Holiday Gifts For Pet Parents

Hi everyone its me Turbo!  Well, it’s December and that means us furbabies need to think about what to get our parents for Christmas.  My brother and sisters and I have been discussing it and we think we have come up with some purr worthy ideas that might help you choose just the right gift for your mom and dad.

I decided that since my parents are building our new custom home that I should get them something mew-valous.  I believe that a feline inspired kitchen would be the cat’s meow, so after a lot of searching I found the purr-fect gift. I am getting them a set of four wall tiles from www.petloversgallery.com.  Each tile is 4”x4” and features a cat with wine.  These tiles can be incorporated into the field tile in the backsplash and the look will be to die fur.

Artistic Wall Tiles

My brother Timba has been spending time looking at photos of paw-inspiring pads and he has decided on a ceramic sculpture by Carole L. Fleischman titled Tweezle & Tweets  that is just cat chic.  He showed it to me and of course I give it two paws up.  It is colorful, subjective art that will have the neighbors talking. You can see this and other sculptures at www.friedcats.com.

Tweezle & Tweets Cat Sculpture

My sister Taji has chosen a furbulous contemporary painting by Gail Gable to enhance the master bedroom.  Gail’s work can be purchased at www.oklkjuzazzle.com.  This paw-some piece of art is going to make the room pop.  Have you figured out yet that my parents are crazy cat people? LOL

Abstract Cat Art

My sister Keiko, the glamor-puss, is on a feline fashion craze.  Over a catpuccino yesterday she told me she was getting mom and dad clothes for Christmas.  I thought this was some kind of meow-out-loud-humor but she was serious.  She chose a wildfox couture, white label, cat face lennon sweater for mom available at www.80spurple.com.  I have to admit it is very cat chic and mom will look hot.  Dad is a little more casual so she chose a Real Men Love Cats T-shirt.  This shirt is available at www.etsy.com.  She needs to get on the yarn ball though because if she does not get them ordered they will not make it in time for Christmas.

Stylish Cat Sweater

Real Men Love Cats Shirt

That takes care of my parents, but I thought I better check in with my cousin Snickers (He is a wiener dog) to see what he is getting his dad.  Can you believe he gave me these puppy dog eyes and said he had not thought about it yet.  So I threw him a bone and gave him some ideas.  I suggested clothes, but then I remembered that Snickers is no style hound and that I better come up with something else.  Then I found a great dachshund menorah by Jonathan Adler.  It was perfect until we remembered his dad is not Jewish.  Then we found the perfect present. A Pair-a-Doxies Dachshund Pillow Cases available at www.etsy.com.  Snickers was so excited these will really jazz up his dad’s bedroom.

Dachshund Pillow Cases

Another great gift idea is adopting another pet at your local Human Society or at The Haven in Fairhope, Alabama.  This way you get a brother or sister and they get a furever home.  You can also donate in your parents names at the local human societies or at The Haven at www.havenforanimals.org.

The Haven

Well, now that I am finished with my blog, I need to concentrate on staying on the nice list until Christmas.  Mom says if I am on the naughty list Santa Paws will not bring me any toys. OMG, I thought I was going to cross the rainbow bridge when mom said that.

So until next time Meowy Christmas to all and to all a goodnight .

 

Love Turbo

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fall Decorating

Hi everyone it’s me Turbo!  It has been a while, but I am back to doing what I do best, writing my blog.  (Fooled ya didn’t I?  You thought I was going to say teasing my brother and sisters.)  Since it is fall and we are thinking about Thanksgiving, I thought I would talk about pet friendly decorating and designing for fall.

When I think of decorating for fall I think of a very earthy color pallet.  For example, shades of browns, golds, greens, reds and oranges.

A new area rug can bring a whole new perspective to a room. (Or if your parents don’t want to spend the money right now us furbabies can help.  Just poop or pee on the old rug and bring in some brown and gold tones.) Just make sure that you look for something that does not attract fur and can be easily cleaned when we have an accident or hock up a hairball.

