Everyone loves their pets, and wants them to feel like part of the family. As mentioned in our pet-friendly decor post, an easy way to do this is to find modern pet accessories that match the style of your home. Your pet is happy that they have their own space, and you’re happy because it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. As brands are realizing that people want stylish pet options, more are offering them. One company specializing in stylish pet furniture is Full Loft. We reached out to founder Elena Romero to find out more about this growing industry and how she got her start in it.
Were you always interested in design?
Yes, it comes from my family. My father was a very passionate architect, always thinking of irreverent and functional design, he inspired me to innovate and give my personal touch to each project.
Have you always had pets?
Yes, at home and in my family we have always lived with pets. I have instilled love and respect for all the animals.
Are you a dog or a cat person?
I have no preferences, I am passionate about all animal life.
What inspired you to design pet furniture instead of people furniture?
After work in several residential projects that included expensive furniture and finishes for families with pets, and seeing that always the pet area is a bed (generally with bone-stamping) totally dissonant with the design, I realized the need to create a line with a multi-functional design that could cover several needs at the same time — most of the designs are pet houses and ancillary tables, with a slot to place the tablets or smartphones (Tunnel Home, Nest Home, Cube Home). This was the way I have found to integrate the spaces without sacrificing style and design.
Do you think the market for stylish pet furniture is growing?
Undoubtedly, recently a very famous Low Cost brand has bet on this market, although we have been one of the pioneers in this product, the development of new lines/brands suggests to us that the sector and its necessity continue to increase. We are currently the only brand that offers high quality furniture and custom design according to the tastes and needs of our customers.
How do you think the relationship between people and their pets has changed over time?
It has changed incredibly. Most of the change comes from people being tired of the dehumanizing effect of technology. New lifestyles have also prompted this change in pet/human relationships. The truth is it has promoted numerous studies such as:
University of Pennsylvania, USA: a Springer Spaniel and a Labrador Retriever that are being successfully trained to detect cancer in people.
University of Goldmsiths in London: found that dogs are able to identify the pain or sadness of their masters.
Sagamihara Azabu University (Japan): When a dog and his master look into each others’ eyes, both enjoy an oxytocin discharge that reinforces the bond between them. — Science Magazine.
And so innumerable close connections between people and their pets. These connections have improved our quality of life and, in my opinion, it makes us more human.
What are your biggest design influences?
Unquestionably the Modern Movement / (Bauhaus School): Functionality and aesthetics.
· Frank Lloyd Wright
· Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (Le Corbusier)
· Oscar Niemeyer
· Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (Bauhaus)
· Alvar Aalto
· Ludwig Mies van der Rohe — less is more
What’s your approach to design?
Certainly first of all the functionality and then the aesthetics conditioned to the first, there I find magic, which inspires the purchase of a piece, its shape, although in fact it was designed from its function. The use of noble materials and the integration of these in any environment.
Which is your favorite piece that you’ve designed so far?
Actually each one has a very different story and inspiration, which makes each one have its place within me.
Has social media like Instagram had much of an impact on your business? People love seeing pictures of animals.
Yes, Instagram has played a very important role in promoting the brand. We have been called from Japan, Australia and even from the Nordic countries thanks to this social network. It is true that accounts with pets are very popular although we focus it from the point of view of design, decoration and a style of our own, is what makes us different .
Do the dogs in the pictures belong to employees or are they models?
Hahahahah it’s a funny question. They are all dogs of friends or new friends. Let me explain: very happy dogs of employees who spend their days working in pet friendly offices and dogs that we have found playing with their owners in parks and they love the idea their dog become model by a day for Full Loft®. The idea is to see that Full Loft® designs for the common dog, not necessarily of breed and that the designs are thought for all.
Most of the homes are for smaller dogs, do you think you’ll branch out to include larger models for big dogs?
Yes, Full Loft has a line in Contract: We custom design for Hotels and Restaurants, Pet Friendly shopping centers and large areas in general, we adapt to the style, materials and size you need.
We have also designed some larger and customized sizes for private customers who have requested us through our website.
In your opinion, is a home complete without a pet?
I think the choice of having or not having a pet is very personal and carries a lot of responsibility that should not be taken lightly and that determines the need and ability to have it or not. But once you have lived with a pet once and you have fulfilled the responsibility of well being is this, you will undoubtedly always feel incomplete if you do not have one.
Do you have any plans to design people furniture to match the pet furniture?
As I mentioned in a previous question, almost all of our designs are multi-functional, being multipurpose for both people and their pets. They are auxiliary tables with a slot that serves to hold tablets / smartphones and furniture for pets. The idea is the integration to the daily furniture and of unique design without sacrificing originality and style.
Do you have any new designs in the works?
Always! We are always on the hunt for new challenges, supply space and design needs. Also with the development of models to Contract new designs are constantly being created.
We plan to increase the catalog of the models in series to about 20 designs for this new year 2018 and to change them to offer new models constantly. We are also developing a lifestyle partner called Pet Friendly Movement® that is geared to the daily lives of people who share a pet friendly life, we will soon reveal the details.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Elena! We can’t wait to see what designs you come up with next, and to see the dogs modeling them! To keep up with the latest on Full Loft (and see lots of cute animals!) be sure to follow them on Instagram.