Why fret, frazzle or become frantic over Fido fur while considering how to decorate your home with pets? And, why should you settle for anything less than fabulous—just because you have sweet, cuddly ‘furbabies’ in your home? Designers are taking notice, and creating amazing homes with smart choices in furniture, flooring and fabrics. Designing for Fido is all the rage these days! You will sit, stay and rollover with happiness!
Debbie DeMaria, owner and partner of Vogue Interiors considers her own dearly loved dogs in her designs, “ I immediately think of the potential for accidents and the resulting stains! Dog-friendly vinyl, acrylic and leather look-alikes are all upholstery choices that offer easy care and clean up. Textured carpeting, in deeper tones or shades of colors, are usually more forgiving.”
Also, consider removing old carpeting and replacing most areas of your home with an easy care tile or hardwood floors. Not only are they easier to keep clean, beautiful and trendier, but they also will remove any lingering smells from previous pets that your dog may find offensive. Just a swipe with a Swifer or a quick vaccum and they are clean and shiny!
The ‘doggy downside’ to this option is that they do not always offer good traction for our four-legged friends, so we recommend rug liners which will prevent and slipping and sliding. There are so many beautiful synthetic area rugs available toady, which can help fill in the gaps to minimize the room space. They offer a myriad of sizes and colorful designs to coordinate with your surroundings. Not only would they offer a special spot for “Spot” to lie on, but also they are easily lifted to take outside and hose off, if you happen to experience a ‘sensitive stomach incident’ or other slobbery mess.
Snuggle-time with Fido just got easier on the furniture these days as well, with beautiful new microfibers that are easy to vacuum, and leather simply wipes clean with a damp cloth. For a more puncture-proof surface, bring all-weather fabrics indoors. Again, they are extremely durable, easy to keep clean, and offer a variety of colorful and coordinating patterns and designs. They are moisture resistant, stain resistant, and virtually wipe clean with only a damp cloth.
Enliven a room with fragrant candles and vases of fresh flowers (placed high-up, of course, out of tail-wagging traffic) to keep your home smelling fresh and tranquil.
Skip the pet store variety of Fido furniture—and consider other furniture options that might blend and integrate more naturally with your own unique home design. For example, place a rectangular ottoman that fits at end of your bed, with an easy to clean heavy upholstery or fabric throw.
Fido will sleep fabulously on his own new digs—at the base of the bed—while you sleep more comfortably and protect your bedding. Beautiful throws and blankets are a wonderful way to casually add color, texture and warmth to a room on sofas, beds, chairs and ottomans while also protecting your furniture. Machine-washable throws are the best options, as a quick weekly wash will keep things looking fresh and fur-free!
So many pooches are crate-trained these days, and they can certainly offer a happy haven for when you are away from your home, and ensure nighttime peace and tranquility. While offering security and comfort for your furbaby, the crate can also be a significant eyesore in a room’s eloquent design. Interior design is given much thought and planning, and so should be a complimentary well placed, concealed, or custom-crate design. New home designs consider a more esthetically pleasing (and out of the way) placement for these cumbersome pet crates. When you determine where (and how) this might be built-in or camouflaged, don’t forget to consider home re-sale and how the space would convert to another more acceptable general use. For example, the space under your kitchen island can house the crate, but could then convert to a bar stool area when staging the house for sale later on. Custom wooden crate and modern designs also can sit nicely next to a sofa, and double as an end table. Practical, functional—and pretty!
How about a complete conversion of a mudroom to a “mutt room?” Clean up that tangled mess, so that all of your doggy accessories are easily accessible. Toys, outfits, leashes, paw pads, booties, life jackets, hiking gear, car harnesses, slobber rags, brushes and a myriad of other canine accoutrements need a storage area too. Hide the food in beautiful storage bins or stainless containers and sort grooming tools in cute shelf baskets or coordinating boxes.
“Time to take the dog outside!” Why not create an exterior landscape design that incorporates a pooch privacy area? Not only does this help eliminate unsightly grass burnout areas, but also most dogs can be trained to use special areas that utilize mulch, pea-size pebbles, and other absorbent ground covers. Hedges or other green privacy screens can section off this area into a little ‘doggy secret garden’—and protect your prize landscaping keeping everything green and growing!
Designing with your dog in mind can offer utility, as well as beauty to help guarantee that you don’t end up in the design doghouse! The options today are endless in fabric selection, upholstery, and creative pet product solutions. Make your home practical, beautiful and dog-gone gorgeous.
24520 Production Circle, Suite 5, Bonita Springs, Florida 34135
By Maria Elena Coccari