A growing number of Americans are designing homes around their pets.
By Rieva Lesonsky
We first alluded to this trend last year, but it seems to have taken hold. If you’re an interior designer, architect, contractor or otherwise involved in home décor, you should know housing is going to the dogs—literally.
An article in The Washington Post points out that homebuilders are “making pets a centerpiece of their home designs—and buyers are responding positively.” We’re not talking fancy pet bowls here, though of course there are plenty of those. Pet owners are buying electronic feeders, automatic pet doors, and showers and tubs to accommodate bathing pets. They’re positioning flat-screen TVs so pets can see them. And amazingly, they’re buying houses (or getting remodels) that include a separate room for their pets.
Standard Pacific, an Irvine, California-based homebuilder, is successfully catering to this market by offering pet rooms as an option in the 27 communities it’s developing. (Maybe pets need a room in these homes, since many are built with postage-stamp-size yards.) But Standard Pacific’s national director of architecture told The Post that pets kept coming up when the builder conducted livability research with recent buyers. As we told you a month ago, Americans are spending big money on their pets, and Millennials are pampering them even more.
So where are the opportunities? The Post says flooring is a big concern for homeowners, with many preferring “hard surfaces or even some specialized floors marketed as pet friendly.” Some match the color of the floor with the color of their pets’ fur to minimize the effects of shedding.
Last year we specifically mentioned a report from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) saying its members were being asked to design “kitchens that accommodate the family pet, including day beds, feeding stations, cabinets for litter boxes and doggy faucets.”
For more specifics and ideas, take a look at the article in The Post.