Browsing Tag



For the Birds: Five Stylish Bird Houses and Feeders

modern bird houses

Squirrels should not be able to eat the material of these bird houses. I selected two glazed ceramic bird houses and three made of metal available in several colours. Except for the Piep Show XXL, which is designed to feed large group of birds, these bird houses should provide good protection for the birds that move to your backyard. The Piep Show XXL transforms into a bird bath if you place inside a big bowl of water.

I am not sure if Roost is still in production since I could not see it at Hepper’s Web site. If so, this would be sad since this is one of my favorite.

If you are a fan of Jonathan Alder’s Modernist Lantern bird house but you wish for one with a smaller price tag, the fluted birdhouse at Indigo can be your answer. The fluted birdhouse is definitely more rustic but it still looks good. Plus, I feel that the smaller hole would be safer for the bird family.

For more bird feeders, revisit this post from last summer that featured the bold J Schartz Egg Bird Houses and more.

+ Fluted Birdhouse $39.50 CAD at Indigo
+ Piepshow Home designed by Sebastian Herkner for Radius Design EUR 59,90
+ Roost designed by Jed Crystal $69 USD at Generate Design
Lantern bird house by Jonathan Alder $128 USD
+ Piep Show XXL designed by Ralph Kraeuter for Radius Design EUR 149


Umbra Bird Cafe and Fish Condo

umbra bird house feeder design condo

umbra bird house feeder design condo

Leave it to Umbra to give “pet paradise” a whole new meaning. Made from durable white ABS plastic, these smart designs are modern and sophisticated with their simple square shape and graphic cutouts.

It’s easy to imagine the bird cafe in an urban backyard, and what fish wouldn’t want to live a long life inside the fish condo? Chances are humans will love them too – they’d make a great gift option for the pet or animal lover in your life.

umbra fish bowl aquarium condo design

+ Bird Cafe Feeder from Umbra, $30
+ Fish Condo from Umbra, $35


The Cutest Dog and Cat Tags Can Help You Find Your Lost Pet

blanket ID tags for dogs and cats

blanket ID tags for dogs and cats

Losing a pet is devastating for all members of a family. This is why it’s important to provide a way to find your pet if he gets lost.

Blanket Online ID probably made the cutest animal tags I ever saw. But this BC-based company does more than that. Each tag identities your pet with a unique ID code. And with their networks in Canada and the United States, they can help you find or reunite a lost pet. Amongst the services offered by blanketID is the possibility to print a a ‘Lost Pet’ poster directly from your member account.

blanketID tag in Butterfly green pattern

Not Just a Tag

A year membership comes with every purchase of a tag. You register your tag and fill out your contact information, including multiple phone numbers, and the description of your pet. You can even write down any medical conditions and allergies.

In the event your pet gets lost, you simply report your pet missing via their Web site and automatically sends a broadcast email to local SPCA, animal hospitals, shelters, other local blanketID members. The email links to your online information so that everybody has 24/7 access to a full description and photos to help identify your lost pet.

blanket ID dog and cat tag collection

What is handy is that you do not need to replace the tag when you move since you keep your contact information online. I only wish that you can write down the name of your pet on the tag.

One more thing

If your pet goes outside, make sure to affix the proof of rage vaccination tag that your veterinarian gives you annually when you go for their routine checkup. It can save you troubles in certain situations.

+ Dog and Cat tag $24.99 CAD


Cat Cabin by Loyal Luxe

cat cabin by loyal luxe

cat cabin by loyal luxe

Maud Beauchamp and Marie-Pier Guilmain are the two young Quebec industrial designers behind Loyal Luxe. They created a cool cardboard Canadian style cabin for cats that is shipped on a flat box. I saw it in stores and it’s a great concept.

The cabin is a cat toy where a cat can rest or play hide and seek. Your cat could sit on the roof. We used to keep a red nylon cat tent and our cats love it. I’m pretty sure that they would enjoy the cabin. As a design-savvy cat owner, I appreciate the more sophisticated look of the cabin.

Included in the box are four decorative ornaments for the façade. You can affix a moose head, a fish, a bird and a banner on which you write the name of your cat. Why not decorate the cabin even more with collage, poster paint, felt, or adhesives to complement your interior?

You can find the cat cabin at many retailers, online stores and pet shops across Canada and the United States. It is also available online through Loyal Luxe. Check their Web site to find a retailer near you.

+  Cardboard cat cabin by Loyal Luxe $24 CAD – available on their Web site


Health Benefits of Living with Cats and Dogs

living with cats and dogs

living with cats and dogs

I read on WebMB, 27 reasons why, on average, pet owners are more healthy and live longer. There are the obvious health benefit of walking the dog every day. In general, the calming effect of interacting with your pets play a major role in lowering your blood pressure and improving your mood. I can vouched for the sense of well-being that comes from observing our pets since I live with two lovely cats.

