Sunday, 23 November 2014

Dog Days: Designing for your Pup!

I spent today tromping through snowy mountains, so I think it's safe to say that the 'dog days' of summer are firmly behind us. With my upcoming move, I've been thinking of another type of dog days: the time I spend every day at home with my favorite non-human being, my dog Charli. She's a black lab mutt who we rescued at 9 weeks, and she's awesome.

Even though she's a really good dog (we never had problems with her chewing, stealing food, getting into the garbage, etc), concessions must still be made in our home decor in order to keep things looking nice while being dog-friendly. For example, having a black dog means that the white striped rug in our living room has seen better days what with her shedding.

That's why I was so excited to find some beautiful cow hide rugs on RugsUsa. Most people have probably seen full cow hides used in decor, but these rugs take that idea to the next level, using intricate cuts and dyed hides to make beautiful patterned rugs that just so happen to be basically indestructible and stain-proof (making them also ideal for those of you with kids!)

So I thought I'd put together a few room designs centering around these beautiful rugs, along with a few pet-friendly design tips.

Dog Days

(As always, clicking on the image will take you to a page with product links)

Designing for your dog: Pet-friendly decor tips:

Neutral Glam: 1) pick pieces that wipe down easily and can hide dog fur. The bench shown here would likely need to be recovered in a different fabric, for example. Faux leather and faux ostrich vinyl can look chic while still taking a beating. 2) Don't buy white or velvet pillow covers: they are dog fur magnets!

Beach Chic: 3) If you have a black dog, your sofa doesn't need to be black, but skewing toward a darker color is advised. 4) Find a way to corral dog toys, like this pretty basket.

Preppy Kid: 5) If you prefer a white color palette, use it in accent furniture, not as a fabric. This side table and coffee table are hard-wearing and easily cleaned.

Global Bazaar: 6) If you really want a white couch, get a slipcovered version! Bleach works miracles. 

Other tips:
7) We keep dog treats in various rooms of the house in decorative containers. Nobody has to know that bones and chew toys are hidden inside that pretty wood inlay box!
8) Dog food can likewise be stored in attractive bins. I've seen people adapt dressers to have one large drawer for dog food. Others have used trunks or storage ottomans. 
9) Have a dedicated spot for your dog's leash, balls, frisbees, etc. Having dog-related messes all over looks cluttered and makes it harder to take your dog on a walk!
10) Put jingle bells on a pretty tassel on your door knobs. When our dog needs to go out, instead of barking incessantly or scratching at the door, she just nudges the bells with her nose. 

What are your favorite ways of designing around your pet?

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