I am the owner of two puppies. My sweet westies – 13 year old Dina and 5 year old Lilly – are an important part of my life. We live and work together, we create a business together – innovative and protective clothes for dogs under CiuCiu brand name. I write “we create together” because they are the most important part of this business – they are both the face and the models, and all improvements and new technologies are born thanks to them. The CiuCiu brand is about convenience for dog owners at the lowest effort.
I educate my followers that dog clothes can be more than just a nice dress or a warm winter jacket, I remind them that dog clothes can also help reduce the dirt they bring home. While searching for relative ideas interesting to discuss with my followers, the idea arose to expand the discussion and talk about pet-friendly home design interiors.
We interviewed the founder of the interior design studio IJANdesign, Julija Naradauskaite Brunickė, for whom this topic is not new, and interior design is her life’s passion. Designer Julija faces various design challenges every day, so she was only happy to be invited to a discussion about pet friendly interiors. Julija says that so far little attention is paid to this in Lithuania, usually it is necessary to improve already finished interiors, and find a way to accommodate the small residents of the house stylishly and comfortably in the luxurious interiors. The designer says that areas for pets should blend into the overall style of the house, which is easiest to do while designing the interior of the house. Julia says, the details must serve the comfort of this special friendship, and “the pet’s space should flow naturally from the overall design of the house”.
Home interior design that takes into account the needs of humans and pets is called a pet-friendly interior. This year, this style is gaining tremendous momentum. This is particularly reflected in the Pinterest social network, where a new name was even created for this trend – “Barkitecture”.
The Lithuanian equivalent of the term could be #LOKinterjeras. When creating this style, the greatest attention is paid to keeping the space in order at the lowest effort. In other words, easy and simple maintenance and cleanliness in a house where pets also live.
Pets sleep, eat and rest in our homes, just like us. Therefore, it is really practical advice to consider their needs and lifestyle when designing our home.
The theme of pets is becoming more and more relevant every year, touches more and more areas of life and goes hand in hand with the latest technologies and fashion trends. Therefore, it is not surprising that pet friendly home design style is also often fascinated by latest interior style trends, such as natural materials, such as marble, terrazzo, bricks, wood, linen, milled surfaces, metal. Interior designer Julija Naradauskaitė Brunickė recommends avoiding materials that attract hair or easy chewable items. So we look for inspiration in organic, natural and long-lasting materials.
Modern pet owners are looking for various innovations and trends that will facilitate their daily activities, such as washing the pet’s feet after returning from the outdoors, convenient feeding, a place for the pet to play, storage of toys, and a pet’s sleeping area.
To make it easier to imagine the relevance of this topic, below are some statistics of World Pets:
- 33% of households worldwide have at least one dog.
- There are 471 million domestic dogs in the world.
- 52% of British adults have a pet and 27% have a dog. The total dog population of Great Britain is 10.2 million.
- 90% of dog owners in the United States consider dogs equal members of the family.
- In France, there are 17 dogs per hundred inhabitants. This is one of the densest dog populations in the world. A total of 7.4 million pet dogs live in this country. 40% of French say they love dogs as much as people.
- As the cost of living in Argentina improves, so does the dog population. Most rental housing already allows pets, which is a major contributor to the rapidly growing dog population in this country.
- The active lifestyle of the Japanese is increasingly encouraging them to choose to become pet owners rather than parents. There are about 12 million dogs in Japan, and same cat population. Here, pets are considered members of the family and 10 billion US dollars are spent on their care every year.
Pets are born with unconditional love for us, and we are sometimes reminded of this by finding a crushed leg of a chair or pet hair on carpets and sofas. Since pets are such an important part of my life, this is a relatively small price to pay for unconditional devotion and true friendship. But still, life can always be more comfortable and better.
According to interior designer Julia, there are some really simple tips on how to design our home both stylishly and cozy, but comfortable for all residents. For me, as a designer of anti-dirt clothing for dogs, the issue of dirt and the effort required to keep it clean is a relevant topic. I love comfort and a clean home, but even more I love when little effort is required to maintain cleanliness. So Julia has a tricky task, how to create a harmonious environment where both me and my pets would feel at home.
Julija Naradauskaitė Brunickė suggests dividing this topic into 12 stages, so that planning a pet friendly home interior would be simpler.
1 - PET FRIENDLY FABRICS
The first thing we think about when bringing a pet into our home – pet hair. Even my shed-free westies send me messages of love (their hair) on various surfaces of the house from time to time. Julia offers us a slightly different catalog of fabrics, in which all fabrics are pet friendly.
