Interior design with your dog in mind

Has your home gone to the dogs? If so there are five ways to freshen up your home and make your living environment more attractive.

  1. Remove wall to wall carpeting and replace with hardwood floors.  Carpeting traps fur and oils and is easily stained.  Hardwood floors are easy to clean and keep your home looking fresh especially during the winter. 
  2. Repaint your walls with a gloss paint such as Benjamin Moore Regal Matte finish.  This is a new line of paint that combines the rich, deep look of a flat paint with the washability of a gloss.  Flat finish paints are difficult to clean and the paint will often come off when you are trying to clean Fido’s smudge marks.
  3. Reupholster your furniture and change the pet’s bedding to match your pet’s fur color.  Although the fur is still there this can make a tremendous difference in the overall appearance of your home.
  4. Set up an animal room near an entry.  This will help contain your pet’s dirt to one area.  Ideally, this room should have tile floors for easy clean up and an area where towels can be stored to wipe your pet down upon entry. 
  5. Cover the hardwood floors with patterned area rugs.  The pattern in the rug will hide some of the fur and makes cleaning easier.  One of my clients bought modular carpet tiles for one of their rooms and it looks great.  The carpet squares stick to the floor with adhesive and come in a variety of styles and patterns.  They are easy to install and best of all easy to replace if Fido stains one of the squares. 

Peninsula Real Estate Market Update

Economic news was sketchy again this week, with housing-related headlines continuing to point out the scary negatives. However, we continue to see a surprising amount of interest from buyers who are deciding to take the plunge. The deals that are out there are getting to be irresistible, and with mortgage rates starting to creep back up (though still at near historic lows) buyers are recognizing that now may be the best time to buy. Sales are increasing in all price ranges in many areas, and it is perhaps the passing of the economic stimulus package that is spurring these buyers to buy. Now they’re jumping in while the deals are out there.  We are also starting to see homes that have been on the market for quite awhile starting to get multiple offers and selling.  First time buyers are also finding affordable, desirable homes in lower price ranges and through REO sales – and they’re buying them.  It is not uncommon now to see multiple offers on REO’s. For more information about the local real estate market contact me at

Palo Alto Penthouse for your Pooch

117 S. California Avenue, Palo AltoDo you have a downtown dog? There is a new penthouse condo on the market at 117 S. California Avenue in Palo Alto. Located next to shops, restaurants and CalTrain this is the perfect setting for your downtown dog. It is a great condo if you work at home. The current owner has his desk set up in front of a window with a panoramic view of Palo Alto Hills. It might be hard to get your work done because the view is so beautiful. 

There is another penthouse for your pooch at 101 Alma Street.  This is a great unit if you are downsizing with your dog.  The penthouse has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with sweeping views of Stanford and the western hills.  The building has a staffed service counter on the first floor. 

Both of these penthouse condos are rare finds.  Penthouses rarely come on the market in these buildings.  For more information about these and other pet friendly condos contact me at or go to

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Larry Lane Trail

Larry Lane Trail, Portola Valley

I am always on the lookout for good, dog friendly hikes on the peninsula. On President’s Day I discovered Larry Lane Trail in Portola Valley and loved it. It is a little like Pulgas Ridge but it is a much more moderate hike. The 1.75 mile trail gently climbs into the Sierra Morena Mountains to a vista with spectacular views of the Peninsula. There are several benches along the trail and a picnic area about halfway up.

Larry Lane Trail, Portola Valley

The trail begins along Hayfields Road near Portola Road and winds up along the Portola Valley/Woodside town border. There are a series of switchbacks in the lower portion of the trail but the incline is not steep. The trail emerges into the hayfields near Russell Avenue in Woodside Highlands.

Larry Lane Trail, Portola Valley

There are patches of fragrant Narcissus and fields of green grass along the trail.  As the trail ascends it becomes shaded and the brush grows thick with poison oak.  Dogs are required to be on leash on the trail.  Generally I hate to put my dog on a leash while hiking but on this trail it is a good idea.  As much as I love my dog to be free I didn’t want to have to deal with ticks and poison oak when I got home.  

What are your favorite dog friendly hikes on the peninsula?  Pulgas Ridge and Larry Lane are the best hikes I have found. 

Published in: on February 20, 2008 at 5:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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Is your neighborhood safe? New website maps local crime

The city of Palo Alto launched a new website on Wednesday which allows the public to use Google Maps to plot crime incidents in the city. The Web site,, provides users free access to targeted e-mail alerts and a searchable database of the city’s recent crimes.

Every morning the police department updates the website from their report management system.  Not only is this tool valuable to keep residents informed about crime in their community it is also an excellent resource for buyers considering various Palo Alto neighborhoods. 

