5 Design Ideas For People With Pets

Posted on | January 10, 2013 | 5 Comments

By Anita Oates

When we start plans for a new custom home, we discuss square footage, bedrooms, baths, and the overall concept of the residence. But how many people consider HOW they live in a home with their family and pets? What elements of design can make our lives easier and more comfortable for those four legged family members that we love? It’s important to take a few minutes in the design process to consider elements that will reduce stress, offer flexibility, and create harmony for them. Here are 5 ideas that will make life better for you and your pets.

Images Courtesy of Otrada L.L.C. ©

Pet Wash
For many, having a pet wash in your garage may seem like a luxury. However, consider the damage and repair that would be needed if your dog or cat is ever sprayed by a skunk, takes a roll in mud, is bleeding from an injury, or just plain needs a bath after a swim in the lake. Sound stressful? This is a must have for any large dog owner.

Commercial Grade Wall Covering
Thinking about designing the back hallway or kitchen area? Consider surfaces that will be easy to keep clean and may take a bit more wear and tear. Incorporating a commercial grade wall covering can save you time and money when it comes to wiping down hallway walls that come in contact with pets. It’s reasonable in price, easy to install, and requires little effort to remove.

Kennel Placement
Placing the dog kennel in the central part of the home is a good choice because we know dogs are social animals that live in packs. It’s a way of creating harmony yet also creating boundaries. A clever way to find additional space is to reuse closets under stairwells. They typically are wasted areas due to the ceiling angles, but make great nooks for dog kennels.

Pet Fencing
Landscape design should incorporate the location of your pet fence. Where do you want to allow the dog to roam? One side of the yard? Just the front or also the back? This is important to consider up front when selecting plants, especially ones that may be poisonous. Another helpful hint – if it’s an invisible fence – run tubular piping before the driveway is poured!

Where’s The View?
Dogs and cats enjoy a good view of their domain. Doors with glass (glazing) allow dogs to see in and out. Thus, they’re less likely to keep jumping at the door. Cats prefer to watch from a ledge and will need a safe place to watch the world go by. It’s logical, but these simple changes will improve their quality of life and yours.

Anita Oates is the principal designer for the Raleigh interior design firm, Otrada L.L.C. Her interiors are not defined by period or trend but by an eclectic combination of materials, patterns, architecture, and color which together create the desired composition.

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5 Responses to “5 Design Ideas For People With Pets”

  1. Kelly Ruggeri
    January 22nd, 2013 @ 8:41 AM

    Great post! When pets are a part of your family I think it’s very important to take them into consideration when designing. I wrote a post about choosing a dog bed that compliments your space here: http://olivelaneinteriors.blogspot.com/2013/01/stylish-dog-beds.html

  2. Liz Hughes
    January 22nd, 2013 @ 8:50 AM

    Thanks for your comment Kelly. Our four legged family members play such a special role in our lives and they deserve to be pampered.


  3. Toni Sabatino
    January 22nd, 2013 @ 7:09 PM

    I love this! I focus on how people will live when doing space planning for interior designs. Family traffic flow to outdoor spaces, storage needs, entertaining style and the like. I recently did a kitchen for a family with a pet spa business and we designed in special storage and feeding space for the furry family members. Great post!

  4. Liz Hughes
    January 22nd, 2013 @ 10:09 PM

    Tony, you are right that our pets are family members. Incorporating their needs into the interior design makes perfect sense.


  5. Dufi Quick
    January 26th, 2013 @ 8:04 AM

    This is something I believe every pet owner should take into consideration if the choice is there. It’s a good thing we have a hard wood floor with an extremely hard finish. The harder finish keeps any dog’s accidents from penetrating and staining the wood.

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