Earth Tone Area Rug

Accent pillows can be another great way to bring fall indoors and make a room pop.  Think about pillows made out of Crypton fabric.  Crypton is durable and pet friendly.  It also comes in cool designs us furbabies like. (Thank goodness for a fall color pallet or my sisters would want pink. YUCK!)

Accent Pillow

How about some fun new paintings in fall colors like the one below by Jean Wyclef.  Now, if left totally up to me I would have a self portrait on the wall so everyone would know what royalty looks like. (My mom would say a royal pain in the butt!)

Pet Theamed Artwork

Wether you freshen up a room with a coat of paint or implement a new piece of furniture, some fun rugs and accessories, fall is a fun time to redecorate.  Keeping your theme pet friendly and pet related will make you the envy of pet parents everywhere.

I also want all my furry friends and family to be safe and healthy this Thanksgiving. So I am going to talk about ways pet parents can protect their furbabies from the dangers that the holiday may bring.

If you must decorate with candles, use unlit candles or battery operated candles. (I love to play with fire.  I would love to light a fire under my sister Taji’s butt.  She is lazy and won’t play with me.)

Hide breakables.  If you are thinking about bringing out treasured items and good china, remember us furbabies don’t know the value of these items and we will probably break them. (He He He! Or in my case I will break them.)

Be very careful of plants that are toxic to us furbabies.  Some of these plants include lilies, poinsettias, holly and mistletoe.  If you are going to decorate with live plants look up or ask our veterinarian what is safe.

Do not let us have raw or uncooked turkey.  Make sure it is boneless and well cooked, otherwise it may contain salmonella bacteria.  A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potatoes or even a lick of pumpkin pie should not hurt us.  However, pet parents should not let us overindulge, as this could cause stomach upset, diarrhea or pancreatitis.  The best thing for everyone concerned is for us to stay on our regular diet.  If you feed us first we won’t bother you as much during dinner. (NOT!)

Give Me The Bird And No One Gets Hurt!

Do not give us furbabies raw bread dough.  When raw bread dough is ingested, our body heat causes the dough to rise.  This causes our stomach to expand causing vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could be life threatening and require surgery. (And for those who know me, I don’t do surgery or anesthesia well.  It takes me days to recover and mom says I turn evil!)

Certain foods are toxic to us cats and should be avoided at all times.  For example onions and spices that can be found in gravy and other dishes.  If you would like to give your cat dessert, a teaspoon or two of canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix, would be ok.  Onions eaten by dogs can lead to anemia.

Sometimes us furbabies feel neglected when visitors come. Pet parents should set ahead time before hand to spend with us. Let’s not pussyfoot around, some of us love visitors and some of us don’t.  For those of us who don’t, you should set aside a safe room for us with food, water, etc.

Do not give furbabies cooked bones.  They can splinter and cause tears or obstruction to the digestive tract. (What a catastrophe!)

Grapes and raisin toxins can cause kidney failure. (Doggone it I am in enough trouble for peeing on things as it is.)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Ingesting chocolate, caffeine and alcohol is toxic to us. (Someone should tell that to my sister Keiko, she is an alcoholic.)

The most obvious place us furbabies will stake out is the kitchen. (It’s my favorite place because I can run across the top of the cabinets.) While pet parents are working away creating a culinary masterpiece, we are waiting for you to look away so we can chow down! (I just leap off the cabinet and land in the middle of the food!)  To prevent us from jumping up on your counters and stealing your perfectly roasted turkey, line your counters with a ScatMat. When us furbabies paws touch the mat we’ll receive a slight static pulse and jump down.

Moms and Dads should be thankful for us furbabies.  We give companionship, endless entertainment, and unconditional love.  Enjoy the fall season with us furbabies.  Nothing beats walking through the leaves together or running through tree lined streets in the crisp air or of course my favorite, taking a ride in the catvertible with the top down.Well, time to go.  I have to keep getting ready for Thanksgiving and I really need a catpuccino.

So until next time, be thankful that the best things in life are furry! 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mardi Gras

Hi everyone it’s me Turbo! Well this time of the year is Mardi Gras here on the gulf coast or for us furbabies Mardi Paws. I am so excited about the parties, balls and parades my krewe and I are busy getting our costumes ready and sewing up the de-tails.

