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THE CHANGING ROLE OF PETS IN HOME DESIGN

THE CHANGING ROLE OF PETS IN HOME DESIGN

DESIGN FOR PETS
Creating a space that accommodates the family pet may involve using a pull-out drawer to conceal food and water bowls; repurposing a trash or recycling center for storing food; incorporating little luxuries like a pet water fountain; or using a large sink with pull-out faucet to allow for bathing, as seen here in the Wood-Mode Embassy Row Pet Parlor concept space. Photo: Courtesy of Wood-Mode

According to Dave Burcher, CKD, of New York City’s In-House Kitchen, the changing role of pets in Home Design is what’s currently driving the trend toward design that accommodates pets as well as people. He explains, “I think the overarching idea is how do we, as consumers, view the animals we live with? We’ve begun to see them as members of the family and, as a result, we’re integrating them more into our daily lives, and our homes. And that colors our design. They’re family, and we’re designing for family, and I think that trend will continue to grow.”

Just as a designer may make a space more comfortable for aging family members by including easy-grasp handles, better lighting, fashionable grab bars or wheelchair-accessible walkways, or address children’s needs by providing a child-height refrigerator drawer, they can also address pet needs by incorporating niches for pet beds, storage for pet food, toys, leashes and accessories, fabrics and furniture that hold up well to paws and claws, or a bathing/grooming area to simplify pet clean up.

And, in many cases, they can do this using their existing skills and existing products, merely adapting these to work for the pet’s specific needs, he says.

As Burcher points out, “When we talk about designing spaces to accommodate these needs, what we have to realize is that we’re already doing these things – we’re just not thinking about them this way. There’s no difference between doing this for people and pets. So why not make ourselves more valuable in the market to homeowners who have pets and want their homes to be comfortable for them, too?”

He believes this can be done with everything from pet-friendly flooring and easy-care fabrics and materials to re-imagined storage spaces, built-in sleeping niches and feeding areas, bathing/grooming areas designed to be accessible to pets and even pet-friendly exercise areas.

SLEEPING SPACES
Dogs, in particular, are “pack animals,” which means they like to be with their family. But cats, too, often like to “hang out” with their people. So how do you create spaces for them to relax near the family, without getting in the way?

As Burcher notes, “Our pets want to be with us and we want to be with them, so we have to look at where the activities happen in the home and where we can craft that space for the animals. The kitchen is typically the biggest gathering space in the home and we spend the most time there, so that’s a natural fit.”

However, the need varies depending on whether one is accommodating a 100-lb. golden retriever, a 10-lb. cat or a couple of 15-lb. Yorkies. If it’s practical, Burcher recommends “creating a low shelf out of cabinetry or creating a crate-style space out of cabinetry” that keeps the pet nearby, but out of the main traffic flow. Window perches can also provide a quiet spot for a cat to sunbathe or a small dog to relax and watch the world go by.

Color coordinated dog beds can also be integrated into an entryway or alcove in the kitchen, or an adjoining room that looks into the kitchen.

Of course, sometimes, a pet needs to be confined to a specific area for safety reasons. While furniture-style crates provide one stylish option, Burcher points to a kitchen remodel he completed where elegant hideaway gates became part of the design, making it easy to confine a pet as needed or keep them out during cooking or dining (see photos, above right).

BATHING/GROOMING AREAS
Bathing or grooming areas are also seeing increased interest among pet owners, according to Burcher, who notes, “These spaces are being integrated naturally into the laundry room or mud room, as these rooms are usually off the rear or side of the house where people are bringing the dog in or out. I think there’s also a real trend with luxury home builders offering these as an option for homes they’re building.”

And, as pet ownership continues to grow in apartments and upscale city dwellings, he sees “builders creating spaces where all of the tenants can use a shared grooming/bathing space in the building for their pets.”

Once again, adaptation of existing products makes these spaces a natural fit for the talents of design professionals accustomed to creating bathing and showering spaces. He explains, “There are so many choices – both modern and traditional – with handshowers and pull-out faucets, tile shower basins, fiberglass or cast iron shower pans. And you adapt it to the need. So maybe you raise that a foot or two off the floor, provide little steps for the dog to climb up, lower the shower doors so that you can reach over them – in short, you go with products and design ideas you’re already using, you just change the size to fit.”

Wood-Mode recently launched a ‘Pet Parlor’ concept space, which incorporates everything from a built-in pet fountain with faucet system, custom hideaway dog dish drawer with adjacent food storage bins, integrated lockers for leashes, collars and accessories, extra-large sink for bathing/grooming and island with integrated doors and cabinets.

