top of page

Living the best lake life

Creating a Pet-Friendly Home with Amie Freling of Meme Hill Studio

With the sun shining and water beckoning, there’s no better place to be than by the lakeside. Whether it’s a weekend trip or an extended stay, it’s time to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life to enjoy some quality time with loved ones, including our furry companions.

To gather some expert insight on homes perfect for people and pets, we sat with Amie Freling, the designer and artist behind Meme Hill Studios! Fresh off a recent lakehouse renovation, she shared valuable tips for making the most of pet-friendly and people-pleasing homes.

Bring Color to Your Lakeside Retreat

When it comes to creating a picturesque lake atmosphere, color is key! Amie suggests a palette combination of off whites, light grays and blues, along with touches of beige or cream. By the water, blues act as neutrals, which Amie says “set the nautical mood, and lighter colors help put us in summer mode!” For a sharp contrast, consider swapping out kitchen hardware with black accents.

Amie also emphasizes windows while steering away from elaborate window treatments that may block stunning views of the water. As her motto says, keep it “light and bright!”

Furniture Solutions for Fido

Amie suggests slipcovers for those whose pets like to take up residence on the couch. While they can be expensive upfront, she assures they pay for themselves in the long run, since they not only protect the cushions, but a fresh cover can transform an old couch into a seemingly new one.

“The color itself depends on the dog hair, but you’ll want something that’s not too dark so hair doesn’t stand out too much,” Amie says. She also recommends slipcovers or performance fabrics that can easily be washed in case of spills or accidents, perfect for people and pets alike. For added convenience, most covers can be individually removed. “I also suggest fabrics that are treated to repel stains and that are sun or fade resistant.”

For other furniture materials, Amie advises avoiding linen curtains, cotton, or any treated fabrics if pet-friendliness is your priority. For Amie, “It’s all about function, then form.”

And for those whose furry friends enjoy perching on the back of the couch, having cushions that don’t connect to the frame itself reduces the risk of tears or damage. Other options include having a designated pillow or blanket that can be taken off for guests. “They help protect the couch and can easily be removed,” Amie says. At her home they have two sets: dog blankets and people blankets. “Our dog blankets all have prints to separate them so it’s easy to tell what’s what.”

Dog Kisses on Windows

We all have that one window (or many!) our dogs love looking out. For treating those little smudges, Amie suggests either a mix of 9 parts water/1 part vinegar or simple Windex, and “keeping up with it is key!”

Meet Gino, the English Bulldog!


FAVORITE TREAT: Cheese sticks


He loves the water and being with other people. Still a puppy, he even has his own life jacket!


Pet-Friendly Floors

When it comes to flooring, selecting the right material is crucial, especially in a lakehouse and more so one with pets. Amie highly recommends luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or luxury vinyl plank (LVP). Manmade materials that offer durability and affordability make them ideal for enduring spills and varying weather conditions without swelling or expanding.

“There are two designer tips for finding vinyl that I always look for,” Amie says. “One: grooves, or the beveling in the edges, and two: embossing, where I can see the full grain in the planks.”

Again, she advises against using dark colors, as they tend to highlight dust and pet hair. Instead, medium-light tones are some of her favorites, and she emphasizes that floors contribute to the overall color scheme of a room just as much as wall paint does. With current trends moving more toward warmer colors and fewer grays, Amie also suggests mixing in wood tones, which are picturesque in upstate NY.

“Find something neutral that has longevity, that you know you will love for a long time,” Amie says. Finding the right flooring can be a process, and Amie says renovations can be not only pricey but time-consuming. It’s best to go with something that works for you, not something that caught your eye for a split second. “It’s always easier to paint a single wall than to redo an entire floor!”

Dog-Friendly Elements

Finding a balance between your dog’s treats, toys, and your everyday décor is easier than you may think. Amie suggests incorporating covers for dog beds that match the room’s theme, along with cute baskets for toys or glass jars with wooden lids for treats. There are also a wide variety of mats available for dog bowls that can not only blend well with your overall scheme, but can help catch spills!

Another quick way to add some canine charm to your home is to swap out welcome mats. With numerous fun options, the mat at this recently renovated lakehouse reads, “Hope You Like Bulldogs!” Enmesh your dog and everyday décor with storage bins for tennis balls or put cute, interactive dog toys on display. Consider investing in dog fountains, pools, or splash pads to help keep your furry friend cool and entertained during the summer. Depending on activities, dog life jackets and collar lights can also be essentials for safety.

Recent Reno

This recent project was done to provide the residents with single floor living perfect for aging in place. The entertaining spaces strategically face the lake, highlighting the picturesque setting with the new wall of windows. With most time at the lake centered around entertaining, Amie knew she needed ample space for friends and family, which meant space to gather, grill, and socialize.


Follow @memehillstudio for more design inspiration!