Amanda Aerin: A new twist on Design
Toronto interior designer, lifestyle influencer and TV host Amanda Aerin has taken the industry by storm.
Amanda Aerin is definitely not your stereotypical designer. She grew up in Georgetown, Ont., in a heritage house that many people thought was haunted. Her parents renovated that house and another one up the street, and they recall her as a baby picking up old wallpaper they were stripping and eating it, leading her mother to say that Amanda literally has design in her blood.
It’s a long way from a haunted house in Georgetown to becoming one of Canada’s most best-known and sought- after interior designers, launching a lifestyle brand as a social media influencer and becoming the host this year of Country House Hunters Canada, airing in prime time on the CTV Life Channel. While she doesn’t recall her taste for wallpaper, she does remember the moment when design entered her life.
“There was a moment in my life when I felt that my creativity started to shine through,” Aerin said in a recent interview with City Life. “When I was about 11 years of age, my mom gifted me, I think, $100 to go ahead and decorate my bedroom any way I chose, any paint, any linens. I actually chose a purple and turquoise theme, which I’m not sure I would choose today ― but that moment really sticks in my mind.”
Aerin calls her personal design style “traditional with a twist,” a distinctive and increasingly popular design style, which has enabled her to grow a leading Toronto-based design firm and create a full-scale lifestyle brand. These lofty heights had a modest beginning.
In 2012, Aerin participated in a TV design contest, which led to her being awarded design-expert status on CTV’s The Marilyn Denis Show. She leveraged that newfound acclaim by expanding not just her creative experiences but also building up her status in the design field. She began to work on product development and expand into luxury design. She even began marketing collaborations and partnerships with such major brands as Canadian Tire, Kim Crawford, the NBA, Sunwing Vacations Group, RE/MAX and Indigo. Aerin has exhibited her design work at such leading industry events as the national Interior Design Show, The International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas and the National Home Show.
Aerin explains that her design style of “traditional with a twist” is built on three key foundations. “The easiest way to explain it is to have something that is classic, such as a classic fireplace or classic moulding or classic wood floor,” she says. “Then have something that is the complete opposite ― highly modern and colourful, really bold ― then have something shiny for a little glitz and glam. With those three elements, you’re guaranteed to have an ‘Amanda Aerin’ room.”
That room may also reflect Aerin’s influences that include European architecture, as she is passionate about the drama of classic mouldings, daring wallpapers, geometric patterns and rich textures. Her designs offer homeowners an opportunity to turn their home into a welcoming and organized oasis, while at the same time ensuring it truly functions for the family.
Aerin knows a little bit about family and functionality. She is now the mother of five children, which include the four that her husband brought to their marriage. While most would think that would have been a recipe for complete mayhem, Aerin somehow makes it work, having developed skills that also assist her in her professional life to the benefit of her clients.
“Any given time, we get together, it’s definitely busy,” she says. “But Her Toronto-based design firm and creative agency, Amanda Aerin Design, is redefining modern luxury, creating curated moments of comfort and family connection motherhood has taught me a lot of patience, and my ability to compartmentalize problems has really developed as a result of having so many diverse personalities in our children. And I have become an absolute master when it comes to budgeting as I also prioritize things very efficiently; that’s one of my strong suits.”
Designer, mother, master family planner, television host and lifestyle influencer ― Amanda Aerin’s new twist on design is just getting started.
INTERVIEW BY MARC CASTALDO