Growing up with dogs, cats, many fish and a lizard I understand the frustration my parents had when it came to where those pets slept and where they ate. The common questions would arise, such as, "How do I hide the cage?" "Will I ever stop sweeping up this hair?" "I wonder if there's a better place for the pet to live?" Now, as an adult who has a husband who frequently travels, my little family is debating on purchasing and caring for a small animal for our small space. As a designer one of the thoughts I had was how to keep my home clean and where to keep the pets' living quarters. If any of you have stumbled across this dilemma, on creating a stylish and sensible place for your pets, below are a few helpful tips and example photos!
Reuse. Don't get rid of that old coffee table or nightstand you've had hiding in the basement. With your new or old pet, now is the perfect opportunity to use the spare space underneath the tabletop and store your pets bedding. Want your pet to be even more hidden? Consider boxing in the sides, or creating a simple, yet stylish den for your four-legged friend by scratch. This also works with nightstands (if your pet is extra small), use the bottom half and create a hidden home.
DIY. Have you always wanted to give your pet a chic or eclectic styled home? Here is a great opportunity! Whether you have a small dog, cat or rodent this hut (pictured below) is created with four sticks, some string and fabric. All you need is patience and a good eye for what fabric to use! Keep in mind that if your animal is on the wild side a sturdier fabric will be best.
Another way to create a stylish home for your pet is using an old armoire, chest, portable linen closet or storage unit for the family pet. In the example below a portable linen closet, once used in the bathroom for spare towels, is used for a small rodent. This creates easy access for the owner and an eclectic addition to any room. Also pictured below is a dollhouse converted into a chinchilla’s home. Add in a sturdier back, a few toys and thick chicken wire and you're all set to play!
Purchase and Adapt. There are always going to be modern options for reptiles, fish tanks and birdcages, and a great way to incorporate that into your home is buying a set up that can be used for multiple things. In the picture below you will see a dresser and bookshelf unit that has a cage on the top. When your pet dies, you can either reuse the cage/tank for another animal or take out the wire/glass and use the space for toys, books or spare clothes.
Think outside the box. Consider: "Where can I give this animal what it needs and still optimize my home space?" "What are my limitations?" "Is this room too small for them?" "Can I easily feed them near their space?" And so on. Your pet is apart of your family. Treat them with respect and be sure, no matter what stylish home you give them, that they have enough space and everything they need to be a healthy, happy member of your home.
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