5 clever design ideas for a pet-friendly home

Pet-friendly home design

For too long our canine companions and feline friends have had to suffer kitchen designs and layouts that don’t give them the pampering they so obviously deserve. If you agree with us, then you’re going to want to check out these pet-friendly ideas…

We’re bringing you practical home design tricks to help streamline every family member’s lifestyle – including your pets. Think bespoke and engraved furniture, treat stations, pot filler taps, and stylish beds.

Excited? Scroll down to discover our pet-friendly ideas…

pet-friendly grey larder with built-in dog bed in rustic kitchen design
Chester Dove Grey pet bed larder, £1,399, The Cotswold Company.

1. Bespoke pet-friendly furniture

If you are completely redoing your kitchen or utility room cabinetry, talk to your designer about including a built-in pet bed underneath a storage cupboard. “Utilities can be dog friendly too. In addition to usual storage solutions, you can design a comfortable nook for a dog bed, a dedicated food station and hooks for leads,” says Tom Howley, creative design director at the eponymous kitchen brand.

blue utility room design with built-in pet bed and butler sink
Bespoke shaker utility room by Searle & Taylor, hand-painted in Blue Vein 676 by Paint & Paper Library, with a special space beneath the cupboard for the dog bed. Prices start from £20,000. Photography: Paul Craig.

Another great location for a dedicated sleeping spot would be within an island. And, speaking of islands, you can even create a special area for their food and drink bowls – a clever and effective way of reducing clutter and streamlining your design.

“Creating a dedicated feeding station avoids bowls being knocked over and keeps a kitchen streamlined and tidy,” says Emma Joyce, head of product marketing EMEAA at House of Rohl. “Dry food can also be stored within the kitchen island so everything is in one place, and with an additional tap and sink installed on the island, the bowls can be washed daily, which is essential.”

The perks of bespoke furniture, apart from maximising every inch of your space, include the option to further personalise your scheme, such as engraving your pet’s name above their new bed, for example. Adorable, right?

green kitchen design with open shelves and built-in pet bed with its name engrave above it
The Hartford collection in Avocado, from £25,000, Tom Howley.

2. Pot filler taps

Although more popular across the pond, personally, I love a pot filler tap – it’s top of my wishlist, believe it or not. These days, you can find it available in a range of sizes, styles and finishes. And, of course, there are more creative ways of using it, apart from for filling up your pans.

kitchen island featuring metro tiles and a pot filler tap above dog drink and food bowls
4899 Juliet pot filler in Pewter, £810.96, Perrin & Rowe.

How about installing one within your island or run of cabinets to effortlessly fill up your pet’s drinking bowl? This way, your cat or dog will have fresh water, whenever needed. But make sure to talk about this with your designer at the planning stage of your kitchen or utility room as a pot filler tap can’t be retrofitted.

We’re all about enhancing our way of living, over here!

3. Pet-friendly showers

“There is a trend for purpose-built pet showers, ideal for washing muddy paws after a long country walk,” says Tom. An incredibly practical addition to your home, this type of shower will not only help you keep your furry friend fresh and clean with ease but also enhance the hygiene factor of your home.

“Within country homes, we have created dog showers in boot rooms and utility rooms. For full practicality, we recommend hanging leads and towels on hooks close by,” says Richard Moore, design director at kitchen company Martin Moore.

dog shower in utility room featuring pale blue cabinetry, a traditional tap and white tiles, with dog posing by the window
Bespoke utility room by Martin Moore, designed with a practical dog shower. Cabinetry from Martin Moore’s New Deco collection, hand-painted in Farrow and Ball’s Light Blue. Utilities start from £15,000.

Don’t have the space for a dedicated pet shower? We’ve got a solution. Why not opt for a large and deep butler sink, which will also come in handy for washing your little one’s sports equipment, for example? “In one of our country projects, we designed a bespoke, pull-out ‘dog staircase’ which enables the dog to walk up and into the Belfast sink (fitted with a hand shower) without having to be lifted,” adds Richard. How cool?

modern utility room with sleek black wood units, white appliances, pet shower and chrome brassware
The clever utility by DesignSpace London includes a shower area for the family dog. Photography: Darren Chung.

4. Think of accessibility

Designing a kitchen or utility room with furry friends in mind means paying attention to the little details that can help enhance both your and their lifestyle. For example, you can create a handy treat station in the kitchen to store your dog’s favourite goodies. Or, you can have a dedicated wardrobe area in the utility room perfect for keeping their toys and accessories organised.

neutral utility room with drawer for pet treats
The Hartford collection in Chicory, from £25,000, Tom Howley.

And why not add a compact gate in your window banquette seating so your pet can come in and out whenever it pleases? All of these small but efficient design tricks will ultimately help streamline your design and simplify your lifestyle.

green traditional kitchen design with banquette seating featuring a cat gate
Traditional painted shaker kitchen by Higham Furniture.

5. Stylish dog beds

Gone are the days of unaesthetic pet beds. Say hello to designs with charm and character. From rattan frames with upholstered seats to plush and grand pillows, the latest designs are available in a variety of colours, patterns, and styles, so you can find a pretty and practical solution for your furry friend.

range of dog beds in Ticking Stripe, Ochre and Dark Blue on a cream carpet
Woofins dog bed range in Ticking Stripe, Ochre and Dark Blue, from £155, Loaf.
rattan dog bed with striped cushion on a patterned rug
The Vintage Drop 20 Diamond Burnt Orange with Acid Piping pet bed, £195, Colours Of Arley X Jess Alavi Ellis.

The finishing touches

For that final bit of bling, why not match your light switches to your dog’s favourite bowl? This stunning design from Buster + Punch also comes in sleek brass.

dog bowl in gunmetal finish on concrete floor
Large dog bowl in Gun Metal, £101.67, Buster + Punch.

Or why not spice up your worktop with a pretty and practical jar for your dog’s treats? And, if you love stripes as much as I do, the stylish canister below gets bonus points!

dog treat canister in balck and white stripes with 'Puppy Uppers' on the front
Jonathan Adler Puppy Uppers canister, £150, Sweetpea & Willow.

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