The Art of Pet-Friendly Design  – NKBA


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The Art of Pet-Friendly Design 

Designer Sarah Robertson, AKBD gives advice on creating practical and stylish kitchen and bath spaces that incorporate pet-friendly designs.  
By: Seth Ellison 

With pet ownership becoming more and more popular, it’s essential for designers to create spaces that accommodate the needs of both humans and their beloved pets. In a recent podcast, Sarah Robertson, AKBD, founder and principal of Studio Dearborn in Mamaroneck, NY, offered her tips to seamlessly incorporate pet-friendly designs in clients’ kitchens and baths. 

We share her suggestions below. 

Incorporating Pet Crates into Kitchen Design
Courtesy of Daily Paws.

Homeowners are embracing pet-friendly design by integrating pet crates into their kitchen cabinets. This stylish and practical solution keeps crates neatly tucked away while maintaining easy accessibility. With customizable options for different crate sizes and future adjustments, Robertson noted that this solution can effortlessly blend with any kitchen design. “A built-in dog crate can easily be closed off and repurposed for something else if needed, whether you want to remove it from the cabinet or get a different dog,” she said.  

Designing for Cats
Courtesy of Journal Star.

Cats have different needs than dogs, such as separate eating and drinking spaces. A common approach is to utilize a toe-kick drawer where their food can be tucked away. Robertson also advises getting creative with solutions for litter: “This designer I know ingeniously created a small cut-out within the vanity, isolating it from the rest of the space, to discreetly house the cat’s litter box, ensuring it remained hidden from view. This clever customization prevented litter from scattering on the floor and provided the cat with a private area.”

Pet Feeding and Watering Stations
Courtesy of Sarah Robertson.

Homeowners are increasingly adopting space-efficient solutions like feeding and watering stations for pets. Strategically placed bowls and pot fillers provide convenience and comfort, noted Robertson, while food storage containers maintain food freshness and space cleanliness.

Bathing Stations for Dogs
Courtesy of Contemporist.

Dedicated bathing stations provide elevated platforms and convenient features for comfortable access and washing. In addition, your clients can enjoy the convenience of bathing pets at home, eliminating frequent trips to the groomer. 

Laundry Rooms and Mudrooms
Courtesy of Organized-ish.

Laundry rooms and mudrooms can have dedicated areas for pet feeding and litter pans, keeping them separate from the main living areas. With durable and easy-to-clean surfaces, these rooms are well-suited for pet-related tasks, and customizable storage maintains organization. 

Listen to the Full Podcast

For more tips and suggestions, tune into the podcast “Designing with Pets in Mind” featuring Sarah Robertson of Studio Dearborn by clicking here