Design in Depth: Creature Comforts

February 20, 2013

By Stacy Kunstel

As any true dog lover would, last week I watched with keen interest the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show on television. Any of you who follow me on Instagram know that I’m of the sporting variety (I have two English Springer Spaniels) and I’m always pulling for a sporting dog to win.

Not the case this year as an Affenpinscher (of the Toy Group) took the cup, a feat not seen since 1925. Most people have never seen one of these flat-faced little fluff balls but odds are his status for the rest of the year is elevated.

Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club

It got me thinking about dogs and interiors and what dogs look best in what settings. I’ve taken the Best in Show finalists and paired them with a few rooms that best fit their personalities and traits. You can call it my room standards according to breed.

  1. Hound Group

The American Foxhound feels most at home in country houses, around horses and with a healthy dose of plaid fabric decorating his dog bed. Much less fussy than his English cousins he still reveres his history. He’d look best lounging in an interior by Scot Meacham Wood.

Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club

  1. Non-Sporting Group

Athletic, outgoing and perpetually happy, the Bichon Frise is loved by all who meet him. With it’s perfect coat of white fuzz and illustrious history this dog is destined to be your best friend. It’s clean and happy look reminds me of the work of Tobi Fairley whose work often contains a bit of citrus to brighten any room.

Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club

Photo courtesy of Tobi Fairley

  1. Herding Group

A classic of children’s literature and herding lore, the Old English Sheepdog is one of the most instantly recognizable of breeds. Strong-willed, but humorous, this breed makes me think of the designs of Amanda Nisbet. Daring and courageous with just a bit of fluff perfectly suits them both.

Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club

Photo courtesy of Amanda Nisbet

  1. Sporting Group

The German Wirehaired Pointer lives for purpose. While bred as a hunting companion, this dog has made its way into the hearts of today’s families even if they aren’t the game bird type. Wildly energetic at times and truly devoted, his rough coat and short tail make him as chic as the designs of Nate Berkus while still remaining a classic, much like the designer himself.

Photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club

Photo courtesy of Nate Berkus

  1. Working Group

No one works harder than the working group dogs and this Portuguese Water Dog is no exception. Water-loving (they were originally trained to drag up fishing nets), spirited and attention-grabbing, this breed will think it’s in charge unless you are able to show it differently. Although she hails from Italy, the designs of Alessandra Branca are as bold and spirited as this breed. And yes, she is just as hard-working.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Alessandra Branca

  1. Terrier Group

Agile and intelligent, easily adapted to the country or the city, the Fox Terrier is a sophisticated breed in a sometimes yappy group. I always think of Nancy Taylor when I see this breed as she had a perfect rough coat named Della for a number of years. Intelligence, wit and elegance are the marks of dog and the designer.

Photo by Laura Moss

Photo by Laura Moss

As for this year’s winner the Affenpinscher, well, I just can’t bring myself to draw a comparison between this cutie pie and an esteemed designer. Would you take offense?

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