Pets have always had a special place in the hearts of American families, but the last couple of decades have made life even cushier for our furry friends. From designer clothing lines and memory foam sleeping quarters to purified water dishes and jewelry, modern day pets are living the American dream.
All kidding aside, contemporary home designs often take pets into consideration in an effort to maintain a stylish household while still accommodating four-legged members of the family.
The Contemporary Home: Designing Your Interiors With Pets in Mind
Here are a few ideas for making your home purrfect for furry, feathered and potentially scaly family members.
Enjoy the benefits of indoor/outdoor upholstery. Honestly, if you have kids or pets, the main living areas in your home should always contain furniture with indoor/outdoor upholstery. Put the idea of rough canvas or green fabric with bright rainbow flowers right out of your head. Indoor/outdoor fabrics aren’t just for the patio anymore. The advancement of technology and synthetics has allowed furniture manufacturers to create patterns and prints that look and feel elegant enough to complement any design. They don’t tear as easy, they don’t stain as readily and any spills, accidents or fluid-involved pet shenanigans can be wiped up in a flash.
Built in sleeping and eating quarters. Built-in shelving and storage areas are the norm now in living rooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. These built-ins also make for ideal “pet centers”. If you have the luxury of a large laundry room or mud room, you can include a low, tiled area with a perimeter rim and a drain for dog washing (also handy for rinsing boots, shoes, hands and feet after gardening or wet season outdoor play). You can also build sleeping nooks built to fit a favorite pet bed, slide-out, metal-lined drawers that hold economy sized pet food and a cabinet or two for all the pet accessories. These are all attractive ways to incorporate pet gear into your home without all the clutter.
Kitty walkways and playgrounds. If you’re a cat lover, things can feel cluttered pretty quick. On one hand, your cats need something to keep them distracted from clawing up your favorite furnishings. On the other, those carpet covered cat poles and platforms don’t always mix with the rest of the home decor. Companies like Square Cat Habitat sell designer pet furniture that blends in to a well-designed home. You can also incorporate “barely there” cat walks, stairways, platforms, sleeping lofts and more by using the upper areas of your walls, soffits and ceilings. Check out the colorful cat playground that was blended into these children’s bedroom.
Hard surface flooring. When families are consummate pet owners, I always recommend working with hard surface flooring in all of the main living areas. There are many wonderful products out there for eliminating pet messes, odors and stains from fabric but – no matter what – there always seems like a little residual “memory” lingers. Plus, animals often have “favorite” places to express their accidents and upsets, which can lead to more wear-and-tear on those particular sections of carpet from all the repeat washings. Hard surface flooring is versatile and easy to clean. You can save cushy carpet for formal living rooms, dining rooms or any bedrooms that don’t have regular access. Area rugs can be used to soften things around the house and are more easily washed or traded in for new models when needed.
How has your home managed to incorporate pet-friendly design ideas without compromising style? Share your suggestions in the Kristina Wolf Design comment box below.