Pull-out pet bowls, built-in dog showers in the laundry rooms, and attractively designed nooks for pet habitation within a home have been growing in
popularity and are seen in more custom homes across the region. Pets, as Randy Arnold of Arnold Homes LLC says, are part of the family so homeowners
are really concerned about their well-being. “Empty nesters, whose kids are grown and no longer living at home, are especially concerned about their pets.”
In the 2014 Parade of Homes, Arnold included a dog shower in the laundry room and a hidden dog sleep area nestled under the main stairs with decorative chicken wire accented doors. In the 2015 Parade of Homes, Arnold Homes included a dog sleeping area in the laundry/craft room as part of a built-in desk
area. Marcelle Guilbeau of Marcelle Guilbeau Interior Design reports, “In the past few years we’ve seen more attention spent on making homes pet friendly. From pull-out pet feeding dishes and space for storing pet food to pet-bathing spaces in a laundry space, it’s definitely a trend.”
Guilbeau adds that she is working with an empty nest homeowner who is planning to refurbish her breakfast nook banquette cushions with a Sunbrella®
indoor-outdoor fabric, in a black and plaid pattern to disguise the shedding of her black lab fur-babies.” Another client recently remodeled their bathroom with a special shower to make life easier for their aging golden lab who could no longer jump into the bathtub. “I think this clearly shows that homeowners
are concerned not only with their own aging in place situation, but also concern for their older pets. Pets are no longer outdoor burglar alarms or mousers—they are significant members of the family and should be considered in any design plan.”Jerome Farris of Peddler Interiors agrees, saying that that “designing a home for a client with a pet has become a much more fun endeavor thanks to the fabric industry’s creation of so many pet-friendly options. New fabric choices include viscose, polyester, and Treviras (a man-made fabric that emulates linen). Treviras has antimicrobial qualities and inhibits the growth of bacteria. Easier to maintain with pets than traditional fabrics, these materials are longer lasting and can look and feel like silk or wool.
As a redesign specialist and dog-lover, Gail Adkins of Change Magic Interior Consulting reports she has utilized an old kitchen table/island in which to store pet food and pet accessories. One bin holds a bag of dog food while the other holds leashes, towels, and other supplies. Small drawers accommodate vet records, medications, and more.
According to Sara Ray of Sara Ray Interior Design, she has seen pet food stations near the family dining table, chairs designed just for dogs for watching television. stair runners added to give aging pets access to all areas of a home, movable stairs so pets can reach their humans’ beds, and heated areas in which animals can sleep or rest.
“We have incorporated dog bathing stations in mudrooms and laundry rooms, as
well as special cabinets for treats, leashes, toys, and supplies,” says Ray. “We’ve
also seen cat and dog beds that fit into the decor and double as end tables,
special rooms for dogs under the stairs, ventilated rooms for litter boxes, and cat
hammocks incorporated into room design and wall-hung shelves and/or cabinetry
that cats can climb.”
Reporting that many pet owners buy in bulk to save money, Stephanie Pierce of
MasterBrand Cabinets says they want to flexibility and functionality in their storage
spaces. “Bins, roll trays, assisted opening mechanisms, and enclosed cabinets
help hide away the stockpile of food, treats, and other supplies,” she says.
Ridley Wills of Wills Company says on his blog that dog house construction doesn’t have to be an “outside job.” “It’s fun to give Fido a space all his own in the heart of the home.
Specially constructed nooks or bed cubbies can provide peaceful sanctuaries for pets while also cutting down on clutter or obstructions in walkways or in living areas. These can fit right into cabinetry and a room’s overall design for a pleasant, seamless experience.”
Arnold says his company receives a lot of requests for kennels or spaces in which dogs can rest. “We do a lot of dog door preparation in outside walls and entry doors,” he adds. “The most current trend is the addition of dutch doors designed to contain pets in certain areas of the home so they can be seen and heard.
There are a number of sources for pampered pets including the following:
Arnold Homes LLC
Change Magic Interior Consulting
Marcelle Guilbeau Interior Design
Susan Ray Interior Design