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Animals and Interior Decorating

Big Dog, Big Issue

Big Dog, Big Issue

Lets face it, our pets are our children.  Our pets can also destroy our attempts at having a beautiful home.  Enter my latest design project.

This is George.  (Sorry about the crappy photo, taken with my Ipad2)  The name has been changed to protect the innocent.  George is a 14 month old St. Bernard who weighs in at a mere 170 lbs.  My client says he doesn’t even eat much.  Yup, I understand that concept.  They have had five St. Bernards and George is the largest by far.  Sadly like most large dogs, they don’t have a long lifespan either; maybe 7-8 years.  Whereas my chihuahuas can live for 15-17 years.  Although this means you could have a pretty home again after they are gone, but you know what always happens…we aren’t getting any more animals.  Then on your birthday you pop into Pet Supermarket and come home with a newly adopted chihuahua, who does that?????

George is the largest dog I have ever met in person.  In fact, I didn’t eat lunch before I went to meet my client at her home because I didn’t want George to think I was room service.  I even brought a lint roller in my car for my return to work.  When my client opened the front door I was literally stunned.  After I entered the home I was even more stunned…George had eaten it!

You can see the end table has had its corners eaten.

Chewed up end table

Chewed up end table

The once bench seat wood carved sofa has no bench seat cushion because George destroyed that.

Bench seat gone missing...lunch perhaps?

Bench seat gone missing…lunch perhaps?

Oh, then there is the leather sofa outside (where all good leather sofas go) had been peed on by George.

Bad sofa, bad sofa!

Bad sofa, bad sofa!

Now he is commandeering the remaining matching sofa.

George in his happy place with lint brush.

George in his happy place with lint brush.

No, No, No…bad dog!  Actually, No, No, No…bad dog owners.  You knew I was going to say that.  I understand it though, its easier to give in, just like small children.  You just get tired.  However, in this case, it has to get fixed.

My client really wanted a Century leather and fabric mixed sectional and in good conscience I can’t sell a possibly $10,000 sectional when George isn’t being trained.  I gently told my client she has to do it and get her other family members onboard so they can have beautiful furniture to show off their really beautiful home.  Being that a special order takes 8-12 weeks to come in, hopefully they will have George “fixed” and take him for puppy training.

Now comes the creative thinking part of decorating and designing.  What types of products to add to the room to make it beautiful and all its occupants happy, including George.

This is what keeps me up at night.  The creativity of design.  So at midnight I got out of bed, I wasn’t sleeping anyway and went online to research some ideas.  At 3:00 a.m. I finally went to sleep and here were some of my thoughts.

First, I think it might be good to see how he likes a pet bed of his own.  Next I was thinking about scents that George might not like that can be left on the sofa in the center of a pillow…like menthol.  My dogs hate that smell when I open a jar of Vics.  They will jump right off the bed. Hmmmmmmm.  I think making his bed as comfy and good smelling “to a dog” might keep him there along with rewarding him when he is on it.  Maybe something fuzzy, filled with cedar and cushiony.  Also, I noticed they had a chair and 1/2 with two rustic burlap style pillows that he really didn’t care for.  Now I am thinking, texture.  Maybe I can make a burlap throw to add to the sectional when no one is there and George won’t like that coupled with menthol pillows. Who would?

A cocktail table in glass and iron is perfect so he won’t chew on it and you can see the rug underneath, however, putting your feet up on glass isn’t ideal.  So I found a great turned leg rectangle table with a metal top…or even a slate top.  Keeps the rustic, lodge feel and is chew proof.  George tends to chew on what is at his teeth level so if his bed is close to the stone fireplace and away from the table, it might be a winner.

I am still researching a good sectional combo.  Problem is leather is great but probably smells like rawhide to him.  Fabric looks best the day you get it, but won’t get better with age.  Maybe a leather and Sunbrella fabric combo.  My clients really love leather and it so fits into their lodge look.

So that is where I am after a long night of wakefulness.  I will keep you posted.  P.S.  If you have any ingenious ideas, let me know!  P.P.S.  I saw where some people put small mousetraps on their sofa so when dog jumps up…snap, snap, snap, snap!  Really?

2 Responses to Animals and Interior Decorating

  • Ok, there are no words. Furniture is the chew toy for St. Bernards. Let us know how this works out with designing…

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Janet TiminskyMy Design Services
If you would like help in creating a beautiful home you will fall in love with, contact me about my design services Here.
Janet TiminskyI love being a decorator & coming up with ideas and "embellishments" for my client's homes. Style should be what makes you smile, comfortable,livable & honest. Just remember, sometimes when you change the doorbell you end up changing the roof. ~Janet Timinsky
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