How to Live Beautifully – Part II: Luxury Living with Pets?
Truth or Myth: You cannot begin to live beautifully until the perfect time (no kids, no pets, must have certain kinds of fabrics and furniture).
On Monday I shared Part I of how to live beautifully and talked mostly about creating beauty around your children. I am speaking from my own experience! I am a mom of six and I have always managed to create a beautiful, welcoming and comfortable enviornment that my whole family could enjoy. Now, onto some other small (and furry) friends and a few more great design tips and advice.
Man’s Best Friend
I once served on a panel at a design conference where the question was posed of what is the one thing that no southern home can be without to invite comfort? One panel member replied, “ a pet”. I couldn’t agree more. Many of us live with pets and that can be daunting to an interior. I say, plan around it. For furry friends who like to hang out on the sofa, simply purchase additional fabric that your sofa is covered in and have little pads made. This way the dog is comfortable and you can dry clean the pads when they become soiled. The look,however, is not compromised and your sofa always looks like a sofa. I also like to take advantage of the plethora of cute and whimsical dog products that are now in the marketplace which includes very attractive kennels, dog bowls, and custom made designer beds. At the very least all of the options out there allow you to choose pads and dog bedding that matches your color scheme.
Choose indoor/outdoor products
No other products in the marketplace have risen to such levels as seen in the indoor/outdoor category. These types of furniture and accessories are not only durable, but long-lasting and they are as beautiful (if not more!) and stylish as some of the indoor carpeting I have seen.
They can handle the extreme wear-and-tear of large family lifestyles and be used in unexpected ways inside the home. As an example, area rugs made from resilient indoor/outdoor materials are easy to maintain. You can place one under the kitchen table and when spills and stains occur, you can simply take it outside and hose it off.
Moreover, indoor/outdoor area rugs, as well as other furniture and accessories, are being designed with both form and function in mind. What used to be scratchy, stiff fabrics are now supple and pliable. Many times, I can’t even tell the difference.
Mix it up
One surefire way to make your home look and feel like a museum is to buy “sets” and “suites” of furniture. Instead, mix it up a bit to create an inviting, warm appeal.
Consider pairing an antique or heirloom piece mixed with other types of furniture to achieve this appearance. For example, in one of my home design projects, I included a plush leather chair and ottoman, complemented by a cozy upholstered couch to fashion a “homey” space. As you raise your children, you will find that your kids want their friends to be comfortable in your home. So, be eclectic; this will make your home more welcoming.
Start a collection
Starting a family collection is a great way to invite comfort into your home and is also a good way to teach young children to regard objects of importance with care.
Whatever the collection, recruit the whole family to participate, and then enjoy the process of displaying it artfully in your home. Individual collections also serve to personalize spaces. The important thing is to display the collection properly to achieve an arranged style and for your family’s enjoyment for years to come.
From pets to kids to a few ways to start creating beauty around you… the time to live beautifully is NOW! I will be sharing my “How to Live Beautifully” design idea advice all this week on the blog. My tips first appeared in The Sun News where I write a regular monthly column about southern design.