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man sitting with his two cattle dogs

Step Inside Figo Art Director's Artistic, Pet-Filled Haven

Impossibly cool with a creative eye to match - Figo scored big when we welcomed Art Director Mario Elias to the team. After our first few meetings, I had a feeling his home would be worthy of a tour. Mario's love of art history and design are clear from the way he's carefully curated each space in his Geneva home. But the creation of such a striking atmosphere was no easy feat! Mario moved right as the pandemic hit, and the house he and his husband Mike purchased was in pretty poor condition. After some TLC and many coats of paint, they've finally achieved the aesthetic, pet-haven we see today. Ready to step inside in this month's Figo PetPartment tour?

Your place

City you're located in: Geneva, IL

Years lived in current home: 2 years!

How would you describe your decorating style: Maximalism, cozy reading room realness.

kitchen table with cool decor

Favorite feature of your space: In my office, since Joni and Lula are always right under me, I have a dog bed and a large carpet so they can be comfy while I work. I love having them near so I can take a cuddle break between meetings!

man cuddling dog on rug

Biggest challenge (either about the space itself or one you encountered while decorating): Well, we encountered quite a few issues after moving in that needed addressing, from rotting floors and holes in walls to some questionable paint choices. Some rooms were painted a dark pea soup color, so we had to prime the walls several times to cover that up.

living room decor

Must-have piece of décor/furniture: Art! We love our art collection and our gallery-style family photo wall. We try to consider different color and texture options when decorating too, so every room kind of has one stand-out moment that defines it. In my office, I have this Jacobean cabinet where I store all of my favorite books, weird trinkets, and memories.

man with cat in room

Favorite place to buy décor/furniture: Thrift stores! We love finding unique antiques or pieces of furniture we can clean up a bit and make our own.

bookshelf in green room

What really drew you to your place: We saw the potential it had. We knew it would take a long time and a lotta love, but after two years, we have finally made it our own!

Your pets

Name + breed of pets: Three. Two Australian cattle dog mixes, Joni (cream-colored) and Lula (salt and pepper). And a tabby cat named Henry!

two cattle dogs on bed

Nicknames you have for them: Oh my goodness. Too many. I am surprised any of them even know their actual name. We call Joni "Jonifur Lopaws," Lula is usually "Crazy Girl," and Henry is "GET OFF OF THAT!"

cat in front of mirror

Where did you buy/adopt from? Is there a story behind it?: We adopted Joni and Lula from cattle dog rescues. Joni was found in Fresno CA in a birdcage that was thrown in a dumpster, so she was very traumatized (she is doing phenomenally now, after a lot of care and patience). Lula, our cuddly girl, was a street dog in Kansas City, so she is very sly and can find food anywhere you hide it. We adopted Henry in December of last year, he was the last of his litter to find a home- Best for last!

Their favorite part of your place: Literally wherever our feet are apparently.

Favorite pet accessory or furniture piece: Joni loves the Casper dog bed the most, Lula is rarely seen without a rope toy, and Henry loves burrowing in blankets we've left unattended.

What does being a pet parent to your pets mean to you: The world. They give us a different kind of purpose; they structure our days and keep us active, but, most importantly, they just give us unlimited and unconditional love. I couldn't imagine my day-to-day without them.


Want to see more of Mario's incredible work? Keep your eyes on all things Figo!

Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.

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