Pet owners would do anything for their little companions, who they consider true members of the family. Gone are the days when pets slept outside – in fact, some humans are now rethinking their interiors to help their furry friends feel perfectly at home.
It’s estimated that over half the people in the world care for at least one pet, and this number continues to rise every year. This increase is accompanied by a change in the animals’ status.
The pandemic and lockdowns served to strengthen the bond humans have with their furkids; for this reason, many people want to share their own life experiences by dressing their pets up, taking them to cafés, or by creating their own space in the home.
It’s not enough, however, to simply put a kennel in the garden or buy a cat tree. The most devoted – and wealthy – don’t hesitate to call in interior designers to give their homes a pet-friendly makeover.
For example, one couple contacted Alexandra Barker, founder of the New York architecture firm BAAO, to oversee the renovation of their Brooklyn home. “They came to me with a request to design a house for them and their two cats. Right from the get-go, the cats were on an equivalent plane,” she said.
The architect designed a bookcase integrated into one of the living-room walls that also serves as a play area for the couple’s cats. The bookcase contains a cat run: shelves that the cats can use as steps and hatches – ideal for the two pets to explore the space as they like.
Ready to make sacrifices
This example is far from isolated: the founder of London-based Dominic McKenzie Architects has also designed interior projects with pets in mind.
For example, McKenzie came up with a way of concealing a cat flap inside one of a family’s kitchen cupboards so their cat could come and go as it pleased. “We made the cat’s doorway house-shaped to give it a special character – the cat is very happy,” he told the media recently.
Other interior designers have been asked to come up with clever ways of hiding litter boxes or pet food stations. Because adapting your home for your dog or cat doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on style: it’s entirely possible to create a comfortable space for your companion without compromising on interior design.
Brands such as Tuft & Paw, Catastrophic Creations, Meyou, and Jelico have made this their specialty. These four offer a variety of furniture items and accessories specially designed for animals, which blend in perfectly with most interiors.
There’s also Bink Rabbit Goods, a US startup specialising in rabbit litter boxes that won’t look out of place in a stylish home interior.
Some furparents say they are willing to make real-estate sacrifices to ensure their home is suitable for their companions. For example, 72% of potential buyers say they would give up their dream home if it wasn’t suitable for their pet, according to a survey conducted last year by Realtor.com.
Furthermore, 66% of them say they have already taken this decision out of consideration for their pet.
Instead of abandoning their real-estate project, buyers who are also pet owners are ready to make compromises to find a property that guarantees a certain level of comfort for their animal. For instance, nearly a third would do without a room (37%) or an extra bedroom (33%) to give their animals better or more space.