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New decor line brings fresh appeal to classic designs

Inspired by design periods that have long fascinated him, Arren Williams’ new line for Renwil plays confidently with the sculptural force of Brutalism, the calming textures and soothing neutrals that came with modernism, and the respect for craftsmanship and decorative punch of Art Deco.

The recently-launched collection, which comes on the heels of a successful 2020 partnership that produced a series of striking geometric rugs, includes artwork, accessories, mirrors, lighting, and pillows. Fans (count me in) can expect more line extensions.

TIP: Keep an eye open for other collaborations from Arren. From his perch at Casa Cubista (sold at Saudade), Arren teamed this summer with French chain Monoprix on a handsome, well-made, versatile collection of fashion and housewares. The scarf at left is from that line. The vegan purse in the pic comes from Bentley

Colour is used assertively, including in a striking 36- by 48-inch work of art made with painted canvas pieces collaged together, then splashed with gold-leaf metallic. Haven’t yet decided if I like the big blue cut-globe design better on its own or paired or stacked on a wall.

Chunky, cheery colour also turns up in 20- by 20-inch polyvelvet pillows (95 per cent feather/5 per cent down) that come in dreamy combos of blues, gold, burgundy, red, and purple.

If the materiality of brutalism appeals, you’ll also love volcanic ash wall tiles that can stand alone as a decorative pieces or be hung on the wall in groups. If you’re fond of graceful contemporary accessories, you’ll go for superbly simple white and black vases. which echo the clean-lined ceramics that Williams himself collects. There’s also an arch mirror with fine detail engraved directly  into the border of the glass, making it as pretty as it is practical.

The stunning Solaris chandelier (below) is inspired by one of Arren’s favourite vintage lighting pieces. It has three circular rows of textured cast-glass through which light ripples and shimmers. If this were a runway show, I suspect it would be the bridal gown.

His work may speak to a current moment in decor, but Arren says they were designed with longevity in mind. “I wanted to make things that are on trend now but are special enough that they would live on and last for years to come,” he says.

For more about the Renwil collection, check out my National Post piece.

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