Design & Decor Blog

great outdoors with arren williams

Looks like I’m not the only one with a major crush on the outdoor offerings from HomeSense this summer!

Toronto-based style and design expert Arren Williams has put a fresh spin on outdoor decor (no tiki torches allowed!) with the latest and greatest from HomeSense. (You’ll even recognize a few pieces that I brought with me for my HomeSense vignette on Tuesday’s CityLine!)

madeintheshade great outdoors with arren williamsArren’s got repurposing down to an art. That cute, thick-striped canopy over the Lutyens-style teak bench is actually a hammock ($35)! And this chic shade couldn’t be easier to make. “With a quick and easy stitch, create a pocket in the centre of the hammock to insert your dowel and form your canopy’s peak,” Arren says. “Using eye hooks and cord, anchor your new awning to the wall or fence and watch your outdoor space turn into a place.” Arren rounds out the vignette with a delightful mix-and-match array of floral patterned pillows.

gardengallery great outdoors with arren williamsThis is what I mean when I describe something as “Trad Rad”: a traditional decorating idea turned on its head in a completely radical way. Substitute alfresco-fabulous melamine dinnerware for granny’s china, and the facade of your house for the kitchen wall, and you’ve got a stunning summer look. “These melamine plates and platters ($3 to $7 each) in complementary shades of mod blues and greens are bold, graphic and so much fun,” Arren says. “I loaded up on different shapes and sizes, then planned out a symmetrical pattern on the floor before attaching each to the wall with plate hangers and screws to create this striking garden gallery effect.”

verticallyinclined great outdoors with arren williams

No place to grow but up? Consider stacking lightweight (and incredibly inexpensive!) planters. “When building a vertical garden, use a range of planter sizes to stack and create varying heights,” Arren suggests. “Make it look like you have a well-practiced green thumb by overplanting your pots with a mix of lush greenery — adding instant impact to your high-rise patio or back porch.” Here, Arren’s arranged fibreglass planters (from $30 each) top-to-bottom to achieve a striking architectural effect.

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