Pets and Young Children

Many new parents are afraid to live with a cat or dog when their child is born. I believe that this is a mistake. Many pediatricians will confirm that a baby raises in a house with two cats and a dog will develop a stronger immune system. It’s during our early years that our body learns to distinguish between good versus bad bacteria. Being exposed to cats and dogs teaches the body that these bacteria are not harmful. As long as you select pets that are kid friendly, I think that living with pets is safe for babies and young kids.

One health benefit is that kids who live with pets tend to have less allergies. Other researches where done on young children at risk of developing asthma. They found that, except for kids from mothers who are allergic to cats, children were significantly less likely to develop asthma as they got older if they live with a cat.

Dogs Help in Many Ways

Dogs are trained to perform many tasks to ease the life and improve the health conditions of patients. This sounds strange but apparently one in three dogs living with people with diabetes will alert them when the person experience a sudden drop in the level of blood glucose. What they think happens is that certain dogs can detect the chemical changes in the body through a scent that gives off when we have a drop of blood glucose. If that is true, you can really say that dogs are man’s best friend. But I still prefer living with cats.

You can read the rest and get more details at WebMD. Do you live with pets? Do you think they improve your life?

+ photo: WebMD


Kilowatt Cat Beds and Maow Feeders for my Eco-friendly Tuesday

I was looking for a different angle for my eco-friendly column. I own two cats. I decided to check what was happening in the cat product market. This is how I came across two Canadian design brands from British Columbia that make modern pet accessories with green considerations.

Plus, as an interior designer, I am thrilled by the look of the cat products. Instead of hidden them, you will want to show off your cat gears.

Modern Style Cat Beds

Kilowatt Studio produces two handcrafted cats beds made from wool, bamboo and organic cotton. Nest and Pod are suitable for cats and small dogs. Nest intertwining design reproduces the way birds make their nest. Even though the design of Nest is more unique, I prefer the clean lines of Pod.

Kilowatt gives a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every cat bed to the Vancouver Orphaned Kitten Rescue Association. Beware that these cat beds are not cheap. They are available online at Vûrv Design.

Raised Cat Feeders

Raising the bowl a few inches from the floor make it more comfortable and healthier for your cat. One of your bowls is 1 inch higher from the ground than the other and my cats fight for it. I am thinking of giving them raised bowls. Maow feeders are made from bent-ply and finished in a choice of real wood veneers and metal laminates. They are quite durable.

I am showing you the Maow Deluxe feeder, which is a prototype right now. It should become available in a near future. The Maow comes with three bowls: two on each side for serving food while you put water ion the middle bowl.

My cats drank from a fountain. The water stays fresher and colder that way. If you go often for the weekend, a big fountain simplifies your life.

+ Nest cat bed $529 USD
+ Pod cat bed $459 USD
+ Maow Fedder wood finish $98 USD, aluminum and painted plywood $106


Cats and Joy for my Tuesday’s Quick Links 2009.03.03

retro kitty bed by little kittyville

+ I may get a Retro Modern Pet Bed for my cats. These cat beds look so cool. They are $69 for a bed with a wood base, $82 for an acrylic base. You only see two of their fabrics on their Etsy shop but Little Kittyville proposes a wide selection of fabrics.

acrylic rings by qift on etsy

+ Keeping with the cat theme, I convert an acrylic jewelry piece into a table accessory. Imagine the look of your table if you assemble a pet ring with two side rings by Qift on a napkin. By mixing the combination, you would make one-of-a-kind napkin rings. $12 per pet or side ring. 1 pet with 2 side-rings for $30 USD. Via Moderncat

+ Fiona of Cartolina Cards told us a fantastic news today. Anthropologie will sell her stylish notebooks. It feels good seeing people having success.


Home Accessories to Get More Organized

be organized at home

It feels great to start the New year with a clean slate. If you dream of a tidy house, these modern style organizers should help keep your New Year’s resolution.

During the Holiday, we travel more with our pets. Now that our two cats enjoy a car drive, we bring them when we go for the weekend. Typically, masters bring their dogs with them. Made of two halves, the Charlybox includes a two-liter canteen for fresh water plus two bowls for water and kibble. The handle and light weight made it easy to carry around.

The Felt Door Organizer gives a new form to the catch all. Hang one or two on the guest room. Your guests will appreciate this little attention. Available in red, gray or black. I think it is a new product designed by Chris Collicott for Kikkerland. If you have more info, inform me.

Joe Colombo’s 5 in Uno Set of Glasses proves that good design endure time. Designed in 1970, each guest gets their own set of five hand-blown glasses. I like that the set takes less space for storage. A stylized flower is fashioned when the glasses are nested. You create an instant conversation piece when you used it nested on your place settings. The 5 glasses are intended for: spirit, port/prosecco/dessert wine, wine, water and cognac/brandy. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine. Beware that the 5 in Uno Set of Glasses is a luxury at $225 per place setting.

+ Chris Collicott’s Felt Door Organizer, I am still looking for a retailer
+ Charlybox, $60 at Design Within Reach
+ Joe Colombo’s 5 in Uno Set of Glasses, on sale at $225 at Design Within Reach