Monday, August 15, 2011

Designing around children...the 4 legged kind.

Bella and Cole, A (designer) Love Story.

What do you do when you have two friendly, rambunctious dogs and an ambitious remodeling project? Enlist the help of an interior designer who understands both aesthetics and function.

Here are some helpful hints from a project in Orange County, CA.
(Hi, do you have cookies?)

I love using darker grout as it is less likely to show dirt.

Lovely new kitchen, down to the the granite and backsplash. The wood floors, however....

 Are tile! Yes, tile. Those wood floors are tile. They are made in both Italy and China (guess which is cheaper and which is higher quality?Yep). Using this type of type of tile requires a PERFECTLY level floor because we didn't use grout. A good tile installer is a valuable asset and often a rare treasure.
Cole, seen above, likes to swim in the pool and bring all that lovely water inside. The rug sample he is posing on is 100% tufted acrylic. While it looks like wool, it's actually indestrucible, much like the one Bella is modeling below:

Not all man made rugs are the same. Some off gas (which is bad), others at Home Goods fall apart in weeks. If the rug is going to receive high traffic, let a pro guide you. Its worth the extra time to learn. The rug above still looks new (a couple years later).
The "formal" living room is very hard to damage. We added quite a bit of lighting to balance the dark colors. The palette of chocolate, cream, blues, and bronze tied the first floor together.

Formal drapery can also be a challenge with pets and children.

In the dining room we used exquisite faux silk panels. If anyone tries to tell you that silk drapery can be easily cleaned, fire them immeadiately. It is VERY difficult to find a company that can properly dry clean silk. Hence, faux silk which is easier to clean and much harder to get dirty! We did sheer panels that had a chocolate background with blue pattern. Since dogs like to look out the window and protect their domain, accept the fact their fur is going to rub against the fabric-and design around it! Which we did.

The living room drapery was also faux silk. We did pattern on these windows as all the upholstery was solid.

Sit, Bella. Good dog!

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