Sunday, July 25, 2010

Designing for our pampered pets

Creating a fun environment for a beloved pet is a great "pet project".

I remember seeing a laundry room in a showcase house that was actually turned into a dog room. Dog dishes, dog beds, dog crate and places to store dog food and leashes, a place to give doggy baths or to groom your dog. I am going to assume that this was not a laundry room that saw much laundry being done but the idea was great.

Cat lovers might like to have a little kitty room too where they can hide the litter box or provide interesting climbing condos and scratching boards so they don't ruin your upholstered furniture. (See the "city scape" room above, or should I say "kitty scape".) Most of us don't have the luxury of having a space that can be totally dedicated to our pet but I have heard of people who have turned a spare bedroom into a haven for their pets.

The room in the photo was designed for a kitty play area for a San Diego designer showcase house.

Don't forget that dogs, in particular, may also spend time in their crates. These less than attractive items can also be large space invaders. I have been thinking of creative ways to incorporate them into a home's decor. My partner Ellie and I have come up with some great ideas. We were also selected by Pierre Deux to be in a design contest for a new pet product. We designed the most amazing convertible sofa bed....a recamier.... which is a fancy word to describe a type of French lounging sofa. There are many pet beds on the market. Some elegant canopied creations fit for a princess, a furry princess. Many are very basic cushions that come in the basic colors and fabrics. As a designer I think if a pet has a bed or a crate in a beautifully decorated home, then they should be part of the design too. I am wondering if there is a market for that? We could incorporate the fabrics and color schemes and make these items accent the decor instead of detracting from it. They would be customized to not only compliment the colors of the interior but also the style, formal, informal, contemporary or classic, coastal or country, urban or shabby chic. The possibilities are endless. This fun to think about.

I found some unique pet crates and cat beds on line...see above pics. Look how fun and attractive these pet accessories can be.
How have your pets influenced your decorating? What design challenges are you faced with as a result of having a furry friend in your family? Of course there are lots of kinds of animals besides the typical feline or canine and they can have an impact too. Suppose you have a pot bellied pig, monkey or ferret, or something a bit more creepy crawly? I hope you will share your solutions and challenges with me and my "bleaders" (blog-readers). Photos of cool pet beds and crates courtesy of

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