Create a Pet Paradise in Your Home: Barkitecture

Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated January 10, 2022
A dog lying down in a rattan basket
Photo: ©fitopardo / Moment / Getty Images

Stylish interior design and the comfort of your pets can coexist

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When creating a pet-friendly home, it isn’t just about wipeable fabrics, faux flowers, artificial grass, and easy-to-clean flooring. There’s an increasing demand for built-in showers, sleeping spots, and feeding stations—it’s no wonder the term “barkitecture” is trending.

Integrating design elements centered around your four-legged friends into your home can be stylish and practical. If you’re looking for inspiration to create a paradise for your pet that fits your aesthetic, check out the creative solutions below.

Mid-Century Modern Moggies

An old vintage tv turned into a cozy space for kitties
Photo: Courtesy of Gesa Marie

Gesa Marie is a fan of DIY, mid-century modern design, and cats. So, converting an old vintage TV into a cozy space for her kitties was a perfect solution. And, as she suggests, if the cats lose interest, it’ll make a great home bar.

Ditch the Metal Crate

A dog’s elegant wooden den
Photo: Courtesy of tendiesplease

Many dogs appreciate having a secure den-like space to retreat to for some quiet time, often in the form of a traditional metal crate. Unfortunately, they aren’t easy on the eye. If your dog loves their crate, follow Tendy’s owners' example and opt for a spacious, secure, and elegant wooden den with a snuggly and non-slip area rug in front.

Dedicated Dog Room

A dedicated dog room with an elevated feeding station
Photo: Courtesy of country_dog_homes

Having a room dedicated to your dogs is a luxury not everyone may have, but you can take inspiration from elements of Mandy’s amazing space. This dog room features a top-open stable door, elevated feeding stations, a step-in doggy shower (complete with on-trend subway tiles), and easy-clean walls and floors. Located just off the entry hall, it’s perfect for cleaning muddy paws and ideal for a multi-dog household.

Go Extra With the Cat Trees

Elevated spaces such as cat perches and shelves
Photo: Courtesy of jake.the.bengal

Okay, you don’t need to dedicate quite as much of your wall space to cat perches and shelves as Jake the Bengal and his lucky feline friends have, but they’re practical, space-saving, and fit with various home decor styles. Providing elevated spaces can help your cat feel more secure, active, and engaged. 

Under the Stairs Den

An under the stairs dog den
Photo: Courtesy of valleyhome_

Emily chose not to fill the cupboard under the stairs with piles of rarely-used junk. Instead, it’s a dedicated space for Archie the Lab to escape to for chill time. You don’t have to worry about your dog’s favorite, tatty bed not matching your farmhouse decor when it’s hidden in this space. 

Repurpose Vintage Finds

A mid-century tea table repurposed as a cat den
Photo: Courtesy of Gesa Marie

Rattan furniture is making a comeback, especially if you want to achieve a boho-chic or vintage aesthetic. Here, Gesa Marie cleverly uses a mid-century tea table as a snug cat den and plant stand. Just be careful not to place any hazardous household plants near your pet’s bed. 

Slobber-Proof Feeding Station

A waterproof pet feeding zone
Photo: Courtesy of Lela Burris

Pet food bowls can be a trip hazard and an eyesore in your kitchen. Designing a designated feeding station within your kitchen design prevents these pesky problems.

When remodeling her kitchen, professional organizer and blogger Lela Burris used leftover tile from the backsplash to create a waterproof feeding zone for her dog Winston, a messy eater, at the end of the kitchen cabinets.

Cat Walls Are Great if Space Is Tight

A sleeping and activity space for an apartment cat
Photo: Courtesy of littlelunalovestuna

If space is tight in your apartment and your energetic cat is bouncing off the walls, you can create sleeping, activity, and scratching spaces mounted on the wall. They come in a wide range of materials, shapes, and designs to match your tastes and room decor. Luna has a great mix of items in a neutral, minimalist style—lucky girl!

Remodel With Rover in Mind

 A raised dog bathing station
Photo: Courtesy of Henderer Design and Build

Your contractor can add pet-friendly design elements if you're remodeling a room or home. Henderer Design and Build created a back-protecting raised dog bathing station for a canine agility trainer. They also stuck with easy-clean floors throughout and dog-friendly turf in the yard.

Laundry Room Makeovers

A laundry room with a drawer used as a feeding station
Photo: Courtesy of girl_who_loves_to_decorate

Monika transformed her basic laundry room into a space that doubles as a space where her Dalmatian Finn can enjoy his breakfast in peace. However, this might not be a suitable design solution for smaller dogs who need bowls closer to the ground.

Creative Storage Solutions for Cats

 A shelving unit with four feeding cubbies for cats
Photo: Courtesy of Lela Burris

Lela Burris has a simple, neat solution for storing all her kitty clutter in the laundry room. Using a basic cube organizer shelving unit means four feeding cubbies are available for all her cats. She added washable shelf liners on the bottom shelves, and sturdy plastic baskets hide away all the toys, grooming tools, and other pet essentials. Finally, an airtight food storage container means no midnight raids by pets or pests.

Canine Kitchen Cubby

 A kitchen remodelled with a dog cubby
Photo: Courtesy of watton.adobe

If you’re constantly tripping over your dog’s bed, or you want to give them space out of the way of the early-morning family breakfast dash, consider adding a cubby as part of a kitchen remodel

Natty and Joe have a space in their kitchen cabinet layout for their little dog Mads to tuck into—she loves sleeping in small spaces. 

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