Monday, April 8, 2013

Home Design Ideas I'm Diggin': Puppy Spaces

For my third installment of Home Design Ideas I'm Diggin' (sorry I took a month off), I'm dedicating this to all my dog-loving readers (all 2 of you) and showing how man's best friend can be incorporated into the design of a home. Sadly we don't have a lot of extra space in our current home for these types of ideas, and since it's not going to be our home forever it probably wouldn't make sense anyway. On average only about 50% of homebuyers want or have pets, so it's a good idea to eliminate any signs of one when you have potential buyers looking around. Buyers don't want to see pet bowls and smell pet odors because it makes them wonder what else the animals have done or gotten into in the home. As much as we love our puppy, this is understandable and ultimately we will deal with these things when we are ready to sell.

However, in our forever home (ahhh....dreaming again) we would love to include a couple unique spaces for our furry friend(s). I've seen some incredibly interesting ideas for taking pet areas from being in-the-way eyesores to flowing beautifully in the home. So without further adieu, here's some ideas I (and Oats) really love:

The first is a built-in area for a dog bed. I can't speak for other dogs, but Oats loves being inside and under things when she sleeps. When she was little enough to fit, we'd find her napping under end tables and behind couches. Even now she still loves her crate and we occasionally find her sleeping under the dining room table (it's pretty much the only place left that she fits). So this is a brilliant idea and is so much neater looking than having a dog bed in the middle of the room.

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Attic Mag article: Built-ins for Pets
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Attic Mag article: Built-ins for Pets 2

Another interesting concept is a dog bath, although I'm not sure I'd go to this extreme length in my own home. We put Oats in our regular bathtub and it works fine. She would not agree with that, but that's a different story. Something like this would probably be best suited for a mudroom or basement, but it seems like it's popular in a laundry room as well.

This one's nice because it's a walk-in, and I suppose it could work for kids too. Although I personally think that without sides, most dogs are going to run right out.

So here's a good idea...doors. Somebody was thinking.

One of my favorite concepts for dogs is the built-in feeding areas because they become a part of the kitchen without being in the way. No one likes tripping over a water bowl and then stepping in the giant puddle on the floor. This idea of adding it to the end of the island is amazing:

Or just keeping a space open so the bowl can be tucked away:

But I think my ultimate favorite is the completely hidden ones:

Brilliant. You can hide the bowls away until you need them, they're at an appropriate height, and you can incorporate an area next to or above it for the food to be hidden. I'm sold on this idea for the next house. You could even make a separate, stand-alone unit if you weren't planning on staying in the home forever and wanted to take it with you, similar to this:
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Better Homes and Gardens: Kitchen Workstation Ideas
I love these ideas and I think it's a fun concept to think about if you ever go to build a new home or redesign a room and want to keep your pet in mind.

Things to consider when you think about building or incorporating a pet space into your home:
·         Are you going to live there for a long time or do you plan on selling? Like I said before, a lot of homebuyers get turned off by evidence of pets.
·         Do you ever plan on having more than one pet at a time? Some of these ideas may be great for one-dog families, but if you plan to get more, you may have trouble with things like a built-in bed being too small for multiple dogs; only one built-in food bowl when multiple dogs want to eat at the same time; or even built-in bowls for dogs that are different heights.
·         Do you plan on always having a pet? If not, you may want to create the space (bed, shower, eating area) so it can be easily turned into something else if you so decide. A lot of the above ideas can be re-purposed with some creativity.
·         Where in your house do you spend the most time? Most dogs (at least the ones I know) want to be right with their owners at all times. You'll want to incorporate their “space” somewhere where they can be part of the action and see you even when you’re working. If you don’t, it’s unlikely they’ll want to use their special space at all.

Just some fun quirky home design ideas to keep in mind for your furry family members. Later this week we'll show you how we're incorporating our own version of this in our house for Miss Oats :)

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