A grand kitchen design – for pets

NOW that things have settled down after Christmas we can at last start to enjoy our new conservatory and kitchen. We are still at the stage of opening every drawer and cupboard trying to locate everyday items, as well as playing with the soft close mechanism.

At the start of the project I envisaged our mini Grand Design. My very tolerant husband dutifully accompanied me around my shortlist of kitchen showrooms, which stretched from the very economical (befitting my Yorkshire nature) to the absolutely ridiculous. Finally we went middle of the road and chose a dog-friendly designer.

Meetings were spent part planning the kitchen and part discussing the impending arrival of his new puppy, for whom he was going to have a kennel in his office and get the kitchen fitters to build an outdoor kennel and run so he could bring her to work. Lucky pup.

Now I look around the end result and realise just how much input our pets have had in the design without so much as lifting a paw.

The worktop had to have a suitable feeding station for Mordor, our handsome black cat, so he could eat without losing his meal to a greedy hound. The designer planned a breakfast bar, or so he thought, but we have never bought the stools because the recessed cupboards under the workbench provide a tidy feeding area for the three dogs and stop us from perpetually kicking the water bowl and having a mini flood.

I had included a pet cupboard in my design, but the dogs told me this was in a silly place and they chose a cupboard nearer to the conservatory door, logical really.

The colour of the doors is pet friendly, not white and not gloss so I don’t spend the rest of my life playing ‘spot the paw print’, and the end panels match our lurcher (coco bolo officially) so he disappears when sleeping against them and the tide mark isn’t so obvious.

Then there’s the floor. Limestone flags, a bit of the outdoors indoors. The poor dogs had to stay in kennels when they were laid as the tiler told us we couldn’t walk on them for 24 hours and we must be very careful what we did in the kitchen until they were sealed.

Once the dogs returned they took possession of the whole thing – thank goodness for floor sealer.

The kitchen company wanted a photo of the finished result. They said they rarely got one. Now I know why. Once you’ve put up with the mayhem you just start living in it straight away and it only looks designer for about 30 seconds.

Maybe one day I will take the photo, but for the moment I think we have just built one big pet playground.