How to Live More Stylishly With a Dog
Dogs destroy your house. There are no two ways about it. They chew things, they lick things, they trample mud everywhere and they make it smell. But it’s a weird paradox that a home isn’t really a home without a dog, and in the same way that a lit candle or a real fire add kinetic movement, a dog just seems to add life somehow.
But just because you have a dog, and just because you have to buy things for your dog, doesn’t mean that your home has to become doggy. There is no requirement to buy things with paw prints and bone motifs and it’s entirely possible to find dog-related items that are designed with style in mind and that don’t scream dog. If you start with the mindset that you are buying nice things for your home, rather than things for your dog, it becomes a lot easier. Here are five ways to make sure your dog is the only doggy thing in your home.
Buy a dog bed you'd want to sleep on
The nicest dog beds are filled with feathers, not foam. Choose one that looks so comfortable you would want to sleep on it yourself, if you were that size, and something in a fabric that works with your interior. A rule of thumb is to ask whether you would cover a small armchair in the fabric. If you wouldn’t then perhaps it’s a bit too doggy.
We like Mungo & Maud’s beds the most. We’ve had ours for a couple of years now and it’s still absolutely brilliant. It’s like a really thick duvet inside, it’s super comfortable and blends in with our bedroom decor which means it pretty much disappears.
Chic toys look nice strewn across the floor
A dog inevitably leaves toys strewn across your sitting room floor and refuses to tidy them away so they inadvertently can become part of your decor. Trying to find attractive ones can be a challenge and I quite like the soft toys that are shaped like bunnies and foxes and ducks and suchlike as they tend to look a bit more natural. Pet Planet also do a fabulous gingerbread man toy but the toys I love the most are Mr Dog’s trophy toys because they are just really cool. Even though they are sturdy and tough, they don’t look like they've been designed for dogs and they look fabulous hanging out of your dog’s mouth.
Think outside the box with toy storage
Toy boxes designed for dogs are not usually things of beauty. I prefer to find a really nice woven basket that will disguise the half-chewed toys inside. It will harmonise with your living room and if you place it next to the fireplace it will look like a log basket. Your dog can get her toys out easily and if she’s cleverer than our dog she can learn to tidy them away too. I wouldn’t recommend this for puppies though as they will eat it so wait until they’ve grown out of that phase. Petersham Nurseries have some very nice Hogla baskets and so do Maison Bengal.
Buy a dog bowl worthy of your designer kitchen
Installing a new designer kitchen is a bit of a national obsession. We just can't get enough of Humphrey Munson, Devol or Plain English. But whilst a new kitchen often leads us to upgrade our china, it rarely seems to inspire people to buy a dog bowl that befits their new masterpiece. This is why we love Mr Dog's ceramic dog bowls. They are made with the same care and attention as our porcelain dinner plates, and their gloriously bright colours will sit pride of place on the most exclusive of kitchen floors.
British woollen blankets are the most dog-proof
If your dog sleeps on your bed like ours does, you need a really good blanket to protect your pristine white bed linen from muddy paws and that annoying scratching thing they do before they settle down. You need one that has the right amount of roughness, is tightly-woven and large enough to cover the top of the bed. It's a good idea to get one in a colour that will disguise any marks which will make it pretty much dog-proof.
See Bleak House's ceramic dog bowls and trophy toys here.
Words by Annabel Bird
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