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7 Tips on How to Design a Home with Pets in Mind

Bringing along your furry friend to your new home? Consider these design tips that will not only help pet-proof your new space, but also make your pets feel completely welcome and safe.

Design: Distinctidentity

 

1. Think about your fabrics

When it comes to your sofa upholstery, avoid materials that attract pet hair and can be scratched or stained easily. Leather is a great option since they tend to repel fur, although you’ll want to avoid leather that is too smooth as it can be scratched very easily. Synthetic microfibre is also very durable and fur can be removed easily with a lint roller. Covers should also be removable so that you can clean them easily.

Opt for bedsheets made from tightly woven fabrics.

Design: The Local Inn.terior

If your pets sleep on the bed with you, make sure your bedding is also made up of pet-friendly materials. Choose materials that are tightly woven so that pet hair won’t be trapped in between the fabric. Linen or microfibre are good choices. Avoid precious materials like silk, which can be damaged and torn very easily.

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2. For the surfaces of your home, go for durable and easy-to-clean materials

To keep your pet-occupied home in a pristine condition for the long haul, make sure your walls and flooring, the major surfaces of your home, are easy to wipe down and clean. For walls, choose a paint that has a slightly glossy sheen, which is easier to clean compared to matte surfaces. Go for paint that is stain-resistant like Dulux’s Wash & Wear range. Textured wallpaper is best avoided, since they tend to be perfect scratching posts.

Make sure your flooring material of choice provides enough traction for your pets.

Design: The Scientist

For flooring, opt for a hardwearing one that can resist scratches from claws. Avoid ones that can be too slippery for your pet such as laminates, polished stone or glossy tiles. If you’re going for laminate flooring, opt for a textured one or one with an embossed finishing that can provide traction for your furry pal’s paws. One of the best flooring option for homes with pets is vinyl, which lends a good grip while also being easy to clean and scratch- and stain- resistant.

 

3. Consider their need for space

A dog flap was built into the side of the bookcase so that this Maltese can move in and out of its owner’s bedroom easily.

Design: The Makers Design Studio

If you allow your pets to roam around the house freely, you’ll want to incorporate designs that will facilitate their movement. Pet flaps or pet doors can be easily installed so that your furry friends can move easily between rooms.

The cat ladder is covered in the same wood laminates as the TV wall.

Design: Schemacraft Interior

For homes with cats, consider feline-friendly climbing features like cat ladders and ramps. The key to keeping things stylish is to integrate these features within your home design so that they don’t look too out of place. Use similar materials or colour schemes already found in the rest of your home.

A cat ramp was integrated into the TV console.

Design: Distinctidentity

If you prefer to restrict your pets to a section of your home, make sure there’s enough space for them to walk about. Turn that space into a sanctuary for them to explore with built-in nooks and crannies.

An entire room was dedicated to serve as a playroom for the cats of the house.

Design: Free Space Intent

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4. Keep the litter tray and food feeder out of sight

Pet essentials like the litter tray and food feeder should be tucked away out of sight, but they should also be easily accessible by your pets. Consider their day-to-day habits when deciding a good location. A good place for the litter box is in the bathroom underneath the vanity, or in the service yard.

The cat’s litter tray is hidden within the bathroom vanity cabinets.

Design: Uno Interior

The litter tray station for the household’s many cats is located in the service yard of the apartment.

Design: White Corporate

 

5. Provide a home for them to return to

A built-in nook made for the homeowner’s cat, integrated into the full-length storage cabinets.

Design: Uno Interior

Create a home base that your pets can return to for naps or at the end of the day. Set aside an area where it’s more private like the laundry area or integrate their personal space within the design of your home. Cats like having a higher spot to perch on, while dogs are contented with a cosy corner in the home. Consider the size of your furry friends and make sure there’s enough space in their personal sanctuary. To reduce their attachment to your furniture, you should also give them furniture of their own.

An entryway bench for putting on shoes doubles as a cosy nook for the homeowners’ pet dog.

Design: LLARK Architects

 

6. Set up a dog washing station

For dog owners, you might want to create a separate washing station for your paw pal if you have the space for it. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and you can work it into your service yard or laundry area. Elevated designs are better for human ergonomics, making bath time for your dog a less back-breaking affair. No space for a separate washing station? Make sure you install a flexible handheld shower head in your bathroom for an easier wash-up session.

A wash station for dogs was set up beside the laundry room in this home.

Image courtesy of Shelterness

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7. Furniture choice is crucial

In areas where your pets might roam, keep things safe by avoiding furniture made from glass or low-lying furniture with sharp edges. When going for furniture with legs, eschew those with wooden ones for metal legs instead as the former is more easily destroyed if your dogs happen to chew on them. Get firmer seats that can keep their shape over time. Taller furniture is a good option as it helps to keep things out of reach from your pets’ paws. For smaller pieces of furniture like coffee tables, make sure they are sturdy enough so that they are not easily toppled over.

Furniture with metal legs are less susceptible to the effects of your dog’s chewing.

Design: Versaform

 

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