Playful Cat, Sleepy Cat

kitten sitting on table, title playful cat, sleepy cat
This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to continue to spoil my herd. If you use these links to make a purchase, you will not be charged extra and you’ll keep my pups happy! It’s a win-win for everyone, really.

I’m guessing it’s pretty obvious at this point that I’m a dog mom. And while I’ve had some great posts for both dog and cat parents (pet-friendly fabrics, reducing pet odors, and my top recommended rescues), I wanted to write something specifically for the cat parents. A resource for a recurring theme I seem to be asked about quite often. So, this blog post is for the cat moms and cat dads. And most especially, it’s for your playful cat, sleepy cat!

Please note, while I have looked at Amazon reviews and ratings of these products, I have not tested or used any items. You know your pet best, so keep that in mind when considering a purchase of any of these.

“Where can I find attractive cat condos, towers, and perches?”

I’ve seen some custom items for both dogs and cats on a variety of websites. Many gorgeous and unique designs never before seen. But, for today’s blog, I’m going to share some attractive options for your playful cat, sleepy cat from Amazon. Most of these products that I’m suggesting have Amazon Prime shipping available, which can save quite a bit in shipping and often these products ship fast! If you’re not already a member, I highly recommend signing up for a free 30 day trial here.

And, in addition to Prime, you could also earn some money back, if you order through the ebates website or app! Plus, ebates isn’t just for Amazon. If you shop online often, this site will be your best friend! Not only do you earn cash back, but it can also show you available coupons for that retailer!

Playful Cat: Cat Condos and Towers

I absolutely love the shape of this first cat tower by The Refined Feline

. The fluidity of the curves offers a sculptural element to any space. Available in 3 colors: espresso (shown below), mahogany, and smoke (my favorite!!). The lotus cat tree

stands 69″ tall and offers sisal padding for scratching, several perch options, and a hide-a-way cubby .

espresso cat tower with three perch options, curvilinear lines, a hide-a-way cubby, and sisal for scratching
A sleek, organic design, the Lotus cat tower is a modern take on cat furniture.

The next cat condo tower would be a sleek addition to any modern room. It features a solid wood leg construction for stability, sisal posts for scratching, platforms to perch on, a dangling toy to entertain, and a cozy hide-a-way cat shelter. This condo tower by CO-Z

stands at just over 57″ and has several varying height levels for your cat to move around and enjoy. The list even states that there’s plenty of room for 3-4 kitties at once!

Roomy and enjoyable, it has a large platform bed on the top level your fur babies to sit on and look out the window. On the second level there is a capacious observation deck for your kitty to enjoy the sunbath while taking a cozy nap on it. And just imagine an exquisite hideaway cat house,a shelter for nothing but a sound sleep. Multi-level design makes your feline friends feel free to jump, climb and explore around the kitty house; hanging plush ball l can be pawed at for fun.
The third option is perfect for kittens and smaller cats (less than 15 lbs). There’s a few varieties of smaller cat condos and cat trees from PetPals

that I liked, but this one seemed to have the best reviews. It’s a smaller scale option (only 23″ tall!), perfect for small spaces. Plus, the chocolate & gray color palette and the sleek & simple design will fit in many different types of styles. With two different perch options, handmade paper rope scratching posts, and a hanging toy, you’ll have a smitten kitten in no time!

This tree features 2 different plush perch styles with a top cradle perch for your cat to play or rest. Perches are supported by handmade paper rope scratching posts for your cats to dig into. The idea of the cradle is to help keep your cat snugged safely up top for their nap time. It’s also perfect for multiple cats playing hide and seek! The contemporary design of this cat tree makes it the perfect addition to your home decor! Durable and sturdy, the perfect combination of shape and function.
And one last option for your playful cat is probably the one that I find the most intriguing. This product line requires some wall space, but the ingenuity and creativity truly makes it functional art! CatastrophiCreations

has many varieties available for their Cat Mod

products with various price points. The design below incorporates hammocks, planters for cat friendly plants, and sisal poles for climbing or scratching. It also comes in several finishes including English Chestnut and Natural, as shown below.

Hand-crafted beautiful, large, and sleek design Perfect play structure to bring out the acrobat in your cat Gives cats an outlet for their climbing needs Fabric can be easily removed for washing Add a touch of the wild by adding cat friendly plants
This beautiful cat complex incorporates a large, sprawling design along with planters that can hold cat-friendly plants.
Sleepy Cat: Cat Beds

We all know that cats love to sleep, so why not give them a stylish and cozy spot! Here are two cat beds

that I think are stylish and cat friendly.

The first one that I found is a felted bed cave for cats by Meowfia

. It’s made from 100% merino wool, a proven textile for pets because it is naturally antibacterial and repels stains, odor, and dirt. The design accommodates cats and kittens either inside or on top. It is sold in several color variations, perfect for any decor. My favorite is the slate grey variation (shown below).

Each cat cave is carefully handcrafted from 100% all-natural wool by artisans in Nepal. Using an ancient fabrication technique called felting, every cat bed is individually molded using only soap, water, and pressure. Warm, cozy and durable cat bed for your lovely cat and special touch to home decor.

