A majority of all American households — 58.3 percent — has at least one pet, according to the most recent edition of “U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics.” Contrary to popular wisdom, cats are the most common “best friend.” There are 70 million pet cats in this country, compared with 60 million pet dogs.
Cat or dog, these beloved creatures are increasingly viewed as a true member of the family, say researchers at Packaged Facts Inc. As confirmation, the consulting firm projects the pet care and pet supplies market will climb to a whopping $ 8 billion by 2007. This burgeoning boom is attributed to “humanization” of pets by their owners.
Anyone who has a pet — and even many who don’t — won’t find that hard to believe. Americans’ love of cats and dogs has also turned these animals’ images into one of the nation’s top decorating trends, one that appeals to people of all ages.
The Piper Designs division of S.A. Maxwell Company is paying loving tribute to puppies and kittens in its Zero to 60 collection. Two separate wallpaper borders impart puppy love and kittenish delights that are certain to bring smiles to anyone who enters a room.
What’s more, installing a border is among the easiest and most satisfying of do-it-yourself projects. The whole family can participate, and it can be accomplished in just a couple of hours.
In the puppy border, baby Labs, Terriers, Beagles and other favorite breeds — all with “aah-inspiring” faces — innocently stumble on wobbly little legs through a clutter of basketballs, footballs and other sports paraphernalia. On the other border, furry fluffs of kittens in equally innocent poses play hide and seek among blossoms in a flower garden.
Because people are so enamored with these images that they want to reach out and touch them, we used the borders at chair rail height, about 27 inches up from the floor.
This also makes installation even easier for grandparents, Mom, Dad and especially children.
Strips of molding frame the puppy border. The kitty border has molding beneath it and a handy, shallow ledge above. Both the moldings and ledge are available at any local lumberyard or home improvement store and give these borders — and the whole room — a true decorator finishing touch. The borders stand out best when set against perfectly color-coordinated wallpaper such as stripes, a plaid, a marbleized texture or mini-floral. All of these patterns and more are contained in the Zero to 60 collection.
It is actually baby boomers and older Americans, however, rather than young families, that are the driving forces behind the burgeoning pet trend, according to the Packaged Facts’ survey. Pets bring calm to busy boomers’ lives, and, “as empty nests become refilled with dog beds and litter boxes, older adults have new ways in which to impart their lifestyles and attitudes,” says the report.
For these pet lovers, a sophisticated wallpaper border in the Antiquities collection from Maxwell’s Piper Designs division strikes a perfect fit. It features purebred sporting dogs bedding down for the night in just the kind of royal setting these people want their pets to enjoy. Mated with a tartan plaid wallpaper on one wall and a wide stripe on another, the border ties both patterns together in a coordinated whole-room design.