I cannot imagine living without my pets. To my husband’s dismay, they even accompany us on holiday, if the destination allows of course. But that does not mean that I am prepared to neglect the décor of our home. On the contrary I take them into consideration when I decorate, without compromising the end look and feel. Let’s look at some tips that will take your pets into account.
Flooring – high gloss tiles and polished floors will be slippery for dogs and cats, even more so when they get older. It could even be uncomfortable and straining on their joints if they try and get up from a slippery floor. Therefore select a finish that is less slippery. If you already have a slippery floor, an area rug will be a good idea, especially in those areas where they lay down and play most. An area rug will also be easier to keep clean than a wall-to-wall rug as well as easier to replace should the need arise. Remember to add an anti-slip under layer.
If you prefer a wall-to-wall carpet, opt for a darker colour rug that will less likely show stains and pet hairs. Select a stain-resistant low-pile carpet as it will clean easier. A continuous loop carpet will not be suitable for pets as it will unravel quickly, consider for instance your cat sharpening its claws on it or a large dog running on it. Invest in a cat-scratching post and place the post close to your cat’s favourite scratching spot.
Invest in a good vacuum cleaner and vacuum your rugs regularly to rid it of pet hair and other debris. For pets with long hair, brush them often. I keep a bottle of non-toxic pet-specific cleanser handy to get rid of stains and odours before they even have a chance to set.
Also remember that their claws could damage your floors, so select sturdy finishes. Mat finish tiles, laminate and vinyl as well as stone tiles will be good ideas and will also be the easiest keep paw-print and stain free. Hardwood floors would scratch easily and are more likely to be damaged by water and puddles left by a pet. If you insist on wood floors, ask your flooring expert for a sturdier option such as oak and mahogany. Also clip your pets’ nails regularly.
Upholstery fabrics – Select fabrics that create less work. Velvet or chenille are magnets for pet hair. Reserve delicate fabrics for window treatments instead of furniture. Opt for fabrics that are stain, moisture and odour resistant but can be cleaned with soap and water without leaving a mark. Choose tightly woven upholstery fabrics in darker colours that help camouflage stains and pet hair. Loose seat and back cushions or a slipcover sofa/chair are excellent for pets as they can be removed and washed or dry-cleaned.
Remember to check the label when you purchase the fabric or ask the supplier for cleaning instruction when buying furniture. Leather is a good option for a pet-owner as it is hardwearing and easy to clean, although not imperishable. It can be scratched and punctured by big claws, and those holes can be tough to repair. Select leather furniture made of top grain, semi-aniline leathers. Regularly treating your leather furniture is a good idea in our dry climate, whether you have a pet or not.
You could go for the no pets on the furniture, but my pets sleep in bed with us, so who am I to say. I do however keep fashionable throws on furniture and beds where my pets are more likely to nap. These can be washed regularly and makes keeping my house clean easier.
Bedding – For me there is nothing as special as waking up to wet dog kisses. When it comes to bedding, duvet covers for obvious reasons work better than bedspreads or quilts. Choose good quality sheets in a medium shade or multicolor pattern that can hide a little pet hair between washings. Protect the mattress with a moisture-resistant mattress cover. I always have a spare set of bedding handy if I need to change my bedding in between washes. My latest favourite is a range of bedding that has a laundered look and may not be ironed, making life so much easier.
Dogs like their own spot to sleep on, while a cat likes to perch up high in a quite more isolated spot. Have a dog bed made that suites your décor and colour scheme. A cat perch with a view can be incorporated into your home just by thinking a bit out of the box.
Above all, love and enjoy your pets. According to me, they bring more joy than any painting ever could and are always a joy to come home to.
[Images extracted from the Internet]