Behind the Blog: Moderncat's Modern Pad

Behind the Blog: Moderncat's Modern Pad

Sonia Zjawinski
May 4, 2009

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You may have noticed that some of us at Unplggd love animals. I for one attempt to get my pets in my posts as much as possible. So it comes as no surprise that one of our fave blogs is Moderncat. Founded by Kate Benjamin, the site posts chic, design-friendly, and creative cat accessories for the home. I double cat dare you to go to the site and not instantly want everything that's posted.

With such an amazing eye for chic décor that also happens to be for the cats, we had to ask Kate to invite us into her home office and show us behind the blog...

Thirty-eight year old Kate works out of her home office in Phoenix, AZ. During the day she works as the Director of Marketing at Boon Inc. Twenty hours a week she blogs for Moderncat from the home office she made in her 150 sq. ft. second bedroom.

How would you describe your office? Minimal, bright

What's always found on your workspace? One or two cats.

Fave thing about your workspace? Big open work surface for cats to lounge on, and lots of light.

What do you hate about your workspace? Too many cords. Why can't everything be wireless?

What inspires you to blog? I'm always looking for cool stuff for my cats. It's been really exciting to see the changes in the pet industry over the past year and a half. I try to keep up on industry trends and new companies. Also my readers inspire me. I get tons of great emails from readers with questions and ideas. It's so rewarding to have created an active and vibrant community of people who have a passion for both cats and design.

Is it reflected in your workspace? I added a "mid-century moderncat" category to the blog plus I write about artists who make sophisticated cat art, so I've found lots of great modern and vintage modern cat-related art and I have a few pieces in my office.

Any tips or advice about office décor, layout, organization, working from home in general? I think my favorite organization tip is to try and touch incoming paper only once. That means instead of getting the mail and throwing it in a basket then opening it later and putting it in a pile, then sorting the pile 5 or 6 times, just open it and immediately act on it, file it, or toss it. It's easier said than done, but it's a good thing to strive for. As for décor, having a light and airy workspace makes me feel good and helps me get more done. My favorite part of working in my home office is having the cats around. I love spending time with them.

Where did you get all the great furniture in your home office? Desk, chair, shelves and filing cabinets are all from Ikea. I think they provide a nice clean, neutral setting. I accent with interesting and colorful accessories.

How the heck do you keep cat hair from taking over your space? I know I'm always battling the fur ball! The FURminator is a lifesaver! If I use it regularly, it dramatically reduces shedding and hairballs. Plus I vacuum a lot.

How many cats do you have, names, ages? Sophie, 15; Simba 10; Mackenzie 7; Ando 5; Flora, 5; and Dee 4, all rescues of one sort or another.

When did you start Moderncat and why? I started Moderncat in August 2007 because I was looking for a single source of well-designed cat products with a modern aesthetic. I had been searching the internet and found a few things here and there including some decent online retailers, but no good design-focused cat-only editorial. I never dreamed it would turn into such a great community of cat-loving designers and design-loving cat owners.

How do you keep all the products you review from taking over your house? I really only keep the things that I love like my Marmalade lounge, Hepper Pod bed, Moderncritter scratcher, Modern Cat Design tower, Smart Cat Box, Litter Robot (okay, so there are quite a few). When I have something extra, I donate it to one of the local cat rescue organizations.

Thanks so much Kate!

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