Home Front with Jenny Knight
‘Get rid of the dog’ is the first rule of house selling, to be offered by both house doctors and estate agents keen to get their teeth into a sale, says Jenny Knight.
That advice is still good – no potential buyer wants his leg rogered by Rover or to suffer the horror of coming across the cat tray. Yet while Rover and Pussy are best boarded out, there is no longer the same pressing need to hide their bedding and toys – providing they have upmarket kit.
Increasingly interior design extends to the pet accessories. The era of a blanket in the corner or a smelly wicker basket and a pile of decapitated furry toys is so non-U. Nowadays Rover can expect his very own stylish sofa while Pussy will recline in a perfectly designed ball cat bed – for example one from LOVEThEDESIGN priced at £146.
Chelsea Dogs does a range of Dog Chesterfields in leather, tweed or faux leather, or crushed velvet priced from £199 to £420.
King the Rottweiler, the most admired dog on Wandsworth Common, reclines on his very own leather two seater – although his dad admits it did see service as a human sofa before it was passed to King.
Housebuilders are joining in the drive to accommodate posh pets in the most tasteful way.
John Pope, Director of the luxury house builder, Octagon’s Bespoke division, says: “We installed a Cape Cod style dog house in the garden of one of our large family homes in George’s Hill Estate in Weybridge, known for its expensive plots and golf courses. We wanted to offer something special to appeal to prospective purchasers. The dog house created a great talking point and added a touch of playfulness to the garden.
“A few years ago, Octagon built a large family home for a client in Surrey who had two large Bernese mountain dogs. We had a fantastic Wendy House built for their children. Due to the sheer size of their beloved pets, and their children being so small, the couple wanted to ensure both could enjoy the garden safely without destroying any of the planting. We constructed a purpose-built ‘dog zone’ – a wire fenced run circumnavigated the garden hidden behind a row of laurels so it couldn’t be seen from the house. This linked directly into a large foyer at the rear of the house which led into the utility room which was where the dogs’ beds were located. It was around a 1/2 acre circuit, so the dogs got plenty of exercise running back and forth.
“We even installed an indoor, split-level dog shower for a client. The smaller dog sits on the top level of the shower, whilst the larger dog uses the lower level so they could both be washed at the same time.”