Decorating With Pets: Guide to Pet-Friendly and Attractive Design
Pets are forever friends (and family), so it only makes sense that we want to design our homes to accommodate humans and pets alike. Between household hazards and sharp claws, having a pet-friendly decorated home can be a daunting task. Luckily, we have some tips for creating a beautiful, safe and resilient space for everyone.
With a bit of planning, you can keep your home stress-free and comfortable for both you and your pet. There is no need for a massive remodel, either. Here are some decorating tips to get your home ready to take on your four-legged friends.
Design a Dog-Friendly Entryway
You’ve just spent the day in the garden, having fun with your dog outdoors. It’s time to head back inside to cuddle on the sofa and watch a good movie. But the risk of mud, grass and other tracked-in messes can have you thinking twice.
Think forward by making a small area in your entryway with a pet-proof box to keep by the door, filled with cleaning materials and dog treats or toys for distraction. It’s a great way to keep a muddy explosion off your new rug and create a routine for an adventurous dog.
Choose Flooring That Suits All Paws
If our homes aren’t equipped with the right flooring to take on the extra wear and tear of claws and accidents, it only gets more difficult to keep on top of cleaning routines. Property owners and tenants alike need decorators who understand which materials will stand up to abuse and provide peace of mind for both parties.
Nails scratching your flooring and potty training setbacks are parts of the pet owner’s journey, meaning easy-to-clean flooring can be your biggest asset. Having tile, stone, or laminate flooring in high-traffic areas can help with avoiding the inevitable. This doesn’t mean your valued hardwood should be ditched, but make sure you have proper cleaning materials on hand to take care of any messes before they become permanent.
Finally, rugs are a classic design element that can add coziness and flair to any room. When picking out rugs with a pet at home, make sure you stick with low-pile, jute and/or synthetic rugs that are known to be durable and easy-to-clean. Shag and high-pile rugs just might face their destruction a bit earlier than a dog- or cat-owner may like.
Place Breakables Out-of-Reach
Decorating your home with decor like ornaments, candles and frames, and your new chic coffee table sets a beautiful tone for both you and your visitors. However, pets aren’t constantly aware of what’s happening around them and they can get easily excited — putting all these beautiful design touches at risk.
Placing decor items on shelving and having furniture that’s the right height and design can assist in keeping your nicknacks and prized possessions safe from wagging tails and leaping cats.
Once you’re more confident in your pet’s obedience training, you can try moving fragile accents back to the coffee table. In the meantime, focus on decorating higher bookshelves and wall shelving first.
Select Resilient Fabrics for Seating
Keeping our pets off furniture can be a full-time job. What you don’t know when you’re not home can’t hurt, right? Well, not really. Furniture is a costly investment, and finding the right sofa for you and your pet can be a tough decision — but design, expense and durability don’t have to be trade-offs.
Easy to clean, heavy-duty upholstery fabric on sofas can reduce wear and tear and allow your pet the freedom to get comfortable. Many cat owners have appreciated the velvet upholstery trend, since this luxurious-looking sofa material also has a tight weave that’s hard for cats to sink their claws into.
Whatever fabrics you choose, clever usage of throw blankets and plenty of pet-specific bedding can also help you reduce the risk of pet damage in a snap. And as always, keep a lint roller handy to clean off any fur your buddy leaves behind.
Choose Pet Toys and Accessories That Blend With Your Design
Most pet owners are guilty of spoiling their dogs and cats — one survey found that 76% of young people are more likely to treat their pet than themselves. This might mean your space is filled with toys, beds and scratching posts that can add a little clutter to your overall look.
You can spoil your pet while still creating a cohesive home design! Some creative cat owners use litter boxes and scratching posts disguised as household furniture, which can manage pet needs while complementing the rest of your design. A dedicated toy box or basket can provide a lovely accent and help contain balls, bones and other miscellaneous items.
To start, set a color scheme and try to choose accessories and toys that match it. Your pet won’t mind, and your guests will be impressed that your eye for detail extends to your pet care as well.
Guide to Decorating With Pets
As we mentioned before, decorating your home to make it more pet-friendly can seem daunting at first! Using these ideas can turn your house into a comfortable home for the family and help your pet live harmoniously while making the best memories possible.
Evelyn Long is a Baltimore-based writer and the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She publishes home decor advice and product roundups for readers in spaces both big and small.