I asked my mom all about Mardi Gras and she said Mardi Gras refers to Fat Tuesday, the final day of revelry before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. The date changes every year because it’s connected to Easter, which can fall on any Sunday between March 23 and April 25. Mardi Gras is scheduled to be 47 days before Easter. All I know is that I have to get my pawtying in before lent because mom says we have to give something up for lent. Let me tell you I have a bone to pick with her, I offered to give up picking up my toys and she said no. The first Mardi Gras parade was held in New Orleans on February 24, 1857 by the Krewe of Comus. They began the tradition of presenting a parade with floats and following it with a ball or furball in my case, for the krewe and their guests.  Rex, the King of Carnival, selected the Mardi Gras colors and assigned meaning to them in 1892.  Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. By law float riders must always have a mask on. On Fat Tuesday, masking is legal for everyone else, and the elaborate masks that some wear add to the fun. Don’t they know curiosity killed the cat. The tradition of float riders throwing trinkets to the crowds began in the 1870′s, and still continues today. Typical throws include beads, cups, doubloons, and stuffed animals. Oooo the pawsabilities.

I thought it would be fun to decorate a room in purple, green and gold to help celebrate the Mardi Gras season and brighten things up for spring. My couisin Snickers, he’s a wiener dog, suggested a cool fleece bed in purple and green.

I decided that the walls should be done in a nice gold color so I started peeing on them.   Boy was that a bad move…..my mom is hopping mad.

My sisters, Keiko and Taji thought some contemporary green covered cat bowls with ceramic cats on top would add to the festive feel.

My brother Timba thought a goldfish cat tunnel would be a fantastic addition to the room.

Well I am off to join the pet set for Mardi Paws……

Until next time remember the best things in life are furry.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our New Home

Hi! Everyone it’s me Turbo!  Well I thought it was about time to grab a catpucino and fill you in on what we have been up to.  Our Pride has moved to Pensacola, Florida. We have not been pussy footing around, we have been busy getting Lap of Luxry Interiors established here.  As CFO I feel that the pawsabilities are endless so of course I will be trying to educate the pet parents in this area on the creature comforts needed by most furbabies.  My mom will be busy designing and implimenting these pet friendly spaces.

We will be offering our services in the Northwest Florida and the Southeast Alabama areas encompassing Pensacola, Milton, Perdido Key, Pace, Brent, Cantonement, Gulf Breeze, Navare, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Foley, Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort and Mobile.

The beachs and the beautiful Gulf Coast have given us a new leash on life.  I give this area two paws up!  My friend Foxy has a catamaran that we will be sailing up to Mobile Bay this weekend.  My mom just hopes there are no catastrophes.  It is great to be a part of the pet set.

Until next time remember the best things in life are furry.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Outdoor Living

Hi! Everyone it’s me Turbo!  Well I am really in the dog house this week.  I rubbed my mom’s fur the wrong way.  Timba and I were playing and when I got tired I hopped up in bed and cuddled up to my mom.  Everything was good until Timba tried to come over by us, he just didn’t understand it was my time with mom so I hissed at him.  He did not get the message.  He was barking up the wrong tree, and of course I had to get my point across, so I backed up to mom and marked (peed on) her so that he would know she was mine and it was my time. Well that turned into a catastrophe. Mom had to shower and strip the bed and I got kicked out of the bedroom.  Okay now on to this weeks topic.

Click on photos for more information.

Since we are coming up on the Dog Days of Summer I thought we would talk about outdoor living.  Remember outdoor design is in the de…tails. Ha Ha.  When designing your outdoor living space, keep in mind it should be enjoyable for the whole family.

Swimming pools are a great idea for keeping cool and having fun. But remember furbabies are members of the family and swimming pool safety should be just as important for them as it is for children.  Often, while animals may be able to swim, they may have difficulty getting out of the pool by themselves without assistance.  A ramp allows pets and other animals a way to get out of the pool by themselves if no one is there to assist.  While dogs may need to be trained to use a ramp, most other animals are able to use it naturally.  If you are having a pool put in talk to the designer about adding a ramp or beach entry to the design.  If you have an existing pool you can look into a portable ramp such as Skamper Ramp.

