No one has ever gushed about a dog kennel. So designer Michael Tavano, dog lover and industry insider (he’s the co-founder of Marks & Tavano, a couture-level drapery and upholstery workroom in New York) went on the design offensive. Campaigning against dreary cages, he created a boutique line of Pooch Palaces, inspired by his dogs, so they could be “treated like kings of all they survey,” he says, and “not banished to a laundry room” because of an unsightly crate.
Consider this the next-level sartorial exclusive. The Haberdashery Haven (starting at $12,500) was created by Tavano especially for Robb Report’s Gift Guide. The design was inspired by menswear; as Tavano admits, “I have a real fashion habit.” He chose gray tones (very on-point in the interiors world) to turn out a stylish pet lounge that’s outfitted like a hotel suite and lets dog lovers display their undeniable (and superior) design edge. Both the cat tree and igloo have yet to similarly rise to the occasion.
But it’s not a competition, and if Tavano’s own dogs could offer their opinions, they would give high marks for his work . . . as clients, of course. In creating this special edition for us, Tavano selected his materials carefully. Crypton Home textiles—fabrics and treated leathers by Conneaut—were chosen for their durability against paws, accidents, and enthusiastic slobbering. “This particular one, a rich woven called Heather, looks like a menswear tweed but really feels like a cashmere,” he says, “it’s so soft, yet it repels spills and stains and odors—it is perfect for any pet or high traffic area.”
And while the custom Haberdashery Haven is meant to be functional, Tavano was unabashed about certain style dictates. “Here, the leather harkens the fine leather goods that complement your outfit. The Crypton Heather tweed in a Slate tone looks like suiting and feels like your favorite cashmere sweater. Together with the metal tacks the palace as a whole feels a bit like a multi-textural ensemble,” he says.
That fashion connection isn’t meant as some vaguely hip reference. Tavano was deliberate in his approach. “As far as construction, all the menswear is showing pleats again,” he says. “The box pleats are inspired from the modernized revival of that classic ‘80s pleat we’re seeing on trousers now.
What is equally impressive is how meticulously fashioned the piece is–just like a design client commission–and given the same level of detail. Inside the Marks & Tavano workroom, craftspeople created the leather upholstered roof bevels and based frame with the upholstery tacks. The cushion is hand-tufted, sporting handmade leather piping, and the box-pleated privacy drapery has a leather trim.
And for all the disruptors out there, Tavano even traveled to India to develop a new resin “bone” marquetry inlay with Farrago Design, who specializes in bespoke furniture to the trade. “It couldn’t be real bone because it has to be stain and chip resistant for dogs in case they jump on the crate, so we developed this resin marquetry inlay in a very fashionable deep, pitch grey. It took a few rounds of tries before arriving at the perfect result that reflects the elegant movement of natural bone and the geometric inlay pattern that I wanted.”
That material innovation now exists as the tray topper, which holds an Oscar collar and leash by French trunk maker Goyard. The recipient of this creation also receives MATCH’s Convivio pewter treat jar, which is made in Italy, and as well as the collection’s monogrammed pet dish.
Tavano is also offering a phone consultation with this gift. And, should you want to create a totally bespoke Palace for your best friend (pieces start at $18,500), get ready for a serious design trip. The array of custom options go beyond colors, fabrics, and trims. There are metals to complement your interiors, custom doors to consider, hardware choices, even jewels. Because nothing is too good for your best four-legged friend.
The Haberdashery Haven is available for $12,500. Contact Michael Tavano Design, 212.564.0034 with enquires.