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For lap dogs (and cats) of luxury

October 23, 2003|Scott Sandell

Who says pets and high design don't mix?

Certainly not the folks at the Pacific Design Center. Today, it will be filled with dog beds, cat condos, leashes -- and even some critters up for adoption.

It's all part of the West Hollywood facility's first fall market showcase, the brainchild of Michael Baker, director of creative services.

A few months ago, he was cooking up a theme to kick off the event. At the same time, he was looking for a way to help friends at a couple of pet-related charities. He thought, why not combine the two?

The upshot is that nearly half of the center's 140 showrooms will be displaying designer pet products, many of them one of a kind, in a silent auction benefiting two organizations: the Amanda Foundation, a pet rescue group, and PAWS/LA, which helps ailing low-income residents keep and care for their animals.

Among items up for bid are Canine Couture, a collection of doggie caps and scarves at Arc-Com Fabrics; a PuchiBag and matching handbag using the new fabric collection at Michael Taylor Designs; and a mini Ritz table, with bowls for food and water, plus a bud vase, at Menzie International.

Think that's a bit over the top? It's tame by comparison with Giati's paw-shaped chaise longue with miniature umbrella, designed by Richard Romano. Or a cat retreat that includes an Asian-themed platform bed with food, water and catnip holders underneath, at Robert Allen-Beacon Hill. Or a "royal" bed created with gold, jewels, silk and velvet by Victoria Montana, at Tenango.

If all you're looking for is a little unconditional love, several showrooms will hold adoptions of animals rescued by the Amanda Foundation, which places pets with families.

So while you're checking out a pet bed in a Gaugin-inspired print, you'll be able to shake hands with a dog on the premises. (Cats apparently get too spooked around crowds, so photographs will have to suffice for prospective feline adopters.)

Today's event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a cocktail party, at 8687 Melrose Ave.

"We're delighted that the Pacific Design Center chose to help us," says Michael Danahy, director of development at PAWS/LA. "Together, we hope to show that animals really enhance the quality of people's lives."

Scott Sandell

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