Every pet owner with a swimming pool knows that whether they want their furbaby in the water or not, they will probably end up in the pool at some point, often involuntarily.  Even if under constant supervision, the unanticipated can take place.  Animals are chased or doors are left open.  Accidents can and do happen. Pool alarms are an excellent choice to alert you that your pet has entered the pool.  Flotation vests are a viable option; however, both pool alarms and vests require that the pet parent be home to help the pet get out of the pool.  The ramp will allow them to get out on their own.

In the heat of summer furbabies will get dehydrated very quickly so incorporate an outdoor drinking fountain into your design.  You can design a permanent fountain or purchase one that is electrical, or can be easily attached to a hose bib.  Whatever type you choose, make sure it provides fresh, cool water at all times.  The Contech Waterdog Automatic Pet Drinking Fountain is a good choice.  When your pet is 3 feet from the sensor the water automatically turns on.  When the pet leaves the 3 foot area the water turns off.  See link below. Another drinking fountain that adds an air of tranquility and relaxation to your outdoor space is the Dogit Design Alfresco Outdoor Drinking Fountain.  http://www.valuepetsupplies.com/pet-feeders-pet-fountains/dogit-pet-fountains/dogit-design-alfresco-outdoor-pet-drinking-fountain.html

An outdoor toy box is a good idea for storing toys when not in use.  Also consider toys that help your furbaby keep cool and hydrated during the summer such as the Hydro Bone.  The Hydro Bone is served frozen to offer cooling refreshment.  http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=22220

(Toys, oh the endless pawsabilities)

Finally make sure your furbaby has a comfortable place to rest.  There are many outdoor beds and cabanas for furbabies to enjoy that will match any decor.  Outdoor fabric companies such as Sunbrella also make pet friendly fabrics for outdoor living.

Well it’s time for me to go.  I think I am going to stay at my cousin Snicker’s (he is a wiener dog) house for a few days until mom gets over being mad.

So until next time, remember the best things in life are furry! 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pet Friendly Fabrics

Hi! It’s me Turbo and guess what?  This Sunday is mother’s day and I can’t wait, cause I have the best mom in the whole wide world.  She is the cat’s meow. Well except when she kisses me and calls me her little angel boy. YUCK.  I and my brother and sisters are working on her gift.  She is very busy so we decided to clean the house for her. We have been working like dogs. Won’t she be surprised. I just hope my sisters don’t let the cat out of the bag. Well on to business.  This week I thought we would talk about pet friendly fabrics.

I guess I got a little carried away with the cleaning!

Pet parents know that shedding, dirty paws, claws and hairballs can be very hard on fabrics and furnishings. There are many things that can help cut down on the wear and
tear such as wiping paws and drying coats when coming in from outside, bathing and brushing furbabies regularly, keeping claws trimmed and using a high quality food or hairball medicine. Regular cleaning, such as vacuuming and spot cleaning, will also extend the life of the fabric.

Certain coverings are more helpful than others.

Microfibers:  These highly durable synthetics come in many colors and are easy to care for.  Accidents can be wiped up with a sponge and soap and water.  Plus, these fabrics do not collect as much hair as others. (Speaking of accidents, I wonder what I should tell mom about the vase that I broke while I was cleaning the shelf above the T.V.?)

Slip covers:  This is a more relaxed look that can be washed or dry cleaned easily. (I love slip covers because I can crawl underneath them and it’s like a tent.)

Distressed leather:  It will get more patinaed with use.  Since it starts out distressed, you don’t have to worry about marks.  It does not collect hair or hold odors like fabric.  It is also easily cleaned with a damp cloth.  I would recommend buying a high quality leather that is thick if you have pets with claws.  If your furbabies likes to chew leather objects, don’t buy a leather couch.

Performance fabrics:  Two of the most popular performance fabrics on the market today are Sunbrella and Crypton.

http://www.sunbrella.com

 

Decorating with Sunbrella fabrics means that you can relax with kids, furbabies and even a dinner party with red wine! These fabrics are colorfast and unbelievably cleanable without sacrificing beauty or comfort. They are soft to the touch and come in hundreds of styles sure to please even the most discriminating pet friendly design guru.  Sunbrella is water and stain resistant and be cleaned with soap and water or even bleach.

