We are a nation of animal lovers, with nearly half of UK households having a pet. And at Bower Willis Designs, we’re with you - if you’ve ever driven past our showroom, you’ll no doubt have seen our fur babies Mika and Skylar waiting to greet you. Because we understand that pets are an important part of your family, we design kitchens that consider those all important pet-factors, as well as the needs of the humans who live in your home.
So, what makes a pet-friendly kitchen?
Start by thinking about the everyday routines of you and your pets, and what can be done to make your kitchen a safer and more convenient space for you to share. Having a designated space for things to belong will not only keep your kitchen looking clean and tidy, but will prevent you from tripping over water bowls and beds while you’re carrying hot pans.
Does the style of kitchen make a difference?
In terms of practicality, flat faced, slab doors are easier to wipe clean than shaker or panelled doors. Avoid open end or integral shelving units as dogs will pull things down from shelves, and open end units will attract dust and pet hair.
What about kitchen materials?
Again, we’re thinking about hygiene and durability too. Consider worktop materials that are scratch resistant from tiny paws and easy to clean; upstands around worktop edges also make cleaning easier. In terms of flooring, choose hard wearing materials such as sealed laminate flooring or tiles that are easy to mop, and if you prefer solid wood flooring, opt for harder woods such as mahogany or oak which are less likely to water stain. Also consider floor temperature, for example, under heated tile floors are warm for pets to lie on during cold winter months and offer a cool sanctuary on hot summer days.
Should I consider anything specifically for my dog?
Dogs often love to have a little den to hide in; somewhere that gives them a place to escape to when they need quiet time away from bustling activity. By designing a designated space in your kitchen for the dog’s bed to belong, for example beneath a seating area or between unit runs, we can not only give your pet this security, but keep your kitchen floor safe and clutter free. Your kitchen bin is a source of exciting smells and temptations – an integral bin not only looks much tidier, but can’t be toppled over and rummaged through. And think about your daily routine and leaving and returning to the house for walks; planning a cupboard near the door to hang the dog lead will make life easier when you walk into the house with muddy boots.
And what about cats?
Cats can be fond of prowling your worktops when you’re not looking, so plan storage for small appliances to be put away when not in use to avoid electrical cables being chewed through, damaging your kettle or toaster and possibly causing injury to your pet. Unlike old fashioned touch control ceramic hobs, modern induction hobs only function when in contact with a pan, and they cool more quickly than a gas hob, which make them a much safer option if you are concerned about cat paws wandering on your worktop.
Is there anything else?
If you’re green fingered and like to grow plants in your kitchen or fresh herbs for cooking, place these out of reach on shelves, window ledges or mid height units, as some plants can be poisonous to pets. For example, some lilies, tulips and daffodils are poisonous to both dogs and cats. Likewise, cleaning products that are safe for humans can be toxic to animals, so keep chemicals safely stored in a cupboard to avoid your pet coming into contact with them by mistake. And if you’ve got fish, plan space for your aquarium that is away from food preparation areas, ideally away from your cooking zone where it’s safe for children to stand and watch Nemo play!
For more information, and to tell us about your four legged friends and how we can design your new kitchen around them, please call us on 01608 690870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org