Ken Perrin, owner of Artistic Renovations of Ohio, says he’s being asked more often to make accommodations for the furriest members of the family. “We aren’t asked to do remodels just for dogs and cats,” he says. “But if we are hired to do a remodel, we are often asked to include elements based on the animals.” Case in point: When Perrin was hired to redo the kitchen, dining area and utility room of this Akron, Ohio, home, the owners asked him to include a dog shower in the mix. “They have two dogs, and there’s a large lawn and a creek on their property,” Perrin says. “They were constantly cleaning the dogs’ paws to keep their floors and carpets clean. At some point, they had had enough.”
Room at a Glance
What happens here: The room acts as a laundry, mudroom and dog washing area.
Location: Akron, Ohio
Size: 50 square feet (4½ square meters)
Tip: In a room with heavy traffic where the door is usually open to another room, as with this one, use similar colors and finishes in both so that the two rooms read as one.
In the new room, the washer and dryer, which had been side by side, are stacked, which freed up room for a dog shower. “The shower is designed to do almost everything a utility sink can do, but it can also be used to wash dogs,” Perrin says.
The shower and the bed are the territory of Roxy (pictured) and Bella.
“Both dogs share the bed,” Perrin says. “They seem to like being near the washer when it’s running. I think they like the vibrations.”
Roxy is seen here (she looks bigger in the previous picture, due to the camera angle); her bunkmate, Bella, was out running in the yard when the photo was taken.
“If you have an animal, these kinds of spaces are great to have,” says Perrin. “Anyone who has a dog knows how hard it is to clean their muddy paws. This space makes it easier.”
The homeowner requested that the hand shower be the kind of industrial sprayer restaurants use to quickly wash pots and pans. It’s operated by squeezing a handle that looks a bit like the hand brake on a bicycle. “She wanted to be able to fill and wash out buckets here,” Perrin says. “The problem was that the force of the water was so strong, the dogs didn’t like it.” Perrin and his team solved the problem by drilling more holes in the sprayer head, creating a gentler water stream. Once that happened, tails wagged. “They love getting in it now,” Perrin says. “They jump right up in there.”
The homeowner also requested handrails that were petite, so they would not take over the space. Perrin installed a corner hand rail that doubles as a hanger for the sprayer and a straight rail that hangs a bit higher. “They help steady the homeowners as they are washing the dogs,” he says.
The countertop can serve as a landing spot for items used in the shower or for the laundry. Perrin installed undercabinet lighting so there’s plenty of illumination when needed.
BEFORE: The utility room has three doors; one leads outside, one is for coming in from the garage, and one goes into the kitchen. In addition to the coming and going, this is where the laundry gets done. “With dogs running in and out, the grout had gotten really dirty and stained,” Perrin says. “The homeowner had stained the grout a dark color so stains were less noticeable.”
Plus, the washer and dryer took up a lot of real estate.
From the dining area, you can see how the utility room is often on display. Perrin had the dog bed crafted in a fabric similar to the covering on the bench seat around the table.
Tell us: Where do your dogs sleep and get bathed? Share your ideas and pictures in the Comments.