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ADVICE & INSPIRATION

Living Stylishly with Your Dogs

Did you know that over 54% of American households claim to own at least one dog?  That is a mind-boggling 77.8 million households according to the 2016 American Pet Products Association annual survey.  With so many of us playing “parent” to a furry family member, it comes as no surprise that one of the largest category of questions our Design Crew gets is whether something is pet-friendly or can withstand pets.  Fortunately from pillows to upholstery, we have a host of products that can stand up to the daily trials of pet owners and look stylish while doing it.  However, for extra measure we turned to our friend, interior designer Susanna Salk, to answer a few questions on how anyone can live stylishly with their dogs.

It just so happens that Susanna, aside from being a talented designer is an avid dog lover who recently released the book At Home with Dogs and Their Designers: Sharing a Stylish Life.  In its pages, Salk allows us to peek into the lives of 22 A-list interior designers who love nothing more than letting their beloved canine pals sleep in bed with them, cuddle on the couch, and essentially rule the roost.  We sat down with Susanna and asked her some burning questions from our audience on how they can live a stylish and realistic life with their canine besties!

[photo credit: At Home with Dogs and Their Designers]

Accidents happen! Do you have any tips for flooring choices and rug selections that are forgiving or can help when dealing with those “surprises” from your furry family members?

Believe it or not, not sisal. It (sisal) shows water and other stains so easily and even after you wipe them up, the watermarks tend to remain. I like vintage orientals, or other wool rugs. They are extremely durable and forgiving. I also keep a bottle of Zero Odor Remover handy. After I clean up the mess, I give area a soft spray to remove the pet odor and to prevent repeat mistakes.

Stains are part of life with a pet but do you have any tricks and tips for stain removal?

I’ll do a little dish soap on a soft felt rag as soon as I see the stain and it usually works like a charm. The key is to get forgiving fabrics. Outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella may have to be considered for indoor pieces if your dog is “particularly unparticular” about where he or she goes. For tougher stains, try a dash of laundry stain remover but be careful not to use on delicate fabrics like silk!

Any stylish secrets for how to keep dog food, leashes and pet toys organized?

My dog food comes in a large metallic tin that says DOG FOOD on it. You use it twice a day so you better love the container as much as your dogs love what’s inside!  Leashes are hung neatly on hooks in the mud room wall for easy access en route to walks and toys are always kept in pretty low baskets in corners for easy grabs. Now if they would only learn how to clean up!

How do you handle wall smudges?  Is wallpaper out of the option for pet owners?

Of course not! My human kids have smudged my walls far more than my furry ones.

Editors Note: Take a look at our paint collaboration with Sherwin-Williams.

[photo credit: At Home with Dogs and Their Designers]

How do you handle pets sleeping on the bed?  

Each has a special routine: Cheddar is the only dog who sleeps on our bed. I have a faux fur throw that I put down and he lies on that.  The faux fur throw is perfect as it protects our duvet cover and Cheddar loves the feel!  My other dogs sleep in their dog beds next to our bed so the pack stays together. No one is jealous as everyone has his or her place and it’s been very clear from the beginning. Molly who is my 14-year-old girl has a bed that is extra cushy for tired bones. Tink the youngest loves to burrow down I have found, so I have a fleece blanket I drape over her at night once she curls into her tiny bed.

Do not miss your opportunity to meet Susanna in person

Join us for a special book signing event to celebrate the launch of At Home with Dogs and Their Designers: Sharing a Stylish Life by best-selling author, designer and stylist, Susanna Salk.

Complimentary wine and light bites will be served. Space is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your spot.

Photo Credit: Stacey Bewkes

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