How To: Decorate to Reflect Your Pet

How To: Decorate to Reflect Your Pet

Maxwell Ryan
Jun 5, 2008

About a year after we brought our little white dog, Arlo, into our Jamaica Plain apartment, an unconscious shift to white décor began unfolding. We didn't even notice it was happening until an out of town friend visited and remarked: "Wow, you're really moving into a white phase." It seems that we had been creating an environment that allowed our little guy to camouflage his furry bod and blend into the scenery. What domesticated animal wouldn't love the chance to sneak up on his unsuspecting humans!...

The transition started with an ivory shag rug from craigslist, which continues to be Arlo's favorite spot to luxuriate, despite buying him his own eco hemp dog bed filled with kapok (off-white of course!) from DoggyArchy. Next, we made washable day bed covers out of off-white Ikea comforters. And then we found a dreamy, barely used, off-white couch on craigslist from an elderly couple who lived in Florida most of the year. By then the transformation to white was clinched and now, in Arlo's opinion, there's no turning back.

Here's how to shift your space from deco-irrelevant in the eyes of your pet, to deco-conducive:

  • Once you've lived with your pet for a while, assess whether she prefers blending in or standing out. If she's a blender, when you buy new or secondhand pieces of furniture or decoration, consider your cutie's need to camouflage and choose colors accordingly.
  • If she's a stander-outer, then go wild with colors that really contrast your buddy and she'll shine! (e.g. black labs look HOT in bright yellow rooms)
  • Tip: If your pet happens to be white, a blender and a couch potato then you may have to implement an invitation-only policy on furniture if you don't want to be washing your fabric all the time. It's working in our house…
  • PLEASE notice that our title doesn't read "How to: Use Your Pet as Decoration". (Animals are NOT accessories and this post confesses to being a little tongue in cheek!)
  • We'd love to hear how your pet has influenced your décor.

    Kyle Freeman for AT Boston

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