This next bed, the Cat Pod Bed by Hepper,

reminds me of a sleek stool or ottoman you’d include in your home! The construction includes an upholstered fabric exterior, a thick fleece liner, and a sleek base with non-skid rubber pads. This bed can be used open or closed, depending on your cat.

Grey/White Herringbone Woven Fabric Pod with Silver Steel Frame Grey Fleece / Black Microfiber Interior Liner The Pod Bed looks great in your home, and actually adds to a room’s aesthetics, rather than detracting from them

Playful Cat, Sleepy Cat: Cardboard Scratcher and Lounge

As with all pets, your cat may prefer the cardboard cat scratchers. PetFusion

has quite a few designs, but these were my top two favorites. Both are made from recycled cardboard and cornstarch glue (non-toxic); the construction ensures a last quality. The curved design makes it easier to scratch, and more comfortable to rest or play. Plus, these are reversible, allowing for even more use before needing to be fully replaced!

PetFusion's Cat Scratcher Lounge serves double duty as both a cat scratcher and lounge that promises to keep your finicky companions coming back for more. Custom made for cats who enjoy scratching, playing and lounging around. This is more than just a typical scratcher. It stimulates a cat’s natural instincts and curiosity. Available in 3 colors: slate gray (shown), walnut brown, and cloud white.Attractive design, neutral colors. Two tiered & long. Built for sharing & interactive play. Subtle curves make for easier scratching & a more comfortable place to rest & play. Two tiered & long. Built for sharing & interactive play. Subtle curves make for easier scratching & a more comfortable place to rest & play. Naturally attracts cats; holds up to 4 large cats.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Eight attractive cat items ranging from cat trees, cat condos, cat beds, and cardboard scratchers! Which is your favorite? Would these work for your cat(s)? Share in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

xoxo,

Kayla

Amazon has a variety of cat beds and cardboard scratchers. Top options to go with your everyday modern style
Amazon has a variety of cat beds and cardboard scratchers. Here are some options to go with your everyday modern style.
kitten sitting on a bed with pillows, white text and black background
Your home decor style does not have to suffer to keep your cats happy.
You dont have to give up on style to keep your cats happy. Top cat towers to go with your everyday modern style.
You don’t have to give up on style to keep your cats happy. Top cat towers to go with your everyday modern style.

10 Tips for Your New Holiday Puppy!

if you're a new puppy owner, here are 10 tips just for you!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to feed my hounds, if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep my pups happy! So, it’s a win for everyone, really.

“It takes a village.” This quote is usually associated with raising kids, but it absolutely applies to raising a puppy too. Raising a puppy can be exhausting and tough, and you don’t have to do it alone! I highly suggest that you create your own village, which may include a trainer, veterinarian, and family or friends. Be selective in building your village, though, as too many cooks may cause overwhelm rather than stability.

And, you won’t need any help with the overwhelm. Trust me. There will be times when you’re ready to just give up! However, with the help of these tips and your established village, I know you’ll be breathing easier already.

black and white image of puppy with a bow tie yawning. 10 tips for your new holiday puppy
10 tips from the pros on what to do after you bring your new puppy home!
You’re the parent

While you may not know everything about raising your new furbaby, trust your gut when it comes to building your village. If you’re not feeling great about a situation, get a second or third opinion. You don’t have to settle, just because someone was referred to you or they are closest to you. You want to find someone easy to talk to and seek advice from. They should be open to and interested in hearing your fears, concerns, and want to help you. Do research on anyone you’re interested in adding to your village. Make sure their values and the way they work match yours. It’s better to find those trusted sources now, rather than settling and then scrambling when something major comes up.

Finding The perfect Veterinarian

I asked Sarah Bason DVM, a small animal vet and small human mom in Prescott, Arizona, for her tips on locating the right veterinarian for your family. “You’ve got your dog, now you’ve got to find your Dogtor! Ask fellow dog owners who they use for medical care and why – you want to find a veterinary practice that fits with your needs. Consider their hours (are they open on weekends if you need them), their services (do they offer boarding or grooming), and mostly their approach to medicine. Some of this can be gleaned from their website, but don’t be shy to ask for a tour if you’re considering a couple of different practices. We love touring clients around because we’re proud of what we do!”

scheduling with your veterinarian

According to Sarah Bason DVM “Your puppy should have its first wellness visit within 48 hours after it comes home. This allows your veterinarian to identify any issues, gives the staff a chance to meet and snuggle your puppy and give them lots of treats so that they love us, and set up a vaccine schedule. Expect your pup to come in for vaccinations every 3-4 weeks until they are around 5 months old, for full protection against all the nasty diseases out there. Until that series is finished, I always tell people to keep pups in arms only in public places.”

