Bunny Williams Creates Pet-Friendly Homes: An Interview With Design Chic
Pets are some of the most important members of our families. No one knows that more than 2015 Southern Living Show House designer and animal lover Bunny Williams. This fabulous decorator does everything she can to make her rescue dogs feel at home in her perfectly choreographed space. But being big on animal-friendly details doesn't mean skimping on style! Read on for our interview with Bunny Williams about creating a home that welcomes all the four-legged friends in our lives in luxury.
Design Chic: Are there any chic pet-related items that you recommend for homeowners?
Bunny Williams: I always put dog beds in the rooms I spend the most time in. Wally Bed makes attractive fake leopard ones. Always keep an assortment of throws to wrap around the cushions of a chair or sofa. This will protect the upholstery and the throws can be removed and cleaned with ease. And, since I like to find interesting water bowls to put near every door of a house. I recently designed one for Ballard with an Asian flare that has a pattern in the bottom of the bowl, as the bowl will be most often seen from above.
Design Chic: What choices do you look at differently when designing for families with pets?
Bunny Williams: Mudrooms and laundry rooms are often afterthoughts. I actually think they are some of the most important spaces, especially in a family home with pets. They will be used on a daily basis! If you can make these spaces really work, the rest of your home will be much happier for it.
Design Chic: What are your favorite flooring choices for a pet-friendly home?
Bunny Williams: While I love the look of sisal carpeting, it's not good for homes with pets – the fiber is very absorbent and will hold stains. Seagrass is a natural alternative that is more forgiving. But, the best options are PET rugs, like the indoor/outdoor rugs I designed for Dash & Albert, which are hoseable and scrubbable. I've put them throughout my homes.
Design Chic: What fabrics do you recommend for families with pets?
Bunny Williams: We are so lucky that there have been so many advances in performance fabrics. Stain resistant indoor/outdoor fabrics and rugs used to feel stiff and scratchy – not true anymore. I recommend using these in homes with pets and young children.
Design Chic: How do you incorporate pet items into the home?
Bunny Williams: Keep pet items organized. Food should be stored in galvanized stainless steel containers with tight lids, hang leashes on hooks near the door, and store dog toys in large baskets.
Design Chic: Do you suggest keeping pets confined to certain areas of the home?
Bunny Williams: Our dogs have the run of the house, but I'm aware that not everyone might want to live that way. We have friends who built pens with gates, each with a plush dog bed in it, under their counter in their mudroom – this is a chic solution that the dogs just love.
Thanks so much to Bunny Williams for these wonderful tips on creating a space perfect for every member of the family!
For more advice from this fabulous designer, check out the video below: