Catherine Hay

Catherine Hay

Hay Design IncorporatedOttawa


P: 613-728-0954 x232


Cathy Hay is the founder of Hay Design, an industry-leading interior design firm known for the many beautiful and functional spaces it has created. After practicing design for 16 years, as a Registered Interior Designer, Project Manager, and Energy & Environmental Design Specialist, with Taylor Irving & Associates, Transport Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada Cathy established Hay Design in 2004.

As is the case for many entrepreneurs, those early years featured 80-hour work weeks and the constant juggling of work and family. Today, her team has grown to include a dozen designers plus administrative staff and is well known for its work with commercial clients that include office design, restaurants, retail stores, health clinics, and lobbies and condominiums.

To serve the residential market, in 2015 Cathy added a second location: a retail home furnishings and décor boutique and design studio, located in a historic building in downtown Perth that focuses on home design and renovation.

In addition to her business, Cathy is known for her more than 20 years of volunteer work for various charities, particularly Habitat for Humanity for which she has led building projects in both northern Canada and impoverished regions around the world.

The company’s slogan—Passionate about people and their spaces—is a reflection of Cathy’s philosophy that nothing is worth doing unless you feel passionate about it and it helps people.

Cathy is an industry leader in meeting her clients’ needs, from determining optimal space and functional requirements to identifying the proximal needs between user groups. Her award-winning designs provide her clients with beautiful, inspiring spaces that enable users to perform at their best.

Cathy oversees every project and every aspect of Hay Design Incorporated and articulates clients’ key objectives with the goal of surpassing the client’s expectations. Cathy’s extensive experience gives her advanced detailing skills and a strong knowledge of codes, building systems, contract documents and construction administration. Cathy is able to manage people, budgets and client relationships—all while designing spaces that are attractive, functional, sustainable and meet building and safety codes. She maintains quality control and ensures that each project is environmentally sensitive, innovative and as technologically advanced as possible.

Cathy was awarded the prestigious WBN Businesswoman of the Year Award in April 2018.

In 2016, Cathy won an Architectural Conservation Award from the Town of Perth for her building at 63 Gore St. E.

Throughout her career, Cathy has received many certificates of appreciation and merit awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation from Transport Canada (airports), and a Certificate of Appreciation for her work on the department’s regional office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

She also received a Merit Award for “exceptional and distinguished contribution to the effectiveness and efficiency of the public service.”

Cathy and her team were awarded 1st Place in the People’s Choice Awards for the Sustainable House Competition, Archetype for the Living City.

Prevalent Experience
· Office buildings/office space Workplace 2.0 fit-ups for commercial and government organizations

· Office buildings/office space and accommodation services for commercial and government organizations

· Specialized knowledge of projects involving tenant improvement, fit-ups and repairs

· Feasibility plans and reports

· Space planning

· Preparation of specifications

· Knowledge of building systems and building and safety codes

· Knowledge of building standards for BOMA and barrier-free office environments

· Administration and management of bid/contract documents

· Schedule and construction management, and budget and scope control

· Risk management

Cathy believes that every interior space needs to accomplish three key objectives:

· it must support the people who use it

· it must support the activities that are performed there, and

· it must support the image and goals of the organization.

No matter the nature of the space—office, industrial, retail, recreation, health care, restaurant and more—every interior environment needs to be functional, flexible and future-focused.

Planning for results.
Hay Design begins every project with research and study to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the requirements. This enables us to define and clarify the vision, objective and design parameters of the project.

The needs of the users are also carefully considered, which is why we focus on delivering environmentally sensitive designs that prioritize user health and comfort, indoor air and light quality, colour, and the efficient use of energy and resources. Sustainable design principles are also incorporated, using natural and environmentally appropriate products whenever feasible. We also consider other factors, including adaptability and longevity.

This enriched front-end planning includes soliciting a lot of input—from users, other employees, senior management and the project team—and infusing that input into the design.

Designing for success
Every space that we design incorporates a function‑based plan to maximize productivity and make the environment healthy and comfortable for employees. We also ensure the space includes innovative architectural details and amenities, as well as a technological infrastructure that will support flexible environments.

Of course, great design must be practical and affordable, which is why we take care to respect our client’s budget and unique needs, including organizational policies and guidelines. Most importantly, every Hay Design project is guided by ongoing communications and consultation with the client, including regular briefings and pre- and post-occupancy evaluations.

Your space, your way
Our ultimate goal is to provide you with a design solution that is exactly what you need today, while being sufficiently innovative and adaptable to meet the changing and future needs of both users and the organization.

Our team
Founded in 2004, Hay Design features a creative team of design professionals. Our senior team members have been in the industry for 20 to 30 years and have extensive experience in commercial and institutional interior design, including managing multi-disciplinary teams. The Hay team consists of four senior designers, four intermediate-level designers, one junior designer, two administrative assistants and one retail manager.

Professional Associations and Affiliations:

ARIDO, IDC (Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario)

LEED Canada

EDAC (Economic Developers Association of Canada

PMI (Project Management Institute)

IFMA (International Facility Management Association)

BOMA (Building Owners & Management Association)

Qualified under OBC Sentence – Registration under Section 2.17 for Hay Design Incorporated BCIN: 27373


Design concepts

Design concepts and planning

· Renderings and sketches

· Colour and finishes presentation boards

· Budget estimates

Interior design and space planning
· Vertical stacking diagrams

· Horizontal zoning plans

· Furniture layout and planning

· Furniture selection and specifications

· Custom design of furniture and millwork

· Wayfinding and signage

· Furniture budget estimates

Facility studies
· Facility and cost analysis reports

· Site reviews and evaluation

· Accessibility reviews

· Code compliance reviews

· Security planning

· Analysis of employee functions

· Analysis of space requirements

· Development of standard footprint

· Creation of workstation standards

Construction documents
· Interior design construction drawings

· Interior design specifications

· Budget estimates for construction

· Coordination with architects and engineers

Tendering for construction
· Tender preparation, submission and evaluation

Construction administration
· Coordination with contractor

· Site instructions

· Field observation reports

· Site inspections

· Status reports

· Coordination of deficiency correction

Move coordination
· Coordination with movers

· Development of move plans

· Furniture, accessory and artwork tagging

· Move supervision

· Site inspection of furniture installation and deficiency management


Corporate, Residential, Public/Institutional