7 Pet Furniture You Will Find in Stylish Homes

Have you ever wondered how the pets of interior designers, decorator's and those obsessed with home decor trends live? A typical designer's home is an expression of his or her style and the way their pets live is always stylishly incorporated into their designs.

Not only are private pet zones created, furniture, and furnishings required are also planned to fit into the theme of the interior. After all, their pets also require their own nicely made-up space, just as yours does too.

Pet lovers like you and I are very particular about the well-being and comfort of our cherished family member. We know their well-being isn't limited to a good healthy diet and regular visits to the vet. We almost always consider their comfort too, because of the warm personal attachment and deep affection we have for them.

Cats and dogs are the most common pets you'll find in most pet lovers home. As they serve as just pets to some, they are regarded as children and family to others. From cats and Yorkshire terriers to the golden retriever and Great Dane, they all require a nice and comfortable place to relax or sleep, just as we all do.

Affordable but Stylish Pet Furniture


Here, you will find some favourite pet beds many interior designers and the house-proud provide their pets. From simple floor cushions to a play/sleep item, you'll find that if you desire a stylish and aesthetically pleasing interior for your household, make sure your pet's space fits well into the theme of your home decor.


1. Chevron Snuggle Pet Bed


Chevron Snuggle Pet Bed - A stylish and comfy pet bed with a storage area for 'bones', chews, and other pet toys.
The snuggle pet bed is great for both cats and up to 10lb dogs. It is so ultra plush, it will fit well into any modern home. One good advantage - it has a removable cushion which you can clean when necessary.


2. New Age Pet Crate End Table

A dual function pet furniture that will not warp, crack, or split. It also resists moisture and is maintenance free. Serves as an end table as well.

This modern piece, the Pet Crate End Table, is a multi-purpose pet and human furniture item. It works as an end table as well as a cosy crate for a pet. Its door has stainless steel spindles and it includes a front latch. I saw this in a fellow interior designer's small home and fell in love with it. It can be painted to coordinate with other interior furnishings.


 3. Cat Scratcher Lounge and Bed

This elegant and trendy cat lounge offers your cat both the ease of scratching and the smooth comfort of lounging, all in one.

The Ultimate Cat Lounge and Bed is also a cat scratcher. Your pet will love this sleek furniture, just as well as you will because it is actually a decorative piece as well. It has a trendy and sophisticated design that will complement any modern style home decor.


4. Premier Cat Tree

Elegant cat furniture is intended for smaller cats. It will fit into most decor themes and you can also choose a colour that 'll complement your home decor.

This chic Cat Scratch Post and Sleep pet furniture is perfect for the scratching and sleeping needs of cats. It is stable (tough wood skeleton)  and highly durable, and the 'scratching' material is sisal and it is covered in soft and plush carpet.


5. Hooded Dog Chaise Lounge

 You and your family can enjoy a relaxing time in the sun while your dog relaxes in a cool shade, lying on a stylish bed constructed of durable waterproof poly rattan.

You must agree with me that this outdoor hooded dog chaise lounge is an aesthetically pleasing chaise for your dog to use outdoors on the porch, on a deck, by the poolside, or in the garden.


6. Bambu Cross Pet Hammock
This hammock style bed combines clean lines with a unique sleeping surface and is one of most sought-after designs of pet furniture.

The Bambu Cross Pet Hammock has a unique comfortable surface that responds to a pet's body weight. This quality helps to relieve many of the pressure points that create discomfort and often lead to arthritis in dogs and cats.


 7. Ultra Plush Dog Sofa

An ultra-posh dog furniture with a storage compartment to hold doggie fun toys. It is raised from the floor and has a removable seat. Easy to clean piece.

This large-sized ultra plush dog sofa comes in beige and grey colours. It's perfect for a set up in your pet zone and will compliment your interior brilliantly. It will work well in both contemporary and traditional settings. It's a good size for both small and medium-sized dogs, up to 50lbs.


Show Off You and Your Pet's Style


If you own a pet, you can show off your personal style by carefully creating pet home zone that blends perfectly with your style of living.  Let your pets understand that this item of furniture is theirs and this particular space or zone is theirs to relax, play, or sleep in.

And remember, if you are looking for a great gift idea for your pet(s),  pet furniture is a wonderful one.


Further Reading:
Décor Gifts You Can Give Interior Designers (Less Than $200)
How to Create Zones Within a Room

Décor Gifts You Can Give Interior Designers (Less Than $200)

It’s gift giving time and you’ve made up your list or it's someone's birthday and you need some idea of what best gift to buy. It's probably a gift for someone that's special or important to you but you don't know what he or she will love.

There must be a couple of kind of people (or so) that you are never sure what to get them, like your interior design consultant, colleague, interior designer spouse, a house-proud friend, a family member that's a decorator, or even yourself if you are in a similar profession.