Crypton pet solution fabric innovation is a true labor of love. Not only does it look great, it is strong, built-to-last and unbelievably resistant to troublesome stains, moisture, odor and bacteria. Imagine furbaby furnishings you don’t have to hide from your guests! (Of course my mom does not hide our furniture she just says if you don’t like cat hair don’t come over! LOL) Crypton pet solutions stay clean and never smell because nothing gets into a Crypton cushion. Since they are made from some of the highest quality fabric in the world, you can rest easy knowing your investment will last for years. (Unlike the drapes in our living room that I tested with my claws) With inspirations from acclaimed artist William Wegman all the way to Molly B., Crypton’s official Chief Operating Dog, who could ask for more.

http://www.cryptonfabric.com

Well I need to sign off for this week.  Timba is picking me up in the cat-veritable so we can go to the craft store to get supplies to make mom’s mother’s day card.  We are getting colored ink so we can stamp our paws on the card, and maybe we could even redecorate her bedroom with stamped pawprints.

Until next time remember the best things in life are furry. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pet Safe Paints

Hi! Everyone it’s me Turbo. I smell a rat. LOL  Ok so it is just a stuffed rat that I put in my mom’s bed to scare her. It worked too, I think I rubbed her fur the wrong way.  But as usual I am always in the doghouse. This week I want to discuss interior paints that are safe for us furbabies, our parents and the environment.  I was inspired by the fact that my mom is repainting the trim in our house.

Is your home safe for your family?  According to the EPA, indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air and is considered one of the top five hazards to the health of humans and furbabies.  Paints and finishes are are among the leading causes.

Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application.  The source of these emissions is a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of paint. (If us furbabies breath in these toxins they might put us in a cat-atonic state.)

Conventional interior paint typically contains VOCs which evaporate and cause harmful fumes during paint curing. Prolonged exposure to these organic solvents can lead to kidney disease and cancer. (If that happens you might have to get a cat-scan) In addition, petroleum based paints contribute to ozone layer damage. Most paint manufacturers offer high-quality, non-toxic paints made from natural products that pose no health risks to humans, furbabies or the environment.

Things to remember when purchasing paint for for your home.

Look for an EPA registration number on paint cans. The EPA only regulates paints that contain toxic ingredients. For the same reason, stay away from paints regulated or restricted by OSHA or DOT.  (If you see and EPA registration number turn tail and run)

Understand the difference between no or low-VOC paint, and non-toxic, natural paint. Most paint companies designate certain products as low VOC or low odor, which should not be confused with a non-toxic designation. Although low VOC paints have almost no odor and are much safer than conventional interior paints, they still contain harmful chemicals and can irritate the eyes, throat, lungs and skin.  (Stop pussyfooting around and get educated)

Read paint ingredients carefully. (Otherwise you might get sick as a dog) Non-toxic interior paints contain natural, non-hazardous products like plant dyes, essential oils, milk protein, clay and resin.

Add a natural color tint. Conventionally color tints usually increase a paint’s VOC content, so purchase premixed colors or buy specially designated non-toxic color additives to achieve a desired shade. Using natural pigments can limit color choices, (a bit of a cat-ch 22) but paint manufacturers recognize and are now responding to the demand for more non-toxic paint products.

Be prepared to spend a bit more. Non-toxic paint is often more expensive than conventional paint, but remodeling your home with products safe for you, your furbabies and the environment is worth the additional cost.

I had to show you what Timba and I did to our sister Keiko! Do you think this might be a good time to run away from home? LOL

The following is a list of recommended interior paints that have no or low VOCs……..

