Pets are Just as Important to Clients as Designing for Kids
Anyone who has visited my studio knows we love dogs and have met our corgis. My assistant Kit Miracle and I both live and work with our dogs as do many of our clients, friends and business associates. The health benefit of living with pets has gained a lot of attention over the past decade especially as we are all living longer and enjoy the company and benefits of living with pets. Just like designing for living with children, or for someone with special needs, my studio has dedicated a lot of effort on designing for living with pets.
For almost 20 years now, scientists have linked patient’s ability to lower their blood pressure to their having 4 legged house mates. Coming home at the end of a day to a wagging tail is a very happy event that is rewarding to both human and pet. But having an animal living in your house should not add more stress to your life because of damage to your furnishings or home. To support our designing for living with pets we search for manufacturers of furnishings, finishes and home products that are pet friendly and machine washable.
Most of us baby boomers are living longer, and many of us will see our children grow up and move on leaving our homes for us and our pets to “age in place” together in. Most of my design clients are retired (or soon to be) and have either cats or dogs. They could not imagine life without their pets. So as we begin the design process, some of our first questions relate to how they live with their pets: where do the sleep? Where do they get fed? Where do they go in or out? Pets are just as important to many as their human children and many have pets rather than children! So when building a new home or renovating an existing home, it is critical to integrate the pet “creature comforts” into the design. We have integrated kitty litter boxes in wall closets where there are cat doors to the inside, but the litter boxes are cleaned out in a garage or outdoor room. We have built in doggy feeding bowls as pull outs in kitchens and built in doggy showers so the humans can wash their doggies more easily. We have a special collection of fabrics, rugs, bed linens and furniture covers that are all machine washable and pet friendly. And when designing laundry and mud rooms, we make sure there are hooks for leashes and a place for wiping off muddy paws.
Due to the love and popularity of pets, we have started a category on www.thenewrustic.com just for pet owners that includes all sorts of dog and cat products.