I searched the site for crime reports around Palo Alto’s dog parks.  Hoover Park was virtually crime free.  Greer and Mitchell parks both had crime incidents on their borders.  To check out the crime around Palo Alto dog parks click here.

Hopefully, Menlo Park will subscribe to this service at some point.  There is currently a rash of burglaries taking place in the Willows near Willow Oaks dog park.  The burglaries are primarily taking place in the morning after the owners go to work.  It would be great to see a map of the area to view where the crimes are clustered.

Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New on the market: Top Pick for Dog Friendly Home in the Willows

The Willowss in Menlo Park is a dog friendly neighborhood located between San Francisquito Creek and Willow Road. Eucalyptus, oak and bay trees line the streets making it a nice place to walk your dog. It also has a neighborhood dog park which is one of the best in town. Willow Oaks dog park has limited hours but a newly reseeded lawn and friendly people. To search for homes near Willow Oaks dog park, click here.

The Willows has a strong sense of community.  They even have their own Yahoo Group at Willows_neighborhood@yahoogroups.comwhere neighbors stay connected and share information.  As I was driving through the Willows previewing property on Broker’s tour, I saw the above Basset Xing sign posted to a tree.  Now that is dog friendly!

A bike path connects The Willows to Palo Alto making trips to downtown Palo Alto with your pooch an easy walk over the San Francisquito Creek.  

 221 McKendry Drive, Menlo Park

There is a new listing at 221 McKendry Drive which is my top pick for dog friendly property in the Willows.  It is walking distance to Willow Oaks, located on a quiet street and was formerly occupied by two King Charles Cavaliers.  This 3 bedroom 1 bath home features an updated and expanded kitchen, top of the line appliances, hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, dual pane windows, wood burning fireplace and garage bonus room.  There is a nice backyard area for your dogs to enjoy.  Open house Saturday and Sunday.

For information on other dog friendly properties on the peninsula, contact me at or visit my website at






New on the market: Dog friendly homes in Menlo Park

429 Concord Drive, Menlo Park

If you are looking for a single family home in Menlo Park that is in a dog friendly neighborhood, my top pick is 429 Concord Drive. The home is located in The Willows, which is a cute, dog friendly neighborhood conveniently located near 101. There are beautiful hardwood floors throughout the home which makes for easy cleanup when there are dirty paws and a lovely fenced backyard with a large Heritage Oak tree (perfect for keeping you dog cool on hot days.) One of the best parts about this home is that is walking distance to Willow Oaks dog park which is one of the best maintained dog parks in the area. 

600 Willow Road, Menlo ParkIf you are in the market for a dog friendly townhome, 600 Willow Road is my top choice.  Dogs are allowed and there are no weight restrictions.  Several of the owners in the complex have small dogs.  The best part about this townhome is that it is right around the corner from Willow Oaks dog park.  The townhome itself has a small yard but living next to a dog park is priceless. 

Both homes are open this weekend.  For more information about these homes or other dog friendly properties in Menlo Park, contact me at

Newly Formed Peninsula Dog Owners Yahoo Discussion Group

I just created a new Yahoo Group for peninsula dog owners.  The purpose of the group is to provide a forum for discussion about dog related issues such as recommendations for pet services, announcements of local dog events, adoption/rescue needs, animal legislation, animal rights political action and pet health. 

I was inspired to create the group because I get all of my dog resource information from talking to people at the dog park.  Since it has been raining so much, I have not visited the dog park in quite some time.  I have missed my connection to the dog community.  I formed the group to bring the peninsula dog community together in a supportive environment where dog information can be shared and dog needs addressed.  I see this as a virtual dog park.  Please spread the word so we can have as much input as possible for our discussions.

Click the below tab to join the group now.
Click here to join peninsuladogs
Click to join PeninsulaDogs

Published in: on February 6, 2008 at 6:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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Got a water dog?

Lake Lagunita Palo Alto

Lake Lagunita is the perfect place to take your water dog to romp. Seemingly overnight Lake Lagunita transformed from a dry lake with a puddle of water in the middle to a full sized lake. Yesterday when I was there a family was out in a row boat enjoying a ride around the lake. At about 5:00 pm it was as if a silent Lab call went out because people with their Labs started streaming to the lake from every direction. The dogs were delighted. They charged into the water, chased each other on the shore and ran after the Canadian geese clustered at the edge of the lake. It was a scene of pure joy. 

I am not sure how long the water will last after the rain stops so now is a good time to take your dog for a water adventure.  Parking is free on the weekends and after 4pm during the week. 

Published in: on February 2, 2008 at 7:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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