8 Lessons Chihuahuas Can Teach Us About Interior Design

8 Lessons Chihuahuas Can Teach Us About Interior Design

I have two Chihuahua mixes and, well, they rule. They fit in just about anywhere. And I do mean anywhere — in a purse, burrowed under the covers or curled up amazingly on the smallest pillow you’ve ever seen.

But Chihuahuas have another hidden talent: They’re a great source for interior design tips. Perhaps it’s because these dogs can be so versatile in looks and personality. I know, I know, all dogs are unique to some degree, but I really think Chihuahuas are special. No two ever seem to be alike. I grew up with a collie, and to this day every time I see a collie, I think I’m staring right down the mosquito-nose face of my old Molly.

“Chihuahuas have their own mind,” says Tanya King, who photographs dogs frequently for Modern Dog magazine. “They’re unpredictable and have a lot of different looks. Some dogs just have one look. Chihuahuas’ expressions are a little more different — tongues stuck out all the time, bigger head, little snout — you don’t know what you’re going to get.”

Chihuahuas can teach you how small things can bring you big joy. For now let them demonstrate some basic home design tips.

Play with scale. It’s important to juxtapose large items with little ones to bring balance to your decor. If you’ve got a big sofa, add some pillows — or a Chihuahua — to help bring it back down to size within the overall scheme of the room.


Embrace symmetry. This household is undoubtedly happier with two pups running around rather than one. A good rule of thumb when approaching design is to use symmetry to balance your decor. A lamp on either side, two white pillows, two blue ones, two rectangular pieces of art and two Chihuahuas create harmony in this bedroom.


Be a big softie. Don’t write off soft colors and neutral palettes as just playing it safe. Lightening tones and opting for in-between colors is a small effort with big bite, just like a Chihuahua.


Contrast styles. Just like these black and white Chihuahuas, this room mixes contemporary features, like polished concrete floors, with a more rustic Southwest style. By combining two seemingly disparate styles, you often arrive at something more than the sum of the parts.


Use brown to create warm, rich interiors. Brown as an entire palette is tough to pull off. But give it your love and attention, and it will reward you with the same. (I totally ripped that off from Marley & Me.)

Here the Ralph Lauren Bridle paint color pulls in the wood furnishings for a look that celebrates — and elevates — the tricky color.


When in doubt, go with classic white. It’s easy to feel pressured into choosing vibrant colors — thanks, Anna Wintour — but classic white and soft creams can set the stage for the most colorful personality.


Be one of a kind. You won’t meet another pup like Lola here. Too special for mass production. The decor follows suit. A CD player that looks like a vintage radio, a reupholstered wingback chair and an old photograph of the homeowner make this space truly personalized.

See More of This L.A. Retro-Glam Loft


Above all, choose what’s comfortable. Picking a complicated style and trying to execute it might not be your thing. No worries. Just stick with what makes you comfortable. Soft linens and well-worn leather are a good place to start.

By Mitchell Parker, Houzz