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Chalet-themed cat house, easy-wipe pet placemats are stylish and functional (a rare combination)

March 17, 2010 |  9:08 pm

Kitty house

Pet products, as a general rule, are manufactured with function, rather than an aesthetically pleasing form, in mind. (As evidence, may we present the most absurdly large cat climbing tree we've ever seen? No? How about the environmentally friendly underground doghouse that's cooled with geothermal energy, then? We're all for green living, of course, but even we must note that this product is strange-looking.)

Then there are those occasions when they miss the mark completely, violating all rules of form and function. (We're looking at you, unknown person who filed the patent for the wearable dog house. And you, makers of the dog bed that looks like a giant Croc shoe. And especially you, company behind the garish 22.5-karat gold-plated crate that retails for $11,000.)

Fortunately for dogs and cats with a sense of style -- and owners who don't feel inclined to spend thousands of dollars on things like crystal-encrusted Hello Kitty-themed dog beds -- there are stylish and reasonably-priced pet products out there as well. Our colleagues at The Times' home and garden blog, L.A. at Home, recently spotlighted a few such items.

The first, the Canadian Cabin for cats (above), is constructed from cardboard and requires no tools for assembly. Its creators, Montreal-based industrial designers Marie-Pier Guilman and Maud Beauchamp, based their kitty cabin creation on a Canadian hunting chalet. It comes complete with a dangling toy and a cardboard carpet for scratching -- and its back wall even has paw-sized holes! The Canadian Cabin retails for $30.

The second, a line of stylish placemats for pets made from basket-weave vinyl flooring, comes from designer Sandy Chilewich. The mats come in chestnut, lemon, mango, lime and platinum -- each with a cute dog-shaped cutout in the center -- and retail for $35. The best part: Since they're made of vinyl, they're easy to wipe down if your Newfoundland slobbers kibble-laced saliva all over them!

See more of the Canadian Cabin and Chilewich placemats at L.A. at Home. (But perusing this blog can be pretty addictive, so don't say we didn't warn you.)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: The Canadian Cabin. Credit: Loyal Luxe

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