Luxurious spaces for our most precious companions.
United States pet industry expenditures for 2013 were estimated at a whopping $55.53 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), which tracks this kind of information.
That’s a lot of moola spent on food, grooming, vet care, medications and more for our canine and feline companions—as well as the iguanas, guinea pigs, goldfish and other lovable creatures who have claimed their rightful place in our hearts and homes.
But just how far would you go to create a proper space for Fido or Morris? Windermere resident Judy Noble, who has four cocker spaniels, was on a shopping expedition in North Carolina’s furniture mecca when she spotted a huge luxury doghouse. It had Mediterranean architecture that matched the style of her own home, and the wood was lacquered and polished to a high shine.
“I bought it for show because it’s so cool, and I’m a dog lover,” she says. Never mind that Muffin, Maggie, Lola and Beav don’t hang out in the house—Noble loves it, especially the white satin bottom. And her pooches have an elegant abode whenever they decide to call it home.
On the more practical side is the custom-made doggie shower that another Central Florida resident installed for his pet. Imagine a miniature version of your shower, complete with tiled walls and a showerhead. Then think of how soothing that spray of warm water will feel on your dog’s skin—as opposed to the cold water from the backyard hose.
But some dog lovers don’t stop with the shower. How about a room dedicated to the dogs—or cats? Call it a pet apartment. One homeowner in Maitland designed a room so that each of her dogs had its own sleeping area complete with an awning and plenty of room to romp. Serious cat owners have been known to install shelves, pint-size stairs attached to walls and beams at heights that encourage cats to climb and explore. If you decide to design a room for your pet, make sure you choose washable paint for the walls, and tile, rather than carpeting, for the floor.
However, for the average homeowner, an easier solution is to convert the space under a stairway into a pet’s private living quarters. If you’re an apartment dweller, denhaus.com has a collection of designer dog crates that look like contemporary end tables and night stands. Made of fiberglass, metal or wood with cutout circles and slits for ventilation, these dens are practical space savers with flair. For cats, the company has litter box hideaways that follow the same design as the crates, but have doors, which allow kitty access and can be closed when guests come over to visit.