What does pet friendly mean? First of all, these are fabrics to which hair simply does not stick. It is also important that they do not get dirty or are at all resistant to dirt, water and, of course, easy to clean. Julia enjoys sharing her impressions of the discovered producers of such fabrics.
After all, it is so wonderful not to have to worry about whether or not the puppy will get on the sofa. And it would be even more wonderful if letting them climb on the furniture, like in my house, would keep the furniture looking great without having to clean it every day.
Interior designer can give such valuable tips that you would hardly think of yourself. The interior designer suggests avoiding fabrics that are like hair magnets: corduroy, mohair, velvet, velour, chenille. If you have chosen to live with pets, Julia suggests forgetting about fabrics like silk or leather. It simply won’t stand up to the tests of your pet’s nails.
Designer Julija recommends choosing fabrics that are durable but soft, and the hair easily slips off them: tapestry, synthetic fabrics, ultra suede. Ultrasuede is a microfiber fabric, a substitute for genuine leather – resistant to stains, liquids and wear. It is extremely easy to maintain – easy to clean stains, can be washed in the washing machine or dry cleaned. Listening to designer Julia’s arguments about these exceptional fabrics, I immediately understood that it would be very convenient to have removable covers that could sometimes be taken off and cleaned.
The interior designer suggested not to save on the investment in better fabrics. The interior stays neat and as on the first day for a long time. Her simple practical advice: combine fabric colors with the color of the pet’s fur. So I’m already sure that white and other light shades will prevail in our house.
2 - WOODEN PARTS AND FURNITURE
Julia warned us about possible damage to wooden surfaces, but still she does not suggest completely abandoning wood in her interior, after all, wood is a texture that gives comfort and warmth. She suggests thinking carefully about where it might be and carefully considering where it can be chosen. For example, composing wooden decor details higher than the pet can reach, and choose metal or chrome details below. This would mean replacing wooden legs, low knobs or other details with metal ones. It should not be forgotten that wicker, rattan and sisal furniture are the easiest to chew.
Tip no. 2: install wooden décor details higher than the pet can reach, choose metal or chrome details below.
3 - PET FRIENDLY FLOOR
The floor bears the greatest load, and when choosing a flooring, its resistance to wear and ease of cleaning should be considered first of all. Just imagine your pet entering your home after a rainy and muddy walk. The designer recommends that you first pay attention to the peculiarities of cleaning the floor, whether it can be cleaned quickly and easily.
Natural wooden floors collect hair like a magnet. In addition, it is difficult to maintain, as they are not resistant to frequent rubbing. I tried to imagine what such a floor would look like after a few years of dog paws with nails and I realized that it is not the best choice.
But designer Julia has an offer here too – hardwood floors (mahogany, oak) or laminate. Such floors are strong and scratch-resistant. Well, laminate should be chosen more carefully, pay attention to higher class and do not forget that the nails will definitely be heard better on laminate. You will remember it late at night or early in the morning when your dog will go for a walk around the house while you sleep. Other options for pet owners – bricks, tiles, terrazzo, granite, concrete. We were delighted to have hardwood floors in most of the house and traditional tiles in the bathroom and kitchen. My girls will be happy to cool their tummies during hot days on tiles, so it’s a double benefit.
Wooden floors and carpets. It sounds so cozy and cute, right? But Julia warns that carpets can be a real headache when you have pets. Especially if the puppies are small or have occasional accidents. The carpet will be ruined and the smell will constantly remind the pet that this is a place where potty can be done. Therefore, the easiest way to maintain order and cleanliness at home is to abandon carpets. Or spare the investment and buy a pet friendly carpet suitable for hardwood floors, such as Barber.
Another option for carpets: choose smaller ones for easy removal and cleaning. Sisal, Japanese tatami, sea grass, or other short pile rugs would work well. Or totally different flooring option, self-adhesive PVC panels.
We understand that the house, no matter how practical and comfortable it is, cannot be done without cleaning it. But it’s nice to be able to choose surfaces that are easy to maintain with pet friendly cleaners.
Tip no. 3: for flooring choose bricks, tiles, terrazzo, granite, self-adhesive PVC panels, concrete or hardwood, avoid carpets or choose smaller and pet friendly ones, use pet friendly cleaning products.
4 - PET FRIENDLY WALLS
Tip no. 4: For wall coverings, choose a smoother medium-gloss texture that is easy to clean and does not pull hair.
5 - PET AREA
Just as parents arrange rooms for children, pet owners should also remember to arrange a separate space for their pets. SmartDog training school trainers recommend setting up a place where pets can feel safe, undisturbed, have the opportunity to rest, play, be alone, and where would feel comfortable leaving our little ones when they stay alone at home. This will help dogs avoid chewing furniture, destruction or additional stress for the pet. Read more about training our pets from chewing and other common problems that pet owners might have with their pets.
