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Cathy Fernandes’s house is filled with natural light, but one especially sunny spot is the living room.

For the past two years, veteran media sales executive Cathy Fernandes has lived in a mansion constructed on the site of a former heritage estate near Toronto's Casa Loma. Being a new build, the house was in excellent condition when she moved in, along with her two sons and partner, Gregory Thede, who works in nuclear energy. All she had to do was add her two pugs, a 12-week-old kitten and a plethora of cherished finds to make it her own. The house is filled with natural light, but one especially sunny spot is the living room, Fernandes's favourite room for being the calmest place in the house. "With the help of Sean Ward, my interior designer, we set out to enhance the room's unique layout," says Fernandes, founder with Erin McDougald of Jones Media, a new venture that aims to connect advertisers with online shoppers. "I chose calming tones and warm fabrics as I wanted the room to reflect the quiet yet breezy surroundings. This room allows me to enjoy the few quiet moments I have."

The white chairs

"They are second-hand. I found them at Of Things Past in Toronto, and had them reupholstered white. I like them because they are big and cozy. I didn't want the room to feel formal but lived in, so no stiff-backed chairs for me."

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The couches

"They are both from Teatro Verde in Yorkville, within walking distance of my home. I had them custom upholstered in a muted blue velour fabric, and they are so soft and relaxing. I sit in them all the time."

The coffee table

"I got this years ago at Union Lighting and Furnishings in Toronto. I was looking for texture and this mirrored table stood out. I also wanted something big enough for entertaining in this room and it does the trick, having plenty of table surface."

The painting

"This is by Toronto artist Sarah Phelps. I first discovered her at an art fair and now I own several of her paintings. I just love how she uses colour and texture and real personal emotion in her work."

The potted plant

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"I just wanted life in the room. There is a lot of natural light here so plants thrive. I got this one at Summerhill Nursery in Toronto."

The floor

"It is walnut but I had it restained a darker shade before I moved in. I think a dark floor makes a room look elegant. I keep the floor bare in spring and summer and add a carpet in the winter."

The cushions

"They are all custom. They match a set of chairs that are no longer in the room. Still, they work well here. They draw out the yellows and peacock blues in the room, making it look fresh and lively."

The side table

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"I've had this for more than a decade, but had it restained. It's by Brian Gluckstein and is very art deco, which I like."

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More


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