Most pet accessories are built for functionality and not aesthetics, but there’s a new generation of designers trying to remedy that.
One of the most pressing questions you ask yourself before getting a pet is, “How in the world will I keep my house clean once I invite this literal animal in to share my space?!” Animals are territorial by nature and in this case, “animals” includes us, the owners and caretakers. What’s mine is mine, and what’s theirs is theirs, but eventually what’s ours actually becomes theirs, leaving little evidence of a home that once exuded magazine-like cleanliness. After Spot, Rufus, Noodles, and Daisy move in, all of the areas of the house fit for entertaining begin to resemble a playroom and function only in this hybrid zone of shared living space between you and them.
Many designers are beginning to pick up on the decades-old dilemma of how to make a pet product that isn’t ugly, and also functions well enough for pet owners and their pets to love it. Pet owners everywhere are starting to modernize their approach to living with pets, reducing the stigma of pet ownership as an unclean practice. Whether your furry friend walks on four legs or hops with two, these chic and stylish furniture pieces will be sure to assist in blurring home-contained territorial lines while also providing an upgrade to that giant Tupperware container in your kitchen, that tall carpet-covered cat tree, or that play pen covered in hay and paper shreddings.
Big Furniture (a Commitment)
The Bink Rabbit Credenza is a functionally wonderful piece of furniture for our little rabbit friends. As a rabbit owner myself, it is extremely hard to find rabbit hutches that are appropriately sized and designed for the mental health of my rabbit. Many people don’t know that as prey animals, rabbits experience high levels of anxiety on a day to day basis. They feel safe and secure in closed dark spaces where they can hide, but also need space to stretch out and relax. Not to mention their extremely clingy nature, so openings for them to be able to freely move around and to bond with you are super important.
The Credenza is designed by Portland-based bunny mom of Betty and Elvis and Bink founder Jenni Nguyen. Suitable for one to two indoor house rabbits, the piece is an accident-proof, litter box cover that functions as a console table for you and as a home base for your little hopper while hiding all of that messy hay and clutter from eyesight in your relaxation space.
There’s a built-in hay feeder with chew-proof metal, and beneath that is a small cubby to store treats and other rabbit supplies. And my favorite feature of the all, which I find to be especially important for my little bun, is the anti-slip flooring for those fuzzy little paws.
In the same likeness is the Granda Ka television cabinet and house for cats and small dogs by SUNOHOME based in Valencia, Spain. Topanga and David, founders of SUNOHOME set out on a mission to idealize comfort within the shared spaces of co-species cohabitating. Due to its small size, the Grand Ka is optimal for cats and small dogs.
This adorably simple pet home offers a large entry with a soft closing piston and a small entry window. An interior divider splits the space into two separate compartments so that you can hide items in plain sight; living peacefully on one side are wires and other at-risk technology items, while on the other lies your companion.
The Houndsy Kibble Dispenser is a beautifully camouflaged food dispenser. Designed by co-founders Luke and Pavan, the dispenser came from a place of frustration over the ritual process of dog feeding. In short, kibble is a bit of a nightmare: scooping it, storing it, fighting off an overly-eager eater, and worst of all, spilling the kibble and watching it roll everywhere. This dispenser streamlines this process, and also provides proper storage conditions so that the kibble stays fresh.
The design is super fun and extremely convenient—just pull the lever and dispense the proper amount of food without breaking your back by bending down. The lever also locks, which prevents accidental feedings by smart pets and curious toddlers. But the most striking thing here is the design: it’s is a miter-folded box with no visible seams, constructed with furniture-grade, European beechwood stained in a rich walnut brown. The goal of the design was to create a midcentury modern form that can perfectly accent any pet-owner’s kitchen.
Metal pet crates, of the sort seen in any dog owner’s house, are slightly hostile, very large, and unfortunately, a little ugly. However, the Damien Double Wide Credenza Pet Crate by Archie and Oscar is an elegant solution. It’s great for a large dog but also sized appropriately for two to three little guys. And the design is sure to match a variety of home decor as it mimics minimalist modern style at the base while adding a bit of vintage country flare at the top.
Small space solutions
If you lack the space for big furniture items but still would like for Cornelius and Dr. Floofer to live a well-designed life, the Pink Bau Raised Bunny Hay Feeder, Tuft and Paw Grove Cat Tower , and Oviban Cat Scratcher are a few smaller-scale furniture items for your home.
The Pink Bau Bunny Hay Feeder is another way to minimize all of the hay dust and sticks that tend to get scattered across the home when a bunny is present. Hand-crafted in Italy, the wood container has three hay holes and top opening with a vegan leather handle for refilling.
The Grove Modern Cat Tower by Tuft and Paw is designed with wood slats, turning the cat tree into an object that is visually striking but also allows for your cat to feel secure while you can observe them from outside. (The tower is modeled by Oscar, who is 12 pounds, but it can hold all cats.)
Lastly, the Oviban Three Modes Cat Scratcher offers three modes of use. You can hang it horizontally on the wall, lay it on the floor, or mount it vertically against a surface. Velcro backing assists attachment in vertical mode and prevents movement of the piece, ensuring that your furniture near the scratcher is protected.
There is no excuse for us now, in 2023, to keep ceding territory over to our pets. There are many ways to live in harmony—both sanitarily, and with great style.
Top photo by Stephen A. Miller
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