Don’t think because these creative geniuses are choosy and have a sharp eye for details means they won’t appreciate simple but unique things that won’t cost you more than $200. As long as the gift is unusual, different, and has a creative touch, it is certain they'll love your specially chosen gift.

Gift Ideas for an Interior Designer That's Under $200 


If you need some gift ideas of special presents you can give an interior designer for a celebration, a holiday, or a ‘thank you gift for a job well done’, here are a few that even I, as an interior designer, will love to have.

1. Laminated Corner Wall Mount Shelf

An ideal accent for any interior space, this decorative corner shelf is great to display decor items, photos, awards, tiny potted plants, videos and CD's, and more.

Coming in white, grey, brown, and black, this stylish but simple Laminated Corner Wall Mount Shelf will make a great gift and can be installed on any corner wall of the home. Its modern clean lines will fit into almost any interior decor style.


2. Mother of Pearl Inlay Table Lamps

A beautiful gift idea that creative people will love. It will add a hint of elegance to the living room or bedroom. Also great to place on a console in a hallway

Any interior designer will certainly find a place in her home to use these Mother of Pearl Inlay Lamps. She will proudly display these beautiful pear-shaped pairs of table lamps (yes! 2 table lamps). The table lamps reflect light from its bulb, creating a beautiful shimmer that'll give a warm and inviting ambience in whichever room the gift recipient places these lamps in.


3. Robertson Desk Lamp

An industrial style adjustable desk lamp (can also be used as a side table lamp) comes in an oil-rubbed bronze finish. It features a pulley-style design.

Still, on lamps, this exotic Robertson desk lamp is so vintage-inspired with an industrial flair.  I must say it is a showpiece on its own, worthy to be called a conversation piece. This brilliant gift idea for any home decorator will light up any desk with style.


4. High Heel Storage Side Chair

Durable and sturdy, this storage chair/ottoman is a dream choice of gift for those who love the unusual. Its signature neutral print also makes it a classic.

The high heel storage chair is an unusual piece that will fit in will fit perfectly in any living room style and decor. With its classic motif print, it serves as an ottoman, side chair, and functions as a storage unit as well.  


5. Laurent Oval Wall Clock

A modern version of an antique style wall clock that will serve more as a decorative centrepiece in virtually any room in the house than as a piece that just tells the time. Crafted to resemble an antique pocket watch.

The Laurent oval wall clock tells more than just the time. It also serves as a decorative piece of art that will go very well with both modern and traditional style of interiors. This out-of-the-ordinary gift idea has a romantic appeal with its 'aged' face, Roman numeral numbering, and the classic French handwriting. A great gift for antique and vintage enthusiasts.


6. Zen Mini Garden

The indoor Zen bamboo garden is a tabletop decor item that stands at over two feet wide and about two feet tall. An authentic oriental decor, it brings a sense of tranquillity into any interior space. You can add your own bamboo plants and display the item on an accent table or a special display stand.
Figurines, sculptures, and other tabletop decorations like the Zen Mini Garden, Greek Spartan Helmet Sculpture, and Spiral Stairs Sculpture are smart accent décor. Every interior designer knows that using some of these smaller but statement touches help to set the stage for the entire design concept of any room in the entire house. 


7. Tabletop Water Fountain with Light

This tabletop water fountain will bring elegance and tranquillity to any designer's home. Its slate stone attachment, halogen accent light, and polished river rocks draw extra attention to this beautiful water feature.
The Moonshadow Tabletop Fountain is a handcrafted water feature that's small enough to fit on any table surface but still large enough to attract the attention of a selective eye. The soothing sounds of flowing water will certainly relax and captivate anyone in the room.


Further Reading: 
How to Develop an Interior Design Concept
Decorate Your Bedroom Walls with Mood Enhancing Decals  


8. Teak Wood Floor Vase

Floor vase that's uniquely structured with raw teak wood. A great gift for interior designers that have an eye for the unusual and exotic.

One great gift idea that's rustic and organic inspired is the natural Teak Wood Floor Vase stylishly created with teak tree burls (the hard woody protuberance that forms on tree trunks or branches) and structured into a unique urn shaped form. I have always loved the twisted wood grain found in most burls. Burls are highly valued and sought after by artists, furniture makers, and sculptors. 


9. Wood/Metal Triangle End Table

A stylist accent table with an iron triangular prism frame and an inverted-pyramid-shaped top made of mixed ash tree wood, pear wood and high density board.

This piece is a modern and stylish table that will fit into any contemporary interior decor style. The wood and metal combo Triangle End Table is made of an iron triangular prism frame with a pyramid-shaped wood surface. This delightful gift idea will be a must-have for most interior designers.
 


Is It Wise (or not) to Use Marble for Kitchen Countertops?

