The open concept kitchen/living area is something almost every family is requesting in a new home today. They also want functional storage in every possible location. And a luxury master suite on the main floor. Builders take all this and much more into consideration when designing floor plans for new homes. They seek to attract buyers through offering homes that are designed according to latest style trends and include the popular amenities.

One important aspect that is often overlooked when designing homes is the huge number of families who currently own household pets. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Tim Wall of PetFood Industry reported in April: “Pet ownership, in general, is up and the Survey shows a new generation of pet owners contributing to that growth. Gen Y/Millennial pet ownership has officially surpassed Baby Boomer ownership by three percentage points to now account for 35 percent of all pet owners.”

Owning a pet has a lot of benefits. It helps keep people in shape, can result in lower blood pressure, and brings smiles to their faces. Research indicates that pet lovers consider their furry friends to be valuable members of their families. This humanization of pets has developed in owners a deep concern for their pets’ wellbeing and a desire to pamper them. Pet owners wish to lavish the same creature comforts on their 4-legged companions in their homes that doggy daycare centers provide. They want to lovingly accommodate their pets’ needs and desires.

In reality, though, homeowners tend to purchase their new homes without taking these needs into consideration. After the fact, they become frustrated when they realize they have neglected to include basic essentials, such as a convenient place to bathe and groom their pets. As a builder, you are in the perfect position to help pet owners achieve their desires from the get-go. You can incorporate into the overall floor plans for your new homes many thoughtful design features that offer not only convenience and accessibility for homeowners, but also for their beloved pets.

Questions to Ask Potential Clients

Here are some questions you can discuss with your potential clients, once you have established the fact that they will be bringing pets into their new homes:

1. Where will your pets eat and drink? Homeowners need to avoid letting food and water bowls become a tripping hazard, yet make sure they are convenient to refill.

2. Where will your pets’ food be stored? The food should be organized and protected, yet easy to serve.

3. Where will you store your pets’ collars, leashes, toys and clothing? Homeowners need to organize these items so they may be located quickly and prevent clutter.

4. Where will you groom your pets? Consider ergonomic solutions that work for both the homeowners and
their pets.

5. Where will your pets relax during the day and sleep at night? Provide a comfortable spot for each activity, especially if the homeowners want to keep pets off the furniture.

A luxury pet retreat can be located in a separate room near the back door, or it can be placed in a corner of a mudroom. An exterior window that extends to the floor affords pets endless bird and squirrel watching possibilities, as well as a perfect place to snooze in the sun. On an overcast day, a radiant heated floor offers a cozy place to lounge. Pets will sleep in style on a raised built-in bed, outfitted with a soft cushion and a removable, washable cover.

A lockable exterior pet door allows them to go outdoors and back in again at will. This area should also include an elevated bathing and grooming station to make regular grooming a breeze. Include plenty of storage space for pet food, toys, cat litter, leashes, pet raincoats and sweaters, bathing and grooming supplies. Stain-and-water resistant as well as non-toxic floor, wall, cabinet and fabric finishes make daily maintenance and accident clean-up a simple matter.

The Pet Parlor Concept

Realizing that household pets are playing an increasingly larger role in home design, Wood-Mode cabinetry developed a concept space called Pet Parlor. This space is loaded with amenities that pamper pet-owners as well as their four-legged family members. The concept doubles as a laundry room, which means the thoughtfully designed space fulfills a dual purpose, adding both value and convenience. A mix of materials, wood finishes and natural tones bring classic design elements into the laundry. The beautifully detailed cabinetry, painted in stylish shades of gray, offers a comfortable and inviting spot to spend time grooming pets while tending to the laundry.

Some of the unique features of the Pet Parlor are:

• Island with integrated doors and cabinets (brushing and grooming, sorting and folding)
• Built-in pet fountain with faucet system
• Custom hideaway dog dish drawer with adjacent food storage bins
• Storage solutions for bones, toys and biscuits
• Integrated lockers for leash, collar and clothing storage
• Extra large sink for bathing and grooming
• Integrated laundry appliances.

If you desire to be the go-to builder in your area for homeowners with pets, feel free to grab some inspiration from the ideas shown here. These spaces offer your buyers good return on their investment, especially as multi-purpose rooms in the back of homes remain popular and attractive to homeowners today.