Fido And Fluffy Pull Rank: Pets Place High In Kitchen Design Trends, And How To Make It Work For Your Remodeling Project

Your family has grown. The kids are getting bigger, your social circle has widened, and at least one beloved pet is part of your vibrant lifestyle. To accommodate, you've decided this year's project is a full kitchen remodel. You want the space to be practical, but it needs to look great, too. So you check out the latest trends to see what colors, styles and materials are popular.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association is one source of information about trends. Each year it surveys its national membership of designers, manufacturers and contractors to identify what's hot in the world of kitchen design. From countertop materials and color selections to cabinetry and flooring, the survey reveals what features homeowners are seeking for new or remodeled spaces.

Beyond the features you typically find in kitchens, there was a big surprise in the 2016 NKBA survey. Special places for pets ranked in the "Top 10" of all the notable trends.

This news might not be a big shock for you or the millions of pet owners who consider their four-legged buddies part of the family. But the fact that pets rank so high on the NKBA list means you have the kitchen products and design industry on your side when you include dog and cat needs in your remodeling plans. Savvy contractors will be happy to help you incorporate pet-friendly features into your project.

Clever Crate and Doggy Bed Placement

Wherever you are, that's where your pet wants to be. That often means they're underfoot when you're trying to get things done in the kitchen. Smart new designs for places where your pet can hang out without causing you to dodge, trip or spill include under-counter nooks. Tucked away in a space where there would otherwise be a section of cabinets, your pet can happily lounge in your company. These dedicated areas can range from simple to completely luxurious.

Crate space. Whether you're training a puppy or have an older pet that considers its crate a safe place to hang out, an open space between the cabinets requires minimal design adjustments. Your contractor can simply leave a wide space between the base cabinets. The toe kick strip used to finish cabinets where they meet the floor should not extend across the space. This allows you to easily slide the crate in and out for cleaning.

Elevated bed. Ideal for custom-built cabinetry, the elevated bed simply replaces a section where a tier of drawers or cupboards would normally be positioned. If pre-manufactured stock cabinets are in your plans, your contractor can build a low platform that fits snug with the modules on either side of the bed space. Furnish the nook with a comfy cushion. And don't be surprised if your dog brings a favorite toy to embellish the decor while it's basking in the pleasure of being close to you.

Food and Water Station

Create a dedicated area at the end of the counter or kitchen island where the food and water bowls can be safely set in place to avoid tripping and spills. Configuration of the feeding station may include

  • a low platform with cut-outs to hold the bowls firmly in place;
  • tilt-out drawers for dry food storage and easy access when it's feeding time;
  • a wall-mounted or narrow side cabinet for canned food and treats;
  • slider drawers to hold your pet supplies such as medications, grooming tools, collars and leashes.

Before the remodeling starts, make sure your pet has a safe place to stay away from the noise and tools and building materials. Although this may take a little extra work, or maybe a stay at a boarding kennel, your animal pal will be greeted back into the kitchen when the work is over with lovely spaces to claim as its own. Follow the link in this sentence for additional reading on kitchen remodeling.