I currently split my time between the United States, where I am a graduate student, and Toronto, where my family lives. My Toronto home is located in a concrete maze of newly-built condos, which is not exactly the most child-friendly environment. Strollers are rarely seen in my neighbourhood but it is teeming with dogs and cats as well as numerous upscale boutiques that serve to clothe, groom, and entertain our furry babies.
It isn’t surprising that designers have tapped into this multi-billion dollar industry to provide furniture and accessories that not only keep the animals happy but also appeal to the design aesthetic of their owners. In my house I have opted for the cheap and cheerful versions, like this kitty tent from Ikea, which is my cat Jezebel’s favourite hangout.
My older cat is arthritic and has trouble climbing, so I created a bed for her using some old cushions and fabric that matches my couch. I would have taken a photograph of this simple DIY piece but yesterday my third cat peed on it in a misguided attempt to claim this comfortable spot for himself; I am currently hunting for a stylish replacement. Perhaps this bubble cat bed by Italy’s b.pet, available in a dozen different colours, will do the trick:
For kitties who like to be off the ground, the Rondo perch bed from Germany’s pet-interiors is a great option. It comes in several finishes, including leather, wicker, and a variety of fabrics to match a wide range of décor. For those with limited floorspace, they also make one that attaches right to the wall.
For cat owners, the bigest dilema is where to put the ugly plastic litter box. I share my bathroom with three cat boxes just so that visitors don’t have to look at (or smell) them when using my guest w/c. This problem is solved with Modern Cat Design’s litter hider, which looks like a sidetable but holds a standard-sized litter pan inside along with hooks to store a scoop and bags.
A funkier option is the ModKat litter box, marketed as the “smartest looking, most functional cat litter box.” I love the fun colours and compact design, though I am not sure my kitties would like climbing in from the top (heck, I’m not even sure my biggest cat would fit). Thankfully, the company offers a money-back guarantee if your kitty isn’t hip to the concept.
Dog owners also have a lot of fashionable options for pet furniture. I love WOWBOW London’s Mija bed; the translucent Perspex material helps to reduce the bulky feel of even the largest dog bed.
Canadian designer Glenn Ross offers the Vurv dog pod, which he describes as an “Eames chair for your pet.” It looks like a cozy spot for a small dog (I think my cats would love it too) and with veneer options like bamboo, maple, cherry, and walnut, owners will have no problem finding one that matches their furnishings.
Spain’s The Cool Dog makes such chic dog beds that they put most human versions to shame. Though, with an 850 Euro pricetag, the Germaine model is more expensive than many human sofas as well!
If you cannot afford the hefty price tag of luxury pet furniture, consider pet accessories to match your décor. If you are a fan of Asian design, as I am, this food/water bowl set from Trendy Pet would be perfect. For not much more than what a bag of high-end pet food costs, your cat or dog could enjoy their meals in style.
If you don’t have room for a furry friend, don’t despair. Designers have developed fun and funky spaces for even the most basic of pets. I love Umbra’s fish hotel, which can be stacked in multiples and takes up less room than a traditional tank. I would get one myself if I didn’t think it would become the world’s most stylish cat-feeder.