Cheryl Torrenueva is a Canadian designer, best known as a personality on television shows produced by HGTV Canada.
A graduate of Ryerson University, Torrenueva started in television as a contestant on Designer Superstar Challenge. Although she did not win, she was offered the opportunity to become a guest designer on Home to Go, and has since appeared on Rooms That Rock, Restaurant Makeover, Restaurant Impossible and Colin and Justin’s Home Heist.
Designer, Cheryl Torrenueva has become a hot commodity in the TV design world! She graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Design from Ryerson University and could have never predicted what was yet to come.
On a whim she entered HGTV’s Superstar Challenge, made it to the finals, and the rest is TV history. Cheryl’s big break came when she was chosen to be the feisty on-camera Design Manager for HGTV’s Colin & Justin’s Home Heist. A few years later, she started working in the USA as a design producer for HGTV USA’s Secrets From A Stylist, with her work featured on The Rachel Ray Show. She holds the throne as one of the top on-camera designers in demand on Food Network USA’s uber-successful Restaurant Impossible and Food Network Canada/Cooking Channel USA’s Restaurant Takeover.
For the past decade, she has continued her TV career as a designer, creating both elegant and innovative spaces for HGTV Canada’s hit shows Home To Go, Rooms That Rock, and Food Network’s Restaurant Makeover; art directed forHGTV’s Disaster DIY, Design Interns and SLICE’s Superstar Hair Challenge. In between shows, she is a regular contributor to The Marilyn Denis Show, Blanco Canada’s Kitchen Design Council, Metrie’s Design Council, and has designed feature spaces for IDS Toronto, Sony Canada and various Home + Interior Design Shows.
Don’t miss Cheryl as she switches up gears as the series Judge on W Network’s biggest competition show, Game of Homes premiering this March 17th at 10pm!
See also: Top Interior Designers | Marcel Wanders
More about Cheryl Torrenueva
At the early age of eight years old, Cheryl started designing homes with building blocks for newborn chicks that she were taking care of at school. As she grew older, she began asking her mom to buy her Dream Home magazines so that she could study all of the blue prints to learn more about space planning. So she’ve always had an interest in architecture and how buildings were put together, and still do! However, when she realized that space was becoming scarce in Toronto, interior design just seemed more appealing because there would be a need to remodel existing interior spaces. She love having the ability to improve the way people interact with space!
The “AHA” moment for her, was during the reveal of one of her first television shows and seeing our youngest client, who was 10 years old, stop breathing for two seconds because they made his dream bedroom a reality even with our limited budget. The creativity really starts to kick in when you don’t have much.
At the beginning of her career when she was volunteering at Gluckstein Design, working at Designer’s Walk and doing reception for a Toronto builder, she thought that she was doing everything that she could to follow her dreams of becoming a designer.
One day, she was speaking with the make-up artist at a family wedding and she mentioned an opportunity to audition for an HGTV contest called “Designer Superstar Challenge.” At the time, she thought, “There is no way that I would win this contest, I barely have a professional portfolio and I’ve never been in front of a camera before. Should I bother?” Well if there’s one thing that she have, it’s drive and passion so she auditioned with her best friend and managed to get a spot in the top 10 finalists! And during the whole time, she was keeping her fingers crossed…if she could get two seconds in front of the judges then she’ve already won.
Little did she know, she would meet the fabulous and talented Andrew Pike – who was also a contestant that season – and although they didn’t win, they were offered to do there very own show a year later called Rooms That Rock. After a few years under her belt, working as on-camera host, designer and art director for some of the top HGTV design shows, she landed a role on the show Colin & Justin’s Home Heist, which allowed her work to be shown all over the world. And here she is 10 years later and still loving every minute of it!
Designs and Realisations
Cheryl Torrenueva have been in the field of interior designer creating amazing spaces such as residential, restaurant, commercial, events and sets.
One of Cheryl projects was Gretta & Ricky´s Nursery for the Rachel Ray Show.
Cheryl also did a restaurant project in Sunnybrook.
Another project was a commercial one, named Mirolin – Fresh Vignette.
Cheryl Tips for Interior Designers
Dream big, educate yourself and be good to your suppliers!
Life has its challenges and as long as you always have your dreams set out – even if they sound totally ridiculous – and stay focused, you will get there! It’s the idea that you can adapt to any situation and learn from your experiences to get you to the next level. There will always be someone that tells you that it’s not good enough, so ask the question, “Why?” And learn from it and keep moving forward!
Keep educating yourself and learn about the latest products and methods. It’s important to know about the materials and finishes that you are specifying, so that you can communicate with the trades and be confident with your decisions. Because more than likely, if something in the design is changed that means more money is spent!
Be good to your suppliers. They are the ones that are the designer angels out there! They save the day when you have crazy deadlines and they also make you look like the superstar with your clients when things come together seamlessly.
Cheryl answer some questions
Out of your designs from Restaurant Impossible, Restaurant Makeover and Restaurant Takeover, which is your favorite and which was the most challenging?
CT: Ohhhh….they all have their challenges, trust me! Whether it’s a contractor that loves to argue with me, or a chef that likes to have heated discussions about design, I’ve learned to love the drama and the stress that comes with the territory. The most challenging project for me was definitely the Restaurant Impossible “White House” episode.
I was given the task of designing the Horton’s Kids Community Center in Washington, DC. This was very dear to my heart as we were helping to create a safe place for children and families to receive healthy meals, education and support. When I was given my marching orders, I was also told that Michelle Obama would be coming to the reveal, which literally made me stop breathing and I had to pinch myself several times. The pressure was on!
What you didn’t know from watching the show was that we film everything in real time. We literally had two days to combine two apartments into one big center, fully equipped with a kitchen, large main dining room, activities area, computer center, meeting rooms and a pantry, from scratch! The only thing I had on my mind was in two days at 8:00 a.m. the secret service was going to do their security check and kick us out of the space to make preparations for the First Lady. Michelle would tour the newly renovated space and give us her approval before giving the Horton’s Kids Center back to the community. Wow! It was an amazing experience that I will remember forever as the reactions from the children were priceless.
Since then, we have done a Restaurant Impossible special every year where we give back to the community, which is really what I love doing. We just finished filming this year’s holiday special at the end of August so look out for our next secret mission, which will air around mid-December.
What would your dream project be? Reach for the stars!
CT: My dream project would be to design my very own boutique hotel on an island somewhere exotic. Doesn’t that sound great? I love the hospitality industry and it would be so great to design the guest rooms to the restaurants to the spa. I want to be able to improve the hotel experience and focus on the well-being of each individual. Since I travel so much, it’s all about the details and the space can instantly transport you to another world, allowing you to relax and step out of the daily grind.
Interview: Meet Cheryl Torrenueva
Source: cheryltorrenueva.com/index.html; metrie.com/thefinishedspace/.