Downsizing and Real Estate

3/12/2024 | By Kaitlyn Keegan

Our furry friends come with an abundance of supplies, from beds and toys to food bowls. Keeping those supplies handy without detracting from a tastefully decorated home can be a challenge – especially for those who have downsized and are living in smaller spaces. If you love your pet and a pretty house, too, these home ideas for pets can help your pet-loving home to be functional and attractive.

HARTFORD, Conn. – We love our furry pets and we adore everything about them – except how unsightly their pet supplies are in the house.

From food bowls to crates, cat towers to toys, our animals come with a lot of things to make life great for them. That doesn’t mean it needs to be ugly. There are ways to cater your interior design for your pets.

Sharon McCormick, of Sharon McCormick Design, had a number of suggestions about how to better incorporate your pet gear into your home. Think multiple uses such as a crate that is part of an end table or a spot in your bottom kitchen cabinets for food bowls. There are tons of creative ways to make your home look great and keep your dog or cat happy and healthy.

The first tip is to create a recess in your bottom kitchen cabinets for built-in food and water bowls. She suggested including a faucet over the water bowl to prevent spills. Every pet owner knows the annoyance of filling up the water bowl to the brim only to spill half of it before putting it back down on the floor.

Related: Comfortably cohabitate with canine and cat companions

The next tip is to consider using an end cabinet in a kitchen, mud room or laundry room as a pet bed. Your dog or cat will love being amidst the family, but they will be out of the way in a quiet corner. Metal mesh doors can be added so you can close them when your pet needs to be crated.

From food bowls to crates, cat towers to toys, our animals come with a lot of things to make life great for them. That doesn't mean it needs to be ugly. There are ways to cater your interior design for your pets. (Tatyana Gladskikh/Dreamstime/TNS) Used with article on home ideas for pets

When it comes to pet food, pull-out storage bins inside your cabinets can be a great way to add ready-to-scoop kibble. Bins with covers are best to contain any odors.

If you’re just beginning your renovation project, plan ahead for your animal. Short pocket doors can be used as a dog gate, but slid out of the way when unnecessary.

For your feline friends, small sisal rugs or rug samples can replace scratching posts and are much more visually appealing. Place them in areas where your cat is prone to scratching furniture. The rugs are also easily and inexpensively replaced as necessary – especially once your cat finds them. Another way to encourage your cat to scratch and also not be an ugly tower are metal etageres [shelves with an open design]. They are available in various finishes with scratch pads and shelf cushions [specifically made for cats].

Related: 10 pet care products for seniors

Throughout your decor, consider using washable, pet-proof fabric. Buy washable rugs or use the fabric as slipcovers on furniture cushions. These are easily removable if company comes and keeps pet hair off your friends’ clothes.

One of the things pets love to do, especially cats, is lounge on window seats. McCormick suggests using this opportunity to make a cut-out for a pet bed or litter box in front of the millwork.

Don’t love pet toys all over your house? Pick a bench of console meant to hold baskets to corral pet toys, leashes and pet grooming supplies. This will gather everything you need in one place and look better.

If you’re not sure where to go for some of these ideas, pet culture has led to a number of furniture designs. On the market are end tables, night stands, and crates which have separate spots for beds and litter boxes. Many high-end furniture manufacturers make pet beds that look like tiny loveseats or 4-poster beds. Your pet lounging in one of those is sure to impress your guests and your social media following.

©2024 Hartford Courant. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Kaitlyn Keegan