Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

I am so delighted with the feature of our house in the April 2014 issues of Avenue Magazine. It feels surreal to have your own home depicted so nicely. It was a long day of photography, but the crew from Avenue was so fun to work with and the end result is great. Here are the pages, and if they are hard to read you can download the Avenue reader for your tablet and read it there.

Here is also a clip from a recent CTV morning show I was on in regards to this article.



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A happy happy day

There are some days that are so very very good, and others that are not. And it usually has to do with people (not just the weather). I recently had a client interaction that did not work out very well. Interestingly I had a very big RED FLAG indicating that I should not be pursuing work with them, I even ran it by my book club friends who all said,  “Cat don’t accept work you don’t feel right about”. And what did I do? I did not listen to my intuition nor my friends. Well, to make a long story short, I have learned another lesson. Listen to my gut, it is pretty much always right. This incident brought me down, majorly. But there is always sun after the rain. A dear client I have worked with for most of 2010 wrote me the best review ever. My heart was beating fast as I read her words. She and her husband are amazing people and although we went through a LOT together that was not always positive, Connie wrote the following review – making my day a happy happy one.

Best customer service, best follow through

February 2011 – wow! what a fabulous job Room4refinement did for us. We purchased an older condo that was actually three units combined. The transformation is amazing. During the process, I struggled as I’m not able to see blueprints. She had three dimensional drawings done up so I could visualize not only the layout of the structure, but also adding color and furniture to get a better feel. There were times when I disagreed with her thoughts, which is normal, but i always felt comfortable discussing this with her and never did she make me feel like i had no taste. She was diligent about using furniture and peices I already had instead of buying everythng new, which for obvious reasons was appreciated. Her attention to detail and her ability to see beyond the empty spaces was remarkable. She took me outside of what I thought was my comfort zone and did so in a way to ensure I absolutley loved the results. Today, I can honestly say that without her, the construction would never have been completed. My contractor got 95 percent done and then left my project to go onto his new one. It was Cat who managed to get the subs in and get the work done. Even during the main part of the construction, it was Cat, not the contractor, who spent each day at the site ensuring the subs were being managed. The amazing thing about this is that she did not charge me for all of these hours. She knew I was already paying the contractor and eventhough he was not doing his job, she did not feel it was right for me to pay twice. I have a ton of respect and admiration for the work she did and the way she valued our home. I will highly recommend her firm to others and will most certainly use her again.


This is Connie’s new kitchen. More to come in a future post…




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In Swedish speaking Finland (and Sweden), we say “Trettondag Knut Dansar Julen Ut”. It means that on the 13th day after the 24th the Christmas dances out the door. I personally have a hard time keeping my tree for that long probably  because we brought it in already for Lucia (December 13). Traditionally the tree is cut and brought in the home on the 24th.

So before I take it all down I wanted to share some Christmas from our house.


Yarn and gingerbread ornaments. (it's time to throw out the tree when the gingerbread hearts have been chewed on!)

The straw goats are guarding the presents and the tree.

Old books to replace presents.

Gus is admiring the book page trees we made.

Still blooming.

A nice present from a dear friend.

Christmas bouquet.

A cozy reading nook for IPad time.

Topiary dressup.

Favorite Nativity Set.


Merry Christmas, God Jul, Joyeuex Noel, Hyvää Joulua (Finnish) from me to all of you! Here is to the greatest 2011 you could ever imagine. Make it happen!


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I love mother’s day, and I wish it was every Sunday. Today I woke up to the smell of toast, my most favorite smell in the world. Normally I am the one who gets up first, but on this special day, I lay in bed waiting as I knew the toast was for me and the coffee was brewing. I could hear the voices and the clinking of dishes from downstairs. And then I smelled the other thing, croissants baking. It was divine.

Decor Pad

My plan for the day was to clean out my son Ben’s room. I know it’s not really a relaxing mother’s day thing to do, but it is what I chose, and I enjoyed it. Ben is very pleased with his new clean room, and so am I.

Later in the afternoon while I was still organizing and sorting clothes, toys, knickknacks and paper, I could smell the delicious smell of lamb roasting in the oven. A special mothers day dinner was being prepared. Oh how I love it when I don’t have to cook nor plan a meal.

After dinner we all went for a walk on Prince’s Island. Someone was burning wood somewhere, and it smelled comforting and reminded me of summer.

By Cat

Now back at the house and  evening has arrived. I sit in the living room and I can smell the sweetness of 12 beautiful read roses, another mother’s day surprise. Yes I love mother’s day, could we please have it at least once a month, it just smells so good.


Mom, I wish you were still with us to smell all the goodness, happy mother’s day, I miss you so!

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I don’t know when I first heard about Jonathan Adler, but I always liked his products. Unfortunately they are not as easy to find here in Calgary. But the other day I came across a few ceramic pieces at Sojourn and they ended up in my home. The salt and pepper fish and an adorable dachshund. (I have had two real ones so these dogs are always a favourite).


For my birthday we went to Palm Springs and stayed at the Parker. The decor in this great hotel is by Jonathan Adler and I felt right at home. It’s a very casual atmosphere and you feel right at home.

Very grand entry or exit to the gardens. Admiring the chandelier.

A suite at the Parker, not our room unfortunately. Ours was nice, just not as big. The area rug so reminds me of my childhood. I used to jump hopscotch on one of these.  Photo source.

In the lobby. So casual yet so hip. Photo source.

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Inspiration board

As part of my homework for a blogging class I am enrolled in (Blogging Your Way) we were asked to create an inspiration board. It was a fun exersice, not only finding the pieces to put on my board, but taking a good shot of it. What do you think of it?

Cat's inspiration

What inspires me...

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A green book on my night table

On my bedside table - February

A while ago I heard a book review and an interview with the author on CBC radio (Canada) and I immediately ordered two copies of Ecoholic Home by Adria Vasil. I read this book on and off, and every time I learn something new. If you are a “green conscious” home owner, interior decorator, builder etc, this is a book full information on how to purchase, build and live greener. The book contains great resource information (Canadian) such as links to web sites to purchase green products. It is written with a great sense of humour as well. When visiting the book web site I found a link to the US version of the book.
To do list

There are always things to improve on when it comes to living green.

The book covers green living for: cleaning, cooking, decorating, breathing, gadgeting, renovating, heating & cooling, powering and moving.

Here is a short excerpt from the book on airfreshners which gives you an idea of what the content is like (so fun to read): “They might smell like gentle summer rain, but those fancy plug-ins, weird gels and fan propelled perfumes are filled with carcinogenic formaldehyde, benzene, and other chems linked to asthma and developmental problems in young’uns. And really, any product that contains the word ‘fragrance’ in the ingredient list almost always contains phthalates, that freaky family of hormone-disrupting plasticizers.”

The great thing about the book is that Vasil gives options and ideas of how to, in this case, freshen the air in your home. The book is Published by Random House.

Enjoy and remember, even the smallest steps get’s you forward.

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