As a kitchen countertop, marble is really very attractive. With its beautiful sheen and characteristic veins, marble worktops have been the first choice of many homeowners. Some believe it is even more appealing than granite and slate.

Kitchen cabinets with marble countertop. Notice its lustre and beauty, but how long will this retain that shine?

There is no doubt that marble possesses a classy timeless look, asides the fact that it is sturdy, heat resistant, and easy to clean, just like granite, but its life-span is shorter. Not only that.  With time, marble gets pitted and scratched as it ages, not so with granite or quartz.

Also, because marble is porous, it retains stains if it's not carefully managed. For instance, if you accidentally spill some red wine on a marble countertop, if it’s not cleaned off within some minutes, the wine will gradually seep through (marble is porous) and become stained. This stain cannot be removed entirely.

Same will happen if you spill something like turmeric drink or beet juice. The stain becomes hardset if it's left on the counter surface for more than ten minutes. And because of marble stone's porosity, it can become a breeding surface for bacteria and salmonella if say, you cut and prepare foods like meat and fish directly on its surface and not clean it up thoroughly after.

Related: Top 5 Materials for Kitchen Worktops

Having said all this, marble is still a great natural stone material for your kitchen countertop and with good maintenance and extra care, it can last for quite a long while. It may not retain its initial glossy looks after a couple of years or so, but you can always have it re-sealed/re-glazed if the dullness bothers you.

It has a beautiful glazed sheen when polished, and its natural colours and hues make it a popular choice of solid worktops not only for kitchen worktops, but for flat surfaces and counters in hotels, clubs, and restaurants.

How to Design a Small Guest Toilet

Having a tiny guest toilet doesn't mean that it cannot be both stylish and functional.

Most guest toilets are small with some even tinier than you can ever imagine. From toilets built under the stairs to those built in close proximity to the home's entrance, these rooms which are a necessity in residential homes and apartments need special attention if they are small.

The state of your guest toilet is a reflection of who you are, yes, guests may judge you wrongly if your visitor's loo is dank, dark, and nondescript. Its state may also be an indication of what to expect of the other bathrooms in your home.

So, how do you style a tiny guest bathroom?

There are numerous ways to maximize space in your small bathroom and make it look adorable and stylish. With a little creativity and the right tricks, you can certainly achieve this.


Make the Bathroom Appear Larger


Because it's a small room, you must first find ways to make it appear larger. You can achieve this with mirrors. The mirror effect can be achieved with either silver (or gold) mirror glass tiles or mirror sheets, and if you have a tight budget, you can opt for peel and stick 'mirror' tiles.

Choose Small Scale Fixtures 


What type of fixtures works best for the interiors of tiny powder rooms? Smaller sized WC (compact toilet) and a small vanity unit. A compact toilet is not only best for small toilets, it is also water efficient too. Installing a corner sink is a good trick and so is a floating vanity. This frees up floor space and creates a visual feel of extra space. Never consider a sink with a pedestal for a tiny toilet.

Choose Compact Furniture


As there is barely room to fit in toilet furniture, install a ledge made from wood or stone (marble) above the WC.  The ledge creates provides enough space for some needed items including decorative toilet accessories and a small bowl of potpourri or bottles of scented oils and a diffuser. Alternatively, you can hang an over-the-toilet open storage to hold extra toilet paper, extra hand towels, tiny pots of cacti or other small plants, etc...

Finishes


Don't feel you need to use small-scale patterns in your tiny guest toilet. In small spaces large-scale patterns can trick the eye into seeing expanded space so even as the floor area remains the same, the bathroom will appear and feel bigger. Remember as mentioned earlier, expand the space with mirror finish. Even in the tightest spaces, having a mirror stretch across the wall instead of just the vanity area works best for tiny spaces. And if you'd rather paint the walls, use a vibrant colour that will make the room a visually pleasing space.

 Toilet Fittings


Use a wall-mounted faucet. It will not encroach on a tiny sink/vanity.  When you mount a faucet on the wall, it allows for a narrower sink or vanity which in turn frees up space in the whole room. You can try a wall-mounted faucet in traditional design as this style works all the time. Because of wall space constraints, mounting a towel bar on the door will keep a hand towel in close reach. Toilet roll holders can be free-standing or mounted close to the compact toilet bowl.


Further Reading:
Bathrooms of the Future
How to Create Zones Within a Room


Top 5 Materials for Kitchen Worktops

A beautiful and durable counter-top is the ‘crowning glory’ of a well-designed kitchen. And just as the right style of hat compliments a smart outfit, a worktop is not only an important feature of kitchen cabinetry, it's well laid out configuration is a noticeable finishing element of the entire kitchen.

In today's kitchen designs, you will find kitchen worktops made from natural materials like slate, quartz, stone, granite, marble, and hardwood. They also come in man-made materials like stainless steel, laminate, recycled glass, Corian (solid surface composite), and ceramic tiles.

