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This blog was originally published May 16, 2019.

Over the past few years, one of the biggest trends we’ve seen in home renovation is the desire to include pets in the process and tailor home updates to their needs. Pets certainly are a part of the family, and there are so many unique and innovative ways to make your house a home for your entire family, pets included.

We’ve been asked to dream up all sorts of pet-friendly interior design ideas over the years. Check out our thoughts on decorating a pet-friendly house as well as five of our favorite pet-focused renovation ideas!

Renovating With Pets in Mind

Oftentimes, the needs of ourselves and our families are at the heart of our renovations. We need another bedroom, a larger entertaining space, or a more functional kitchen. But when considering a renovation, it’s important to consider how your updates will affect your pets as well. Here are six questions to answer before making any big decisions:

  1. Where will my pets go while the renovations are in progress? Will they need to be boarded or can they stay in the home?
  2. Are my floors conducive to the wear and tear of having pets?
  3. How often are my pets on the furniture? How will this impact the textiles and materials I choose?
  4. How much space do my pets need? Will a layout change affect them negatively?
  5. Where do my pets spend the most time?
  6. Are there any pet-focused features I’d like to include in my renovation?

A woman researches pet-friendly interior design ideas with her dog.

5 Pet-Friendly Interior Design Ideas

Now that you’ve thought about how your renovation may affect your pets, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you’d like to add or update just for them. Check out our top five pet-focused renovations.

1. Contain Your Pets With Style

Baby and pet gates are a reality for many families. But, they aren’t the most attractive additions to your home. When renovating, consider adding in a custom pocket gate to keep pets (and children) contained. This chic solution adds style, function, and a one-of-a-kind touch to your home.

Here are a few of the most popular places we’ve seen custom gates installed:

  • In the kitchen to prevent pets from getting underfoot while cooking
  • In an entertaining space to separate pets from guests
  • At the bottom of the stairs to keep pets on the lower level of the home
  • In the entryway of a home to prevent pets from crowding visitors and escaping out the door

No matter where you place it, this pet-friendly interior design idea will keep your whole family safe without a clunky plastic fence cluttering your doorway. And, if you opt for a pocket-style door, you can stow it away whenever it isn’t in use.

A custom pet gate makes a statement in any home.

2. Get Pet Bowls Off the Floor

Another common request we receive from our clients is to find a way to store pet food and bowls. Whether their pets eat in the kitchen or the mudroom, they want a neat and tidy solution that is also functional for their furry friends. Luckily, there are tons of pet feeding station options that make items easy to access without cluttering your space.

One of the most popular options is toe kick drawers that house food bowls and can easily be hidden away. Pair them with pull-out wastebasket storage that is perfect for big tubs of pet food. Another option is to create an alcove in the kitchen island with a pet feeding station. This way bowls are available to your pets at all times, but they don’t need to be sitting out on the floor. We love this chic design lined with quartz that perfectly matches the countertops above.

Pet dishes can be easily tucked away under cabinets or a kitchen island.

If you really want to go the extra mile for your pets, consider adding a faucet right by their bowls for easy refill. Pot fillers are a great option as they can be mounted to the wall and tucked away neatly when not in use.

3. Add a Pet Shower or Grooming Station

Bathing your pet at home in your bathtub or shower can be messy and difficult. Frequent trips to the groomer or local pet shop can be expensive and inconvenient. That’s why one of the most popular pet-friendly interior design requests we get from clients is to add a home pet wash station into their laundry room, mudroom, or bathroom

Pet washing stations are easy to use and can be more comfortable for you and your pet. A handheld showerhead makes washing easy while built-in storage adds extra functionality to the space. We love a fully-tiled home pet wash station so that hair and dirt easily wash down the drain with minimal cleanup.

4. Keep Messes Out of Sight

Unfortunately, litter boxes are a part of life for cat owners. But having cats doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful home! In recent years we’ve seen so many creative solutions for hiding litter boxes and keeping their scent contained.

When renovating, consider adding a small closet to turn into a bathroom for your cats. Semi-gloss paint (or even tile), an easy-to-clean floor choice, and a kitty-door make for a functional and low-maintenance solution. A litter-collecting mesh rug is another great option that will keep your kitty’s feet clean as they roam the rest of the house. And, having a door will prevent any litter box scents from making their way into the rest of the house. If you want to go the extra mile, consider adding an air purifier to the space to zap any remaining odors.

There are also plenty of pet-friendly interior design ideas to help hide your litter boxes if you are short on space or aren’t planning a full renovation. One of the best ways to hide litter boxes is in a piece of furniture. Over the years we’ve seen end tables, sideboards, bathroom vanities, and more that have secretly housed litter boxes while tying in beautifully to the rest of the decor in the home. There are plenty of options on the market to fit your space and your budget.

Providing pets with comfortable spaces to rest means they'll spend less time on your furniture.

5. Create a Cozy Space for Naps

Pets are part of the family, and many homeowners want an area for their pets to relax and sleep. However, many pet owners would also prefer that their pets stay off the couches and other furniture.

Cabinetry is a great place to add a nook for dog and cat beds. Recently, our team incorporated an open cabinet into an island and added a dog bed so the homeowner’s pets could keep them company in the kitchen without being underfoot. You can also opt to create a bench seat under a window, a favorite for cats who like to see and smell the great outdoors.

If you’re looking to go all out, you can even transform dead space under your stairs into a dog house or cat lounge. With a little paint, a light, and a box of toys, your pets will be truly spoiled in a home of their own.

Interested in tailoring your space with a pet-friendly interior design as part of a larger remodeling project? Kitchens by Eileen can design a functional, beautiful space with your family and pets in mind. Contact us for a free consultation.