  • Benjamin Moore Eco Spec, WB Silver Interior Latex. www.benjaminmoore.com
  • Benjamine Moore Natura. www.benjaminmoore.com
  • Sherwin Williams Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex. www.sherwin.com
  • Glidden Lifemaster. www.glidden.com
  • AFM www.afmsafecoat.com
  • BioShield Paints. www.bioshieldpaint.com
  • Devoe Paint. www.devoe.com
  • Duron Paints and Wallcoverings. (Genesis Oder-Free Products) www.duron.com
  • ICI Deluxe Paints. www.icideluxpaints.com
  • kelly Moore. www.kellymoore.com
  • Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company. www.milkpaint.co

Well I gotta sign off now, it is about time for my cat-nap and a cat-pucinno.  It’s tough living in the Lap of Luxury!

Until next time remember that the best things in life are furry.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green Design Trends

Hi! Everyone it’s me Turbo.  Can you believe that Sunday is Easter.  Things have been egg-stra fun at my house this week getting ready for easter.  I am so excited I can hardly sit still.  We colored eggs last night and what a blast.  When mom was not looking I colored my sister Keiko purple. Ha Ha Ha, so I am in trouble again. What’s new.  My brother Timba and I have been hiding my sister Taji all week because being a bob-tail lynx siamese, she looks just like a bunny.  We were afraid that someone would mistake her for the Easter Bunny.  She is a pain in my tail most of the time, but who would I tease and aggravate if she was gone.  We went up in the attic this morning and got down our Easter baskets and mine still had the green easter grass from last year in it .  So it was pawsitively a no-brainer that we should talk about green design trends this week.

Pawsitively Humiliating!

We spend about 80% of our time indoors. (Try 100% for furbabies like me) Buildings in the U.S. consume about 30% of our total energy and about 60% of our electricity annually.

Using environmentally responsible products, materials and techniques in interior design is a healthy choice for your family and the planet.  And now you don’t have to sacrifice looks while being responsible.  Interior Designers, Architects and furnishings manufacturers are committed to green design and are creating beautiful buildings and decor that leave the lightest footprint possible. (Or should I say pawprint)

Here are some of the top green design trends to look for.

Paint Choose paint that is non-toxic and contains little or no volatile organic compounds. (VOCs)  Most paint manufacturers today offer low VOC paints. (This is much better for us furbabies, especially ones that have asthma like my sister Keiko)

Floors When using hardwood flooring, use reclaimed wood.  It adds natural beauty and a touch of antique to your home.  (It also makes the floor look like it has character when we scratch it with our nails)

Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Lighting Install dimmable compact fluorescent lights, which consume up to 75% less electricity and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.  (Although I do like my spa treatments so a heat lamp is good for me)

Furniture Look for items made from repurposed materials such as reclaimed wood or recycled plastics.

Carpet Choose carpet made from recycled materials.  One out of every four recycled plastic bottles is made into carpet.  (Since it is made out of recycled plastic I wonder if it repels liquids like when I pee on it?)

Accessories Recycle old items instead of throwing them away. Give old items a fresh coat of paint.  Pair old items with fresh accessories.  For example, reupholster an old armchair or add an accent pillow.

Counters Look for those made of ceramic, sustainable bamboo or recycled glass.  Use them in both kitchens and bathrooms.

Faucets Look for faucets with the waterSense label, which can save the average household more than 500 gallons of water each year and hundreds of dollars in utility bills. (Especially at our house because my brother drinks out of the faucet all the time and forgets to turn it off)

Bedrooms Decorate your bedroom with eco-friendly bedding.  Many linens are available in organic materials and recycled yarn.

Eco-Friendly Pet Beds

Some additional things to think about might be eco friendly pest control and eco-friendly cleaning supplies for your home. (Good ideas for us sensitive furbabies)

Well I can’t concentrate anymore this week.  I have to get back to thinking about the Easter Bunny coming.  It is going to be one awesome weekend.  Saturday is a big easter egg hunt at my grandma’s house.  She hides tons of plastic eggs filled with our favorite greenie treats.  I have been racing through the house practicing how fast I can find eggs.  Then on Sunday we get up and see what the Easter Bunny brought us.  I have been dreaming of the toys.

Until next time remember the best things in life are furry.  

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More 2011 Home Design Trends

Hi!  It’s me Turbo.  Wow another pawsitivly fantastic spring day.  I drove my catvertible to work today so I could enjoy the sunshine and the wind in my fur.  What a rush.