And Burcher expects other manufacturers to jump in on this trend in the future. However, he believes that, with the level of customization today, designers can easily repurpose existing products to meet pet needs in the home, noting that doing so gives designers a competitive edge in marketing to the growing demographic of pet lovers.

STORAGE NEEDS
Just as people require storage for their “stuff” – whether food, cookware, bathing supplies or electronics – pets, too, come with their own collection of “stuff.” For a dog, that might mean finding space for a dog bed, toys, food, leashes, poop bags and medicine, while a cat will also need a private space for a litter box and scooper, and fish will need a fish tank plus space for food, water additives, etc.

Many times, existing storage products can be easily adapted to pet supplies. For instance, Burch notes, “Pull-outs originally designed for trash or recycling (which have a large capacity and can hold a lot of weight) are being repurposed for pet food; it’s a really natural fit for that. Likewise, bread bin inserts with stainless steel pieces are really well adapted for this as well.”

Cabinets can include interior fittings perfect for hanging leashes or storing pet supplies, he notes. Likewise, cabinet drawers can accommodate pet food and water dishes that can be pulled out during meal time, and tucked away when not needed. Furniture pieces can accommodate everything from aquariums to shelving that doubles as cat perches.

Additionally, evolving pet care trends can also impact pet-friendly design trends. For instance, the growing movement toward home cooking or raw feeding pets might drive the need for additional refrigerator space, or perhaps a secondary point-of-use refrigerator drawer to be used exclusively for pet food.

Some pet owners even look to incorporate exercise areas for their pets – everything from wider walkways to facilitate play to shelves for cats to climb or even side-by-side human and dog treadmills. As Burcher notes, “The way we think about our own bodies and exercise and health needs is being integrated with our needs for our pets. That might mean adapting a space into an exercise room so they can exercise together. As a health conscious person myself, seeing how we can integrate our health needs with our pets is really interesting to me.”

He also suggests that designers looking to accommodate pet needs consider how pets move around a space, the same as they would with humans. For instance, he notes, “Cats have very specific ways of moving through spaces that impact design. They need multiple points of entry and exit from a room, and offering that creates more harmonious spaces.”

Even pet issues can provide clues that help with the design process. He explains, “Often, when pets engage in destructive behavior, they’re really saying, ‘I’m frustrated because my needs aren’t being met.’ Their negative behavior can define our positive design results. As designers, we need to solve problems, and if we listen to our pets, the negative things they’re doing can really tell us the solutions that they’re looking for in the space.”

originally posted by AUTHORS Janice Costa.

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Cabinet Accessories from Rev-a-Shelf

Cabinet Accessories from Rev-a-Shelf

Rev-a-Shelf is one of the leaders in the industry bringing you all kinds of cabinet accessories to make kitchens and bath as functional as possible.

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Benefits Of Natural Stone Tiles

Exterior natural stone tiles are being used for several decades now and they are getting more and more popular these days. This is because many people have started to understand that these floorings come with a wide range of benefits that cannot be missed…

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Tile – Time to Go Wild

Ann Sacks Tile has had Martyn Lawrence Bullard design a new line for them where he expresses his “go wild” side.

mirrored tile
Ann Sacks Tile by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

ANN SACKS, leading designer and manufacturer of fine tile and stone, partnered with internationally acclaimed designer, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, bringing to the marketplace three collections as diverse and storied as the man behind the designs. Known for his bold interiors and unabashed ease to push the boundaries of traditional sensibility with contemporary vibe, and color palette that soars and defines, Lawrence Bullard has become one of the most sought out designers today. 

Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s Hermitage mirrored tile takes its cues from 20th century design, yet remains true to ANN SACKS’ handcraft by employing the art of 18th century mirror-making techniques to achieve the lustrous surfaces. The antiqued mirrored tiles are patterned with designs such as zebra and leopard, creating a look that is reminiscent of the decorative art of verre églomisé – a difficult, almost extinct, technique mastered by the French in the 18th century.

Lawrence Bullard adds to the ANN SACKS repertoire with the unveiling of Mousharabia, Eastern Promise, and Hermitage.  Forever a student of design in all its forms ANN SACKS has found in Lawrence Bullard a kindred spirit, delving into tile as his next expressive medium with robust passion, personality and adventurous spirit… the very ethos behind the ANN SACKS brand.

“One of the greatest experiences of working with ANN SACKS has been the extraordinary artisans they found for me around the world to fashion this collection,” said Lawrence Bullard. “My visions were challenging and my standards are high. They rose to the challenge with amazing resources and tireless attention to detail. I am proud to have been asked to work with them. The results are beautiful, bold, and fresh, and honor tradition, whilst totally appealing to today’s trends and individualism.”

