Helpful Hints

Reigning Cats and Dogs: Seven Tips for A Stylish, Pet-friendly Home

We all love our pets, but sometimes having a pet can seem incompatible to having a neat and stylish home.  Pets can create messes, and have a lot of their own accessories that come with them.  Fortunately designers, architects, and interior design brands have started to produce design solutions for our four-legged friends.  Not only are more companies creating stylish pet products, but more furniture and furnishing brands are creating pet-friendly products that meet the needs of humans and animals alike.  Here are some of the best ways to keep your home looking good and pet friendly.

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Look for Durable Fabrics

If you don’t want to slipcover your furniture (which is also a totally viable option), you’ll need to look for upholstery that can stand up to fur, paws, claws, and messes.  Stain-resistant fabrics like treated leather, microfiber, wool blends, coated cotton and denim are all easy to spot-clean with dirt just wiping away.  While leather is easy to clean and fairly durable, it can be scratched and ripped by claws, so if you have a dog that’s going to be going on the furniture, be sure to keep their nails trimmed.  If you have a cat, make sure they have alternate scratching post options.  If your pet is going to be allowed on your bed make sure to choose easy to clean bedding.

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Get Durable Flooring

Choosing pet-friendly flooring can be a tricky task.  Carpeting won’t get scratched by the nails of rambunctious pets, but it’s harder to clean up messes and is more likely to stain.  Hardwood floors are easier to clean, but can get scratched, and be slippery for pets (especially older ones) to walk across.  Laminate and vinyl flooring are good options, but if you really want wood, a common compromise is durable area rugs or rug tiles placed over hardwood floors in areas where pets are most likely to be.  Area rugs are easier to pick up and clean when needed, or even completely changed out should damage become too much.  They’ll provide a softer, warmer place for your pet to lay and play while protecting the floor underneath.  Just make sure that the rug is secured with anti-skid measures, otherwise your pet and your rug may take a trip into the wall.

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Match Colors to Your Pet

Obviously you’re not going to let your pet’s fur gather into large tumbleweeds, but you also don’t want to have to carry a lint roller in a holster 24/7 (not sure why this turned into a wild west analogy).  If you get upholstery and rugs that are similar in color to your pet’s fur (or a pet that has similar coloring to your already established decor) the fur won’t show up as easily.  Patterns are also better at hiding fur and dirt than just plain colors.  You don’t have to match everything to your pet, but this tip can help you spend less time vacuuming and more time playing with your furry friend.

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Keep Throw Blankets on Hand

Throw blankets are a valuable accessory to keep on hand whether you have a pet or not, since they’re an easy way to add a splash of color and pattern to your decor, and also to keep warm on chilly nights.  If you have a pet though you especially should consider keeping some throw blankets around.  Throws can be put down as a cozy spot for your pet to curl up next to you, and then easily picked up and shaken out or washed to get rid of any fur or dirt.  It’s easy to keep a bunch on hand for quick change outs should unexpected company arrive and you need the couch looking clean.

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Keep Collectibles Safe

Having a beloved collection to display can be perilous if you have a pet.  Luckily it’s fairly easy to keep them safe.  If you have a dog just look for shelving and tables that are out of wagging tail range.  If you have a curious cat you may need to look for storage options with glass cabinets so objects are still visible but out of swiping reach.  Also make sure any collectibles are not in a similar area to where your pet’s toys are stored.  Even the most well behaved pet can get caught up in the moment of play and grab the wrong thing by accident.

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Create Special Spaces

You want your home to feel welcoming to your pet too, so give them a special space that’s all their own.  Whether it’s their own room that can be a bit messier than the rest of the house, or a space built into already existing furniture your pet will be happy to have a home base.  If you have stairs, the often forgotten about space under the stairs is a great spot to build out as private room for your pet.  There are also a ton of tutorials online about how to turn old furniture into pet dens or look for pre-made ones on websites like Etsy.

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Look for Modern Pet Accessories

Designers are catching on to how much people love their pets, and want to incorporate their pets into their lives and style.  This means that there are now tons of stylish, modern pet accessories that will blend right in with your own furniture.  Pet beds, scratching posts, litter boxes, and toy storage bins have all gotten modern upgrades that you and your pet will love.  Even food bowls have become more fashionable.  It’s also becoming common to build food storage and feeding stations into cabinets so they don’t take up as much floor space.  Pretty much whatever your personal style there are now pet accessories that will match it.

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It is possible to have a pet and still have a stylish, modern home.  You may need to stay on top of cleaning a bit more than those without pets, but it can be done.  You and Fluffy and Fido can all enjoy comfort and aesthetic harmony in the home thanks to growing awareness of the importance of pets and their place in people’s lives.  Now go give your furry friends a pat and a treat.

Here are some more adorable inspirations:

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