Designing For Your Pets
Designing for your Pets
In the past I may have mentioned how important it is to include you pets when you are remodeling. I have shared with you some clever sleeping accommodations for your companion dog or cat. Today I want to share some ideas and storage solutions for your companion’s food and water.
Many times when we are designing a new kitchen space for a client the question of pet food storage and bowls comes up. Our dogs and cats are an integral part of our lives and thus, we want to make sure to accommodate them whenever and wherever possible when designing a new space, especially the kitchen area.
The following are some stylish and practical solutions to make your life, as well as that of your companion, easy and stress free.
The storage of your pet’s food and treats deserves a stylish solution. Think about creating your own containers that can be displayed in your kitchen or pantry area.
Ordinary canisters can be painted and decorated using stencils and appliqués to bring character and color to your room. There are many easy, basic computer software programs that allow you to add a personal touch.
If you are not planning new cabinetry, there are several unique and stylish solutions for your companion’s food and water bowls. A simple wooden stool can be converted into a portable food/water station.
Just cut out holes for bowls and paint the stool in a room coordinating color and you have a custom solution for your pet. Consider adding your companions name to the tray or select bowls that match your dishes. There are wonderful glass and porcelain bowls that can be found in local thrift stores and antique malls.
A pair of small children’s chairs is an inexpensive flea market find.
Cutouts for bowls, some custom lettering – maybe even a fun, bright paint color can turn a $40 investment into something your pet will love. Consider that larger dogs prefer bowls that are raised up off the floor 6” – 12” and you are also providing them a more comfortable eating solution.
Perhaps you are tight on space. This solution provides not only bowls for water and food but also storage for toys, leashes, etc.
This solution utilizes a standard bench, available at many retailers and cuts openings for your own bowls. However at 16” – 18” in height, this solution is best for taller dogs.
Even the most mundane item can become a unique and stylish feeding station.
Here an old Coca-Cola crate has been turned into a great solution for this little guy. You could do the same with an old suitcase, providing cutouts in the lid and some stylish bowls.
Finally, this small chest of drawers became a complete feeding and food storage solution.
With a bit of carpentry skills, the top is hinged to provide storage for treats and food. The middle drawer can hold leash, collar and toys. The bottom drawer has been modified to incorporate a solid panel containing bowls. This can easily be closed when needed. This way you can recycle a piece of furniture and provide great function at the same time.
But what if you are redesigning your kitchen, butler’s pantry or mudroom and including new cabinetry? Then you have a few additional options for your pets feeding and food storage.
We often specify a recycling center pullout to hold treats and dry food.
Many have lids and handles for convenience.
As for built-in food and water bowls consider an area at the end of an island or corner of the kitchen, built into the base for a convenient height and fun style.
The lower toe kick area also is a great and inconspicuous area for feeding.
In this case, we customized a stainless insert into a drawer built into the base. There is even a lidded area for treats and food storage. When not in use, the drawer slides conveniently back into hiding.
Our companions are an everyday part of our lives. When designing your kitchen, pantry or mudroom area, please give consideration to their needs. With a little planning and creativity, you can have stylish and beautiful solutions that are practical and functional as well.
We have tried something different this month and would like your feedback if subjects like these were interesting. Please let me know.
Michael A. Menn AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP
Michael Menn Ltd.