Are you looking for a pet-friendly home design in Chicago or elsewhere without sacrificing comfort or functionality?
Pets are a great addition to a home, for some it is nonnegotiable, so taking the necessary precautions ensures that both you and your pet can live adequately.
There is a plethora of pet-friendly home design choices and stylish tips to create a space that is comfortable and functional for both you and your furry friend.
As home design advances, more problems are beginning to be recognized and resolved, which include the problem of pet hair, grime, and general pet living necessities that need to be resolved and ways to amply mesh the living standards of the homeowner with their pet. Countless quick fixes and home design choices to resolve this issue have been popularized and utilized more and can be included thoughtfully in your home renovation.
Starting from the bottom up when incorporating the needs of a pet can ensure a smooth experience during their lifetime. These bottom-up solutions include built-in pet-friendly furniture such as built-in water bowl stations, multi-use spaces such as mud rooms with dog wash stations, being selective with fabric choices, and durable waterproof flooring. Pets are a great addition to a family, and preparing for the responsibility and potential lifestyle changes that come with owning a pet will keep your home clean and charming.
The simplest design choice for a pet owner is to choose the right flooring and fabrics when building or redesigning their home. Many pets are prone to shedding, and accumulating layers of pet hair can make a clean home look dingy.
To avoid this mess, choose the right couch and chair fabric! Fabrics such as wool, tweed, and velvet are higher maintenance and attract vast amounts of pet hair. These fabrics can double the time spent cleaning up after your pet.
A leather or vegan leather couch, which is a popular design choice, lessens the likelihood of pet hair buildup and makes for an easy clean-up when shedding occurs. Materials that are great for high-traffic rooms and easily cleaned include microfiber and natural fibers.
Similarly, choosing the correct flooring for your pets’ needs is necessary for the cleanliness of your home. Hard flooring is always the correct choice when it comes to pets because the mess they can create on carpeted floors can be an expensive and time-consuming cleanup. When looking at hard floor options, consider color/tone and material.
Wood flooring is a classic and timeless design choice in any home; however, wood is a soft material and can be prone to scratches and staining. Vinyl or engineered hardwood tend to be more viable options for pet owners. It is also important to consider the color/tone of the flooring. Darker or gray tones will show more dirt, dust, and dander than a natural or lighter-colored tone. Tile is also a great alternative that provides a waterproof durable floor surface. One thing to consider if opting for tile is it tends to be very cold, especially in our Chicago winters.
The most popular pet-friendly design element is food and water bowl drawers or shelves. Homeowners have already found a way to disguise their dishwashers and fridges by blending them into their cabinets with custom paneling. They have now found a way to blend their dog bowls in by making the food and water bowls be built into a drawer to minimize the eye sore of a dog bowl. You can also incorporate the bowls in the “dead space” corners of your kitchen with a small built-in.
Many clients even opt to include a spigot (or “pot filler”) for water next to their bowls for an easy refill. This can also aid in minimizing the mess from the sink to the bowl area, and the spigot and dog bowls can be a great addition to an empty or odd corner in the kitchen and can almost double as another piece of décor.
Pet owners are also leaning toward having almost an entire room designated for their pets or incorporating their pets’ necessities into their “mud room” to keep their dirt and odor in a confined space. Adding a dog wash station to the mudroom or laundry room is a great addition to having one place to confine the mess and have a designated place for your dog to get cleaned up before trekking through the rest of the home.
Having a dog wash station makes keeping your pet and home clean a simpler task. A pet wash station is a shower area fully designated for the animal in the home. They make washing your pet a very simple task and keep the mess out of other bathrooms in the home. Many of them consist of a wide and short shower area that is slightly enclosed and has a leash to attach to a collar, which keeps the pet from running out. Pet wash stations are fully customizable and can be tiled, include a tub, or be more of a walk-in shower style with a handheld sprayer and faucet.
If you are a pet owner who prefers to keep certain rooms or areas of your home off-limits to your pet, you most likely have searched for baby or pet gates. Most online searches for gates will yield some variation of a metal or plastic fence or a slimmer style with a pull-out screen. For homeowners who don’t want to feel that their pets consume their home design, there are sleeker more modern options if you look in the right places!
Partnering with a custom carpenter or steel manufacturer will allow you to create a custom design that can fold into the wall or even match the railing of your staircase to look fully integrated with your home design. When not in use, the custom foldable gate tucks into the doorframe or wall pocket to be completely hidden from view.
Another fun way pet owners blend their pet needs into their homes is through built-in beds and play areas. Some unique homes have created a living space for their dog under their stairs, giving their dog their own space to sleep and play without sacrificing the aesthetic of their home. This design choice makes your pet’s space more confined and can minimize the mess in other areas of the house. These can be as simple as a little opening that blends into the wall, or almost an entire other “room” design designated for their animal’s needs, all depending on how prevalent the homeowner wants their pet’s living space to be.
Pet owners have also started matching their pet beds, bowls, and even toys to their home aesthetic, which is a simple way to make your house look more uniform and cleaner without neglecting the needs of your pets. These small changes can make your pet goods look like a cohesive part of your home.
Small architectural elements can also lend well to a pet-friendly design. Building a deeper windowsill allows for the perfect window bench seat for your pet to watch the outdoors. You can even customize further with a cushion and pillows to enjoy alongside.
A great way to integrate a cat-friendly must-have into your home is through hidden litterboxes. We have all seen the creative take on cat litterbox furniture or plant pots. Another creative option is to build a litterbox into your custom cabinetry. Your cat can then go in and out through a small opening to access the litterbox. A larger door allows you access to the cabinet to clean and change the litter regularly. The cat still has the freedom to use their litterbox whenever needed, and the owner gets the benefit of a less prevalent litterbox in their home.
Cats can also be very adventurous and need places to climb, scratch, and play, and most homes and furniture will take a beating during these activities.
There are so many fun solutions to keep your cat climbing and entertained. Some homes will put climbing shelves on their walls, sometimes using a scratching post material to have a two-in-one design for their cat. These shelves are great for a more low-key design, but some homes go above and beyond. A few homeowners have taken the liberty to create a walkway on the top half of their wall, just below their ceiling hidden behind a cove covered by crown molding, for their cats to walk all around their home from room to room. While for some this may seem like too much, some pet owners are willing to take more drastic measures to entertain their pets.
Are you ready to optimize your Chicago home for your furry friend? The Areté design team is standing by waiting to assist you! Schedule a consultation with our team today at 773-610-4551 and let us help you make your Chicago space as pet-friendly as possible.