Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.

6 Seamless, Gorgeous Ways to Design Around Pet Necessities

From the Read the Stories from the Fall 2021 ABODE Magazine series

Our four-legged friends are part of the family, but the necessities they need to make themselves at home don’t always complement their owners’ desired design. Luckily, local designers Danielle Kalish of Parklyn Interiors, Natalia Reyes of JCR Design Group and Michael Wyrock of Nistenhaus Design are sharing their expert tips for designing around fur-baby essentials that are both pet-tested and parent-approved.

Necessities Nook

Pick the perfect place for pet necessities, especially their dishes, Reyes recommends: “Incorporate a hidden toe-kick drawer with their food bowls, [so it’s] still functional, but keeps the mess out of the way and the space looking beautiful.”

JCR Design Group Photo by Alise O'Brien Photography - 2.jpg

Sturdy Surfaces

Start by planning around the animals’ lives, Wyrock advises. “When there’s a plan for everything, it’s easier to keep things tidy,” he says. First, choose durable finishes that will perform well and hold up over time, Wyrock continues, adding: “Hardwood floors show scratches … Pick manmade materials, like LVT [luxury vinyl tile], porcelain products or pet-friendly carpet that can handle aggressive claws.”

Secret Stash

Create a storage spot for furry-friend essentials, from leashes and toys to grooming tools, Kalish says: “I like to add in special details just for the fur babies in my clients’ lives … [such as making] sure the pet’s bed has a similar color palette and look as the rest of the room.”

Pet-Proof Pieces

Animals want to be treated the same as people, Wyrock says. “As soon as you have something with multiple layers, the more interested they are in that particular area,” he explains. “Layer in a blanket or pillow that you can throw in the wash to save a piece of furniture.” And go the extra mile, Kalish adds: “Have a local company put a protectant on as soon as it is delivered and before use. Protecting and treating your upholstered furniture is the key to keeping it looking nice!”


Home Hideout

Bypass big, unsightly crates for a built-in kennel within custom cabinetry in the kitchen or laundry room, Reyes says: “[It’s] hidden, [and] keeps the space open and clean.”

Fail-Safe Fabrics

Next, stay away from fabrics that attract pet hair, like suede or velvet, Reyes notes. “Textured and performance fabrics are a great camouflage to hide pet hair,” she explains. Colorful antique woven or wool rugs with moisture-wicking texture and multiple hues hide spills or accidents, Wyrock adds. Stylishly designed, washable rugs from companies like Ruggable also come in handy, Kalish says.

JCR Design Group, 11622 Page Service Drive, Suite 103, St. Louis, 314-706-2727,

Nistenhaus Design, 2118 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314-553-9245,

Parklyn Interiors,

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Brittany Nay, a writer of 10 years, is an Indiana native who adores Australia, indie rock music, and reading and writing both fiction and non-fiction.

Related to this story