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This isn’t about who rules the roost in your home, it’s not a matter of princess pooches or your miniature king of the jungle. It’s an approach that looks at all members of the family – including those with four legs (or scales).
Most of my clients have animals. Fortunately, I’m happy to chat with them while their humans make me a cup of tea prior to our consultations. They don’t give much away but I think an animal owner appreciates this.
Let’s get to the nub of the matter. Some dogs trail in mud, some smell damp for hours after they’ve rolled in that muddy puddle, some are partial to fox poo and of course, cats are fond of bringing their humans gifts – in the form of dead birds. As designers, we have to cater to ALL our clients’ needs.
Where do you wash your dog? Does your cat litter sit in the middle of the room or in a special spot? How often do you clean out the fish tank? Do the guinea pig, hamster, or rabbits live in the playroom, the kids’ bedrooms or the garage?
I’m sure you have your own personal answer to these questions and that is the one we want to work with. We want to help you live with your animals in a way that pleases you. As designers, we want that to be hygienic, aesthetic and in keeping with the rest of the room and just right for the specific needs of your pet.
As a dachshund owner myself, I find that sofas and chairs have found footstools an easier mid-way level for him to jump up. He’s perfectly capable of the big leap but his back needs to be protected. We aren’t at the ramp stage as they seem rather cumbersome and overwhelm the room, but they might be something we consider in his old age. Believe me, I’ll make it good-looking!
Crates aren’t terribly attractive, but I’ve found a company (K9 Custom Crates) who will make a bespoke crate for your dog. They feel like they’re part of the room – rather than a small prison – and can give the dog the comfort and security that a crate provides.
Dog beds can be very attractive, some with all the pomp and ceremony of a traditional four-poster bed. Others use fabrics that aren’t just robust enough to house your canine but also will match your interior scheme. Try Hugo & Otto for some very dashing options.
Carpets are a careful consideration for those with pets (puppy training and new carpets are not a good mix). A white carpet is a dangerous choice but then again, a black carpet isn’t wise either. Dirt shows up much more easily on dark than you’d expect. The safe mid colourway choice is advisable or of course, vinyl – safe, wipeable vinyl. Wood floors can be scratched by dogs and stone floors can be cold under paw. Slippery surfaces can also be troublesome for the older dog who has lost his or her footing.
Sarah, who works with me, told me about her hamster hotel today. She chose it to match the nearby Bo Concept unit. And there you have it…. that’s why I hired her! Brilliant…
For advice on homes, with or without pets, please get in touch.