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You know your pets are genuine members of the family when you start to think about renovating your house specifically to accommodate their needs. Of course you want your cat, dog, or any critter under your roof to be happy, so why not add a couple of amenities built just for him? And when the time comes to sell your home, it will be extra appealing to other pet lovers. Also, today's pet renovations have gone way beyond the usual tiny swinging door. Here are six of the newest house-trained trends.
A Dog Nap Nook Under the Stairs
Consider making the area below your stairs into a fab dog nook, suggests Anna Shiwlall, a designer at 27 Diamonds in Los Angeles. "It's usually just dead space if it's not a closet, so talk to your contractor about cutting out this spot to make a comfy nest for your pup. Add lighting and then paint the inside a fun color. "You could also put up some fun wall decor, like bones for dogs or paws for cats, and pictures of foods they like, too." Choose a cute bed or dog chaise that looks like a chaise for humans — but smaller. It'll give your furry friend a cool chill-out pit, and you a great conversation piece.
Along with tufts of animal fur, puppy kibble is the next biggest source of pet mess in most homes. The fix: a built-in feeding station that will store dishes out of the line of traffic and keep spills to a minimum. "You could also install concealed compartments in the kitchen to house your dog’s food bags and keep them from cluttering the pantry floor," suggests Kathryn LaBarbera, president of Closet Factory. If you feed your pet in the mudroom, add hooks over this spot for her leash, extra collar, and jackets. A cubby or shelf can hold pet meds, shampoo, and a jar of doggie treats. "Sliding wire baskets are also great for organizing toys, whether they’re in the mudroom or the living room," says LaBarbera.
A Doggy Shower
Do you really want to share your tub with your Old English Sheepdog? (Note: This is a rhetorical question.) If you have a dog that gets into the muck regularly, a specially designed canine shower will be invaluable. You might consider a walk-in shower or one that has a built-in step that your pup can mount; a shower nozzle with a long hose attachment makes for easy rinsing. Cabinets above the shower station can hold towels and a dog brush for after-bath beauty sessions.
A Kitchen Island Dog Crate
Puppies can benefit from crate training, and older dogs often like the security of their own little space. But if an unsightly cage taking up space in your home does not appeal to you, consider having it built into a kitchen counter or island. This streamlined approach looks smart and can easily revert back to a plain island when needed (just have the wire doors removed).
Dogs need their own place to sleep, period, and a great-looking dog bed is the solution. If you've got the space in your bedroom, designate a corner for your dog, complete with his bed, pillows, and a basket for toys. If you love the matching look, choose bedspreads for the dog's bed and yours in coordinating colors.
The hot thing right now in home renovation is to create multipurpose flex spaces, reports LaBarbera. And that trend can benefit your doggy loved ones, as well. "From home offices that transform into guest rooms, courtesy of a wall bed, to laundry rooms that double as pet sanctuaries, the key is to figure out how to double up on these spaces," she explains. For example, if you only do laundry once a week, you might want to design a spot for your pet to sleep underneath the cabinets, so he's out of the way of regular foot traffic, but can still get some peace and quiet.
By: Jennifer Geddes
Want more information on living with pets in your home? Get tips here.