more generous. The vanity is KraftMaid kitchen cabinetry, the integral sinks and counter is Corian, and the walls are tiled in a Carrara marble lookalike porcelain tile called Montova, and yep, it's all from Home Depot. The sconces are from CB2, the mirrors are from Walmart (really), and the towels are Ikea. All the plumbing fixture and fittings in the space are from Kohler, and include the swish Oblo wall-mount faucets, the Purist Hatbox toilet (you can just about see it in the reflections) and the ceiling-mount WaterTile shower head. Oh, and I have to give a shout out to Home Depot Installation Services, as well as our contractors Cera Stone, for all their amazing work on the bathroom!


Vintage goldmine

On Sunday I headed cross border with a couple of friends to hit a fantastic junky 4th of July outdoor antique market in upstate New York. Hello, did we ever do well, and no, before you ask, I cannot reveal the exact destination since it was a complete goldmine of great stuff at crazypants prices (if I told you I would definitely be hung, drawn and quatered). Here's a few shots of what we ended up with, as well as the one that got away...

These mirrored vintage bulbs will look amazing in a shadow box, or individually set on little wood block stands. When the guy said "$5 each. or $20 for the box" they were immediately snapped up. Oh those flags. You can't really tell, but each one is hand sewn and gorgeously aged. One of my friends bought 3 (they were $5 each), and then we bugged her until she went back and bought a big pile of them to sit pretty in a tall vase. Here's the one that got away, 'cos we didn't have the room or the need - a lovely beaten up black and gold dresser, with mirror, that was tagged at $40 (I just hope it went to a good home!).

Then here's what I dragged home - I paid $2 for this cool little Charlie Chocks advertising doll from the '70's, that's now found a spot on a white dresser, and (okay, this a bit of an odd one) an acrylic portrait on canvas that was a score at $10 which, bizarrely, looks like me as a teen, right down to the floppy Hugh Grant hair and the dweeby glasses.


Guest blog / Jenn Hannotte: What goes around

Jenn Hannotte: While Arren had the good fortune to physically enjoy the ICFF this year, I had to get my virtual fix and have been scouring all the blogs who have covered it. Apartment Therapy's founder, Maxwell Gillingham- Ryan, recently posted this over-view of some of the new wallpaper designs showcased. What really caught my eye were the new bold florals from London-based pattern designer, Camilla Meijer. Check out her 2010 intro, and compare to a wall in my new home with its original vintage paper. Now that's a bit of a déjà vu!! Maybe I should keep it... [Images 1,2 via Apartment Therapy]

For more of Jenn's take on style click here.


Should they stay, or...

Should they go? Yes, they're awfully nutty, in fact, irresistably so - I scored a whole tea set (sadly, without the tea pot) the other day when I stopped in at  Value Village. 4 mugs, 4 side plates, plus a cream and sugar, and all shockingly 1980's and Post Modern looking. The pattern is called Clouds and was designed by Fujimori for Japanese firm Kato Kogei, yep, in the mid-80's sometime. The colour combo of sugary pink, grey and black is such a hilarious throwback to a time that style forgot, but really, should I keep them or should they head to eBay? And if they stay, will I think of Duran Duran every time I have a cup of coffee?

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