The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



How Pets Are Changing The Way We Design Homes

 October 28, 2023 |  DIY, Home Decor, Just For Fun |  new homeowner, pets, walls, laundry, entertaining

Pets demand so much attention, but homeowners have a tendency to bend over backwards in order to accommodate. Frequently, cats and dogs can seem to rule their homes, and since the pandemic saw over 23 million American homes adopt pets (per the Washington Post), the ways in which homeowners are learning to spoil them seem to be spiking.

Barkitecture is a term used in reference to the recent trend of remodeling homes with pets specifically in mind, with more permanent and invasive remodeling efforts invested to make family dogs and cats feel more at home. If you’re in the market for a new home, or you’re considering a remodel to make your dog feel more at home, here are a few stylish and subtle home designs you might want to try out.

Starting with the Classics

  • Durable flooring is always something to consider, depending on your pet. Outdoor pets are notorious for tracking in all sorts of messy stains, and toenails can tear up carpet or many harder flooring materials. To avoid wearing out your floors, consider investing in luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring, or other harder, scratch-resistant options like tile or terrazzo to make clean-ups quicker. Additionally, carpet is notorious for collecting hair and holding onto unpleasant odors. As always, the best pet-friendly homes start with the right flooring. Click here for more information on hardwood flooring for your home!
  • Matching rugs to your pet’s fur color is a design shortcut that will make your home feel cleaner and sharper right away. Even when opting for durable flooring, homes will seem bare without rugs in key positions. However, as dark-haired dogs and cats shed onto lighter contrasting rugs and flooring, their fur will become a major distraction. Although it shouldn’t be an excuse not to clean, gray cat hair on gray carpeting should allow for some extra wiggle room.

With these more traditional pet accommodations in mind, let’s move onto some of the more unique home Barkitecture trends that are changing home design.

Home Barkitecture Trends

  • Built-in dog washing stations have been growing in popularity, utilizing extra space in mudrooms, laundry rooms, and garages to reduce unwanted mud and dirt being tracked into the home. While some homeowners have invested their time constructing impressive DIY washing stations, many have opted for more elaborate projects with tile to match their home decor. Depending on how active of a lifestyle a dog leads, they may need to be fully bathed once every two weeks or so (according to dog experts at BeChewy). Whether for cleaning off dirty paws or for making bath time less of a struggle, built-in washing stations are a great feature for families with dogs.
  • Wall shelves have traditionally been reserved for books or wall art as homeowners look to utilize unused space to enhance their overall room design. For people whose cats are best known as “tree dwellers,” these spaces have been reclaimed as elevated sleeping nooks and precarious obstacle courses where anything breakable isn’t likely to survive for long. With this in mind, some homeowners have finally dropped the pretext, filling their homes with wall stairs, bridges, and towers fit to entertain while keeping important items safe and protected elsewhere. Some might say that indulging in a cat’s climbing habit in this way might be, but many shelf designs and styles are attractive enough to be wall art on their own, matching a room’s existing decor perfectly.
  • With catios, homeowners have started to expand their cats’ freedom to a shocking degree, as these extended, open air outdoor spaces allow for fresh air without the dangers of roaming completely free. Catios come in many different shapes and sizes, but most include an easy access cat door onto a cage-enclosed patio attached to the home, but designed only for feline-usage. Again, the level of complexity changes depending on DIY experience and investment, but this feature is another example of homeowners prioritizing their pets’ health and their natural need for exploration, sun, and open air.
  • For the dog-lovers that might think cat owners have lost it with that last home feature, dog rooms and dog houses are perhaps the entire reason for the Barkitecture name (and the inspiration for this blog article). Guest rooms being claimed by family dogs as their own bedrooms is a common phenomenon, but some homeowners have taken this idea a step further, designing and decorating spare rooms entirely for their dogs. One common dog room renovation project involves utilizing unused space under staircases, carving out miniature rooms and covering the new walls with dog-themed wallpaper or pictures.

Dog houses, on the other hand, have been around for quite some time. In the past, these structures have been fairly simple, usually consisting of a few walls and a pitched roof. Nowadays, as TikToker @chipgirlhere has shown off, dog houses are becoming a bit larger and more luxurious than in the past. Pets have been changing the way homes look for a long time, and these changes seem to be getting bigger and more eye-popping every year.

For more information on the latest interior design and home trends, stick right here on NPI’s Inspector blog. To schedule your next home inspection, schedule with your locally-owned NPI inspector today!

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