Gone are the days when the most man’s best friend could hope for in the way of shelter was a simple canine-sized box with a roof and an open door in the backyard. While many dog moms and dads would argue their pups consider every square inch of their human homes to be their own personal playgrounds, others are going the extra mile with dog-friendly remodels and special features.
Some may protest that our obsession with providing our pets with every imaginable creature comfort has become, well, the hair that wags the dog. But, to be fair, these “barkitecture” designs are often meant to make our human lives easier, cleaner and safer as much as they are intended to please our pups—because, let’s face it, dogs are deliriously happy just to be around us. The term barkitecture began as a way to describe tricked-out doghouses but has come to refer to a variety of Fido-friendly upgrades, with kitchen and mudroom designs among the most common.
“Today, homeowners embracing barkitecture customize their pet-friendly homes with aesthetically pleasing and luxury features like hidden food storage and watering stations, as well as places to shower and groom their pets,” noted a press release from Newport News-based Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. “Mudrooms specifically designed for families’ best friends are becoming increasingly popular additions, as they make the care and feeding of animals more effortless and convenient. Additionally, they keep the main living spaces clean and free of pet hair.”
A dramatic uptick in pet ownership during the pandemic may have contributed to the barkitecture trend as people spent more time in their homes and perhaps developed a deeper appreciation for the value pets can add to our lives. Even Coastal Virginia Magazine’s most recent Idea House, located in Norfolk’s East Beach and built by Stephen Alexander Homes and Neighborhoods, included a custom “cozy niche for the family pooch” carved into the space beneath the stairs, as contributing writer Betsy DiJulio wrote in her description of the home.
Below are some specific tips provided by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery for getting in on the trend.
A pet needs a bed, a bowl, a few toys and a lot of love to feel at home. Homeowners looking to go the extra mile for their beloved pets are now adding luxury pet food and water stations and wash stations. Here are tips provided by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery for incorporating Barkitecture in the kitchen and bath spaces.
Add a dog wash station in the mudroom.
If you have a mudroom, it’s the perfect place to add a dog wash station. Install a handheld showerhead and use a tiled area with a drain to make it easy to clean up muddy paws and allow your dog to shake off fur. This station near the home’s entrance will make it quick and easy for everyone to clean up before coming in.
Install a hidden food and watering station.
Hide or recess food storage compartments within kitchen cabinetry. Many of these built-in feeding stations are usually incorporated into the center island and creatively incorporate a pot-filler faucet at their pet’s water bowl level. While this certainly is more aesthetically pleasing, removing the food and water bowls from the floor also thwarts the danger of tripping over them.
Homeowners who serve fresh foods or subscribe to a food delivery service requiring refrigeration for their pets can install an under-counter refrigerator dedicated to Fido’s culinary delights.
Barkitecture in the kitchen and bath can be seen as a way to add luxury and aesthetics to a pet-friendly home. These areas are popular additions for homeowners with pets because they provide a space for feeding, grooming and storing food. Most importantly, they keep the main living spaces clean and free of pet hair.
Learn more at FergusonShowrooms.com.