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Tailored for Tails – A Look at Pet-Friendly Design Ideas

Hong Kong, a bustling metropolis, is also home to a vibrant community of pet lovers. With limited square footage being the norm, creating a stylish and functional space that caters to both you and your furry companion can seem daunting.

MAD Studio's expertise in pet-friendly home design ensures that your compact living space becomes a harmonious haven for you and your furry friends. Explore with us the clever pet-friendly interior design ideas that can transform your apartment into a sanctuary for both humans and your beloved companions.

Before Starting to Design Your Pet-Friendly Home

Before diving into the design, consider the specific needs of your pet. Dogs and cats have completely different requirements.

When designing a cat-friendly space, it's crucial to cater to their instinctual desire to climb and explore. Vertical space is essential for their well-being and happiness. Incorporating cat trees, wall shelves, and strategically placed scratching posts not only keeps them entertained but also prevents them from causing mischief around your home. This approach allows cats to engage in their natural behaviours in a safe and controlled environment.

On the other hand, designing for dogs requires attention to their need for exercise and social interaction. A designated play area equipped with durable flooring and surfaces that are easy to clean can provide an ideal space for your dog to enjoy. If your home layout permits, consider creating a mudroom near the entrance. This space can serve as a practical solution for managing dirty paws and storing outdoor gear, helping to keep the rest of your home clean and organised.

Cat-Friendly Homes - Design for Feline Fun

Cats are known for their curiosity and possess an innate desire to climb, often seeking high vantage points to rest and survey their surroundings. They particularly enjoy the elevated perspective from the top of a staircase, providing them with a sense of security and oversight.

For the compact living spaces commonly found in Hong Kong, installing climbing boxes or ledges can offer a similar sense of elevation and enjoyment, catering to their natural climbing instincts. Here are some cat-friendly interiors ideas:

  • Vertical Territory: Utilise vertical space with cat shelves, climbing structures, and scratching posts. This provides enrichment and keeps them off furniture.

  • Claw-Proof Window Screens: Open windows, particularly those leading to high ledges or balconies, to entice cats to investigate. In order to minimise unintentional falls from heights, window screens are especially crucial in multi-story residences and high-rise flats.

  • Window Perches: Cats love to observe the world. Install window perches that are sturdy and comfortable for them to lounge and watch the world go by.

  • Hidden Litter Box: No cat enjoys an unsightly litter box. Consider a built-in litter box solution or an attractive cabinet to hide it away.

  • Scratching Solutions: Provide multiple scratching posts made from different materials to satisfy your cat's scratching instincts and protect your furniture.

Dog-Friendly Homes - Design for Canine Delights

Dogs are celebrated for their loyalty and have a natural need for exercise and social interaction. They thrive in environments that offer ample space to play and opportunities for engaging activities. A dedicated play area equipped with durable toys and ample room for movement caters to their energetic nature.

If your home includes outdoor access, having a secure, dog-friendly yard for exploration and play greatly contributes to their well-being and happiness. However, we recognise that in Hong Kong, apartment spaces are often limited. In such cases, creating an indoor area equipped with interactive toys and puzzles can provide the necessary stimulation and keep your dog happy. Consider these dog-friendly interior design suggestions:

  • Durable Flooring: Consider easy-to-clean and scratch-resistant flooring options like tile or laminate. Carpets can trap fur and harbour dirt.

  • Designated Play Area: Create a dedicated space for your dog to play with toys and relax. This could be a specific corner of the living room or a designated playpen.

  • Feeding and Water Stations: Elevate food and water bowls to a comfortable height for your dog to prevent strain on their neck.

  • Leash and Toy Storage: Designate a space for storing leashes, toys, and other pet supplies. Built-in cubbies or attractive baskets keep your home clutter-free.

  • Built-In Pet Features: Built-in features specifically for pets. This could include hidden litter box compartments, elevated dog beds integrated into walls, or pull-out washing stations for muddy paws.

  • Doggy Doors (Optional): If you have a balcony or a private outdoor space, consider a doggy door for easy access. It's common for your dog to want to sleep on the bed with you sometimes, so ensuring your dog has the freedom to move in and out of your room can make this a comfortable option for both of you.

Designing with Pet-Friendly Functionality in Mind

For a pet-friendly haven, prioritise easy-clean materials, such as leather and wipeable fabrics. Rounded furniture corners can also prevent bumps, while pet-safe or artificial plants keep them out of harm's way. Hide electrical cords and create a cosy pet nook for ultimate comfort.

Here are some general design principles that apply to both cat-friendly home design and dog-friendly home design:


  • Durability is key: Opt for scratch-resistant options like laminate, tile, or vinyl flooring. Consider textured surfaces for better paw grip, especially for senior dogs.

  • Area rugs: Add a touch of comfort with washable area rugs. Choose stain-resistant and easy-to-clean materials.

Walls and Furniture

  • Washable surfaces: Go for washable paint or wall coverings for those inevitable paw prints and muddy splashes.

  • Upholstery: Choose stain-resistant and easy-to-clean fabrics for furniture. Consider slipcovers for added protection.

  • Furniture selection: Pick out furniture with rounded edges to prevent injuries, especially for playful puppies and kittens.

Colour Palettes

  • Consider your pet's fur: When choosing colour palettes, consider your pet's fur colour. Darker tones might be easier to maintain in homes with shedding pets.

  • Cohesive design: Integrate pet elements seamlessly into your existing décor. Cat shelves can be designed to complement a bookshelf, and dog beds can be chosen to match your furniture style.

Pet-Friendly Considerations for Small Apartments

Apartments in Hong Kong are renowned for being small. The following are some compact-friendly design concepts to help you create a pet-friendly house with less room:

  • Murphy Beds: Free up floor space with a Murphy bed that folds up into the wall when not in use.

  • Multi-Functional Furniture: Invest in furniture that serves multiple purposes, such as ottomans with storage compartments for pet supplies.

  • Wall-Mounted Features: Utilise wall space for shelves, feeding stations, or even small dog beds to maximise floor space.

  • Foldable Playpens: For dog owners, consider a foldable playpen that can be easily stored away during downtime when your dog doesn’t need it.

10 Tips for a Stylish Pet-Friendly Home

  1. Installing durable, claw-proof window screens to prevent pets from accidentally falling out of open windows.

  2. Maintain cleanliness by vacuuming frequently, especially using vacuums designed for pet fur removal.

  3. Choose hard surface flooring for easier maintenance and cleaning.

  4. Regularly bathe and groom your pet to minimise shedding and odours.

  5. Opt for stain-resistant fabrics in areas your pet frequents to ease cleaning.

  6. Cover your bed with washable fabrics to keep it fresh and free of pet hair.

  7. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, which can harbour odours and stains.

  8. Designate a space for your pet near the home's entrance, making outdoor transitions smoother.

  9. Store your pet's treats and toys in neat, appealing containers.

  10. Ensure your pet's belongings are as attractive as they are functional, blending seamlessly with your home’s decor.

Pet-Friendly Home Interior Designs for the Future

Creating a pet-friendly home in Hong Kong doesn't have to compromise on style or functionality. By incorporating design ideas and understanding your pet's specific needs, you can create a harmonious space that caters to both you and your furry companion.

Ready to get started? Work with MAD Studio's expertise, unleash your creativity, embrace pet-friendly design, and watch your home transform into a haven of love, comfort, and style for both humans and their cherished pets. Contact us now.


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