Research your new puppy’s breed
Dogs are bred for specific “jobs” and it’s important to know what that job may be to best understand who your new puppy is. As Teresa Hanula, a DC Metro area dog trainer and owner of A Dog’s World Training & Pet Care, Inc., shares “dogs are all bred to have a certain job. And, when they become our pets, sometimes we forget that they have needs too! A Spaniel with no birds to hunt, a Labrador with nothing to retrieve and a Border Collie with no sheep to herd can find themselves their own hobbies, which typically end up being hobbies that we, as pet owners, don’t agree with!”
puppy on leash in a wooded area on a trail. does your puppy have a job?
Giving your puppy a job can keep them from being bored!
Give Your Puppy a Job
Did you know unemployment is the major cause for undesired puppy behavior?! But there’s a solution, according to Teresa Hanula! “Have your puppy earn all of this food and attention. Food is the money of the dog world and shouldn’t be given out for free. Have your pup learn behaviors like watch me, sit or down. Set up fun food trails for them to seek out and hunt their food. Hand feed them so they develop positive associations to men/women, training and hands! Slow bowl feeders and Kongs are wonderful tools to stuff and have your dog work on that puzzle! So many opportunities for work that there should be no need for dog employment furloughs!”
Food absolutely matters
I’ve mentioned this key piece of advice in regards to raising a senior dog, so it makes sense that it matters for your puppy, too. Sarah Bason DVM agrees and gave thoughts on how to choose the right puppy food for your furbaby. “Please choose a puppy food that is appropriate for your little buddy’s adult size, and choose a high quality brand that has undergone feeding trials. Your Great Dane should be eating a giant breed puppy food, your German Shepherd a large breed puppy food, and your Beagle or Chihuahua a regular puppy food. If you adopted a mixed breed puppy, your vet should be able to help you determine based on the puppy’s current size, just what you’re going to be dealing with, size-wise as an adult (but we don’t guarantee it!). Puppies should be fed at least twice daily, and should be encouraged to eat slowly – sometimes hand feeding for the first couple of weeks when you have time can help with this.” And, those same slow feeding bowls mentioned earlier would also be beneficial here, too!
Toys and Treats Aplenty
Just like with food, a puppy’s treats and toys matter, so how do you know what to look for? As Sarah Bason DVM says: “Everyone wants to give puppies snacks – it’s human nature and they love them! A soft, low calorie, breakable treat is best for puppies during training, because your puppy is going to be a good dog 1000 times per day and you want to be able to reward them without also overfeeding them. For chewing toys, the main risk is the fracture of those sharp little delicate baby teeth or the potential for ingestion of part of the treat. Stick with the firm rubber balls and toys, especially if they are able to be stuffed with smaller treats to keep puppy busy. Stay away from rawhide chews and actual bones or antlers. The rule of thumb is that if it hurts when you hit it directly across your knee, it’s not safe for your puppy, or adult dog’s teeth.”
Day to Day Schedules
Figure out the household’s schedule and how does it apply to your puppy. Do you need to hire someone to come in during the day (once or twice) to maintain scheduled outdoor visits? Do you have a safe space for the puppy to stay while you’re out (or even when you’re home)? Talk with your village members to see what is going to be best for your four-legged family member and your specific situation. Puppies (and many dogs) do well on a fixed schedule. Make sure whoever helps with your puppy is willing to maintain specific training, too.
Get your home ready

Have you puppy-proofed your home? It’s a very critical step as your puppy becomes curious. As with babies and toddlers, you’ll need to make sure your house promotes a safe environment for your puppy to grow in. Puppies will want to put everything in their mouths. Make sure you are putting away things that could harm them (cords, chemicals, and shoes are just a few things). Find toys and items safe for puppies to play with. Work with them to learn the appropriate things that are theirs vs items that aren’t.

Positive reinforcement: best for you and your puppy

I’m most definitely an advocate for positive training methods. They have worked very well with my own dogs and friends’ dogs. Studies have shown that this training style is better for the human and dog bond, especially for the animal’s welfare. You can learn more about the style and psychology around positive reinforcement training here. Teresa Hanula is a positive reinforcement trainer in the DC metro area with a variety of training services, including puppy kindergarten where she introduces positive reinforcement training.

Final thoughts

First, I want to send a huge thank you out to our two pros, Teresa and Sarah! Second, I really hope these tips will give you peace of mind and confidence in raising your new furbaby. And, finally, I just have one last piece of advice to add. There may be times when you’re questioning everything, but just remember: you’ve got this!

xoxo,

Kayla

Did you get a new puppy for Christmas? These tips from the pros are perfect for the new dog dad or dog mom!
four images of different puppies; if you got a new holiday puppy, then these tips are for you!
If you have a new puppy, these 10 tips from the pros are for you!!

Purchase Proposal Basics and FAQ

Table top with ipad, coffee in a mug, and graph paper with pencil.

During the design process, I may suggest a variety of products for your project. Once the design phase is completed and you have selected the products for your project, purchasing begins. There may be some items that you can purchase directly, which I will coordinate with you ahead of time. But, there may also be items that I will be purchasing on your behalf. For each item purchased through Homeward Hound Interiors, I will send you a Purchase Proposal.

While I strive to provide you the most accurate costs involved for each purchase, there are some things that are out of my control that may develop. Keep reading to learn more about the basics of Purchase Proposals!

So, what is a purchase proposal?

