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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Dream job helps land dream home


Interior decorator Darlene Hall-Barrett is proof that distance learning can go a long way.

A graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design, her hard work recently paid off with a leading role in Global TV's hit reality series Rona Dream Home. She was one of two designers chosen to showcase their skills on national television.
Darlene Hall-Barrett's design skills were showcased on the Global TV reality series Rona Dream Home.


The show pinned two couples against each other for a chance to win their dream home.

Almost identical

In front of a national audience, each team worked with their own designer to renovate two different houses in Barrhaven, Ont., that were almost identical. Hall-Barrett led her team to victory, helping them win ownership of the house they renovated.

The designer received her diploma from the Sheffield School in 1998. Using the skills she gained through the program, Hall-Barrett has established a solid career in interior decoration.

The Sheffield School's curriculum offers a unique training program that allows students to learn about interior design from the comfort of their own home. Lessons are provided through carefully planned texts, video and cassette tapes.

Each student produces hands-on projects under the guidance of a personal tutor who is a professional in the field -- they can communicate with each other either through e-mail or through a toll-free number.

"The course was so flexible and just full of excellent information," says Hall-Barrett. "It worked beautifully for me."

Ottawa company

In addition to her role in Rona Dream Home, Hall-Barrett currently runs her own design company called Dressing Rooms, based just east of Ottawa, Ont. She established the company in 2000, shortly after completing her course with Sheffield. The business has been very successful thus far, attracting numerous clients throughout the city.

"The chance to do what I love and earn good money doing it is something I had only dreamed of," Hall Barrett says, "the TV exposure and helping to win a prize worth some $200,000 is the icing on the cake!"

The Sheffield School has been helping people like Hall-Barrett get a head start in the field of design for 20 years. For more information on the course, contact director Alex Myers at 1-800-267-1829. Darlene Hall Barrett can be contacted at Dressing Rooms, 613-448-3945.



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