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Interior Design

Creating Indoor Spaces for Your Family Pets

You love your furry friends, and you want to create the best possible indoor spaces for them. You are not alone; pet-care spending now accounts for more than $75 billion every year. Design teams are taking notice. They are crafting adorable pieces and building extraordinary spaces to ensure that your pet is happy and healthy, and you can learn from them. Want to upgrade your home’s pet-friendly zone? Read on as we offer some of our favorite tips for creating cozy indoor spaces for your family pets.

Select the Best Flooring

While your pets may roam throughout your apartment, condo, or house, you may still want to give them a designated zone. This indoor space will be a place for their beds and toys. It will be a safe place for them to retire to when your home quiets for the night. 

Creating indoor spaces for your family pets does not require a huge investment, although if you do have the budget for some remodeling, there are changes you could make that will help keep the pet zone clean and welcoming. Ceramic tile is durable and stain-resistant, so if you already have ceramic tile flooring in a particular area of the house, it could be the best place for your pet’s indoor space. Hardwood floors can be easily cleaned, but they might show scratches from long nails on larger dogs, and your pet may be prone to skidding. If you already have hardwood floors or your heart is set on adding them, consider putting down mats, including the anti-fatigue mats that work wonders in the kitchen. 

Avoid Carpeting

Many apartments and condos already have carpeting, which can be snagged by pet toenails (potentially hurting your pet and damaging the carpeting). Low-pile is your best bet if you have some say in the décor, but if not, think about creating your indoor pet space in the kitchen. Otherwise, you may want to put down carpet squares or washable runners over the existing carpet to aid in clean-up and to make your pet more comfortable. 

Take Advantage of Existing Indoor Spaces

Do you have a large unused crawl space in your condo? Do you have an attic that is woefully under-used? Do you have a basement or family room that is begging for attention? All of these areas have the potential to be much-loved indoor spaces for your family pets. If your crawl space is contained and drywalled, this can be the perfect kitty hideaway or impromptu doggie den provided there is enough space for beds (especially this practical and cushiony moving blanket pet bed that is earning raves at Martha Stewart Living). It’s even better if there is enough room for scratching posts or treat-releasing toys. Just be sure to remove the crawlspace door so that your pet doesn’t feel trapped. 

Family rooms and finished attics give you even more options when it comes to creating an indoor playroom for your pets. If you have anxious pets, it’s a place where you can turn on a tv or computer to play engaging programming – you’ll be amazed at how much is available specifically for your furry pals. Interactive cameras allow you to not only keep an eye on your pet when you are working, but they often give you the ability to talk to them while you are away. And depending on the dimensions, you might even be able to place litter boxes or pee pads in a designated corner that won’t significantly reduce their room to play. 

Try Some DIY

Is space a premium in your studio apartment or tiny home? Martha Stewart Living recommends a DIY project that transforms an old side table (or even kitchen table) into an indoor doghouse. The top can still act as a useful surface, but the unused area below can become functional in a few moderately simple steps. The idea was suggested to the Magazine by Kara Whitten of A Kailo Chic Life. If you have the tools at home, all you need is birch plywood, glue, decorative wallpaper (or paint), and finishing nails. If you don’t have the tools, you may be able to get your local hardware store to pre-cut the side wood pieces and create a more streamlined entry. For details on how to put this adorable indoor doghouse together, visit Martha Stewart Living.  

Install a Catio

Catios are becoming increasingly popular for renters and owners alike. While many are built as patio enclosures with ramps, bridges, perches, and pet-safe flowerbeds, interior designs take into account your home’s accessible space and make the most of it. This is true whether you live in a three-bedroom home or a fully mobile tiny house. Editors over at Martha Stewart Living love the multi-level mazes that offer stimulation and opportunities for cats to exercise. How do you create your own catio space? Martha Stewart Living advises: “Pre-made catios can be purchased online, or you can order catio designs and build the enclosures yourself with a handy checklist.” 

Indulge with Pet Beds

Your family pets deserve the coziest beds possible. Whether you are introducing a new animal into the home or hoping to upgrade your space, designers are having a great time creating soft, unique beds that will prompt endless purrs and wagging tails. For small areas, your family’s favorite feline will love the cozy cave from Uncommon Goods even more than the editors at Southern Living. And the Mid-Century Modern vibes are strong with the Sauder Natural Sphere Cat Tree from Kohls that is turning heads at Real Simple

Does your pup demand the finer things in life? You’ll both love the Wentworth Tufted Dog Sofa from Frontgate. Real Simple reveals: “It comes in four color options and features a robust wooden frame that holds up to 80 pounds of pup. Choose from stain-resistant micro-velvet or a faux leather finish.”  If your eye leans toward multi-functional furniture, you won’t be able to resist the Lula Entryway Dog Bed from Joss & Main. Real Simple raves about its cushiony practicality: “Not only does it offer a cozy spot for Max to lounge, but it also features convenient storage. It’s got multiple hooks perfect for storing keys, leashes, and jackets, as well as a lower drawer for miscellaneous pet supplies.” 

Consider the Little Things

Finally, little things can make a significant difference to your pet’s indoor spaces. For example, Rachael Ray In Season recommends helping older pets by investing in “a step to help them onto furniture.” For cats, scratching is one of their methods of communication. To save your furniture and make your cats happier, Lynn Bahr, veterinarian and founder of cat toy company Dezi & Roo, tells the Magazine that the best plan is to add a scratching post in every room. Bahr advises: “Go for a variety of posts—vertical, horizontal, cardboard, sisal, loofah. A nice mix of shapes and textures will keep your cat happiest (and your sofa safer).”