This month we are talking about what’s the cat’s meow for 2011 in home design.  Whether you are building a custom home, remodeling an existing home or just updating an existing space, check out the trends topping the charts this year.

Smaller Homes:

New homes are still popping up in real estate markets that have stabilized but they are more modest.  We are not seeing the luxurious mansions that we saw during the housing boom.  The push is toward smaller more energy efficient homes. (with out enough room to swing a cat!).  Homeowners want more value for the dollar. (This way they have more disposable income to spend on us furbabies). Rooms are becoming more multi-functional (like being able to eat and store our toys and treats all in the kitchen) and it is more important to maximize space.  Energy-efficient windows, lighting, appliances, tank-less water heaters, low-VOC paints, stains and sealants rank high with homeowners in this economy. (A word to pet parents, make sure you leave enough space for storing valued furbaby possessions such as toys, beds, toys, cat trees, toys, blankies and did I mention toys).

My chiuaua friends Bruiser and Bailey are usually in the dog house, so they don’t feel they can downsize to anything much smaller than the house above.

Smarter Homes:

Hep cats are Integrating ecosmart technology into the home.   It’s about making our lives easier.  Controlling lighting, entertainment systems and appliances from a centralized panel. (Oh my gosh, like controlling the number of treats we get and when we get our food from one central spot with the push of a button.  LOL!  A cat can dream). It won’t be long before we will be able to control these things from our smart phones.

Universal Design:

Use an open and flexible plan which is comfortable and versatile.  A good example of this would be a kitchen that serves as a multifunctional environment incorporating gathering space, cooking area, entertaining area, dining area and working space.  Introducing Universal Design principals in your home makes it more appealing. (And for those of us furbabies who like to be the center of attention, we will be as happy as a flea in a dog house).

Work Spaces:

In this unstable economy that has gone to the dogs more people are incorporating work spaces into their homes.  More people are choosing to work at home or start a home based business. (This is purrfect for us furbabies because we get more time with our parents).

Outdoor Living Areas:

With the trend of downsizing our homes comes the idea of expanding living spaces outdoors, adding porches, decks and summer kitchens. (And to sweeten the kitty, maybe a screened in area with a cat tree or a pet lounger for us furbabies).

Additional Trends:

Additional trends we are seeing for 2011 include artistic tile in the kitchen and baths emulating organic patterns found in nature. (Hey, how about some tile with paw prints?)  Organizational features such as built-ins and storage areas throughout the home,  freestanding tubs with separate stand-up showers, ceiling details accenting rooms within open floor plans, (like maybe some catwalks), international design influence, especially Asian design, (how about a statue of a cat doing yoga), media spaces for flat screen TVs and gaming systems and living areas wired for technology.

Speaking of tubs, check out this bad to the bone pawcuzzie tub from MTI.

Remember although size is being reduced, high-end materials and finishes are in no way compromised. (Thank goodness because my sisters Taji and Keiko are a couple of real glamour pusses).

Well I gotta run because my brother Timba and I are off to see a man about a dog.

So until next time remember…the best things in life are furry. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How Color Impacts Emotions

Hi! I hope everyone had a dog-gone fantastic April Fools Day!  Mine was pawsitively spectacular.

Last week I introduced you to Pantone’s 2011 color of the year honeysuckle.  This week I want to show you Pantone’s complete spring pallet for 2011 – An Exotic Journey. Citing exotic destinations like Africa, India, Peru and Turkey as inspiration for spring 2011.  Pantone continues to satisfy our need to escape everyday challenges with intriguing color combinations that transport us to foreign lands.

Spring is the time of year that is perfect to introduce some fresh fabrics and try some new paint colors in your home.  You want your home to be welcoming from the subtle details to the overall feel.  Paint can make a radical change to the feel of a room.  Great color pulls you into a room and makes you want to stay.  It makes a house feel like a home.  Many people are afraid of color but if you choose the right colors for certain areas of your home they can have a tremendous impact on your feelings and emotions.  Make choosing colors a pet project!  Ha Ha get it pet project.  I crack myself up.

