ARTICLE Stephanie Matheson
Going ‘luxury’ with your pet doesn’t just mean simply adding a few glamourous accessories, it can also mean adapting the layout and flow of your home to seamlessly integrate your daily routines and habits. Adding a ‘mudroom’ to your house or renovating your bathroom to suit your pet may cost anywhere from $30,000 and upwards. If you are working with smaller budgets, there is still plenty you can do to make your home pet-friendly; read more in "Mid-range pet-friendly home renovations" and "Basic pet-friendly home renovations".
How can I make my house work better with pets?
Making a house work better for you and your family is one of the key reasons for a renovation. Lifestyle choices and family needs may mean that the layout of older homes doesn’t fit the bill. Many young families want to create open-plan living spaces with great indoor-outdoor flow and enough bedrooms. Kitchens and bathrooms are often remodelled and sometimes moved around to provide a better flow.
When pets enter the equation, daily routines change again, and having a layout that makes life easier – well – makes life easier! It all starts by having the things you need ready and stored in the right location, where they will be needed. Keeping a cupboard of leashes and everything you need to take your dog for a walk near your front door, for example, is a basic option. As a high end option, a full makeover with added mudroom will take this approach further. You will be able to keep your muddy boots there, along with all the doggy equipment you need. Plus, the mudroom will allow you to dry and brush your dog, keeping all the messy bits contained in one area before you enter the living space.
If you are renovating, the early stages of your project are an ideal time to sit down with your renovation specialist and re-evaluate your plans with pets in mind. Small changes can have a significant impact. For example, you could consider increasing the size of your garage to include space for cleaning your dog and keeping equipment, you could adapt your laundry to the same end, or you could add a separate mudroom. A separate bathroom dedicated to canine care is a great idea, and where possible this should include a walk-in type shower or washing station and a door to the outside world, so you can come home from your outdoor adventures and get straight into the ‘dog wash’.
How can I prevent dirt and dog hair in the house?
Muddy paw prints all through the house and pet hair on the sofa – those have got to be two main complaints that most pet owners share. You can do a lot of prevention work by picking flooring and upholstery materials that show hair and dirt less than others. Textured and coloured tiles or bamboo wooden floors are great choices, while carpets are typically hard to keep clean. Colour-coordinating with your pet can also help – if you have a black dog, black cushions and throws won’t show your dog’s hair as much as other colours.
While these measure will help alleviate the problem somewhat, the best way to keep your home looking clean is to ensure that as easy way to wash and groom your pet is ‘built into’ your daily activities. Create a little grooming palace of your own by adapting your bathroom accordingly, or by adding a dedicated pet washing room.
Wetrooms, where all of the flooring space can get wet, are a fantastic trend not only for humans, but also for four-legged friends. Costs for creating a high end wetroom may start anywhere from $40,000. Other simple ways to adjust your current bathroom to your pet’s needs include installing a large walk-in shower with a removable shower head, using a low raise bathtub or sinking the bathtub into a custom-made podium complete with steps.
What are the best options for feeding my dog?
Adapting the layout of your home to suit your pets is mouth-watering when it comes to feeding and watering stations. Gone are the days of tripping over food and water bowls! A fully integrated solution will help keep your home looking beautiful and clutter free. You can opt to build feeding bowls into the side or inside of a kitchen island, or inside a large bottom drawer. Raised feeding platforms and food dispensers are other tasty high end options that are fun and functional.
For the ultimate feeding station, consider a separate and dedicated doggy pantry that caters for all the canine needs of storing food and water and other essentials. You can even include a tap at doggy height for filling up water bowls, and a sink for cleaning bowls and other pet items. A dog or cat door in a pantry door allows you to leave the door closed while still allowing your animal access to their food and water bowls.
Is there a clever way to build a dog bed into my house?
Dogs naturally want to spend time with us, and we do with them. But there are occasions when we each need our own space. A doggy bed and dog hut are key accessories and it’s worth having a cosy spot that is in a quiet location so your dog can retreat there at will. Placing a special bed or basket in a bedroom is an easy way to achieve this, but a more elaborate and stylish way of providing for your dog is to custom-build a little – or not so little – retreat.
A great way to do this is by utilising and converting current storage space, such as wardrobe space. The space underneath stairways is also perfect for a hiding or resting spot, and you can go as far as to properly build a dog house there with a dog-sized access door – a home within your home! Having a built-in indoor doggy house, or even better, a separate doggy ‘parlour’ that can be closed off, will help you keep your pets separate when entertaining and hosting guests.
Don’t forget to include your outdoor space when planning the ultimate luxury domestic retreat for your dog. A large kennel with a fenced-in play area will set them up nicely. Dogs love playing in the garden and an adventure-style design with pathways, tunnels, resting spots and areas for playing and digging will keep them fit. Plus, they can provide a real wow factor for your garden if they’re designed well.
If you have a smaller budget to work with, why not read basic pet-friendly home renovations and mid-range pet-friendly home renovations.
If you would like to discuss walk-in wardrobe options and ideas for your home renovation, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.