Cater parts of your home to your pets. One of the first things said on every sell-your-house-type show is to get rid of all evidence of pets. But unless you are selling your house right now, who cares if your home’s next owners don’t like cats (or dogs or ferrets)? Building in cat ramps, pet doors, or built in food bowls under the island, can make life with furry friends easier and more entertaining.
Put up a "spy window" so you don't have to go all the way downstairs every time you want to check on the kids.