Smart Design With Suzette: Designing With Pets In Mind

Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

All this while, I’ve been writing and posting about how to make your home beautiful and make it a more beautiful place for YOU to live in. Have you ever thought about your pets?

Pets — they’re our pals, our TV-watching sofa buddies and our motivation to get outside and take a walk. There’s no denying that dogs (or cats) are man’s best friend, but they’re not always easy to live with.

Maybe you find yourself repeatedly tripping over the water dish, endlessly searching for the leash, or dealing with an undesirable litter box stench. There is more and more desire from my clients to design spaces with their pets in mind.

Take a look at some of these designs that provide comfortable spaces for pets and yet remain attractive and stylish for you. Actually, there are some really cool designs out there. Read on for ways to strategically design your home to accommodate both you and your furry friend.

Bedding That Blends With Your Décor
Dog or cat, chances are their favorite place to hang is their bed. Whether your style is modern or traditional, you can easily find a comfy pet bed that will blend seamlessly with your décor. Pro tip: just be sure that the cushions are washable.

Food Storage
Sick of tripping over food and water dishes? Store your pet’s bowls beneath a kitchen island or tuck them away in a cabinet. If you’re not up for some mild construction work, consider relocating your pal’s dishes to a less frequented area, like a laundry room or spare bedroom.

Hang Leashes By The Front Door
Say goodbye to time spent hunting for your furry friend’s leash. Make it easy on yourself by hanging walking supplies near the front door or in the mudroom. Trust us, your organizational skills will be paid for in kisses!

Dog-proof Rugs
No need to sacrifice style for practicality when it comes to dog-friendly rugs. Look for a short, cut-pile carpet that’s easy to clean.

Pet-friendly Fabrics
No one likes discovering a paw print on a white chair or a coat of fur covering the couch. Pet-friendly upholstery will prevent these messes. Avoid delicate fabrics like silk and velvet, and instead choose a stain, smell, and bacteria-resistant synthetic like Crypton. Not into synthetics? Keep it classic with leather, which is durable and easy to clean.

Toy Organization
Leaving your pets toys scattered around the house will make your home feel like a big ol’ mess. Keep it neat and clean by storing all of your pal’s toys in a trendy basket.

Storage Canisters
Properly storing your pal’s food and treats is essential to maintaining freshness. Rather than keeping bagged goods in your pantry, set their nosh on the counter in stylish bins or canisters.

If cats don’t have a proper scratching post, it’s in their nature to scratch anything with a nice grip (this includes your mattress, sofa, and rugs). Traditional cat trees and scratchers can be hard to work into your décor, but luckily there are trendy multi-purpose pieces so you don’t have to sacrifice style.

Fashionable Litter Box
Dealing with kitty litter isn’t exactly a cake walk, but the litter box doesn’t have to be an eyesore. Stow it away in a modern wooden table like the one pictured here.

Bath Time
If your dogs are notorious for muddy paws and matted fur, consider creating an accessible indoor tub. Although a glass-enclosed, tile bath is ideal, you can create a similar set-up with a hose and a small fenced area on an outdoor deck or patio.

Make Your Home Their Home
Whether your pet has a ton of gear or not, giving them room to spread out and feel at home is essential. Chances are, you have an underutilized area that can become your pal’s personal spot. This way, you can relegate all pet items to one area rather than having them scattered around your space.

Final Thoughts
The most important thing is for you and your pet to feel at home. We are their caregivers. They rely on us. And for our stewardship, they bring us such sweet unconditional love and companionship.

I came across a wonderful quote by James Cromwell, “Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” Indeed.

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website