Now that pets are more a part of the American family than ever, home designs need to catch up. The large majority of magazine-worthy interior designs aren’t all that realistic if you’re the proud owner of a couch-happy dog or occasionally chair-clawing cat.
The sheer fact that most pets shed is enough to dictate some pet-oriented features that make cleaning and maintenance a little easier.
5 Pet Friendly Design Tips You’ll Never Regret
So, if you’re ready to remodel or renovate your house – and you’re a family that allows your pets to be more “inside” than “out” – the following tips will help you to complete your upscale remodel with materials and features that accommodate pets in a no-fuss manner.
- Hard surface or low-profile flooring. If you own pets, and you’ve only ever had carpet – you’ll be in for a big surprise when you switch to hardwood flooring. Holy moly, you won’t believe all of the pet-stuff (hair, fur, dust, feathers, dander and other unmentionables) that are camouflaged and hiding out in your carpet pile and pad. “Yuck!” is an understatement…Do yourself a favor and switch to hard-surface flooring. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to clean and maintain – and how free your home is of all that nasty stuff that causes allergies and respiratory issues. If you want to have carpet in a few rooms, consider making the rooms pet-free or using very low-profile options, like Berber, so pet byproducts have nowhere to run or hide.
- Consider using indoor/outdoor fabric. The trend towards an indoor/outdoor lifestyle has major advantages for pet owners. Namely, fabric manufacturers responded by expanding their colors and pattern options exponentially so clients’ outdoor spaces could mimic upscale interior designs. As a result, I highly recommend checking out the array of indoor/outdoor fabrics for your most-used couches and chairs, especially the ones your pets have singled out as favorites. These ultra-stain resistant fabrics are so easy to keep clean, can take more than their fare share of wear-and-tear (even from paws and claws), and you’ll also appreciate it when you encounter the occasional red wine spill or sick child scenario.
- Consider your laundry room the “animal room”. The same can be true for a section of your garage or a recess near the entryway. Laundry rooms are the ideal because they are plumbed, have tile flooring and are a perfect place to set up pet crates, bedding, paw washing stations and even feeding stations when you want to keep pets out of the main living areas.
- Take advantage of nooks and crannies. We typically recommend using nooks and crannies for more storage, but these funky spaces can also make the best places for pets. Have a corner of hard to access kitchen cabinet space? Consider using a slide-out or tilt-bin that can house pet food. Add a window seat in the living room and then put pet beds underneath – sectioned by finished pieces of wood if necessary. Both cats and dogs often enjoy having a “hideaway” to retreat to. If you always have a cat or two in the home, consider adding cat wall climbing systems to the upper areas of your walls, eliminating the need for cat posts and climbing trees that take up valuable human square footage. Your cats will love the elevated vantage points and indoor cats get more exercise that way.
- Use slip-proof area rugs. This should be done in any home design that includes area rugs, really, as moving area rugs are dangerous and are a nuisance to continually put back in place. However, pets make the no-slip feature a must-have. One exuberant dash down the hall will have your favorite runner all rumpled up against the wall at the end of the hallway. Non-slip rugs and/or backings put an end to that.