Graduation Year: 2000
Growing up in Brantford, Ontario, Cameron MacNeil knew he wanted to be a designer from a young age. "When I saw a room that wasn't well designed, I couldn't stop myself from thinking of ways to change it."
With its reputation for excellent design programs, Sheridan was an ideal choice for Cameron to pursue his dream career.
The designer has since become a very familiar face thanks mainly to his work with Canadian House & Home magazine where he began his career after graduation. “I became involved with House & Home through the co-op program at Sheridan and didn't leave until 12 years later!”
As former Senior Design Editor, Cameron produced makeover features for the magazine and appeared regularly on House & Home Online TV. Now freelancing, he continues to answer “Ask a Designer” questions for his column at the back of House & Home.
With more than a dozen years in the field, Cameron still looks forward to helping clients see their design vision come to fruition, whether they are in the beginning stages of building a new home, renovating or looking for a bit of a design refresh.
“What I enjoy most is helping clients create a space for that reflects their personality, and showing them finishes and furnishings they would have never thought of using,” Cameron says.
Technology advances have certainly made his job easier over the years. “It's quite nice to go to a meeting with just an Ipad and access the internet if you need to reference something during the meeting.” In terms of design products, the ever-increasing choice of sustainable materials is also a welcome change, he adds.
It’s important to be aware of all products out there, including the environmentally friendly ones, advises Cameron. “Keep on trend with the latest products and looks. Sourcing is a big part of this job so if you know where to find something or at least know who to ask then you've saved yourself a lot of time.”
Successful designers should also devote their energies to maintaining a current and interesting website and blog when building a client base, says Cameron. He uses his blog to share his excitement in his recent finds, videos of one of his newly designed spaces, inspiring links and personal anecdotes relating to the latest looks.
“New designers need to look at establishing a presence as if they were creating their own brand.” This process does not happen overnight, adds Cameron. “It takes time to create a signature style.”