Pet-Friendly Spaces: Creating a Dog Bedroom SuitePublished November 19, 2010
On November 9th, I hosted the No Place Like Home pet product showcase at the InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel. Media came to demo fifty (50) innovative pet products for the home. As a special treat, attendees toured a luxury pet bedroom suite that I designed. Hold-up! Tour a what! A bedroom suite, the newest trend. Now, instead of just pet-proof decorating, pet parents are decorating for their beloved furkids by creating fun and fabulous bedrooms. Think of it like this... Your dog is a part of the family, but like you, they need their own private space away from the chaos of daily life. While a pet may be completely integrated into a family's way of life, a pet bedroom serves as a way to keep all of a dog's toys, clothing, medical records and other things in one place. Moreover, the benefit of having a dog bedroom for pet owners who prefer in-home pet care is that your vet and/or groomer is better equipped to take of your dog in his own room. The familiar atmosphere allows for your dog to be more relaxed during yearly exams and monthly grooming. Even, a pet-sitter can even have a sleepover with her charge in your pet's very own room! Lastly, with the holidays upon us, a pet room can serve as your dog's haven, a place where they can get away and relax from the holiday hub-bub. To create a pet bedroom, below please find a few tips and helpful hints. 1. Plan to decorate your furkid's room with your budget, taste, pet's personality, and age in mind. Hint: Shop at garage sales or discount stores where you can find lower cost, quality furniture and other items. Remember, this room needs to be completely pet-friendly, safe and easy for your pet to navigate at any age.) 2. Use eco-friendly paint to provide a healthier experience for your entire family. Eco-friendly paints release low odor during application and zero odors when cured, are easy to clean with soap and water, and discharge less toxins. Hint: Try the Benjamin Moore Green Promise paints. 3. Choose a floor that will withstand regular mopping and vacuuming of your pet's private space. Pet owners also need to consider that softer woods will be scratched easily by your pet's nails. Those with older pets also need to seek out a non-skid flooring to prevent injury. Hint: In my room, I used HousePet-Grasshopper by FLOR. 4. Decorate walls with pet-themed posters, stickers or murals. Hint: I worked with Jack Poles to find the best doggy wallpaper for the walls of my room. Additionally, I framed the Toy dog poster from the Aaronco Pet Group Grooming Series and cool stickers from hip, graphic designer, Gabriela Rocha from GeckoDecorative Stickers in Brasil. 5. Instead of using lamps, install overhead lighting to prevent hazards. A rambunctious or curious pet can knock over a lamp on a table. Also, if you are installing a camera unit to watch your pet when you are away from home, consider lighting with a dimmer so that you will be able to see into the room at a low light setting. 6. Toys should be stored in clear boxes that pets can easily "pick up" or "drop" into and that you can see through. Rotate toys regularly for canine stimulation. Hint: I prefer to use the boxes with wheels purchased from IKEA. 7. Purchase colorful dog beds that have easy-to-size covers allowing for frequent washes. A twin bed, dressed with a rubber sheet and easy to wash coverlet also makes for a good hang-out spot for you and your pet to bond. Hint: I like Cozypuff, Jax & Bones, and YepYup dog beds. 8. Store food and treats, medications, books and shampoos and cleaning supplies out of your pet's reach. Colorful wardrobe closets, book shelves and dressers can serve as great storage additions to your pet's room and enhance the atmosphere. Hint: I used children's Mammut furniture. 9. Keep the floor space in the middle of the room open for playing, training, exercise and games. 10. Play pet music or doggie videos to create a lively and entertaining atmosphere for your furry friend. Both can be purchased online. Hint: Try the Pet Acoustics pet speaker and music from for easy listening. Photo: The Pet Socialite (me), my dog Rhone and Interior Designer Robin Wilson in the No Place Like Home pet bedroom suites. Charlotte Reed, a pet trend and lifestyle expert, is the author of "The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette (Adams Media)."