Responsible pet owners always consider their pets’ needs in the design assignments given to their interior designer. After all, pets are volunteer family members whose needs and habits in the home environment need to be considered.

So what makes the design of your home suitable for your pets too? Here we take a look at some common elements and clever design details.

Hidden business

There are chic and beautifully designed litter boxes that look like objects of art. While these are great, they can’t be compared to hidden built-in scatter fans.

Cats love to explore hidden spaces, so the litter box can be placed in a closet that the cat can access through a porthole. The hidden litter box also contributes to a cleaner look inside the house.

Special cleaning area

In addition to professional grooming, your pet should have regular bathing and simple grooming routines at home, especially for dogs that have to walk outdoors.

This could conveniently be incorporated in the yard area near water points and operable windows, or in a corner of a shared bathroom if the bathroom user doesn’t mind sharing it with the pet.

Compatible home textiles

Choose suitable materials for home textiles such as curtains, throws and furniture upholstery.

Robust fabrics with a flat and dense weave such as canvas, denim and synthetic microfiber are ideal for furniture upholstery in a household with pets.

Removable canvas cover and synthetic throws are great for preventing pets from damaging your couch, while heavy curtains can have the acoustic benefit of reducing noise from the inside to minimize the neighborhood.

Clear, open layout

Like children, pets are not compatible with small items that can present a choking hazard, exposed wires, and fragile items like glassware.

So think of a tidy interior with hidden cables. Special storage for small items, with a locking mechanism or out of reach of the pet, is ideal for keeping both pets and items safe.

Seating

Cats are territorial creatures and run around. If you don’t want your cats to climb too high, remove such temptations.

Or if you want to get them out of the way, dedicate a seat near the ceiling to free up the space below.

In addition, there is the possibility of building spatial design elements such as stairs and platforms for cats individually.

Easy-care floor coverings

Most pets have claws that click on the ground as they walk around, so choose wisely.

Avoid carpets and rugs as these absorb odors and stains too easily and are difficult to clean.

Hardwood floors are similarly risky as they will retain stains if not cleaned immediately. It requires a certain amount of vigilance, which can be exhausting.

Tiles are ideal because they are tough, do not absorb moisture and odors, and come in a variety of colors and textures.

Tiles with a wood look donate warmth without the maintenance effort as with solid wood.

Vinyl is also a sensible and affordable choice as it comes with a protective coating that is scratch and stain resistant.

Operable window (with security measures)

Fresh air and lots of natural light are just as important for pets as they are for humans. Some thick-coat breeds, such as British Shorthair cats or Chow Chow dogs, may need 24/7 air conditioning to keep them in top health in Singapore’s hot and humid climate – but keep in mind that the rooms in where they live but still need to be ventilated.

So attach a suitable pet guard and open the window every now and then.

Pet-safe windows can improve the overall look of the room. For example, a black grid or a magnetic net can add an industrial aesthetic.

Color matching

Should the color of your pet match your home? Why not, as long as it doesn’t affect your health or that of your pet.

The color matching of the interior to your pet also has the additional advantage that the animal hair, which inevitably sticks to furniture and fabrics, is hidden.

This article was first published in Home & Decor Singapore (homeanddecor.com.sg).