Since it is not recommended to let our energetic little friends run around the house, chase balls, roll around excitedly and play anywhere in the house, according to the recommendations of Karolis Grigaliūnas, the SmartDog training coach, I always try to train my girls to play in a specially for them equipped place. Yes, it is fun to watch our pets running around the house, but a happy dog is an obedient dog, and we want nothing more than happiness for our little ones. Discipline and obedience make puppies feel calmer and more confident, which means less stress and more joy.
I outlined my wishes and the trainer’s recommendations to the designer Julia: for maximum comfort for all residents of the house, I want to create a special place for my girls, keep their toys in order but easily accessible to them.
If it is not possible to hide the pet’s bed or it is too cute to hide it, Julia recommends ordering furniture with integrated functions for pets: feeding, sleeping, storing toys. In this case, the furniture can also serve as furniture for you and your pet.
She, like the trainers, reminds us that the bed should be in harmony with the entire interior of the house. The best thing is that it will be easier to get your pet used to choosing a bed for rest, sleep or games, rather than furniture. This will allow the pet to feel at home in its bed, and not in a separate republic.
When choosing a bed, we take into account its quality, materials, whether it can be washed in its entirety or whether the covers can be removed, whether there are no easily torn parts that could cause the puppy to choke.
The area of the pet’s space can be decorated not only with dog toys and beds, you can hang pet’s portraits, for example PetArtWorld specially oil paints pet portraits. Julia will match the colors of the frames to the interior and it will be a very personal and personalized detail of the whole interior.
Tip no. 5: Arrange pet are at your home matching your home design.
6 - KITCHEN, PET DINING AREA
Pet-friendly interiors are interiors designed in such a way that order and cleanliness in the house remain with the least possible effort. The kitchen is the most convenient place to set up a feeding area for pets. Our designer Julia has several ideas to make this place both comfortable and stylish. First of all, she advises to choose bowls that match the interior. In this way, the bowls will not spoil the image of the interior, but on the contrary, they will decorate it and complement it. Another suggestion of the designer is to install a specially designed drawer, when the feeding area is integrated and visible only during feeding. “It is possible to install a special place for storing food and for taking it conveniently before eating. And for the water bowl, find a cooler, but convenient corner for the pet to access,” suggests Julija.
Designing a pet-friendly kitchen should follow the same rule as the rest of the interior, a neat and minimal design that is easy to maintain and keep clean
Tip no. 6: Provide a convenient area for feeding, containers and food storage, a place with fresh water easily accessible to the dog, and choose bowls that will complement the whole interior.
7 - PET FRIENDLY CURTAINS AND WINDOWS
We probably won’t find a pet that doesn’t like to watch life outside the window or warm up in the sun while lying on the windowsill. My girls are also happy to spend time while watching through the window. Therefore, we ask the designer what solutions would be optimal when choosing, probably the most vulnerable element of home décor – curtains.
Julija, the founder of IJANdesign, asks if curtains are necessary, because the easiest option if you have pets is to abandon them or replace them with, for example, blinds. Having decided that curtains will provide more comfort and reflect my home style, we turn to the catalog of the most pet friendly curtains. It has two options – thick, heavy curtains, which will not be so sensitive to pet’s nails. But in this case, it is more difficult for the pet to observe life outside the window, because thick curtains will cover more of the view. Well, curtains can be hanged further from the windowsill with possibility for pets to still enjoy the view.
My girls simply adore sitting on the windowsill, so I ask Julia to pay attention to the establishment of a very cozy windowsill, where it would be comfortable and fun for both me and the girls to engage in morning rituals.
Tip no. 7: Do not block the possibility for pets to observe through the window. Provide a comfortable windowsill if pets like to spend time there.
8 - LIGHTING FOR PETS
Reminding of innovative solutions, designer Julija suggests providing LED lighting to make it more comfortable for pets to find a water bowl at night or feel cozy while staying alone at home until late.
In the dark, dogs can see much better than us humans, but if it’s pitch black, they can’t see anything just like humans.
Every pet is different, so the tolerance of darkness is different. Some feel great, others feel more anxious. Trainers suggest testing this by observing the pet’s reaction. But in my house there is always at least a small light on if the little ones are left alone until late. Therefore, I really like the designer’s proposal to install additional LED lighting for them. She thinks about everything.
Tip no. 8: Additional lighting for pets.
9 - PET FRIENDLY PLANTS
I want plants in my house, big beautiful plants. Therefore, Julia has the task of finding additional information about plants that are suitable for home interiors and are not dangerous for pets.
