As pet owners ourselves, we’re big on functionality. It’s important to make sure your interior space not only looks great, but gives your pets everything they need to be happy within it. Most of our pets, especially cats and dogs, can end up spending more time at home than we do. With this in mind, it’s good to make sure it’s set up for whatever they get up to - from daytime cat naps to playing fetch in the garden.
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Giving clever design changes a go can have a big impact on how you care for your pets, making everyday routines easier. Whether you live in a small flat with a cat or you’re sharing a detached house with your dogs, there’s always opportunities to get creative with interior design changes. In this week’s blog our team have rounded up their favourite hacks, how-to’s and inspiration for pet-friendly additions that still tick all the right decor boxes. Let’s get started.
No muddy paw prints here, please. While we love to see our dogs running about and having fun on walks, there’s no ignoring the amount of muck they seem to get themselves into. Spare your carpets and consider adding a mudroom to your wishlist. Utility rooms can easily be repurposed into a pet grooming space by adding in a tiled area with a small shower unit - the ideal place for post-walk clean-ups.
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Add storage space for towels, grooming brushes and treats close by. Just because this area’s practical doesn’t mean it has to look that way, though. Create a unique colour scheme for this dedicated space and treat the decor as part of your home. Choose non-textured tiles for easier cleaning and add a bath mat for those guaranteed shake-offs.
2. Under stairs hideaways
Making use of dead space is something we’re always talking about in the interior design world, especially when it comes to small spaces. Even if you’re not short on square footage, repurposing an under stairs area into a hideaway for your pets is still a great idea. Family life can be really busy, and there will always be times when your pets need a moment away from the noise.
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Give them a dedicated place for relaxing and sleeping by adding beds, blankets and their favourite toys to your under-stairs area, if you have one. Make sure it’s got plenty of ventilation and includes bedding that can be taken out and cleaned.
3. Dining nooks
If there’s one thing our dogs can always get on board with, it’s dinner time. Keeping their bowls in the kitchen allows for easy clean up, and you can store food nearby but safely out of sight - especially if you’ve got a food-motivated pup on your hands.
Image: @bhg Pinterest
We love the idea of a dog dining nook, which can be incorporated with a simple drawer insert into most kitchen units. Not only does this keep your pets' bowls in place, but saves space for when they aren’t being used. Choose bowls that can be taken out of the nook for easy cleaning, and pick a spot for this feature where it’s out of the way from anyway walkways or busy areas.
4. Pet beds
Who said pet beds couldn’t be a part of the decor? Not us. When choosing a bed for your pet, consider what size they’ll need and how this will fit into your space. Most pets like their bed to be against a wall or tucked into a cosy corner. Once you’ve scoped out their favourite snoozing spots, pick out pet beds in colours that compliment the rest of your interior decor.
If it’s bold and bright, keep things contrasting. If neutral decor’s your thing, experiment with linen dog beds to add interest to the room. Add multiple beds throughout the house so there’s always somewhere for them to relax, and consider different styles. There’s everything from baskets to dog sofas out there, so have fun with it.
5. Cat walkways
Cats love being up high - any cat owner will be able to tell you this. A cat tree is the first thing you’d think of, but for those with less floor space, shelves can be a great option. Create a walkway that includes spots for lazy Sunday snoozing by choosing cat shelves.
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Go minimalist with these and choose shapes that fit with the room’s decor style - this will make sure they blend into the interior when your cat’s not using them. Place shelves above cabinets or other furniture so your cat can climb up onto them easily, and keep the surrounding areas free of anything they're not allowed to touch or knock over.
6. Pet-proof furniture
There’s nothing worse than a scratch-induced tear or a stubborn pet stain on a brand-new sofa (or any sofa, for that matter). That’s why it’s important to make durability top of the list when furnishing your space, especially with upholstery. Choose stain-resistant fabrics for your next sofa or armchair to eliminate worries about pet damage.
Regular brushing is always a good idea for long-haired pets. For the pet hair your brush can’t get to, remember to vacuum your sofa regularly. Our dog and cat owning customers recommend velvet sofas or other flat-pile fabrics for easier maintenance.
7. Hidden litter boxes
Got an indoor cat? Find creative ways to hide litter boxes for a much tidier interior look. Hidden litter boxes help to conceal unsightly litter trays, which is especially important if you’ve got a smaller space to work with. Most options need creativity and a little DIY. The key here is making sure the litter box blends in, and clever use of everyday furniture can do wonders.
Image: @dezeen Pinterest
Consider using open-ended cabinets, or multi-purpose storage benches to tuck away your cats litter box. Use materials that blend in with the rest of your interior decor, and your guests won’t notice a thing.
How can I make my house more pet-friendly?
- Install easy-clean flooring like laminate and wood.
- Choose stain-resistant sofas and fabrics.
- Hide wires and electrics out of sight.
- Create hideaways in corners and under stairs.
- Provide beds in multiple areas.
- Keep it at a comfortable temperature.
How do you design a home with pets?
- Choose pet beds in complimentary colours.
- Add hidden storage for everyday pet items.
- Create a dedicated pet dining area.
- Pick furniture based on durability.
- Balance aesthetics with functionality.