Purchase Proposals show the cost(s) of the item(s) you’re purchasing through Homeward Hound Interiors. If you are purchasing a sofa, your sofa purchase proposal will most likely include a few itemized products and costs. These most likely will include the fabric(s) to be used, the cost of sofa frame and construction, estimated freight/shipping charges, delivery fees, and possibly rush fees. There may also be some unknown fees that come into play with your purchases: unforeseen or additional labor charges, insurance needs, and storage fees. If you have specific questions on how these may affect your project, please let me know.

Shipping/Freight:

Shipping or freight is largely calculated by weight & distance.  If the vendor is unsure of how much the package will weigh until its packed up and ready to ship to you, shipping will usually be billed later.  I try my best to provide an accurate estimate for shipping or freight, however, there are times this is out of my control.

Storage:

Together, we will determine the best route on getting your new additions into your home. This could mean waiting until all pieces of the project are ready for install to give you that HGTV style big reveal. Or, it could mean smaller, more frequent deliveries. With either decision, there’s bound to be storage fees associated with your project. Also, a delays from weather or other vendors may also cause storage fees. Typically, this will be billed immediately after I receive an invoice from the storage facility. And, many facilities have a grace period before storage fees start accumulating.

Insurance:

It’s important to have insurance and to check with your insurance company to see what your policy includes for any projects you’ll be starting. While many things may be covered and be the responsibility of those you hire, you (the homeowner), may also be responsible and held liable. It’s best to be prepared and informed, just in case.

Unforeseen or Unexpected labor: 

While I try my best to make sure that I give the most accurate numbers and information to you on a purchase proposal, there’s always a chance that something unexpected or unforeseen may come into play. Things do come up and your understanding and cooperation is key.

Expected labor:

Vendors may not know the exact time and effort involved in a specific project. Most will provide an estimate, but the actual cost of labor necessary to complete the project may not be known until work has begun.

Rush fees:

Like most other things in this world, rushing production or an order will incur a rush fee. Fees vary depending on the vendor, product, etc. I do my best to inform you what this fee will be upon receipt of the purchase proposal.

I received my Purchase Proposal, Now what?

Review the purchase proposal carefully. Ask yourself if you have any questions or concerns about what was provided. If yes, please get in touch with me ASAP so that I can discuss these with you. If you approve of the proposal and are ready to move forward, be sure to sign and submit payment to me within 3 days. I typically require payment in full to proceed with a purchase proposal to expedite the purchasing process.

Why are approvals required within 3 Days?

Often, the vendor establishes a small window of time to approve an estimate for their services or products. It may be due to scheduling, a hold on specific yardage of fabric or other materials, or a lock on the price for a custom piece, etc.

What if I’m not ready to purchase?

It’s absolutely not issue if you are not ready to purchase or if you need a little more time. I will do my best to maintain the pricing that was provided in your initial purchase proposals, however, there are items that I cannot control. Freight or shipping estimates are top items that will fluctuate the most due to fuel increases, postage increases, etc. The price of a product or the labor may also increase.

Final Thoughts

This is a living blogs and I will be updating it regularly as needed. Communication is key for a successful project. If you have specific questions on how these may affect your project, please let me know.

xoxo,

Kayla

 

New Year, New You, New Home Goals

image of mug and notebooks with pen on table, text reads: new year, new you

As we approach the new year, now is the ideal time to plan for what’s to come with 2019! Many of us have new year, new me goals that tend to focus on ourselves (body, mind, health, etc). But what if you added one more new year, new you goal that included the interiors you utilize? Especially your home and work space?

Interior Design Basics

Interior design isn’t just about aesthetics, although that is definitely a key aspect to my designs. As an interior designer, it is also my responsibility to design spaces that promote the health, safety, and well-being of those using the spaces I design. Interior design combines the art of design (aesthetics/visual beauty) with the science of design (understanding the basics of the human body and mind).

Interior Design Matters to our Health

According to the EPA, Americans spend approximately 90% of our life indoors. Our physical and emotional health is influenced by the spaces we utilize (think home, office, etc). These spaces should promote relaxation or productivity (example: bedroom or office), stimulate our body and mind in a positive way, and influence a variety of other health and wellness aspects for the people using the designed spaces.

interior design image of chair and table with green plants. text overlay says: interior design matters to our health
Interior Design matters to our physical and emotional health and is influenced by the spaces we inhabit.
Establishing Your 2019 New Year, New You, New Home Goals

Take note and make a list of how you feel in the spaces within your home and work. Are there any areas you go out of your way to avoid? Any places you head to and spend the most time in? Take a deep look into why these spaces draw you in or push you away.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, bringing nature indoors and proper lighting are part of the puzzle of creating spaces that enhance your well-being. But there are other factors, too.

De-clutter

If you feel anxious walking into a specific room or area of your home, I recommend spending time de-cluttering that space.

Designate Activity Zones

Make sure you have established areas that are specifically geared toward rest (mind, body) and various activities. Try not to have a meditation area as the same place you intend to be active.

