Definitely our favorite story of the week, to celebrate the UK's National Pet Day, one kitchen brand is announcing the release of its debut kitchen range for pets.
'After all, it's their home, too, right?' says the publicity. Quite right: as pet lovers, H&G fully endorses kitchen ideas aimed at making our furry friends happy (to be clear, this kitchen is not aimed at goldfish).
But before you picture your dog at the kitchen island, prepping supper, or your cat doing the dishes, we need to tell you that this Harvey Jones kitchen range is really aimed at anyone living with pets. Obviously. We are still here for it, however, and these are the top features to take away if you are designing a kitchen of your own, and have pets at home.
A sink placed at the perfect height for washing muddy paws
Perfect if you are looking for clever mudroom ideas that marry good looks with practicality, being able to specify sink height is all when you have a pooch who needs a wash after every walk from fall through spring.
'As the owner of a dog who is like a sponge for mud, my advice is to specify a showerhead that pipes hot and cold water to the sink, as well as faucets,' says Homes & Gardens' Editor in Chief Lucy Searle. 'And remember that puppy will grow beyond all expectations, and most dogs try to escape the sink more often than not, so a spacious sink, hanging space for dog towels and water-repellent flooring – or the dog rug mentioned below – will be really useful.'
2. A breakfast bar with a food dispenser
Imagining breakfast bar ideas for your new kitchen? Then picture one with an accessible dispenser for their favorite food that can be refilled at their whim, and a tap for filling up their bowl.
'My design tip here would be to ensure both are tucked out of view, perhaps at the far end of the breakfast bar. You don't want dog food easily seen from the entrance to the room, nor do you want to be able to smell it while you're eating; ensure too, it's not somewhere that you will clip it as you walk past,' advises Lucy.
3. A customizable rug for wiping their paws
Cleaning a kitchen floor quickly gets old when you're doing it every time your pet goes outdoors. But this kitchen comes with the option of a customizable rug that can be used for wiping their paws.
Amazon has a wide range of rugs for muddy paws, but they are, admittedly, not customizable.
4. A mini day bed for afternoon lounging
For the dog, obviously, not you. 'I like to keep my dog's bed near to the door to the yard,' concludes Lucy. 'He enjoys looking out at the garden, loves lounging in the sun that comes through the patio doors in colder months, and it's easier to shake out the bed once a week, too.'
How do you plan a pet-friendly kitchen?
Easily wipeable surfaces, from cabinet fronts to flooring are a must, but ensure upholstery that a dog or cat might sit on or brush against when wet or muddy (or simply shedding hair) is easily wiped, cleaned or laundered. Have a mind to your pet's hair color if they do shed regularly: dark colored pet hair will quickly show up on light colored floors and vice versa. Finally, designate a quiet corner for their bed, perhaps the mudroom so that they have somewhere to escape to when the kitchen gets busy.
Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.
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Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.
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