Pet Perfection

These homeowners are in the doghouse, literally!
CANINE CHIC // Floral tiles and complementary green walls lend personality to this mudroom’s dog-washing station while ample storage and waterproof wood-look porcelain flooring add plenty of functionality. // Photo by Sally Matak

Robb and Judy Clark love dogs. Their company, Resco Pet Products (under the Clarks’ Tecla umbrella), manufactures and sells quality pet products ranging from grooming essentials to leashes.

So it’s no surprise that when their interior designer, Ruth Casper, suggested the couple include a dedicated pet-washing and grooming space in their new mudroom, the Clarks — and their golden retrievers — embraced the idea with open arms and paws.

Casper, who runs Ruth Casper Design Studio, based in the Michigan Design Center in Troy, was renovating and redesigning the Clarks’ circa-1954 Bloomfield Township home (working with Krieger Klatt Architects) when the idea for a pet-specific space came up.

“The Clarks have dynamic personalities, and they love color and weren’t afraid to take risks,” says Casper, who’s been an interior designer for 26 years. “I took Judy shopping for tile at The Tile Shop, and she saw a floral pattern (Genius Porcelain) and said, ‘That’s the one for the (dogs’) shower!’ ”

Casper combined that tile with other complementary elements and selections, like a rich green wall color (Benjamin Moore’s Louisburg Green), porcelain flooring that looks like wood, a low pot-filler in the shower for the dogs’ water bowls, and a showerhead that can brush the dogs’ fur. The flooring and half-wall tile is a wood-look porcelain that’s waterproof, while the shower floor is a penny-style emerald porcelain mosaic.

The designer worked in plenty of storage, including shelves and cupboards for dog necessities and the Clarks’ gloves, hats, and bags. The mudroom even has custom storage for the robot-style vacuum that zooms around regularly to keep the amount of dog hair in check.

Once part of the living room and kitchen in this Colonial-style home, the new space flows well with the rest of the house. “Green is Judy’s happy color, (so) there’s a pop of green in every room,” Casper says. The green on the mudroom wall, she points out, is also the color of the kitchen cabinetry. “We like to get into the heart of who our clients are and put their personality in the design,” she says.

As for worrying about future resale when making unique interior design selections, Casper banishes the thought. “You need to design spaces for you, right now. Life’s short.”

More Information

Text by Megan Swoyer | Photography by Sally Matak