Just because you own pets doesn’t mean your home has to be any less stylish or innovative than a modern show home. Finding clever and unusual ways to incorporate your pet’s needs into your home décor can actually produce some stunning results. Many items can be made using recycled furniture making it kinder on the environment and your wallet. Pets are part of the family and deserve their own private nook in the family home. Whether your pets prefer to live inside or outside, you can create inspiring places for them to eat, rest and play.
1. Bunk Beds
Pet bunk beds are the ideal solution for small homes with big pets. Two large dog beds can easily take up four square metres in the home. This is a huge amount for small studio apartments or homes with limited space. Many companies now offer custom-built bunk beds that can even accommodate a large pet on the bottom level and a smaller one on top. Cat bunk beds can hold up to four cats in a relatively small space. Bunk beds can be created from an old chest of drawers, pallets, or any other type of salvaged wood.
2. Feeding Stations
Feeding stations can be made using any type of furniture. Simply take an old bench, table or chest of drawers and cut it down to the correct height for your dog or cat. Place their bowls on top of the surface, and draw circles around the bottom of the bowls. It is best to use metal bowls that have a wide lip around the top to hold it in place. Cut the holes out of the wood and then slot the feeding bowls into place.
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3. Hideaway Beds
Hideaway beds are great for small homes or for pets who like a little privacy during the day. If you have a fireplace that is not being used, why not convert it into a private room for your cat or dog? You can also convert the space underneath your staircase if you have one. If your pet likes to sleep in your bedroom, take an old nightstand and remove the bottom cupboard door. Place your pet’s bed inside and you have the perfect cosy, private pet bedroom. This can also work for a living room or conservatory and doubles up as a handy table.
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4. Four-Poster Beds
Four-poster beds are incredible easy to create and lend an air of luxury to your home. Take an old table that is large enough for your pet to sleep on comfortably. Turn it upside down and place their bed in-between the legs. You can shorten the legs if you need, and also nail pieces of wood between them to create a headboard. Choosing a fancy table with ornate detailing will result in an even more spectacular four-poster bed.
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5. Raised Activity Centres for Cats
If your cats are confined to the house, why not build them a playground on the ceiling? Small floating shelves make an attractive staircase that can lead up to long shelves running all around the tops of your walls. You can add boxes with soft pillows inside to give your cats comfortable places to relax in relative isolation. Just remember that although cats are extremely agile, they do sometimes lose their balance and fall. If you have extremely high ceilings, do not place the shelves too far up. Around 2 ½ metres from the floor is a safe height for most cats.
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6. Coordinating Carpets and Couch Covers
If you are worried about pet hair, decorate your home to match the colour of your dog or cat. Chocolate brown Labrador hair will not show up on a dark wood floor. White carpets and couches are the perfect choice for snowy-white Persian cats. Ensure that the fabric of your soft furnishings is easy to clean as animals will always find their way onto the furniture at some point.
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7. Custom-Built Dog Kennels
If your dog sleeps outside in his own kennel, why not build him a custom house to match your own? Dog kennels that look like miniature versions of their owners home are becoming a growing phenomenon. They also look fantastic on the front lawn and make a unique garden ornament. If you don’t have the necessary skills, take a picture of your house along to a carpenter who can create one for you.
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8. Pet Staircases
Pet staircases make interesting features for the home and can even be fitted onto the outside of your house. If you live on the first floor, why not build a small staircase on the outside of your home to allow your cat easy access to come and go as she pleases? You may have to seek permission from other residents if you live in an apartment building. A second smaller staircase created next to your own provides a quirky piece of home décor. You can also create small steps to help your dog get in and out of your bed as they grow older and develop weaker back legs.
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9. Mud Room
Dogs are messy creatures, and a run through a muddy park or woodlands is irresistible to a dog. If you have a small cloakroom or laundry room next to your front door, convert this into a small washroom for dirty pets. You can herd them straight inside after a walk, and it will certainly help to keep the rest of your home much cleaner. Tile the walls and floor, then add a small shower to rinse off mud and leaves from your dog’s coat. Just remember to fit a small door to prevent escape attempts.
Incorporating your pet into the design of your home creates a more balanced, harmonious environment. Tripping over dog beds and food bowls is an experience every pet owner can relate to. Designing their own private area is a much more enjoyable way for everyone to live together peacefully.