Color Psychology

Research the colors you intend to use for each space or activity zone. Ideally, the colors being used on paint, furniture, bedding, etc. should complement the activity taking place. Example: don’t use bright or sharp colors in spaces for rest, relaxation, or sleep.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve evaluated all your spaces, think about what you need to do to change or update them. This list you have established is now your 2019 New You, New Home Health Goal list. Next, figure out which are most critical to you, and in what order they should be dealt with. Once you have that, break it down and start planning quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. By breaking it down, you are creating smaller, more obtainable goals. Making it easier to accomplish! Once you have your plan, share it below — let’s help each other be accountable!

Need or want some professional assistance? Schedule a free virtual coffee chat with me, here, to get started!

xoxo,

Kayla

image of white mug with black "begin." written on it, sitting on wood table, with warm colors. text says new year, new you, new home 2019 goals
New Year, New You, New Home 2019 Goals – Begin Now!
image of white mug with black "begin." written on it; sitting on wood table with wood chairs in background. text box says 2019 home goals.
Let’s set those 2019 home goals now!

 

Poinsettia Plant Basics – Pet Edition

If you’re like me, you’ve always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I’ve learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats! Keep reading to learn more about poinsettia plant basics and your four legged family members.

If you're like me, you've always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I've learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats!
Are poinsettias poisonous to pets?

The Truth About Your Beloved Poinsettia Plant

You may believe that poinsettia plants are deadly to cats and dogs.  But, this is unlikely. The leaves of a poinsettia plant contain a milky sap, which irritates the “tissues of the mouth and esophagus.” Ingesting the plant causes generally mild toxicity levels in dogs and cats. Reactions to these levels can include: drooling, licking lips, vomiting, and diarrhea. Skin irritation (redness, swelling, and itchiness) may also be possible. A large amount of this plant needs to be consumed to cause poisoning. Most animals won’t eat enough because of the irritation caused by the plant and sap.

Use of Pesticides and Poinsettia Plants

Your pets may become seriously ill if the plant was “treated with pesticides.” The amount ingested and the size of your pet determines the “severity of the poisoning.”  Young pups or kittens are the most at risk. If you believe your pet has consumed a plant treated with pesticides, monitor for potentially severe reactions: seizures, coma, and, possibly, death. You should also consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

play it safe

We all crave nature in our indoor environments. If you’re a die hard fan of poinsettia plants, but don’t want to worry about them with your pets, faux may be the way to go!

I attended the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival over the weekend. I fell in love with the wood flowers by D&M Wooden Flowers and Vases! One of the first items that caught my eye was a grouping of poinsettia bouquets on display. They looked so realistic and the craftsmanship was incredible!  They sell a variety of types of flowers, too. Easy to create a long lasting bouquet without the fear of harming our four-legged loved ones!

I fell in love with the wood flowers by D&M Wooden Flowers and Vases! One of the first items that caught my eye was a grouping of poinsettia bouquets on display. They looked so realistic and the craftsmanship was incredible!  They sell a variety of types of flowers, too. Easy to create a long lasting bouquet without the fear of harming our four-legged loved ones! 
Faux poinsettia flowers found at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival!

Final Thoughts

I want to remind my readers that I’m not a medical professional. And, while the research I’ve found shows that poinsettia plants aren’t poisonous, please do take care with all plants in the home. We all know how our pets act and when something is off. If you are sensing something not right, consult a veterinarian.

(I am not responsible for the health of your family/pets. Please consult a veterinarian for professional advice and guidance.)

If you're like me, you've always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I've learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats!
Poinsettias are a holiday tradition for many, but are they harmful to your four legged loved ones?

If you're like me, you've always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I've learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats!
Are poinsettias poisonous for cats?

Giving Tuesday 2018

I’m still mourning the loss of my angel Pebbles daily. I can’t believe it’s already been 16 months without her. But, since she brought so much joy to the world,  I want to celebrate the life I had with her! So, I’ve decided to participate in Giving Tuesday 2018!

I miss Pebbles daily. But, I'm determined to celebrate the life I had with her, and that includes giving back with GivingTuesday2018!
I miss Pebbles daily. But, I’m determined to celebrate the life I had with her, and that includes giving back with GivingTuesday2018!

What is Giving Tuesday?

“#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.” ~ givingtuesday.org

Giving Tuesday 2018

Homeward Hound Interiors will donate 30% of each online video consultation or “pick the designer’s brain” consultation purchased through Friday. Because of my deep love for these rescues, I will be donating to Rescue + Freedom Project, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation, and Dog World Rescue.  For more information on these three organizations, please read this recent blog post!

My Giving Tuesday 2018 offer will end on November 30, 2018 at 11:59pm Pacific. Please schedule your consultation prior to January 31, 2019. This offer makes a great gift for the dog or cat lover in your life, too. If purchased as a gift, I will provide a gift certificate and special thank you for the recipient. If you have questions, please contact me directly at kayla@hhistudio.com.

How do I sign up? What do I do next?

When you’re ready to move forward, please visit this page, and select the consultation you’d like to purchase. After that, you will need to fill out the questions and select your preferred consultation date/time. Payment is due in full and will be processed by Calendly and PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to purchase.

