Responsible pet owners always consider the needs of their pets in the design brief given to their interior designers. Pets, after all, are honorary family members whose needs and habits must be accommodated by their domestic spaces.
So what makes the design of your home work for your pets too? Here we take a look at some common elements and clever design details in some exemplary case studies
There are smart litter and beautifully designed cat litter boxes that look like objects of art. While these are great, they can’t compare to the hidden integrated litter compartments.
Cats love exploring hidden spaces, and in this home designed by 3D Conceptwerke, the litter box is placed inside the cabinet that the cat can access via a porthole. The hidden litter box also creates an overall cleaner look inside the home.
In addition to professional grooming, your pet should have a regular bathing and simple grooming routine at home, especially for dogs, which venture outside every day for a walk.
This could be conveniently integrated into the yard area near water points and operable windows or a corner of a common bathroom if the bathroom user doesn’t mind sharing with the pet.
Choose appropriate materials for soft furnishing like curtain, throws and furniture upholstery. Sturdy fabrics with flat and dense weaving like canvas, denim and synthetic microfibres are ideal for furniture upholstery in a household with pets.
Removable canvas cover and synthetic throws are great to keep your couch from being damaged by your pets, while heavy curtains can have the acoustic benefit of reducing noise from the inside to minimise disturbance to the neighbourhood.
Like children, pets are incompatible with small items that may be a choking hazard, exposed wires, and fragile objects like glassware.
So a clutter-free interior featuring hidden wires and dedicated storage for small items with a locking mechanism or placed outside the pets’ reach is ideal for keeping both pets and items safe, like this home designed by Waff.
Cats are territorial creatures and roam around three- dimensionally. If you do not wish for your cats to climb about, remove all temptations by keeping the furniture placement on the ground.
Vice versa, if you’d like to keep them out of the way, dedicate a perching place near the ceiling to free up the space beneath it, like in this condo designed by EightyTwo, which features custom-built spatial design elements like stairs and platforms for cats.
Most pets have claws that click on the floor when they roam about, so choose wisely. Avoid rugs and carpets as they absorb odours and stains too easily and are difficult to clean. Hardwood flooring is similarly risky as it will retain stains when it’s not cleaned up immediately, so it requires a certain amount of vigilance that can be taxing.
Tiles are ideal, as they are resilient, do not absorb moisture and odour, and are available in a wide range of colours and textures. These wood-look tiles from Hafary, for instance, lends warmth without the hassle of maintenance demanded by solid timber.
Vinyl is also a sensible and affordable choice as it comes with a protective scratch- and stain-resistant coating.
Fresh air and ample natural light are as important to pets as they are to humans. Some breeds with dense coats, like British Shorthair cats or Chow Chow dogs, may require air conditioning 24/7 to keep them in top health condition in Singapore’s hot and humid climate, but bear in mind that the rooms they live in still need airing out.
So, install a proper pet-proofing mesh and open the window once in a while. Pet-proofed windows can add to the overall look of the space. Black grille or magnetic mesh, for instance, can lend an industrial aesthetic to the space.
Should the colour of your pet match your home? We’d say why not! As long as it doesn’t come at the cost of your or the pet’s health.
Plus, it will look great in pictures, as seen in this minimalist white bedroom designed by Ronald Wan. Matching the interior colour scheme with your pet also has the added benefit of camouflaging the animal hair that would inevitably cling to furniture and fabrics.
This article was first published in Home and Decor.