 

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Get The Colors of Your Walls, Doors and Trims To Work Together

Have you ever walked in a room where you can feel there is something that is not right, about the color choices or combinations of wall colors and the trims and doors? Never did understand why the white trim and doors weren’t a good match with the chosen…

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The Quickest Way to Perk Up Your Bedrooms

There are few things that I am absolutely opinionated about in design; and this one can bring  liveliness to any bedroom or any room for that matter,and its by adding a beautiful chandelier. I know what you all are thinking, that’s expensive, and…

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Under the sink, darling it’s better, down where it’s neater, take it from me

Under the bathroom sink is such a weird little space, usually so full of potential but most likely with no shelves and in the way pipes. Cavernous spaces are great in ensuring adequate space for storage but order? Not so much. As with any organising…

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Home Remodeling – Drywall Rules

Home Remodeling – Drywall Rules

It’s not your Grandma’s drywall anymore.  If you are doing a new home remodeling project of any kind, you might want to consider what type of drywall you should use. The new kid (drywall) on the block is Purple drywall.  It has many properties that make it ideal for areas that get abused by everyday life.

National Gypsum, the manufacturers, describe their product as follows:

purple drywall, home remodeling
National Gypsum Purple Drywall

Purple drywall products provide unparalleled resistance to mold, moisture, scratches and dents, and can even reduce the noise you hear between rooms. They’re naturally fire-resistant, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®, as easy to install and finish as standard drywall and made in the USA. With PURPLE®, there’s a whole new way to look at walls.

XP®

XP drywall is ideally suited to environments like bathrooms and kitchens that are vulnerable to the damaging effects of moisture. As part of the PURPLE® family of products, XP offers the advantages of traditional moisture-resistant drywall with added mold and mildew resistance in the core and paper, and is available in a variety of thicknesses and lengths.

Hi-Abuse® XP®

Hi-Abuse XP drywall offers a solid option for hallways, staircases and rooms that often suffer the abuse of carelessly rearranged furniture, bouncing balls and anything on wheels. In addition to greater resistance to scratches and scuffs, this member of the PURPLE® family of products is designed to provide extra protection against mold and mildew compared to standard drywall products. Like XP, High-Abuse XP is moisture-resistant and naturally fire-resistant to help make the walls of your home one of its best and most durable features.

Hi-Impact® XP®

Hi-Impact XP is a top-performing choice for rooms subject to impact and dents from hard objects such as tools, sporting equipment, bicycles and skateboards. A fiberglass mesh is embedded into the core for added impact and penetration resistance. Like the other XP drywall products, it also combines basic strengths such as resistance to moisture, mold and mildew. As part of the PURPLE® family of products, Hi-Impact XP is also naturally fire-resistant, providing day-to-day performance and peace-of-mind.

SoundBreak XP®

SoundBreak XP reduces the noise you hear between rooms, whether it’s music, TV, conversation, a baby crying or dogs barking. As part of the PURPLE® family of products, SoundBreak XP also resists moisture, mold, mildew, scratches and scuffs, and is naturally fire-resistant.

 

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Faux Painting

Fantastic Muralsfaux painting, bathroom remodeling

Faux Painting on the Professional level is a lot different than what I can do with a sponge.  A wonderful Faux Painter, (www.deelitedesign.com), did  this mural, (and this is only a small part of it), in a friends bathroom.  It literally transformed the space from a small dark bathroom to a coastal marshland.

These artists can work magic for any home, ( best of all, there’s not much mess).  They can create three dimensional objects or pictorials,( trompe l’oeil), that can appear to be a window scene where you don’t have one, or great crown moldings you’ve always wanted.

We have used these artists to customize kitchen cabinetry.  They can create rugs on old laminate flooring.  There isn’t much I haven’t seen them tackle.

So pass on the usual paint and wallpaper.  If you really want to freshen up a room without getting into construction, try a top notch Faux Painter.  You will love it!

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Kitchen Countertops – Wireless Charging for your Electronics

 Wireless Charging Kitchen Countertops

smart phone, countertop, new bern kitchen designThe TechTop from LG Hausys is fabricated with HI-MACS solid surface and powered to charge cell phones simply by placing them on the surface. The upgrade to HI-MACS allows customers to charge their cell phones on the countertop, wirelessly.The technology associated with the TechTop is compatible with Qi, the global wireless charging standard. 

 

 

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