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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.


6 Benefits to Adding a Wall in a Bathroom

Posted on: July 19th, 2015 by Alison Hodd

Let’s face it – bathrooms can often feel cramped. There is often not enough floor space for a couple to get ready at the same time. So the last thing you may be thinking when designing a washroom is adding a wall. We are conditioned to believe that walls will make our spaces feel smaller and more cramped. But the judicious use of walls – full, pony, and partial – can help make your washroom feel larger and work better. Here’s how:

Bathroom with walll

1)  A wall provides privacy for the toilet area when a full water closet (W/C) isn’t possible.

Toilet privacy can make the difference between being a couple tending to their ablutions in their shared washroom at the same time or not. And more importantly, it improves the sightlines. Most of us don’t want to be in bed and look at a toilet when the washroom door is left open. Taking care to tuck toilets away is a sign of a well designed washroom.

Bathroom 6

2) A wall can create a natural nook for a tub

Placing the tub between two walls can provide a more intimate spot for a bathtub. It allows towels to be within easy reach and can improve the balance and symmetry of the space.


Bathroom 2

3) When a sink vanity is tucked in a corner, adding a wall provides a spot for lighting, electrical outlets, and/or hand towels.

The advantage of this wall is that a built-in vanity will look more symmetrical and it alleviates congestion on the mirror wall. Without an extra side wall, lighting, electrical outlets and towels must be on the mirror wall. This wall can get cluttered-looking easily.


Bathroom 4

4) Creates an in-wall medicine cabinet

A built-in medicine cabinet allows the user to be able to have the cabinet ajar while they are using products from the cabinet, aiding in a clutter-free countertop. Also, a large mirror on a double-vanity wall helps to bounce available light around a small room.


Bathroom 3

5) Connects a tub and a shower

A half-wall made of sheetrock and clad with stone and upper glass creates a pleasing bridge between a tub and a shower. Many times a tub and a shower won’t fit in a small bathroom and joining them this way maximizes the available light.


Bathroom 5

6) Allows for niches when room for a true linen closet is lacking

Walls allow for attactive niches for display and towels. Many homes have small linen closets full of bed linen so the washroom’s job is to store the clean towels. As you can see here shelves hold folded towels and decorative items. This type of shelving can be a good investment as framing is generally more economical than custom millwork.


Don’t let your designer’s mention of a wall scare you. It can be a great way to get a custom look without breaking the bank.

Photo Credits: All Pinterest




Glen Abbey Home

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by Alison Hodd

6 Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home for Spring Today

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by Alison Hodd

Among the snowbanks of February I asked my Facebook friends to help me. I needed to know how they planned on welcoming spring into their homes. So I sprang to my favourite platform and pleaded: “Please tell me how to plan to decorate your home for spring?” My quest for input resulted in more than two dozen ideas! Friends told me that they will bring home tulips, pull up rugs, sweep front stoops and clean windows to a squeaky shine. Now that spring really *is* here, it’s great to read about the plans we have for our home. And if you are one of the many friends, siblings, and cousins who contributed to the article and helped me meet this deadline – thank you!

Did you see it in person? If you don’t get HomeDigest (it is delivered free to 1 million homes across Ontario) here is a scanned version of the article. Have you done anything to your home yet? I’ve put up my Easter decorations for my young girls to enjoy. If you like to see my sweet vignettes, join me on Instagram at @AlisonInteriors.

Home Digest article







Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer: Do the sets work?

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by Alison Hodd

As a reader of Fifty Shades of Grey I know what the sets are to look like. Exactly.

This is because I designed and decorated them already in my mind’s eye. Do you do that when reading a book? I picture the characters, of course, but where I have the most fun is imagining the spaces they occupy.  And in the case after EL James’ three erotic romance novels later the picture is clear.  Read on to see what I thought of the set decoration via the movie trailer. The Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer is here.

1. The Front Desk at Grey Enterprises is Morgue-like

Concrete, glass, steel and florescent lighting reflecting off the back-painted glass. Hmmm. This is far more clinical and institutional than I imagined. I thought it would have had more warmer masculine touches. I imagine the vibe is frosty cold but the concrete slab and the hospital garb-coloured letters seem a little too medical cold. Surgery anyone? (Is is just me or does Anastasia remind you of Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada” here. Kinda disheveled in a blue sweater. No? Never mind.)


Anastasia approaches desk to Interview Christian

Anastasia approaches desk to Interview Christian (is he her soul mate?)












2. Christian’s Office is Awesomely Mammoth and Surprisingly Eclectic

The spotless shiny marble floor, massive expanse of unadorned windows and touches of wood were expected. The combination of money tree, Cubist wood sculpture and oversized wooden spool (or are they Lincoln Logs?) seem at odds with each other. Perhaps they are intended to demonstrate his diverse appetite for …ahem…art. The ivory leather furniture with glass tables is predictable. Snore. I do wish there was more colour like they use in “The Good Wife”.

Side Note: In real life, the acoustic quality of this room would be unbearable. Without fabric, rugs or window treatments to absorb sound you would need to shout at the person across from you to be heard.  Of course on set they are work around this with mics and acoustical panels to prevent echoing.


Anastasia Interviewing Christian Grey

Anastasia Interviewing Christian Grey












3. Christian’s Guest Bedroom Surprises

Question. Was his guest room this feminine in the book? The pretty lines on the bed frame combined with the deep tufting on the velvet and the floral De Gournay wallpaper behind are distinctly girly.  What is up with the vanity in the corner? More pretty please? And did the room need to be grey?


Anastasia wakes up in Christian's Guest Bedroom

Anastasia wakes up in Christian’s Guest Bedroom












4. Christian’s Parents Dining Room Looks Dated

I imagined his parents home feeling more up-to-date. This disappointed me. I know, I know, it’ supposed to be so boring that Christian has nothing else to do but put his hand up her skirt. Yah, yah. I crave interior design porn folks! Satisfy me Set Decorators! One of them is Sandy Walker from Vancouver, B.C. (a Canadian – yeah!) and the other is Sandy Reynolds, Multiple award winner in Set Design including a favourite of mine – The Royal Tennenbaums.

Let’s talk Window Treatments: Roman shades layered over inset mount sheers. Is this a thing? Never seen it before.  If you have please fill me in on it’s functional and/or aesthetic value. #lovetolearn


Anastasia and Christian at Dinner at his parents' home

Anastasia and Christian at Dinner at his parents’ home












5. Christian’s Hallway Delights

This is what I’m looking for! Thank you Sandys! Clean, modern interiors with delicate reveals, soft wall wash lighting, back lighting and a combination of pale colours and warm woods. This closer to how I imagined his loft.


Christian Grey's Hallway

Christian Grey’s Hallway













From a literary viewpoint, it’s a super-trashy highly addictive page-turner. And Christian is a creepy stalker, austere man-child. But don’t let that stop you from letting it take you away. Will you see the movie? Did you read the book? Please leave a comment!












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