Did you know that every year at least 10,000 cases of illness are recorded by veterinarians precisely because of toxic and dangerous plants for pets. We will choose plants not listed in that list, and Julia will match them with the interior. She also suggests elevating more sensitive plants on stylish tables and holders.
And here is some more information about dangerous plants.
Tip no. 9: Choose plants that are safe for your pets, evaluate sensitive plants.
10 - PET WASHING SPOT
Let’s just imagine the scene: it’s raining and muddy outside, and your pet is coming home with muddy paws across your beautiful floors and carpets.
The clothes I create for dogs protect most of their fur from dirt and moisture, but if we walk outside without special shoes, then my pets have to wait patiently at the door for me to take them to the bathroom for a bath. After sharing my business idea with Julia, I inspired her to look into installing a special washing spot for puppies as close as possible to the entrance. Just like the purpose of CiuCiu dog clothes, I want the same idea of comfort at my home. I am glad that Julia, the designer of the IJANdesign studio, understands me and gives us wonderful suggestions. Keep the pet’s towels and cleaning supplies separate, conveniently accessible by the door of entrance and the washing area.
Tip no. 10: Provide a comfortable place for washing and bathing the pet’s feet. Keep pet towels, washcloths and other bathing supplies separate and closer to the entrance door or bathroom.
11 - HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT
In order to create a harmonious environment when creating a pet friendly home, you need to try to maintain a consistent style throughout the interior of the home and the pet area. According to Julia, such an interior should be both stylish and functional. When giving us suggestions, she pays attention to color combinations, shapes and placements. She keeps my girls’ needs and my caregiving habits in mind while creating my home interior.
One of her main rules for creating a pet-friendly home is that less is more. Less furniture – more order and cleanliness, easier maintenance, less chance of accidents. Homes where pets live should be cozy, stylish, safe, clean and at the same time not hinder us from enjoying the fun life that our pets give us.
Tip no. 11: Minimalism, all the overall design together and the place for the pets are compatible with each other, a safe and fun environment for the pet, a stylish place for the owner.
12 - BRINGING THE PUPPY INTO THE NEW HOME INTERIOR
You can always look at pet friendly home interiors from the other side. If we talk about puppies, it is always possible to teach your pets not to climb on furniture, not to scratch curtains and soft furniture, to go potty only outside. According to SmartDog trainers, it’s really easy to do if you do it right from the beginning. The most difficult part is for the owner to stick to his opinion and firmly stick to the chosen rules. You can watch a short video on how to do this.
If the puppy has difficulty learning discipline even in training, we suggest you take a look at the Japanese Altavidapet supplements, which calm reactive pets (these supplements are also suitable for sad, passive pets, giving the opposite effect).
And another option we were interested in is a puppy daycare/hotel. Daina, the owner of Pet Hotel Barkvilis, shared her observations that those puppies that are used to being apart from their owner, to spa treatments and communication with other puppies – grow up with a healthier mind and adapt to various situations more easily.
The founder of Barkvilis shared her personal experience that pets should be trained to their place and travel bags from an early age. And if the owners are going to travel and use pet care services, then they really recommend trying the daycare services and make sure they are suitable for puppies. In addition, Daina recommends purchasing travel bags-commodes. Why? Because it is a comfortable multifunctional bag, adapted to the interior, in it the pet will feel safe during adolescence, and the owner will be calm, because the pet will be protected from injuries if they love to destroy. Such bag helps to calm down, control emotions, and help to create a quality rest regime.
Well, if you don’t want to leave your puppy alone at home, there is a daycare center and hotel service for that. Owners bring their pets to Barkvilis Day Center because they want their pets to have fun, learn to feel good about being apart from their owners, socialize with other pets, and get used to spa treatments. And puppies are brought to the hotel when they need longer care. In the hotel, puppies have their own rooms, just like in a real hotel and individual attention.
There will definitely be times when it will be necessary to travel, so we looked into this possibility in advance. Because calling the puppy hotel for the first time at the last minute is very irresponsible. After all, you need to try, get to know, inspect, and understand if the puppy can stay in such a place.
And how to properly prepare pets for various services, including the hotel, read here.
Tip no. 12: Prepare to properly introduce your puppy to your new home interior
FOR THE ENDING:
If, after reading the article, you feel that you have additional and useful information on this topic, please reach out and share: photos, articles, descriptions of suitable products and services. We will add and expand until the article becomes an encyclopedia of pet friendly interior called #Barkitecture in English or #LOKinterjeras in Lithuanian.
Dog clothes designer Rima Kasnauskyte firstname.lastname@example.org
Interior designer Julija Nardauskaite email@example.com
Photos: personal or made by interior photographer Gintaras Miltenis
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