Monday, March 21, 2011

Things we love (for a home with big dogs)

It's not always easy keeping a house or apartment looking neat and organized when you share it with two dogs, especially when that apartment is only two rooms (spacious by NYC standards). Finding items that look great but can't be ruined easily are the key.

Here is a list of our favorite things:

1) Dog Haus (by ABO Gear) Tent:

This tent was a fantastic find. It comes in a small cylinder bag that unzips and there is absolutely no set-up! All you have to do is take it out of the bag, pull the string, and it pops up into place. It has a flap-door that the gives the doggies their privacy and makes them feel safe and cuddly inside.
It is a great size and fits two 50lb pit bulls comfortably. It doesn't come with anything inside, but I put Bruno's dog bed in it and it is getting much more use in the tent that under the dining table.

2) Replaceable seat cushion fabric:

If your dogs shed like ours, you know that their dog hair can ruin your nice fabrics and you need to find things that are either washable or replaceable.
I am in love with Ikea's inexpensive fabric: for four chairs you only need a couple yards, and at such a great price, you can change the fabric whenever you want to!

We went with this funky crab/under-water pattern because we love bright colors.
All you need is a screwdriver, scissors, and a stapler (heavy duty is best, but I used a regular one). First unscrew the seat cushion from the chair frame, cover with cloth, and staple in place (no need removing the original cover if you like it and want to keep it for later- the staples can be removed easily to expose the original or replace with a new fabric!)

3) Art that benefits shelter-dogs:

Etsy is full of fantastic items, craft-pieces and art-work. I chose these because they were colorful, fun, and 10% of each purchase is donated to the artist's local animal shelter.
I chose these three pieces and hung them over our dining-table.

 4) A cork board for your jewelry:
$75 mirror frame from and $5.00 cork board inserts purchased at RiteAid.

I used to be less organized about my jewelry, but since the dogs will eat anything small (and even sharp), I need to keep everything up off of table surfaces and away from Winnie & Bruno.
This is a great solution- I found this mirror frame on Etsy that I loved- unfortunately when it came to me, the mirror had been broken in shipping- so I filled the frame with thin cork-board that I found at Rite Aid, pinned up my jewelry, and voila! All of my jewelry is up off of the table away from inquisitive doggies.

5) Fake flowers

I love having flowers around, but when much of your day revolves around keeping two big goofy eating-machines well-fed and happy, you can't always care for plants. Also, some plants can be poisonous to dogs, and I didn't want to take the risk. These potted orchids did the trick- they look perfect all year 'round, look 100% realistic, and only need occasional dusting as up-keep!

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing how other people have big dogs in small spaces; though I guess my NY standards our place must be 'huge'. I like how the tent can fold up and magically disappear if you need the space.


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