Each of these countertop materials has its own distinct character, texture, and appeal. They are generally beautiful, possess unsurpassed durability, and are mostly long-lasting. So, if you feel these durable and attractive worktops are unaffordable, it good to remember that their allure and longevity are well worth the extra expense.

In 2016, kitchen designers mostly specified the following which can be described as the top five - quartz, granite, marble, Corian, and butcher's block (hardwood), in this order of preference.

Properties of the Top Five Kitchen Worktops


1. Quartz Kitchen Counters

Quartz kitchen worktops have a refined, lustrous, and polished look and a very sophisticated appearance similar to granite. A man-made version of granite, engineered quartz is incredibly hard-wearing and water resistant. With a quartz countertop, you'll get a more consistent colour and finish, unlike what you get with granite and marble. Its surface doesn’t harbour or breed bacteria, it is easy to clean, and it is stain resistant.

A quartz countertop. Notice the lustre, beauty and sophistication of this kitchen worktop. Durable and hard-wearing, quartz counters come in an immense range of colours - from pure whites to greys, deep reds, browns, mirrors and sparkles, virtually in all the colours of the rainbow.


2. Granite Worktops

Granite is the second most sought-after worktop for kitchen top surfaces. A natural stone material, it is the only material that ranks close to the perennial top choice, engineered quartz. Granite countertops come in various shades and a mix of colours which depends on the region of the world it originates from.

Because it does not breed bacteria, its hard cold surface is perfect for food preparation like rolling pastry, seasoning meat cutlets, cutting vegetables, and breadcrumb(ing). Granite kitchen countertops last almost forever.

Black granite kitchen worktop - perhaps the most beautiful type of granite tops in today's modern kitchen. It is considered stylish, elegant and powerful with regal elegance by interior and kitchen designers, no wonder that it is in such high demand.  A black granite worktop is an excellent choice for any kitchen.


3. Marble Countertops

Many homeowners that desire natural stone kitchen worktops usually opt for granite. But the price of granite countertops comes with a high price tag. In this case, marble is usually the second choice. Marble counters are more affordable than granite, quartz, or even slate and because it is 'softer' than granite (it can be crafted into any form or design - fine pestle and mortar sets, rolling pins, and pastry boards), the counter edges can be moulded, rounded, or lightly carved.

One great feature of marble - it comes in an array of colours that are hues and shades of earth tones. From white to salmon, emerald to olive brown, the beauty of the stone lies in its wonderful grains (strokes and lines) that crisscross along the slab. The downside of marble worktops is that because it is a porous stone material, it absorbs stains pretty rapidly.

White marble countertop installed on pure white kitchen cabinets. The characteristic streaks and grain of this marble showcasing gentle grey and taupe hues fit beautifully within a variety of settings, especially in smaller sized kitchens. A smart and contemporary look.


4. Solid Surface Composites - Corian Kitchen Worktops

Without doubt one of the market leaders in kitchen worktops, Corian solid surfaces are versatile and durable and can be easily repaired in the event of unsightly scratches and chips. Corian kitchen worktops are cool to touch with an elegant smooth surface that is not only non-porous and stain-free, it is also extremely hygienic because it doesn't trap bacteria and dirt. It also resists the growth of mildew and mould as its flowing seamlessness and coved backsplashes means there are no crevices to trap filth.

Corian countertops lend themselves to imaginative uses, innovative designs and enduring work surface applications and can accommodate any aesthetic, from modern (contemporary) minimalism to classic traditional kitchen designs. Worktops are available in a wide array of visually pleasing colours.


Beautiful Corian kitchen cabinet worktop and sink. Made from high-performance DuPont, this solid surface composite is available in a dazzling array of colours, forms, and styles.


5. Butcher's Block 

If you desire a ‘warm’ classic look and feel in your kitchen, something unique and exotic, butcher's block should be your choice. Formed by joining and pressure bonding staves in a vertical formation, end grain butcher's block worktops have a unique type of construction in contrast to solid wood kitchen worktops. They are extremely hardwearing and durable and its tactile surface is suitable for direct cutting and food and meat preparation.

The end grain of the worktop - which is not usually visible on a standard hardwood kitchen counter is also endowed with a unique depth to its grain pattern giving it a stunning and individual aesthetic appeal. Butcher blocks come in a variety of wood species to suit all requirements. They can be produced with two different wood types, for example, a maple and walnut mix, or a single wood type like oak butcher blocks which convey a classic, welcoming look.

Butcher's block kitchen counter surface with a unique grain pattern you'll never find in standard hardwood kitchen countertops.

Further Reading:
5 Efficient Kitchen Layouts 
10 Kitchen Remodelling Ideas
Is It Wise (or not) to Use Marble for Kitchen Countertops?