After you’ve paid and submitted your request, I will review, and be in touch with a questionnaire within 24 hours of purchase. Also, if you plan on gifting one of these consultations, I will also include a special thank you and gift certificate that you can print, and share with the recipient.

Thank you for your support in helping these organizations do what they do best for animals in this area, nation, and world!

xoxo,

Kayla

Kick off the 2018 charitable season with Giving Tuesday 2018. "#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving." ~ givingtuesday.org
Kick off the 2018 charitable season with Giving Tuesday 2018.

Top Dog & Cat Rescue Organizations

As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, dogs and animals mean a lot to me and are a huge part of my world. If you haven’t already, click here to meet my personal herd!  Because of that, I’m often asked about the groups or organizations that I recommend, so I’ve compiled a list for easy reference. This is a living post, meaning that I’ll continue to add and update, as often as I need to. This list includes local, national, and global organizations. And, without further ado, here are my top rescue organizations to support!

Rescue + Freedom Project (R+FP)

The R+FP is a US based non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing survivors of unique captivity and cruelty and telling their emotionally compelling stories to prompt social change and celebrate a #RescueLifestyle.

Since 2010 the charity has been freeing survivors from laboratory experiments, senior and special needs animals from shelters, and victims of horrific abuse from around the world.

No matter what the condition, the location, or the expense, the Rescue and Freedom Project stands at the ready to rescue, rehabilitate, and repeat.

My Thoughts on rescue + freedom project

Several years ago, my best friend brought this organization to my radar. We had our first beagle, and I was learning about the horrors associated with beagles and testing laboratories. Since learning about Rescue + Freedom Project, I have made it a mission to educate my friends and family, and make choices every day to support cruelty free products and companies. Much of my education has come from this organization, and I applaud their efforts and am proud to watch them grow on a global scale.

Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF)

The LDCRF helps homeless pets find their way into loving homes through rescue and adoption.

We offer same-day adoptions and two-week trial periods.

ALL pets are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

Over 30,000 lives saved since 2001.

Pebbles was adopted from LDCRF in July 2012!

My Thoughts on LDCRF

This organization has a huge place in my heart because two of our herd came from them. The first adoption was Pebbles, July 2012. And then a few years later, Maggie 2. They have a huge following in the area, too, and it’s obvious why. Our family highly recommends this organization!

Fun fact, before I adopted Pebbles, I purchased a tee shirt as a fundraiser for this group. I didn’t even realize it had been for LDCRF until several years later when I was cleaning out my closet. That shirt is still proudly hanging in my closet today!

Maggie 2 was also an alumnus of LDCRF!

Dog World Rescue (DWR)

We are a “dog-centric” all volunteer rescue organization that provides pet adoption in VA, MD & DC.

My Thoughts on DWR

While none of our pups came from this organization, we strongly feel that Pebbles brought DWR into our life for good reason. During late spring, they had a beagle that looked and acted so much like Pebbles. We met her and unfortunately she wasn’t a good fit for the house or herd, but by the end of the summer she did find her forever home with her foster family. When DWR says they care about their animals, they truly mean it. We met the organization’s leader during that meet up, and I was beyond impressed by her. I’ve stayed following her and the rescue ever since then, and I can see how much she loves and cares for every single dog and family she brings together. I’m definitely glad Pebbles brought DWR to our attention!

Final Thoughts

Make sure to check in on this blog post occasionally to see if we’ve added any additional organizations! And if you’ve got a dog and/or cat rescue or organization you’d like us to be aware of, let us know in the comments!

xoxo,

Kayla

I'm often asked about the groups or organizations that I recommend, so I've compiled a list for easy reference. This is a living post, meaning that I'll continue to add and update, as often as I need to. This list includes local, national, and global organizations. Here are my top dog and cat rescue organizations that I support and highly recommend!
This is a living list, meaning that I’ll continue to update with additional groups and organizations, as I find them.

#SHOPSMALL Small Business Saturday

I’m so blessed and thankful to have had the opportunities and experiences this year that led to where I am now. It’s because of all of you that I get to share my love of dogs and design, and that they do actually belong together.  😉 Over the past year, I’ve developed even stronger friendships and relationships, which have also guided me here. And so, today, I’m celebrating all of you with this #shopsmall offer. Details below!

I know life is probably pretty hectic since we’ve officially started the holiday season of 2018. But, believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start thinking about those home improvement projects you’re considering for 2019. Whether you’re looking for advice and answers or planning to hire out design services, together we can set up a plan of action! By determining your goals and timelines, it’ll be much easier to decide what steps to make next.

Now through November 26, 2018, save $75 on an online video consultation!

Now through Monday, I’m offering my 1 hour (60 minutes) online video consultations for just $222! That’s a savings of $75!

Are you in need of some design or decorating advice? Are you DIYing and want to run some things by a pro? Or are you in need of clarification on where or how to begin your home improvement journey? If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then this #SHOPSMALL offer is PERFECT for you!

Plus, this offer makes a fantastic gift for your loved ones or friends! If you plan on gifting this consultation, I’ll send you a gift certificate with the offer details on how to schedule with me. Just let me know during the purchase and I’ll make the arrangements!

