A Conversation with Amy McCawley
The Livable Home Store
Where can you find wonderful home furnishings selected specifically for your dog friendly home? The Livable Home Store. It’s an online home furnishings store conceived by interior designer Amy McCawley of Denver, Colorado. Amy’s goal was to come up with a more cohesive lifestyle with her pets. She was tired of trying to keep her home stylish AND able to withstand her 4 dogs and cat. Amy currently has 2 Bassett Hounds, Jessie, a Dalmatian/Lab mix and Oliver a Maine Coon cat. She is currently fostering another Bassett. To find the right items she did a lot of research and conducted her own tests. Her home, and pets, became a living laboratory. From there, The Livable Home collection was born.
Who is Amy?
Amy is an interior designer by profession. She has a degree in interior design and a Masters of Architecture from the University of New Mexico. She worked as an interior designer in Los Angeles on hospitality, high-end residential and health care projects. Since moving to Denver she has been simultaneously managing a full-time interior design business and The Livable Home Store.
Who are Amy’s Clients?
Many of Amy’s orders come from California or New York City, but lately the bulk of her sales have come from the south – Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas. There really is no typical Livable Home Store client. They range in age from 20 to 60, own pets and are just looking for a more durable and better product. Many customers come to The Livable Home store because they have had furniture destroyed by pets in the past. Amy is quick to point out that nothing is indestructible but she can help find something that might last longer and will look better down the road.
Amy’s Three Most Important Design Issues
The first thing Amy discusses with a client is flooring. She is a proponent of hard surface flooring and recommends hardwood flooring such as white oak, because you can stain it any color and it looks beautiful. Carpet is not appropriate because it holds odors and can be a source of allergens.
Furniture placement takes a close second to flooring. From clients she hears things like “my dog jumps up on the furniture to look out the window” and her first response is “revise the furniture layout”. That might mean using different furniture or simply placing it in a different location.
The third item on Amy’s list is allergies. She is allergic to dogs and has dealt with it successfully by carefully designing her home to avoid dirt, dust and allergens. Here is what she recommends:
- Minimize Textiles – which includes carpet, upholstery and window treatments
- Use hard surface flooring – hardwood, ceramic tile, and concrete
- Vacuum often
- NO clutter – this minimizes dust and potential allergens, makes cleaning a lot easier and prevents your dogs from destroying your favorite things.
Livable Home Products
Amy conceived the furnishings and fabrics in the Livable Home Collection. All are made in the USA. Each piece of furniture was named after someone’s dog or cat. The fabrics were all selected by Amy to be suitable for a pet friendly (or kid friendly) home. Amy recommends the neutral colors in her collection because they tend to show dirt and hair less. Those colors include a variety of taupes, grays, creams and khakis. The fabrics meet high standards for product testing, some exceed 200,000 double rubs. The double rub test is an industry standard and a fabric is considered heavy-duty at 30,000 double rubs.
Some of Amy’s personal favorites in the collection are the Bella chair and the Paris Sofa with Trend Linen fabrics. The Bella chair is comfortable and the size allows it to fit anywhere. Trend Linen is a polyester (89%) and cotton (11%) blend. In addition many of her fabrics use the Crypton process.
So the next time you are shopping for new home furnishings for your dog friendly home consider the Livable Home Store first. Amy is happy to answer questions or offer suggestions for your particular project.