Whether it takes big puppy eyes or a purring ball of fluff to melt your heart, there is no denying that pets are a big part of many clients’ lives. Nationwide, the Humane Society of the United States estimates that 39% of all households own at least one dog, while 33% own at least one cat.
The bottom line for designers, though, is not necessarily that clients nationwide are becoming more and more attached to their furry friends, but that these animals are following the path into hearts straight into homes as well. As Rover has moved from the back yard to the living room and Admiral Meow has shifted from tree climbing to bookshelf hopping, pets and their belongings have become an ever more prominent feature of clients’ homes. Pet housing, playthings, and even litter boxes are now elements that may inevitably be placed within one of your designs as the client settles in along with their cuddly critter. Realizing this, designers have proactively begun putting out products to meet this new challenge and satisfy client needs at a whole new level.
In the past, the homes and hideouts of pets have perhaps not necessarily been “feature-worthy.” Dog cages lacked any creativity, and cat houses looked like bad carpet choices rising up for revenge.
“Pleeeeease visit Design Resource Center!”
However, design-minded pet lovers are now coming up with multiple options that can allow our lovable counterparts to integrate into beautifully designed homes with grace. Boutiques like Pet Lounge Studios, for example, feature such delightfully luxurious items as the adjustable Bambú Angled Diner (not a pet feeder, but a pet “dining table”) and the classy Bamboo Pet Hammock. The materials are not just pet-friendly, but also pet-resistant, made of stainless steel and coated with a water-resistant finish.
Independent designers like Franklin Cat Furniture have also put out some innovative, green-friendly ideas as well, bringing in particular a sleek modern flair to the traditionally skuzzy, carpeted cathouse. This creative feline fantasy of a sculpture stretches from floor to ceiling, but keeps each lofted pad thin and lined in black; the result is a construction that lets cats explore their inner mountain lion even while allowing designers to peacefully integrate an interesting but unobtrusive pet item into a modern space.
Ultimately, regardless of the style of the room, there will likely be a practical, pet-friendly piece that could be seamlessly integrated. With Fido’s rusty old kennel threatening to clash with more and more designers’ careful work, the pet furniture scene seems like a worthwhile—and entertaining—one to watch.
Today, many libraries must overcome two grueling challenges in order to get youth to come willingly through their doors: The first is of course that they must now compete with the dazzling new opportunities of technology. The second, though, is that their often outdated interiors do little to combat the stereotype that the wonderful books they house are things of the past.
Interior designers and decorators all over have begun stepping up in their communities to help their local libraries develop a look that’s fresh, modern, and competitive. What follows are three great examples of design options that any library could implement (perhaps with a little help from a design-minded individual):
1) The Roseville Branch of Minnesota’s Ramsey County Public Library took note of just how dizzying and confusing too many displays and labels can be. Instead, they chose one color per display amid a canvas of light neutrals. The simplicity of this approach is both inviting and user-friendly.
2) The Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado gives a variety of options in terms of seating. Offering choice like this pleases everyone, allowing the studious to sit alone and the social to share a table.
3) Magical little nooks like this one in Louisville Free Library’s Newburg Branch in Kentucky can be discovered by bringing in someone with an eye for how to utilize space. Combining privacy, natural light, and a view can give a library great personality and charm.
This Valentine’s Day, consider a present different than the usual roses and box of chocolates. Authors Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield are making it easy for designers and other artistic personalities to get inspired with their new book, “Caffeine for the Creative Mind.”
Interior designers draw from the events, gifts, and environments in their lives to reach a special mental state of creativity. A world of options is narrowed, a palette is refined, and the end result is a collaboration of ideas and experiences culminating in a final product. But finding inspiration is not always as simple as it sounds, whether you’ve been designing for years or weeks. With 250 brain-stretching exercises, “Caffeine for the Creative Mind” is perfect for anybody (and especially designers) who wants to quickly jump start their imagination for a new or ongoing project. Readers will benefit from the fun challenges that are intended to induce creative responses. The book can effectively prepare designers to get the creative process started more quickly.
Like athletes, you remain focused and disciplined to tackle the creative challenges in your life. Why shouldn’t you also do “warm-ups” in the morning?
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