Book your consultation now to get a plan of action for those 2019 home improvement projects started!

Ready to Purchase?

Step 1: When you’re ready to purchase, click this link to place your order. All payments will be processed through my scheduling service, Calendly and PayPal; you do not need an account to pay through PayPal. Although a booking date is required to move forward with this purchase, you will have the opportunity to reschedule, if needed. If this is going to be a gift, make sure to schedule the appointment AFTER you plan on gifting this to the recipient. Please email me at kayla@hhistudio.com with any questions.

Step 2: I will contact you within 48 hours of purchase to confirm and welcome you to my client family. Please watch for this email, which will be sent from kayla@hhistudio.com with the subject “SBS 2018 Online Video Consultation”.

#shopsmall Offer details:

This offer ends Monday, November 26, 2018 @ 11:59pm Pacific time. Fee is non-refundable. Please be sure to pay the $222 consultation fee in full by Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Consultation must take place before January 31, 2019.

xoxo,

Kayla

Are you in need of some design or decorating advice? Are you DIYing and want to run some things by a pro? Or are you in need of clarification on where or how to begin your home improvement journey? If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then this #SHOPSMALL offer is PERFECT for you!
This #shopsmall offer makes a fantastic gift for your loved ones or friends!

Living Life with my Senior Beagle

If you told me I’d have a dog live past 15, I would have raised my eyebrows. Over 18? I would have laughed! But we’re already at 18 – 3/4 years with Maggie, so that’s actually become a reality for us! It’s a daily blessing to have our Senior Beagle, Maggie (aka old lady, mags) in our life.

Our senior, Maggie! Living with a senior dog past 15 has been quite educational.

A Little Background: Adopting a Senior Beagle

If you are a reader of the blog, you may recognize the picture and Maggie’s name from the earlier post here. She was 13, fast approaching 14, when she came to us. Sadly, her human mom had died 10 months earlier in January of that year, and then her human grandmother died in July that same year. Unfortunately, her other human family members couldn’t keep her and started looking for someone to take her. At that time, we were still a 1 dog household. However, we had been thinking of getting another dog for Pebbles. Mags fit right in with the family and Pebbles became her caretaker and best friend, immediately.

Caring for a senior beagle (or any senior dog) can be a struggle, as well as very rewarding. And over the last 5 years, especially within the last year, I’ve learned a lot. We had never had a dog live past 15 before, so this is new territory! In this post, I’ve pulled together a few thoughts and tips I’ve learned from raising this senior beagle and wanted to share.

thought 1: Food Matters

What they put in their bodies is just as important as it is for us. We use a combination of brands and canned veggies to give balance and variety for Mags. This has changed, especially in the last year as she has lost teeth and can’t chew the dried nuggets anymore. Maggie eats canned dog food made from real food. It honestly looks like something we (humans) could or would eat right from the can. We also add in some pumpkin to regulate her digestive system. And have recently started adding oatmeal and freeze dried meat patties. We mix everything all together with some water. She gobbles it right up! In fact, her internal clock tells us when it’s meal time.

Thought 2: senior beagle [Dog] Dementia is Real

She sleeps 20-22 hours a day, most days. When she is up, it’s very obvious she isn’t the same as she was even a year ago. Part of that I blame on the very sudden loss of her dog caretaker, Pebbles, in August 2017. But also, and obviously, it’s due to her age. We try our best to keep watch over her so she doesn’t hurt herself. She is also rather stubborn, and a creature of habit, so we’ve had to make some changes, which took time for her to adjust to. Example: she no longer is trusted with going up or down stairs by herself. Or jumping on or off furniture. She pushes that stubbornness often, though. Giving us heart palpitations on the regular.

thought 3: Don’t veer off her schedule, much, or at all!

Her internal schedule dictates EVERYTHING.  We have very little flex room from her regular schedule. What little room we have, if that gets stretched too far, it can take days to regulate her body back to normal. And, it can mean long nights for everyone.

thought 4: Regular outside visits even more critical

As I’ve mentioned with her schedule, the bathroom visits are just as critical. We are almost back to that puppy stage. Where you take them out ASAP after naps, meals, night, etc. And making sure she actually does her business is also important! Often, she forgets why we are out there, and tries to head back inside without doing anything.

thought 5: life happens, plan ahead for your furbaby

Sometimes, we are lucky to automatically know if something happens to us that our furbabies will be taken care of. But that’s not always a given. So this last tip is a reminder: make sure you have an action plan for them if something happens to you. Senior dogs are the ones most likely to end up in shelters, and they often don’t get adopted. Folks looking for animals to adopt typically aren’t wanting an older animal, for whatever their reasons. Make sure your furbaby doesn’t get forgotten. Have a plan for them, too.

final thoughts:

I swear this girl has 9 lives with near death scares she’s given us over the years! I’m so glad she’s held strong and stayed with the family this long. She’s pretty easy going and goes with the flow of the other dogs. But, I know she’ll take a large chunk of my heart when she passes. People have said we are special people for having adopted a senior dog, but I don’t see it that way. Maggie fit perfectly into this family pretty much the first minute we saw her. Maggie’s been with us for 5 years now, and it’s an honor to have had her in our life this long. While I know her time with us isn’t probably much longer, I will continue to cherish the time we have with her and continue to learn how to care for seniors.

