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Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Celebrating Moms: A DIY floral bouquet and a toast to my Mom

Posted on: May 1st, 2016 by Alison Hodd
Nostalgia by Lauren Morris

Nostalgia by Lauren Morris Floral Bouquet

Floral bouquets are a lovely way to celebrate Moms this Mother’s Day. In the picture below, four of my favourite spring and summer flowers come together in this floral bouquet: viburnum, ranunculus, peony and hydrangea. Curly willow replaces floral foam to create a natural floral bouquet arrangement that’s sure to delight. Wondering where to pick up this lovely selection of blooms? One of my favourite spots in Oakville is Floral Deco on Lakeshore Rd. The owners and staff are very helpful and they always have a lovely selection.

Floral Arrangement

Mother’s Day DIY Floral Bouquet


Favourite Flowers

Favourite Flowers

Click here to learn step-by-step how to make this arrangement.


Me and My Mom, Linda Hodd

Alison Hodd and her Mom, Linda Hodd at The Rosedale Golf and Country Club

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I must introduce you to my Mom. Here we are together at at The Rosedale Golf and Country Club. Last May, we were lucky enough to be part of the celebration of marriage for a special family member. The Rosedale Golf and Country Club has been recently renovated. I appreciated the mix of fixtures, finishes, flooring, millwork, art and lighting.

Enough about design – I want you to learn about My Mom! My Mom and I are very close as we live only 10 minutes apart in Oakville. She picks up my girls from school every Monday and bring them to her home. There she feeds them, listens to stories about their day and takes them to dance class. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The love and support she offer up almost knows no bounds.  I’m incredibly lucky to have her in my life. I often wish all my lovely friends could have a Mom like mine! She is such a blessing. My two brothers also appreciate the care and compassion she shows for them, their spouses and their dear children. She really is Super Nana to her five children. None of us know (or want to know!) what we’d do without her.

More amazing things about my Mom

During the school year on Tuesdays, she volunteers at Oakwood Elementary, helping kids who struggle with Math and Reading get on track.  For 15 years, she and a friend have been contributing this way to Oakwood’s Homework Club program through Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Halton. Last year she won a Service Award for her dedication to the program. In summary, I’m super proud of my Mom. In fact, she is so busy, when my Dad and I want to meet about their Interior Design project we have to give her lots of notice so that she can fit us in.

Even more amazing things about my Mom

She organized, planned, and recruited friends and volunteers for the St. Andrew’s Oakville Christmas House Tour on Alexander Dr. The tour took hundreds of hours to pull together and I couldn’t have done it without her.

In the event that you’re looking for actionable advice, I invite you to sign up for my free e-book: The Whole Design Checklist: A Practical and Actionable Guide to Creating Hard-working Spaces That Lift you Up

And do you love original art? Thinking of investing but not sure about how size, subject matter or colour palette? Give us a call or send us an e-mail at! We have helped dozens of owners of castles, condos, cottages and commercial spaces spaces find joy when they walk in the door. And art is one way to make a house feel like a home.

Header Image: Nostalgia by Lauren Morris (2016) found on ArtBomb 


6 Tips for Creating a Fresh Feeling Basement

Posted on: April 25th, 2016 by Alison Hodd

1. Use a Light Colour Palette

Many homes (particularly older homes) have small basement windows and lower ceilings. Use a light paint colour and overall palette to keep the visual flow cohesive and reflect all available light. Don’t be afraid to use the same colour on the wall and ceiling to create a unified envelope.

Debbie - Basement

2. Measure Twice, Order Furniture Once

Measure proposed furniture and all passageways twice to avoid nasty surprises. New and older homes can have narrow staircases, low staircases or staircases with tight corners. Be sure to consider areas that can cause surprises when it comes to moving or turning furniture. You can even make a life-size template of furniture out of moving boxes and test to see if it will fit down the stairs! In the project shown above in order to get a 4-seater sofa long enough for lounging we ordered a right arm and a left arm sectional and bolted them together. Innovative solutions are often necessary when design spaces with awkward passageways.

Moving furniture into tight spaces

Moving furniture into tight spaces

3. Wash the windows, inside and out

Windows can get dirty quickly from splashes of mud and spring runoff. Make the most of natural light by keeping windows clean and using light-coloured, translucent window coverings that let in filtered light even when closed. In this project we use linen-look corded shades in a pale grey to tie into the wall colour. It still lets in the light, disguises inevitably dirty windows and won’t collect dust.

4. Invest in Great Lighting.

Old-school fluorescent ceiling lights once popular in basements don’t make anyone look good! Use levels or layers of lighting – potlights or ceiling fixtures for overall lighting and floor and table lamps for atmosphere and task lighting. If possible, use dimmers to add ambience for movie and tv watching. These narrow floor lamps turn on and off from the floor and provide just the right amount of light where you need it with their flexible arms.

