One stormy winter night 10 years ago, I opened the door to my Philadelphia walkup apartment and someone followed me inside. The intruder was small, wet, and emaciated, and could muster only the faintest cry to get my attention.
I didn’t want a cat. In fact, I’d just attended the national dog show that airs on Thanksgiving to scout out the type of rescue dog I’d want to add to my life. But this cat needed help, so I let her inside just for the night.
The rest of the story is long, but here are some highlights: I tried and failed to find a home for the cat. I fed her and took her to the pet spa to get rid of her fleas. I flew her home with me to Seattle for Christmas—it was cheaper than paying for a sitter—and I slowly began to think of her as my own. In a truly unexpected turn of events, it turns out the cat was pregnant the whole time and had five kittens in a cardboard box on my living room floor just six weeks later. By then, we were best friends and there was no turning back.
When I first brought her home, I trekked to Petco for reinforcements and checked out with $96 worth of stuff I didn’t want. The credit card payment screen asked if I wanted to make a donation to help save homeless pets. “I am,” I thought.
One afternoon after the kittens were born, I was aiming to host a small gathering of friends. I was busy hiding my brood’s unappealing trappings when I turned to find Minou—my now-named street cat—on top of the kitchen counter, calmly sampling the cheese plate I’d just assembled. The moment raised a fundamental question that had been stewing in the back of my mind for a few weeks: Would the tidy, design-filled, good life I’d imagined for myself ever really work with pets? I’ve been fighting for “yes” for the last 10 years, and the answer, for me, was to start a company to bridge the gap. I’d love to introduce you to Faunamade.
Photography by Leslie Santarina.
Above: I think home is at its best when filled with comfortable, natural things that are loved, get used, and never need to be hidden away, and I started Faunamade to make those things for dogs and cats at home. Our first product, the Faunamade Basket Bed for cats and small dogs, comes in a variety of interchangeable fabric covers. Our Basket Bed in Stripe ($129) is shown here.
Above: We love flora at Faunamade, and our Basket Bed in Black & White Flora has a limited edition cushion cover of solid white Japanese linen with black flecks reminiscent of dandelion seeds scattering in the wind. It’s my favorite cover and is stunning in person; $139.
I’m proud of so many facets of this product—that the basket is Fair Trade Certified, everything is made ethically and by hand, it’s easy on the environment, and, I believe, beautiful. But the thing I’m most proud of is that pets really love this bed. I tested it with more than a dozen dogs and cats and I’m elated to report that every single tester climbed inside and went to sleep. By design, pets love it because the cushions sit well below the edges of the basket so they feel safe and secure when tucked inside. And our cushion’s custom fill weight lets dogs and cats squish down in and get really cozy.
Above: The Basket Bed in Abstract Tan has a limited edition linen cover that features strokes of black, cream, and slightly metallic silver. It’s woven in Japan and has a modern, hand-painted look that hides pet hair well; $139.
All Faunamade Cushion Covers have side zippers and are meant to be swapped in and out. We’re always releasing new fabrics (including a black and tan stripe coming next week) and stay tuned for seasonal colors in our spring/summer lineup. Note that covers start at $35 and always ship for free, so you can easily update the look of the bed when inspiration strikes.
Above: The Basket Bed in Stripe has a cotton/linen cover in medium gray that looks good in any home; $129.
As any pet owner knows, pet goods must be durable and cleanable. (My cat Reine—yes, Minou’s kitten—promptly vomited on the final prototype the day it arrived.) If the basket becomes soiled, pat any moisture and gently scrub stains with a damp sponge. (If you have a wet/dry vacuum, these work brilliantly here.) The covers are all machine washable, and I wash mine in the machine. To keep them looking new for as long as possible, use cold water, gentle detergent, and line dry. The bed cushion itself can also be machine washed and dried.
Above: Pet cushions are also available without the basket and are perfect tossed on the sofa, floor, or in a bookcase. My mom set one on a shelf her cat now loves to sleep on, and the cushion also serves as a bed on-the-go. Pet Cushions are 18 inches in diameter and $55 in basic fabrics (stripe and gray flannel) and $65 in limited edition colors.
Above: Koi the chihuahua rescue mix in the Basket Bed in Gray Flannel. It has a 100 percent cotton cover that’s so soft to the touch and loved by dogs and cats alike; $129.
The basket bed fits all cats and is best for small-breed dogs who weigh less than 20 pounds. The basket itself is 18 inches in diameter, 6 inches tall in the body, and 10 inches tall at the handles. See our FAQ for recommended breeds.
Above: Our Abstract Tan Pet Cushion in detail.
Curious about goods for big (and medium) dogs? We can’t wait to show you what we have planned. We already have testers lined up—including my mom’s Great Dane. Follow us on Instagram for news.
Above: Me and Minou.
For chronicles of me fighting the good fight as a pet owner and design lover, see these Remodelista and Gardenista stories: Before & After: A Pet-Friendly Overhaul for the Laundry Closet, Will a “Poisonous” Plant Really Kill Your Pet?, and Help, Can This Olive Tree Be Saved?