Last month, my family and I welcomed a precious French Bulldog, Riley, into our home. It has been a while since we’ve had a puppy, and I had forgotten how much work it can be. I also forgot what a challenge it is to find pretty furnishings and accessories for pets! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some highlights from my search to bring a touch of elegance into our home to suit our new puppy.
The Glam Pad always loves supporting family and women-owned businesses, particularly ones with a passion for interior design. So I was delighted to meet Paige Wilson, a fellow Texan who developed the incredibly chic Pretty Kennels in her search to replace the ubiquitous wire pet crate… Immediately, I fell for these custom Lucite creations! Beautiful and chic, they are truly works of art. Pretty Kennels can be used as furniture – end tables, night stands, etc. – throughout the home, while offering your pet a light and airy personal den. The patented, transparent kennels provide unobstructed views along with a definite touch of Art Deco Hollywood Glamour.
Today, we are delighted to welcome Paige Wilson for a Q&A and tour of her beautiful home… Welcome, Paige!
Q: What was the inspiration for creating Pretty Kennels and establishing your business?
A: I created Pretty Kennels out of necessity about 6 years ago. We have chihuahuas, and they’re definitely den creatures and love their kennels. We lived in a small house and the typical black wire crates were killing the vibe in our living room. I was inspired by Jonathan Adler who was really showcasing acrylic furniture at that time and also the Vetro crib. It was the “it” crib coveted by celebs, and my dogs are my babies, so it made sense.
Q: Your home is so beautiful! How did you become interested in interior design?
A: Thank you! I’ve always loved decorating since I was a kid! I loved going to the mall and looking at all the comforter sets in the department stores or flipping through catalogs and seeing all the princess canopy beds. When I got my first apartment in college, I painted my living room in soft yellow and green stripes modeled after a suite I once saw on “Great Hotels with Samantha Brown.” My favorite way to procrastinate was by picking up the latest copies of Veranda, House Beautiful and Elle Décor. I’d eat a bag of Twizzlers and get lost thumbing through the dreamy designer pages.
Q: How do you describe your style?
A: Fun, feminine and always evolving. I tend to lean towards a traditional aesthetic. I love color, but I can’t be tied to one when there are so many beautiful shades to explore. That’s one of the reasons why I made Pretty Kennels clear, so they’ll go with anything forever!
Q: What are some of the ways Pretty Kennels can be used throughout the home?
A: I love seeing how my clients use their Pretty Kennels…from entry ways to mud rooms, to kitchens to bedrooms! They can serve as side tables or my favorite way to use them is under a window sort of as a window sill. The light hits the laser cut edges so beautifully. They work well in small spaces because they do triple duty as a usable surface, a design element and a functional pet crate. I’ve had client’s design them into the blueprints of their new home which was fun! It really shows how dogs are becoming a more integral part of our lives, and I love that!
Q: Do you have any other tips for living elegantly with pets? Pet bowls, toy organization, shedding, etc.?
A: I think dog beds should first be comfortable with good support! I don’t think they should be precious or expensive. It will eventually get barfed on, chewed on, peed on or worse, and that’s okay! When it comes to shedding, I couldn’t live without my Dyson handheld cordless vacuum. It’s perfect for the dog hair tumbleweeds as I call them. I also use it to vacuum off my duvet in between washes. As for dog hair on the furniture, a lint roller is my weapon of choice. Dog clothes also help with heavy shedders because it keeps the hair somewhat contained. I mean it when I say #decorateforthedogs! I installed towel bars on the wall above the girls’ Pretty Kennels and used baby clothes hangers to display their best outfits as a design element. It’s just fun, and you can’t not smile when you see it.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: I’m supposed to say “travel and nature,” right? Just kidding! Like most 90’s kids, I didn’t grow up luxuriating around pedigreed estates or architectural gems. My insight into design and architecture originally came from tv and movies. I loved the Manhattan townhouse in “The Nanny” and the southern charm of Villa Mare from “Designing Women,” the manicured mansions in “The Stepford Wives” and, of course, the “Home Alone” house! Which brings me to another favorite source of inspiration, Christmas! Each year I use my cherished old collected ornaments but I change up the color of the ribbon or tinsel or balls so that my tree feels old and nostalgic but also new and exciting! Throughout the year if I change the pillows or get a new rug I immediately think, how would this look with Christmas décor? Anytime the seasons change, that’s when inspiration strikes.
Q: You and I share a passion for old movies… Can’t you just see a Pretty Kennel in the home of Nick and Nora Charles from The Thin Man!? How are you inspired by old movies?
A: Yes, Asta could’ve totally rocked a Pretty Kennel! The first word that comes to mind when I think of old movies is glamour! The way they dressed and did their hair, the high drama in their voices and movement, the music and dancing! It’s all so over the top, and I guess it had to be since everything was in black and white! I think without color it took a lot more effort to set the scene so they really paid attention to every detail in the oldies. I love watching TCM while I’m doing chores or lounging because A. It’s pretty, B. It reminds me of my pepaw sleeping on the couch, snoring with that on in the background and C. it makes me look at interior style in a new way… which is the old way.
Q: Who are your favorite interior designers, past and present?
A: Past is easy for me, Mario Buatta. Present is a little more difficult to say just because of the exposure through social media these days. It seems like there’s an endless pool of talent out there. I’d say Ralph Lauren which technically could be past and present! Also Janie Molster, Ken Fulk and Corey Damen Jenkins.
Q: What is on the horizon for Pretty Kennels? How do you see the company growing over the next five years?
A: I want Pretty Kennels to continue to grow organically and most importantly be a source of joy for me. People always say to me “You should go on Shark Tank!” but I feel like I know where that path would lead, and it’s not for me. People have tried to imitate my product to make it more affordable or available to the masses but not without tremendously sacrificing quality. I love that Pretty Kennels are made right here in Austin, TX and that I still have a hand in making them. I love getting excited when an order comes in and it’s going to a really cool address or aspirational residence! I feel honored when people who can have anything in the world choose my product and just as honored when people say I’ve had this in my cart for years and I’m finally ready to buy a Pretty Kennel! In five years, I hope I’m lucky enough to still be making and selling pretty kennels and giving back more to dogs in need.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Thank you for this opportunity! The Glam Pad really is a source of education, preservation, inspiration and joy for so many people including myself! Thank you for showcasing traditional design and keeping it cool in a modern world. I can’t wait to watch the adventures unfold @thelifeofrileyfrenchie
Thank you, Paige, for joining us today and for sharing your beautiful home!
I am obsessed with Riley’s glamorous Pretty Kennel, and I cannot more highly recommend investing in one for your pampered pet! To learn more and to place an order, please visit prettykennels.com and Etsy. For ongoing inspiration, please follow @prettykennels on Instagram.