July 6, 2016

Create a Pet Paradise in Your Home

If you’re like me, your pet is considered a part of the family. So why not give your pet his/her own comfortable living space in your home? I’ve helped clients incorporate simple design ideas as part of their remodeling efforts, creating pet-friendly spaces and functional updates that not only pamper pets—they make the home more neat and organized. Here’s a few upgrades to consider:

Dog Wash:
Let’s face it–dogs love to get dirty. When the cold weather hits, it isn’t feasible to give the dog a bath outside and loading him in the car for a trip to the doggie wash is just inconvenient.Dog Wash

Solution: Installing a dog wash in a mudroom is an easy way to simplify bath time. Some clients forgo the laundry sink and just choose to install the dog wash station alone. You can use a simple shower base or build a custom tile enclosure. Adding a faucet with a pull-out shower attachment makes quick work of dog shampooing. If you don’t have a mudroom or laundry room in your house, consider adding the doggie wash in your basement or garage.

Built-in Pet Water/Feeding Station:
This upgrade makes feeding your pet easy and convenient—and you can make good use of a space that would otherwise be left empty (think in the hallway off the kitchen, next to the planning desk, in the laundry room, etc.)

For some clients, I’ve built these stations by converting lower kitchen drawers: Inside the drawer a custom-built frame is topped with stone or tile with cutouts that house the two bowls. (Because it’s inevitable that water will spill and splash, a wooden surface will warp over time.) The benefits of these slide-out style stations are:
1.) the bowls drop in and out for easy cleaning, and
2.) the drawer makes it easy to tuck the food away when you have company or if your pet is on a strict feeding schedule.

Food Storage Pull-outs:
If you have a big dog or a few cats in your home, you likely buy pet food in bulk. Simply install the standard trash can-style pull-outs in a kitchen or pantry cabinet and then buy large, airtight storage containers/bins that slide into the openings. This is a great way to keep food fresh with convenient storage.

Built-in Pet Beds:
Many homeowners like to give their pets a place of their own to relax and/or sleep. Consider a built-in bed that houses a standard-size pet bed pillow, which can be easily replaced as needed. Some homeowners have the bed inserts custom-covered to match the décor of the home to create a more seamless and pulled-together vibe.Built_in_Aquarium

Built-in Aquariums:
Some animal habitats can be treated as the focal point of a living space, adding color and movement to a room. From tropical fish, to reptiles, to exotic birds, enclosures for these beautiful pets should be designed and built with ample storage and required amenities (water, electricity) in mind. It’s always wise to do your research and/or consult a contractor that has experience in dealing with building and maintaining these enclosures.

Take a look around your home and see what ideas work well with your space. Your faithful companions are counting on you. Good luck!

The Best is Yet to Come,
Beth Orr