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Talking to Andrika -Designer, TV Host, Torontonian


Normally I'm not bothered by the huge bunny-ears sitting on my 1984 television set. I could lie and say I never develop addictions to tv shows or make my way to a friend's house who holds the power via swanky digital cable, but truth is, I am a complete victim of tv-show addiction. Remember Much In Your Space? That was one of those shows. It wasn't so much to gawk at the the toilet seat cover stapled to the wall of some kid's bedroom in North Bay, but instead to watch what design-host Andrika Lawren had in store.

Remember her? She traveled across Canada with the MuchMusic VJ's and stuck around at the house coming up with creative miracles transforming the room to tribute to his/her favourite singer in under 4 hours. But doesn't paint dry in 6 hours, though?

I tracked Andrika down, and it turns out this hilarious and compelling host has a new show airing tonight on HGTV called My Parent's House (premiering tonight at 9:30 pm before Debbie Travis Facelift).

She was recently written about in the Globe and Mail, where her unique Little Italy abode was featured, accompanied with several wicked pics showing off her design style which mixed Ukrainian folk art, with Found objects right down to a handsome stack of magazines serving as a coffee table base. This busy girl has a lot under her belt, including Second City experience, a design-school diploma, and her involvement as a co-producer, actor and designer on a local art film called MAGNUS OPUS. Did I mention the tv host thing?

Here's your chance to get to know Andrika before you see her face plastered on billboards all over the city... move over Debbie, it's prime-time to give those overalls a rest.

Where are you from, and where do you live now?
Born and bred Torontonian with a spash of suburbia to be fair, living in the heart of the West End amongst Churrasqueira, Cannoli and Starbucks.

What is your recent favourite spot in the city?
I must preface these answers with the why portion of the question- Walking distance.
restaurant: recently have been dining at the Golden Turtle, try to figure out where that one is.
brunch spot: Saving Grace and the faithful Tasty's.

What is your main mode of transportation in the city
?
My preference is my $800, 13 year old vehicle with deeply routed electrical problems.

How did you figure out you wanted to combine acting/hosting with design?
I extremely enjoy both, noticeably a no brainer.

Has it been a smooth road for you to get where you are?
Where am I ? I can say that I am blessed with a circle of tirelessly creative and inspiring humans, that remind me that it is about the process.

Are you hooked on any tv shows, yourself?
Shamelessly a fan of Survivor.

What is the most useful design tip you could hand over to most of us urban-renters?
Go with your gut, don't let fear get in your way. Just do it.

Catch My Parent's House tonight on HGTV at 9:30pm. In this show, Andrika and her co-host, Emmanuel Belliveau, "...take a living room that is frozen in time and bring it into this millennium with the help of some nice decor sponsor, some ingenuity and the offspring of the parents who need "groovifying"." (Leanne Delap, The Globe and Mail)


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