A lot of us are proud pet owners – they’re not just the alarm that goes on a barking rampage whenever a stranger approaches, or the mice eliminator; they are our four-legged kids who share our interior spaces with as much right as we do.
But whoever said that having a dog or cat (or both) means you have to sacrifice your home’s style or comfort? In fact, sharing your interior with a furry friend gives you additional opportunities for decoration and styling – the pet-friendly kind!
Yes, it is true – you can have a pet and live in a stylish, beautiful house too! The secret is to choose the right materials that’ll accommodate your pets’ needs, as well as yours.
Take a look at our tips to help you make your house not only a welcoming and safe living space for your dog/cat, but also a stylish and neat environment for when your human friends come to visit.
Whether or not you allow Fluffy to nap on your bed is up to you, but ensure that a secure, comfy space is set up for whenever your dog or cat wants to doze off.
If they share your bed, be smart now instead of angry later. Protect your mattress from any accidents by covering it with a thick pad. Cotton bed sheets work well, especially in a medium colour or pattern which won’t highlight the occasional pet hair or stain between washing.
When it comes to bedspreads, opt for duvet covers and simply take them off for washing. Matelassé coverlets are also quite durable; resembling a weaving or stitching technique, their tight cloth works a treat to resist pet hairs, toenail snags and frequent washing.
homify hint: Remove the doors off that cabinet in the laundry room (or wherever) that you don’t use, insert a cushion and some blankets, and voila: a safe and snug sleeping spot for your four-legged friend!
Hunting for that luxurious dog bed and sofa? Your search is over. Discover what amazing possibilities Scott’s Of London has on offer.
Think of your pet when establishing the layout of your house. When your dog goes outside, make sure he can easily enter again. A doggy door is an oldie, but it works. It makes it so much easier for your dog (and cat) to come and go as he pleases, and you don’t have to open/close the door every time nature calls.
But what about cats who love a good stroll outdoors, and are more prone to scaling the fence and venturing into the street? Opt for a built-in cat run outside, connected to an open window. This will allow Kitty to leave the house for some fresh air, without you having to worry about her running off. Plus it provides lots of climbing and crawling space, so exercise is guaranteed.
homify hint: Opting for an artificial lawn isn’t just eco-friendly, it also minimises the mess your pets can carry into your house. A grass-free lawn means that digging and muddy paws will be a thing of the past!
Discover a new world with Crypton, a synthetic fabric that’s resistant to bacteria, muddy paws, smells and stains. Created by a dog lover, Crypton fabrics is the perfect substitute for those who’ve discovered that silk, chintz and velvet don’t mix with pets. It is available in upholstery shops and can also be purchased from many furniture manufacturers and interior designers.
Lovers of cushy leather couches will know that leather is easy to clean and durable, and will only suffer from your dog/cat’s scratch marks. For those wishing to remain 100% animal-friendly though, opt for pleather (artificial leather) instead.
homify hint: Try the wonders of Ultrasuede. It has the smoothness of real suede, stays cool regardless of the weather, and is a primary option when it comes to your pet’s comfort.
(When it comes to couches, an entire world of possibilities presents itself. Take a look at some ideas in terms of living room layout, couch placing, decor arrangement, etc.)
Carpet is not a great choice for pet owners. It traps pet hair, absorbs odour, and enthusiastically soaks up any stain. If you must have that soft flooring in your house, then rather consider a low pile carpet (low density, tightly woven, flat appearance). It is much easier to clean and because of its short fibres, doesn’t give your pet the option to snag a toenail.
If you’d rather opt for hard floors, you are spoiled for choice. Painted concrete, terrazzo and brick are all great options. Hardwood floors are easy to mop and vacuum, but remember that scratch marks (especially made by large dogs) show up easily.
Marble and other natural stones aren’t very pet-proof either because of their porous surfaces, so the acids in your pet’s spit up can lead to stains, even if they’re sealed.
For the pièce de résistance, turn to ceramic tile: easy to clean, toenail-proof, and fabulously stain-resistant. It adds a shiny and stylish touch to any room, and provides a cool surface for your pets to nap when the climate peaks.
No inspiration when it comes to choosing a colour scheme for your room? Turn to your pet, or rather his coat! Deck your sofa in a tanned brown microfibre that matches your Dachshund. Or paint your concrete floor the same grey as your cat. Not only will it make your pet “match” with his/her surroundings, but it is also a great practical step to lessen the sight of shed hair (so there’s no need to trade your long-haired Persian for a Sphynx).
homify hint: Free roaming reign for your pet means regular vacuuming from your side. If Fluffy and Kitty like to snooze on your couch, vacuum the hair off at least twice a week (and daily if your pet is shedding). Your furniture (and guests) will be delighted.
Speaking of matching up colours, get some handy tips: Coordinating Your Couch And Cushions.
Fragile items and animals don’t mix, that is why we usually don’t serve up pet food in glass bowls. However, that doesn’t mean your pet’s food/treat containers can’t be stylish.
Add some flair and colour to your kitchen, or wherever you choose to store Fluffy and Kitty’s snacks. Go for bright-coloured glass jars, elegant stainless steel containers, or porcelain storage bowls.
This extends to the mats you place in your pet’s feeding area, as well as toys that you hang/place around the house for them – be as bold and bright or neutral and elegant as you want to be. Make them fit into your home’s colour scheme and style, or let them stand out completely. It’s up to you!
homify hint: It’s not enough to just feed your pet regularly; they need a frequent beauty session as well. But it’s not only your pet that’ll benefit; your house will thank you as well:
• Trimmed nails won’t scratch floors/upholstery.
• Regular washing and brushing removes loose hair before they end up all over your house.
• Clean pets, in turn, will make your furniture and rugs last longer, as you won’t need to wash them as often.
Your pet might frequent the local groomer, but chances are that he/she will still leave smudges on walls. Ever seen a Basset Hound shake his head? Drool everywhere…
When it comes to cleaning walls, flat-finish paint is a tricky customer. Wiping too furiously at a dirty smudge might make the paint come off too, leaving you with an unpleasant spot that needs repainting. Semi gloss paint is easier when it comes to wiping away stains, but its gleaming surface means that every single irregularity in your wall is maximised.
Rather go for satin or eggshell finishes – they are as easy to clean as glossy paint, and also add an elegant touch to your room.
homify hint: A white wall is a bad idea when you share your house with a dog. So, grab this opportunity and grab a paintbrush, too! Your pet has just presented you with a great reason to bring some colour into your house.