De­signer doggy decor gets Neale Whi­taker’s seal of ap­proval.

THE HUM­BLE PET BED HAS UN­DER­GONE A DE­SIGNER MAKEOVER

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-in-chief of Vogue Liv­ing.

Hand­some is a Weimaraner’s de­fault po­si­tion. I’m bi­ased, of course, as I have two in my life, but they’re among the most ge­net­i­cally blessed of dogs. Yet for all their aris­to­cratic bear­ing and In­sta­gram pos­ing, mine ac­tu­ally like be­ing dogs. They choose a muddy pud­dle over a clean wa­ter bowl; they chase cats and roll in poo; they beg un­apolo­get­i­cally at cafe ta­bles; and chicken sends them into rap­ture matched only by the oily whiff of tinned sar­dines.

I was never a fan of dog ho­tels that in­dulge own­ers more than their pets. My boys like to run with the pack at their favourite coun­try home­s­tay, lights out at 4pm. No spa baths, “pup­puc­ci­nos” or what­ever the ca­nine equiv­a­lent is of a dirty mar­tini. But where my dogs veer dan­ger­ously into pam­pered-pooch ter­ri­tory is in their choice of bed. Well, look who their fa­ther is.

As I write this, Weimaraner Se­nior is splayed on a daybed that is sat­is­fy­ingly mid-cen­tury in style, with a touch of func­tional Scandi-luxe. Real hide stretched on a metal frame. Aus­tralian­made, the Arvin Grex beds (arv­in­grex. com) are the con­cept of de­signer In­grid Mor­gan, who wanted a dog bed that “crossed over into the realm of small fur­ni­ture”. As the owner of a five-year- old Ger­man short­haired pointer, Mor­gan wanted some­thing com­fort­able for him that “I’d choose to have in my per­sonal space”. Makes per­fect sense to me. Re­cent changes to strata laws mean more of us are co­hab­it­ing with pets, and open-plan liv­ing de­mands a se­ri­ous rais­ing of the style bar.

Never slow to spot a trend, Mel­bournebased style ar­biter Piero Ge­sualdi sells pet beds by Dutch brand Lord Lou at his eclec­tic Fitzroy em­po­rium Mon­dopiero (mon­dopiero.com.au). These are beds wor­thy of a Mi­lan de­but (prices start at $675), the stuff of ca­nine (and fe­line) dreams. We’re talk­ing ab­so­lute dog decor with styles rang­ing from in­dus­trial (Wheely) to Louis XVI (Ge­orge) and Art Deco (Luigi). Ge­sualdi won’t iden­tify the “two in­ter­na­tional celebri­ties” who have pur­chased the beds from him, but ad­mits that “pet lovers have no is­sue with spoil­ing their much-loved trea­sures”.

But, be­fore you ac­cuse me of los­ing the plot, I should add that there’s still one Aus­tralian re­tailer with the most en­vi­able range of stylish, func­tional and af­ford­able pet beds. That hon­our falls to Pet­barn (pet­barn.com.au). It’s my dogs’ favourite store and al­ways will be.

PAM­PERED PETS Lux­ury pet beds from (left) Lord Lou; and (be­low left) Arvin Grex; (be­low right) Neale Whi­taker’s beloved pooch Ol­lie slum­bers in style on a de­signer daybed by Arvin Grex.

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