Pet dogs have trumped children and marriage as the main reason millennials are purchasing their first home, according to a recent survey in the United States by Harris Poll for SunTrust Mortgage.
Unlike previous generations, millennials are choosing to move out of rentals and buy their own home to accommodate their pets, the survey found. New Zealand currently ranks second in the world with the most pets per household, so it should come as no surprise that there’s increasing demand for pet-friendly design features in new homes.
Kiwi buyers passionate about their four-legged friends (or fur-children as they are commonly called) are customising their house plans to ensure their pets are happy and comfortable in their new environment, too.
There are a wider range of decor and design options to consider without impacting the quality or style of your home. What’s more is pet-friendly features may actually make your home more attractive to potential buyers should you choose to sell up in the future.
All of Generation Homes’ architecturally-designed house plans can be modified to accommodate individual needs – even those of your beloved pet. From durable flooring to built-in feeding areas, we’ve shared some of the top customised variations you can incorporate when designing multifunctional spaces with your pet/s in mind.
Well-designed indoor spaces to keep pets entertained
Depending on your pet’s indoor habits, you may want to create special areas for them to curl up and get comfy. For example, your cat may enjoy a built-in windowseat to watch birds and outside traffic while dogs may benefit from a built-in lounger near high-traffic areas in your home, such as the kitchen or places where you gather and socialise like the lounge room.
Some new home buyers have even requested designated play areas for their pets in their bedroom or laundry to keep them entertained in a secure location when indoors. Dedicated areas for pets are great option as it reduces the likelihood of your pets scratching or damaging furniture as they settle into their new homes.
Stop dirt at the door with a doggie mud room
Dog owners are considering adding mud rooms in their new homes to minimise outdoor dirt travelling throughout the house. In general terms, a mud room is a casual secondary entranceway intended as an area to remove and store footwear, outerwear and wet clothing before entering the main house, and they often include additional storage space. Mud rooms are a great option for storing pet accessories and outdoor apparel. Use wall hooks to keep leashes tangle-free and install shelves with baskets to organise spare collars, treats and toys. It’s also a great place to keep your dog’s designated towel handy for cleaning muddy paws and coats before entering the house.
Use pet-friendly materials throughout your home
When it comes to floors and walls, some materials work better than others when pets are involved. For durable floors, forgo carpet and opt for hard-surface flooring such as laminate flooring, stone or ceramic tiles, or polished concrete. Hard surfaces are easier to keep clean and stain-free, while also having the added benefit of being cooler in hot weather. This is a significant benefit if your pets have thick or long fur. It’s also a good idea to ask your vet to regularly trim your dog and/or cats nails to reduce damage to your new floorboards or tiles. To ensure your walls remain clean, think about upgrading to an easy-wipe paint, such as the Dulux EasyClean range, for added protection against drool, mud or splatters.
Opt for a built-in feeding station
A raised food and water station is a convenient solution for new home owners because it reduces mess and helps maintain order in your home’s central living areas. Whether you prefer the feeding station to stand out as a feature or blend inconspicuously within your kitchen or laundry room, there are a range of creative options available. Feeding stations can also be constructed outdoors if you only let your pets inside on rare occasions.
If you’re sort on space, create a pull out drawer or build a feeding station into kitchen island or cabinetry. You can request to create additional storage space for doggie treats and bulk foods during the design process to ensure all pet-friendly kitchen features tie together with a seamless finish.
Give Fido his own ‘bedroom’
A dedicated sleep station is a great way to make your furry friends feel secure in a new home, and it goes a long way when establishing rules around bedtime. From standalone four-poster luxury beds to built-in sleep stations cleverly disguised as a side table, there are endlessly chic ways to give your furry friend a bed of their own.
Added to this, you can update their bed’s look each season by accessorising it with weather-appropriate throws and pillows. For example, you may want to use faux fur throws to line their bed in winter and a cooling 100 per cent cotton quilt in summer. Giving your pets designated areas to sit and sleep also helps when obedience training them not to sit on couches or hover around the table at dinner.
Don’t forget outdoor areas for them to play in
If you’re a dog owner, you may want to find ways to maximise you property’s outdoor spaces to ensure your pets are warm, safe and happy. Extending the roofline to create a special covered alfresco area for your pet is a great way to protect them for the wind and rain while keeping their sleeping quarters, food and water undercover. It also provides an escape from the sun during the warmer months. Other features gaining popularity include doggie splash pools, outdoor shower stations and mini activity centres.