Here are my top 5 thoughts and tips on living with a senior dog.

Would I adopt a senior again?

Absolutely. In fact, I have a dream to someday open a pet sanctuary, where I will adopt senior dogs for their forever homes. Senior dogs deserve to live out their life with love and family surrounding them. And that’s my goal. One dog at a time. One senior at a time.

xoxo,

Kayla

Home Selling Tips from an Interior Designer

Interior designer gives 5 tips to get your home ready to sell.

If you’re looking to sell your home or if your home is on the market, check out these home selling tips below. From the eyes of an interior designer!

I’m one of those people who loves to see what’s on the market regularly. Partly to get exposure to new neighborhoods and housing developments in the area. But, also to stay up to date on trends in the area, especially among buyers and sellers.

It may seem like an odd thing for an interior designer to care about, but what I’m looking at is what attracts buyers and what motivates sellers. Because at the end of the day, if you’re updating your home at any point of home ownership, you want to be sure you’re spending money wisely. Not just for your benefit right now, but for resale in the future. I value my clients’ time and money, and I want to make sure anything I suggest will benefit them right now and when they are ready to sell.

Here are a few of my top tips when listing your house. Things that I regularly see and can often pinpoint why a home isn’t selling. Price plays a factor, of course, but ensuring that you have buyers actually wanting to tour your home is another piece of the puzzle.

Let in natural light

I get it. We all want privacy. We all like to keep our nosey dogs from yelling at the neighborhood dogs walking near(ish) to the house. (Maybe just me?). But one of the biggest turn offs for buyers is seeing a dark and depressing space. If you do nothing else during picture day and showing appointments, make sure your windows are open and letting the light and view in! Humans naturally crave to see nature, as mentioned here. Open windows with a view are an easy way to showcase this in your home.

Get professional pictures taken

We all know that first impression is a huge deal when selling yourself for a job, meeting new people, etc. And it is just as critical for your home, too! Think about it from the buyers side. If or when you’re looking at homes, which ones do you gravitate toward and which ones stand out? It’s usually the ones with better photography. Make sure your realtor understands the importance of good photography. It doesn’t matter if your home is magazine ready, if your pictures aren’t a good first impression, it’ll just get skipped over and forgotten.

Selling your home? Make sure it's giving buyers a good first impression!
5 Tips to get your home market ready

Decor and personalization

I am absolutely not telling you to hide who you are in your own home. But, I will tell you to bring it down a level or two. Too much personalization is overwhelming for buyers. And they often can’t overlook it. I don’t think you need to completely neutralize your home, just to sell it. But, I do believe simplifying is key. Your goal is to get a buyer to come in and envision living in the home. With their things. That doesn’t mean get rid of everything, and in fact I highly do not suggest you do that either. The key is to find the right balance of you still living there and allowing the buyer to feel right at home. Need assistance with this? I offer home selling consultations (in person for local to Northern Virginia or online for anywhere in the US) just for this type of thing! Contact me via email (kayla@hhistudio.com) or schedule a 15 minute virtual coffee chat to learn more!

Hire the right person or team

The absolute best thing you can do when selling your home is finding the right person or team dedicated to selling your home. Meet with them. Make sure they have similar belief systems as you and that they see you as a client and person, and not dollar signs. Will they maintain a relationship with you outside of this sale? Do they truly care about you and your family? It makes a huge difference to know someone has YOUR back on a professional level.

If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, I highly recommend the Ron & Kelli Team. And while I should add that Kelli is my mom, I strongly believe in the dedication and passion that this team has for real estate and their clients. It’s not just a job or career, it’s their life. They eat, breathe, and sleep real estate. I have watched them build friendships and strong bonds with their clients over the years. They’ve been invited to numerous parties, weddings, and so much more. To work with them, you become family.

it’s ok to ask for outside help

Getting ready to sell your home can be overwhelming. And it’s absolutely ok to look for professional help outside your real estate professional(s). Remember, you want your home to set the best first impression it can to those who are house hunting. Sometimes, it helps to have a neutral 3rd party come in and offer guidance. If your budget doesn’t have room for you to complete the renovation(s), you still have options. Technology today provides ways to show updates, without the hefty expense or extended timeline to complete the project. Instead, ideas can be shown to potential buyers digitally, and can show potential of what your home can become. Other options include virtual staging to show empty homes with ideal furniture and/or various suggestions on color schemes. Just make sure to clearly note that these are not actual images, but professional suggestions.

Final Thoughts for selling your home

Feeling stuck or want a neutral party to help get your home in top selling shape? Contact me for a home seller’s consultation. I promise, I won’t tell you to toss everything and start new. But, I will walk space to space, room to room with you, while discussing your budget and timeline. And then, I’ll figure out the best plan of action just for you!

xoxo,

Kayla

5 tips from an interior designer to get your home market ready.
What first impression is your home giving to buyers?