COLOR WARM UP

Red, orange, and yellow colors and their families are referred to as warm colors since they evoke images associated with heat, like fire or sunshine.  As a result they make us feel warm in a psychological sense.

Red: I associate this color with the energy I need to chase my sisters Keiko and Taji through the house and to leap from the top of the dresser onto my brother Timba.  Also the jar where my favorite treats are kept.

This powerful color has cattitude, it increases blood pressure and heart rate.  It often produces feelings of intimacy, energy and passion.  It also stimulates the appetite and is an excellent choice for dining rooms in the home.  This might not be the best choice for my furry pals who are overweight or a little on the hyper side like me.  My mom says I bounce off the walls.  LOL

Orange: I associate this color with the blown glass light fixtures hanging over our dining room table that I like to bat back and forth.  I don’t know why my mom gets so upset when they hit each other and make noise, its my favorite part?

Like red, orange warms a room but in a less dramatic and passionate way.  The mood and attitude of orange is more friendly and approachable.  Orange is a purrrfect color for living rooms and family rooms and is a good choice for children’s and furbabie’s bedrooms.

Yellow: I associate this color with a sunny place to take a catnap and the color of pee when I go around the house marking my territory.

Yellow grabs attention and catches the eye like no other color.  Just ask my mom after I am done marking my territory.  Yellow shows the way in poorly lit foyers and hallways.  Elderly people report that yellow lifts their mood and makes them feel good.  It kind of gives them a new leash on life you might say.  Highly saturated yellows can be too strong and may cause anxiety in infants, young children, furbabies and the elderly.

COLOR COOL DOWN

Blue, green, violet and their families are considered cool colors because of their references to lush landscapes and ocean vistas.  When we look at these colors they elicit feelings of peace, tranquility and relaxation.

Blue: I associate this color with my blue tunnel that I love to play in and with my mom’s blue jeans that I knock off the hangers while I am playing on the shelves in her closet.

Soothing blue is an ideal bedroom color for adults, children and furbabies.  But the same blue that lulls us to sleep suppresses our appetites, possibly because there are very few naturally blue foods.  Put blue to bed, but try to keep it out of the dining room unless you have an overweight furbaby.

Green: I associate this color with enchanted tails about the green lizards that I see outside the window.  Ooo if I could only catch one!

As the dominant color in nature, we are at home with green anywhere in the house.  Light greens work well in baths and living rooms; mid-range greens are a great accent for kitchens.  The calming effect of green makes it a real creature comfort.

Violet: I associate this color with my sisters Keiko and Taji because they think they are royalty and part of the pet set.  I think they are just a couple of prissy hairballs.

Despite the favorable response violet elicits in children and furbabies, many adults dislike purple.  Rosier shades of violet seem to be more appealing to adults.  Kid’s rooms and play areas may be good places to experiment with this color.

NEUTRALS

Brown, white, black and their color families are considered neutral colors.

Brown:  I associate this color with my sister Keiko’s points since she is a chocolate point siamese.

Browns are liked by most people in most cultures.  The influence of nature is very strong in this color family.  Browns are down to earth, warm, friendly and secure.  Although I feel anything but, secure when I look into my sister’s face.  Lighter shades are warm and serve as wonderful backdrops for home design.  Darker shades add richness and depth.

White:  I associate this color with the toilet.  It is so cool when it flushes and the water swirls and goes down the hole.  When I was a little furball, I thought it was a swimming pool.  Of course I know better now.

White lightens, expands and enlivens other colors.  It is very reflective.  Use white carefully.  A room that is too white is not comfortable for most people.

Black:  I associate this color with the neighbor cat that keeps coming in my yard.  Let me tell you I have a bone to pick with him.  Mom says that I should always put my best paw forward but not this time.  A cat’s yard is his castle!

Black makes other colors come alive and adds weight to a room.  Black is formal, elegant, powerful and ominous.  It is a wonderful accent color in all rooms, but too much black can be a problem visually.

Well I have to sign off now because I am meeting my cousin Snickers (he is a wiener dog) at the pawffee shop.  I can already taste my catnip catpuccino and I told Snickers that I would buy him a mutt mocha.

So until next time remember……..The best things in life are furry.   Love Turbo 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment