My Day As A Designers Assistant

January 16, 2013

The one thing that I have so enjoyed about this whole blog gig is the amazingly talented and wonderfully friendly women {and men} that I have met. A few have become ones I can call good friends, we get together occasionally and just enjoy each others company, have fun, get silly and talk design!

One incredibly talented yet very humble gal I have met, runs a successful design business who lately has been featured in several Style at Home issues, even making the cover in September, is Karla Amatadsu, Principal at Kerrisdale Design. If you want to learn more about her, you can read my interview with her here.

I have to admit I hounded Karla, begged, cajoled to just help her for ONE day, wanting to see what it was like to be a designer. I mean,,, isn't it all about fluffing pillows, picking fabric, shopping, shopping and more shopping? I would have to say, that yes, that is part of the job but I have been following many successful designers, and those that make it in the design scene are those with a keen business sense. Karla is one of those business savvy designers will oodles of creativity. She finally caved after my shameless begging, I even offered to bring the coffee, and she had me help with an install. It was a fabulous learning experience, a lot goes into bring a space to where you see it "finished," lots of coordination, communication with trades, boxes, bubble wrap, and Windex. It was fabulous to watch Karla's vision for the space unfold as the day progressed, with all the pieces of the puzzle coming together to create a beautiful space.

the space was photographed, and despite the fact it was NOT my design or job, I helped with a bit of the behind-the-scenes and am proud to see it in print in the February issue Style at Home! 

The photos were taken by my dear friend Tracey Ayton,
 (another fabulously talented gal whom I have 

That whole experience opened my eyes to the whole world of design and what REALLY happens. It is a lot of sweat, dust and hard work! Kudos to Karla who does it ALL by herself! And I want to thank her for an incredibly fun day {she shockingly paid me - little did she know I would so do it for free}

Maybe one day, when I am brave enough to tackle the business aspect of design, I might take a stab at it. In the meantime I will use my home as my canvas!

On a funny side note: When I was in Toronto I had the privelage of visiting Meredith Heron {another amazingly talented designer, who I interviewed as well} and as I entered her studio I exclaimed that I recognize her chandelier as one that looked just like the one I had unpacked for the said condo. She said, that indeed it really is that chandelier. It was the wrong size and Meredith took it off her hands. Oh, what a small world!

Meredith's studio

XO Barbara


  1. Oh wow Barbara, that must have been a fabulous experience for you and for Tracey too!

  2. amazing!! I would love to shadow a designer -well done on not giving up and begging continuously to make it happen! Looks like a great experience.

  3. How fun for you. You should just do it. You have the talent, and people could use your skills. We aren't getting any younger...well at least I'm not. I love that chandy that was too large.

  4. The chance to assist a lead designer is a great way to test the waters. You just never know where life will go! What a fun way for all of this to come full circle right down to the large chandelier!

  5. Friends in high places!! That sounds like a dream day for me too, and the results are beautiful...I loved that condo design! I'm going to be starting an install in the next two will take more than a day tho and I don't have my own warehouse but my Garage is full...I can relate to that part at least!

  6. It's not quite as glam as HGTV makes it look huh? I think it's a fantastic idea for any up-and-coming designer to shadow someone for a day. It'll either cement your desires or set you running. Glad you had fun Barb.

  7. The space turned out beautiful, Karla is impeccable about details and makes sure its done right. Working hard has its rewards.

  8. These photos are gorgeous. How exciting to have gotten to be a part of it!!

  9. I bet it was a fun day! The results are beautiful. Boy, I wish my Style at Home mag would hurry up to my mailbox!

  10. What a great idea Barbara! Good for you - I would love to shadow for a day. And what beautiful work, I certainly have seen Kerrisdale Design everywhere these days!

  11. Such a great group of ladies (&man)! Very fun that you got to be part of the action Barbara! Yay! Have a great weekend!

  12. What a fun day for you! Your right, it's not that glamorous behind the scenes, but the end results are worth it.

  13. how did I miss this post?? What a fun recap of the day and yes, a load-in day is always fun and scary at the same time since you have to deal with hm.. does this work? or is that coffee table looking better? I learned lots observing how Anne Marie did her magics at the shoots and it was such an amazing experience and incredible opportunity to learn from the pro.


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