If you're a pet owner, designer Inma Bermudéz's words might be something that rings true to you too. After all, our pets give us a lot, from that wagging tail that welcomes us home, to that calm company next to us on the sofa, or that unconditional love at every other time. If you ask us we figure it’s time to give them something back. That's why we brought in Inma to work on the LURVIG range, which is designed to help out all aspects of life with our dogs and cats. Not to mention be long lasting and affordable, while fitting in with your existing home furnishings. As Inma says: "Our pets have their own personalities but they have five things in common: they love sleeping, eating, playing and exercising and being close to us. So these behaviors have been the first thing on our minds when designing these products."
Of course designing products for pets rather than humans has its own set of rules and things to consider. To help out, the LURVIG range was developed with the assistance of trained veterinarian Dr Barbara Schäfer, who also works with product risk assessment at IKEA. Barbara has an extensive background working with pets from hamsters and rats all the way up to dogs and cats. She says the biggest challenge is not to "humanize" pet products. "It's really important to use animal’s natural needs and behaviors like how they sleep, eat or play as a starting point. Then we can design a product that fits in with our "human needs" such as style and form." The first thing to consider was safety: "Dogs will definitely chew on their toys and bring in dirt from their daily walks. Cats will definitely scratch on most surfaces and are sensitive to smell and texture. So safe, durable materials are very important." As well as looking at animal behaviors like eating. "Cats are generally good at regulating how much food they eat, however a number of dog breeds still retain the desire to overeat. That's how the "slow feed" bowl became part of the LURVIG range. By using a design that breaks up a bowls internal surface area, it prevents the dog from being able to inhale their food in one or two gulps."
How often when watching your pet do they go for the same toy or blanket and return to a cozy spot to chew or maybe just have nearby as a comfort? Rounding out the LURVIG design process was the focus that our pet's live with us at home as part of the family — even if they do take the odd shoe or two. For Inma, that led to a friendly smelling bed. "The piece that I'm most proud of is a pet cushion that we encourage owners to fill with their old clothes, blankets or towels. The idea’s that pets get a comfortable cushion with comfortable, familiar smells too." The LURVIG range also matches with some IKEA classics, like a cat bed that fits perfectly into a KALLAX shelving unit and a pet sized version of a sofa bed that matches our human sized ones. Final words though go to Inma to sum up their ambition of the range. "I share my life with three dogs and I've always missed nice pet products at an affordable price. As an animal lover I’m proud and happy to be part of this project. I would love it if it inspired people to spend more quality time with their pets."