Designing for Pets: How to Create a Space that is both Stylish and Pet-Friendly

Think Interior
6 min readFeb 18, 2023

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives, and for pet owners, their furry friends are much more than just animals. They are companions, family members, and constant sources of love and joy. As such, designing a stylish and pet-friendly space is a top priority for many homeowners.

Creating a pet-friendly space is more than just ensuring that your pets have a place to sleep and play. It’s also about ensuring that your home is safe and comfortable for your pets while maintaining the aesthetic of your living space.

You can learn about designing for pets through an interior design course. Several courses focus on designing spaces, products, and services that meet the needs of pets and their owners. Here are some tips for designing a pet-friendly home:

Choose Durable and Easy-to-Clean Materials

Pets can be messy, so choosing materials that are easy to clean and withstand wear and tear is important. When selecting furniture, look for materials that are durable and resistant to stains, such as leather or microfiber. Hardwood floors are also a great option, as they are easy to clean and can withstand scratches.

Provide Plenty of Storage

Pets come with many things, from toys to food to grooming supplies. To keep your home organized and clutter-free, provide plenty of storage for your pet’s belongings and supplies. Consider incorporating built-in storage solutions, such as a pet-friendly mudroom or a custom-built pet cabinet. You can also use decorative baskets or bins to keep things organized and easily accessible.

Create a Designated Pet Space

Creating a designated space for your pet can help keep your home clean and organized. Consider creating a cozy nook for your pet with a comfortable bed, toys, and a water bowl. It gives your pet a sense of security and helps to contain any messes or accidents.

Incorporate Pet-Friendly Design Elements

Incorporating pet-friendly design elements into your home can help create a cohesive look that is both stylish and functional. For example, consider using pet-themed wallpaper or incorporating animal-inspired artwork into your decor. You can also find stylish pet-friendly rugs and furniture to help tie your design together.

Safety First

When designing a pet-friendly space, safety should always be a top priority. Be sure to secure any hazardous items, such as cleaning supplies, sharp corners, or loose or exposed wires, out of reach from your pets and take steps to remove or cover them. You should also invest in pet-friendly plants that are non-toxic and consider using a gate to keep your pets away from any areas of the house that may be off-limits. Also, consider installing smoke or carbon monoxide detectors to keep your pets safe in an emergency.

Consider Your Pet’s Needs

When designing your home, it’s important to consider your pet’s needs. For example, incorporate a scratching post or a cat tree into your design if you have a cat. If you have a dog, create a space for them to play and exercise, such as an indoor playpen or a designated outdoor area.

Use Stain-Resistant Fabrics

Pets can be messy, so it’s important to choose stain-resistant fabrics and easy to clean. Look for materials like microfiber or outdoor fabrics that can withstand spills and stains.

Make Cleaning Easy

Pets shed, track in dirt, and can make messes, so it’s important to make cleaning as easy as possible. Consider incorporating a central vacuum system or installing easy-to-clean floorings like tile or vinyl. You can also use washable slipcovers on your furniture to make cleaning up pet hair and messes a breeze.

Don’t Sacrifice Style for Functionality

Focusing solely on functionality and forgetting style can be easy when designing a pet-friendly home. However, it’s important to remember that your home should also reflect your style. Look for pet-friendly design elements that complement your decor, and don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colors and patterns.

Designing a pet-friendly home requires extra consideration, but creating a comfortable and safe space for you and your furry friends is worth it. By following these tips and incorporating pet-friendly design elements into your home, you can create a stylish and functional space that your pets will love.

Incorporate Comfortable and Safe Beds

Pets spend a lot of time sleeping, so providing them with comfortable and safe beds is important. Look for beds made of non-toxic materials and easy to clean. Consider orthopedic beds for older pets or those with joint issues.

Create a Pet-Friendly Outdoor Space

If you have a yard or outdoor space, it’s also important to make it pet-friendly. Consider installing a fence to keep your pets safe and creating a designated outdoor play area. Consider Incorporating pet-friendly landscaping, such as grassy areas or shade trees.

Use Pet Gates and Barriers

Sometimes it’s necessary to keep your pets in certain areas of your home, whether to keep them away from hazards or to limit their access to certain rooms. Pet gates and barriers can help you achieve this while maintaining a stylish look. Look for gates and barriers that are easy to install and can be easily removed when not in use.

Choose Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

When cleaning up after your pets, it’s important to use cleaning products that are safe for them. Look for non-toxic cleaning products that are safe for pets and won’t cause harm if they accidentally ingest them.

Include Pet-Friendly Decor

There are many ways to incorporate pet-friendly decor into your home. Consider using artwork or decor featuring your pet’s breed or incorporating natural elements like wood or stone. You can also use pet-friendly fabrics like wool or cotton and incorporate accessories like pet-themed throw pillows or blankets.

Provide Access to Water and Food

It’s important to ensure your pets have easy access to water and food. Consider incorporating a water fountain or automatic feeder to ensure they always have access to fresh water and food. Also, ensure their food and water bowls are in a safe and accessible area.

Keep Dangerous Items out of Reach

Pets can be curious and get into things they shouldn’t. It’s important to keep dangerous items out of reach, such as cleaning products, toxic plants, or small objects that could be choking hazards. Consider installing child locks on cabinets to prevent pets from accessing hazardous items.

Choose Durable Flooring

Pets can scratch or damage some types of flooring, so it’s important to choose durable options. Hardwood or laminate flooring may be prone to scratches, while tile, vinyl, or concrete may be more durable. If you prefer carpet, look for stain-resistant options and easy to clean.

Involve Your Pet in the Design Process

Don’t forget to involve your pet in the design process! Please take into account their preferences and behaviors when making design decisions. For example, if your cat loves to climb, consider creating a cat tree or shelves for them to explore. Involving your pets in the design process can create a functional and fun space for everyone.

Consider Noise and Lighting

Pets can be sensitive to loud noises, bright lights, or flashing screens, so it’s important to consider these factors when designing your home. Choose window treatments that block out excess sunlight or noise from the street. You may also consider incorporating a white noise machine or calming music to help keep your pets relaxed and comfortable. Consider using dimmer switches or choosing warm, soft lighting to create a cozy atmosphere for you and your pet.

Think About Air Quality

Pets can also be sensitive to poor air quality, so it’s important to consider this when designing your home. Use air purifiers or filters to remove pet hair and dander from the air. Incorporate plants to improve indoor air quality and add a touch of greenery to your home.

Provide Plenty of Exercise Opportunities

Pets need exercise to stay healthy and happy, so it’s important to provide plenty of opportunities for them to play and exercise. Consider creating a designated play area or incorporating toys and games into your home design. You may also want to provide your pets access to outdoor spaces where they can run and play.

Conclusion

Designing a pet-friendly home is about balancing style and functionality. By selecting durable materials, providing plenty of storage, creating a designated pet space, incorporating pet-friendly design elements, and prioritizing safety, you can create a stylish and comfortable home for you and your furry friends.

Some courses that help learn about designing for pets include the best interior design programs online covering pet-friendly design, product design courses focusing on creating pet products and accessories, and veterinary medicine courses exploring the interaction between pets and their environment.

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