In ramp-up to Love Your Dog Day and the recent free and open-to-the-public Great Doggie Dine-Out & Paws Fest (GDD&PF) in Downtown Boca, Sklar Furnishings sponsored the inaugural Great Pet Bed Design Competition with ‘Designer Choice’ Awards presented at a private preview party at Sklar’s 22,000-square-foot contemporary furniture showroom in Boca Raton. After being displayed at the GDD&PF where event-goers voted for their ‘fav’ entry for a ‘People’s Choice’ Award, all entries were featured in the Couture Section of the silent auction at the Bone-Nanza pre-party at the 13th Annual Tri-County Animal Rescue Doggie Ball at Boca West Country Club.

According to Pat Howard, co-owner of Sklar Furnishings with husband Rick Howard, the design competition public call-out delivered 13 entries by pet lovin’ professionals who included credentialed interior designers, graphic designers, framers, art students and crafts enthusiasts.

“All were interesting, eye-catching and of course ‘pet comfy’ entries,” shared Pat Howard. “Entrants took this very seriously with ‘quality’ and ‘creative’ quotients off-the-chart. Designs ranged from ‘diva’ luxury, bright bling, and ‘his and hers’ bedding to sports-themed, a covered hammock for outdoor relaxing, and a high-heeled wooden sculpture. In fact, we had Sklar’s own resident Yorkie pup tester named Max try out each bed and we are happy to report he gave each bed a ‘four-paws-up’ in comfort.”

The types of materials used determined the eligible category: 1) Display Only (created as an art piece or sculpture) that is made of materials that do not accommodate frequent use, have breakable pieces, use non-water base paints, and 2) Pet-Friendly (made of durable pet-safe materials, paints, fabrics, etc.).

The ‘Top Dog’ Award went to “LoubPawTins” by Courtney Thomas and Olivia Marshall from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale for their ‘high heel’ wood-sculptured entry. Second prize went to graphic designer Roberta Stealy for her “The Stiletto Stroll” entry that also won ‘People’s Choice’ First Prize at the GDD&PF event. The Designer’s Choice Third Prize went to Abdullah Abuhaimed and Manuel Noboa from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for their “Dog Chill Out Space” complete with pet hammock and plenty of shade. Other entrants included Summer Version of “English Knole Sofa” by Nancy Simons and Lee Parker of Kukes Simons Interiors; “Play Ball” by graphic designer Roberta Stealy, “Boca Bling Baby” that won ‘People’s Choice’ Second Prize; “Night Owl” and “Shaggie Chic Rosie” by Shaggie Chic Pet Boutique; “Mini Me 1” and “Mini Me 2” custom-upholstered beds by ReTreat for Dogs; a ‘His & Hers’ Bed Set by Fiat Framing Boca Raton and “Pink Cowgirl Sleep & Play” by Kaye Communications.

Rick Howard added that “because our Sklar team specializes in custom contemporary furnishings and accessories, sponsoring the design competition was a perfect fit. The entries were a wonderful blend of furniture, art, creativity and passion for a compassionate community mission as pet rescue and adoption.”

Sklar designers recommended that entrants search the internet or ‘channel’ their own pet wants and needs to serve as the inspiration for their signature creations. As avid volunteer leadership and home builders of Habitat for Humanity, the Howards suggested that entrants consider stopping by a HFH ReStore or the Tri-County Animal Rescue Thrift Shop to purchase materials, old furniture and accessories to recycle into entries as well as looking in their own homes to ignite creativity.

The Inaugural Great Pet Bed Design Competition was presented to increase awareness of Tri-County Animal Rescue (TCAR), the region’s largest 501c (3) 100% NO KILL animal rescue and adoption nonprofit organization and to raise monies for its Medical Care Fund for all levels of veterinary evaluation, surgical, preventative and well-being (i.e. vaccinations, vitamins). The funds are required to support TCAR’s intensive life-saving rescue initiatives to ‘rescue, rehabilitate and re-home’ abused, discarded or neglected dogs and cats it saves from high kill shelters and puppy mills as well as those surrendered or abandoned.

Sklar Furnishings is open seven days a week: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays 12 Noon to 6 p.m., and evenings by appointment. The center is located at 6300 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33487. For more information on its furniture and accessory lines, visit or call (561) 862-0800.

About Sklar Furnishings
Complete with a full team of credentialed home and office designers and space planners, Sklar provides high levels of design and service with customization at the foundation of its philosophy. As an industry leader committed to “Your Space, Your Lifestyle, Your Choice,” Sklar works with selected high-end furniture, accessory and lighting suppliers from North America, Italy, Scandinavia and the Far East to offer customers maximum freedom in expressing their personal style by specifying the exact color, fabric, wood finish, shape and size of their furnishings. From sofas to dining tables, chairs and wall units, clients can literally design themselves by choosing the colors, finishes, fabrics, size and configurations to fit their requirements.  Also committed to being a good neighbor, Sklar works to make a positive difference in its immediate community and beyond while being a good steward to the planet in its day-to-day operations and personally, in its team’s personal lives.