Mixing Antique Furniture with Modern Furniture

Mixing Antique Furniture with Modern Furniture

5. Incorporate Old and New

Antique furniture pieces can often be used in the overall design scheme and sometimes not with their original function. Use a sideboard as a tv stand, a bench or trunk as a coffee table or for storage.

Debbie twin chairs-edited (1)

6. Spend Your Money on New Pieces that Work

Mix old and new but don’t make the basement the “ugly duckling”! Avoid making the basement a dumping ground for furniture that doesn’t have a home in the other rooms of your house. If the furniture is the wrong colour or style for the room, consider slipcovers or paint to help pieces blend together. Let antiques shine and don’t be afraid to mix old and new pieces into your design plan. Avoid using pops of trendy colours – this can be distracting. Instead let antique pieces take centre stage.

Styling with Antiques -

Styling with Antiques –

For more actionable advice, sign up for my free e-book: The Whole Design Checklist: A Practical and Actionable Guide to Creating Hard-working Spaces That Lift you Up

And are you embarking on a basement project? Give us a call or send us an e-mail at! We love helping owners of castles, condos, cottages and commercial spaces spaces find joy when they walk in the door.


Alison-Hodd-signatureDebbie - Basement

Wondering where your desk is? We’ve got it.

Posted on: January 13th, 2016 by Alison Hodd

According to the CBC, business travellers are furious The Marriott is ditching desks to meet the needs of millennials. Rooms are not equipped with desks as so many travellers use iPads and iPhones.


Guestroom in Calgary’s Marriott

If guests are wondering where the desks went. We have them.

2016-01-13 17.07.07

Desks from Hotel Liquidator Painted white for Interior Design work at Catherine Alison Interiors






Here’s more of the story .

When travelling for business what would you prefer – a desk or a couch?

Beige in Interior Design: Is it boring or beautiful?

Posted on: November 30th, 2015 by Alison Hodd

Since the grey trend arrived, beige in interior design has been maligned. Interior Designers and homeowners are worried about furniture or walls looking too “beige”. As such, beige has become synonymous with outdated, boring and banal. Recently I wrote in HomeDigest for Metroland News about beige and how it can be used successfully in interiors. What do you think about beige? To see the original article go here:

We invite you to go here to learn about how we help design well thought out castles, condos, cottages and commercial spaces.

Beige is Boring 1

Beige is Boring 2

Presenting Catherine Alison Interiors “Graduates”

Posted on: November 2nd, 2015 by Alison Hodd

We are lucky to report exciting changes happening this fall at Catherine Alison Interiors! Today we would like to focus on saying thank you and farewell to our Catherine Alison Interiors “Graduates”. Extremely fortunate is putting it mildly when I think about the two amazing Bachelor of Design students working with us during their summer break. As part of our team, Dalia Elkhatib and Megan Dougherty shared their ideas, enthusiasm and talents with us.  We have benefitted so much from their passion and we miss them every day! Creating a culture that embraces challenge, fosters fresh ideas, and is involved in supporting our interior design community is in our blood. So while we are already missing seeing Megan and Dalia’s smiling faces in our studio, we are so excited to see what heights these talented young designers reach in the future. Their passion has contributed to our success, and for that we thank them and say “well done”! Read on to meet these amazing young women as they describe  in their own words their experience working with the CAI team.

Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty

“Upon completion of the Interior Decorating program at Sheridan College, I was fortunate to be approached by Catherine Alison Interiors to join their team in 2012. I could not have asked for a better experience and opportunity that what I have had during the three summers that I was employed by the firm. The openness, teamwork and collaboration are elements that I strongly admire within Catherine Alison Interiors and will take with me to reflect upon in my future. The experience and confidence I attained from working for this firm is something that cannot be taught in any college, but only through great opportunities such as this. I always felt that my opinion and passion was heard, and even pushed me to better myself as a designer. I grew strongly in independence and problem solving skills, by the variation of projects and as per the needs required for each. I truly got a taste of multiple different scenarios such as residential living and dining rooms, kitchens and baths, and also designs for commercial spaces. I have now returned to Sheridan College to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design. I am constantly reflecting back during my schooling, on principles I experienced while in the field and the vast knowledge I gained from Catherine Alison Interiors.”


Dalia Elkhatib-Photo

Dalia Elkhatib

“Every day at Catherine Alison Interiors was filled with excitement! I enjoy designing residential and retail spaces, and while working at CAI I was able to work on many varied residential projects. During my internship at CAI, I learned what school does not teach you by having a complete, hands on experience and being able to put what I had learned into practice. I was glad to have the opportunity to attend and participate in planning meetings, to be able to apply my strengths to projects, but mostly to feel a part of the CAI team! I am now completing my Bachelor of Interior Design at Humber College, and I look forward to what the future holds for me.”


Stay tuned for my next post when I’ll introduce our newest team members.


Professional Associations


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