As much as we all love our pets, very few of us spend much time decorating their area of the home. The pets’ food and water dishes, bed, and play area are often tucked away in a utility closet or laundry room, and we give little thought to the way they look. Instead of hiding them in a corner of your home, why not prepare an area that they can claim as their own, that still won’t get in the way of the human members of your household? Here are four simple steps for creating a comfy space for your pets.
1. Choose the perfect location for your pet’s quarters.
For many homeowners, the biggest challenge is choosing where to place your pet’s stuff. Take a walk through your home and determine if your pet loves to hang out in specific areas. Many cats prefer to be near a window so they can watch the world go by. Dogs often claim a cozy corner and return there again and again. Take cues from your pets and keep in mind they will need resting, playing, and eating areas.
2. Make it personal.
Define your pet’s area by embracing a fun color scheme, patterns, and personalized supplies like monogrammed beds and engraved dishes. If you’re considering painting your walls to add color to your pet’s space, use a high- or semi-gloss paint to resist dirt and heavy wear and tear on the adjacent walls. Laying down synthetic or rubber mats below their food dishes to ensure moisture doesn’t build up is also important—and these can be customized, too!
3. Integrate your pet’s décor with the rest of the home.
While you may love the cute puppy wallpaper with miniature bones printed on it at the pet store, the look may not integrate well with your personal decor. When choosing colors and patterns for your pet’s area, look to the existing room finishes first. Carpet, flooring, wall color, wallpaper and adjacent furniture can give you a head start for a color palette to stay in. Look to your favorite pet store for designer pet accessories that come in coordinated sets of food dishes, floor mats, beds and wall decals for the wall. If you want a simpler design scheme, choose two to three coordinating colors from your room and mix and match accessories with chevron stripes, polka dots, or simple solids and stripes. This will help your pet’s decor not clash with yours!
4. Organize your pet supplies.
While the decoration of your pet’s area is important, how it functions for you and your pet could be even more essential. For many dog owners, the ability to hang up collars, leashes, and accessories on a mudroom bench as you head out the door is essential. For cat and small dog owners, look to a covered basket or decorative storage bin where toys, outfits and accessories can be housed when not being used. Labeling baskets, cubbies, and clear bins can help you sort out pet items and will save you time when heading out the door for a morning walk. Best of all, a well-organized pet area will help keep your home cleaner and your pet healthier.
Instead of ignoring your pet’s personal area, why not personalize it with these creative ideas? You will love how you and your pet rediscover your home again!
Ronique Gibson is a LEED architect who has been working in the home design industry for over 13 years. Gibson blogs for Shutterfly, writing tips on homemade interior design, how to keep a pet-friendly home, ideas for family organization and lots more. Follow Ronique on Twitter and Google+ to find inspiration for your next home project!