If you’re anything like me, you can’t imagine living without your pets, even if the quality of your home sometimes suffers as a result. Insert the internal tug-of-war, feeling torn between the love of your cat or dog but feeling equally doomed to live in a pet-trampled home. Thankfully, I finally realized I didn’t have to compromise style or cleanliness in my home in order to be pet owners.
Here are decorating tips to help you reclaim your home, amp up your style, and in the process, improve living conditions for your four-legged friends.
9 Decorating Tips for Pet Owners
If you’re a pet owner, there are two things you know like the back of your hand: paw prints and piddle. To combat the inevitable, you need hard-surface flooring to keep your home in tip-top shape.
If none of those flooring options fit your style, you’re left with the choice of either hardwood or carpet.
When you just have to have hardwood:
Keep in mind that hardwood scratches and dents much easier than other hard flooring surfaces. Also, with wood planked floors, it’s vital that you clean any puddles straight away to keep the floor from staining and/or warping.
But if your home doesn’t feel like home without the beauty of wood floors, there are a few options that are better suited for pet ownership than others:
Bonus Tip: You’ll find your hardwood floors last you light years longer if you protect high-traffic spaces with area rugs.
When it’s Carpet or Bust:
To stave off pet stains and hair, look for darker earth tones or multi-color patterned carpet that will help mask debris. Want to take it a step further? Try matching your carpet as closely as possible to your pet’s fur. Above all, make sure to choose a stain-resistant low-pile carpet to ease the pain of accident cleaning.
*Pet claws can easily get caught in continuous loop, and, as a result, can cause the entire carpet to unravel.
Repositionable carpet tiles create the look of carpeting or area rugs, but with fewer maintenance issues. You can easily remove multiple or single tiles for cleaning and, what’s more, floor tiles give you the ability to replace a section without having to replace the entire surface.
When choosing fabrics for your furniture, search for options that are easier to clean. Many synthetic fabrics can even resist stains, moisture, odor, and germs. Microfiber or microsuede fabrics (such as Ultrasuede) look great, wear well, and can usually be cleaned with soap and water. Indoor-outdoor fabrics are a sure bet, too, as they resist moisture and most stains.
Unfortunately, pets are masters at causing damage to walls. They like to rub up against them as they pass by and dogs with jowls often spray walls with drool. And cats? Cats looooove to scratch! So save your favorite wallpaper for rooms the dog and cat seldom visit and choose paint carefully to ensure your walls stay in tip-top shape for years to come.
No matter how much you may try to deny it, admit it: you sometimes share your bed with your pet. (Raises hand slowly in shame.) Since most pet owners are guilty of this at one time or another, take measures to keep your bedding protected against the inevitable hair, dirt and, yes, even the occasional accident.
Spoiler alert: Duvet covers are a game changer!
If you can, try to choose couches and chairs with exposed legs instead of skirts. Skirting is a magnet for dirt, hair and dust bunnies!
Long drapes that drag or graze the floor will collect pet debris much like skirted furniture.
Go for roman shades or easy to clean blinds instead.
Your biggest defense against a pet-messed home starts right at the front door. As simple as it may sound, creating a pet-friendly entryway will stop dirt and grime before it can ever be tracked through the house.
If setting up a full-fledge entry isn’t in the cards for you, you can still establish a cleaning point at your entrance by keeping an old towel by the front door. As you and your pet first walk inside, reach for your towel and immediately wipe paws clean before your pet has a chance to traipse dirt on the floors.
If you’re lucky enough, though, to have the space to create a full service pet entry, there are only a few organizational things needed to get fully set up:
Who loves having their own room as much as a teenager? A dog. And without a doubt, what are a cat’s favorite activities? Perching and climbing! So give your furry companion their own special spaces to nest, perch, and climb.
Ready-made dog crates are a great option for doggies looking for a nook to call their own, and a quick web search will lead you to a number of indoor climbing trees for your kitty.
Want to take things a step further? Why not incorporate these elements into your homes design? Find a space big enough for your dog or cat’s bed underneath stairs, cabinetry (above), or a window seat, and make their space a permanent addition to your home.
Unsightly pet beds are a thing of the past! Just because you share your home with a furry friend your style shouldn’t have to be compromised. Instead, choose a dog bed that complements your décor with easy to clean (and stylish!) upholstery to boot.
Did we mention that you don’t have to compromise style simply because you’re a pet owner? Gone are the days of cheap plastic dish bowls that have been scattered messily on the floor. All the necessary items that come along with pet ownership (water and food bowls, litter boxes and crates, to name just a few) can be turned into furniture pieces. Hundreds of sites online are devoted to this specific task, like the modernistcat shop on Etsy (above) that turns litter boxes into sleek, mid-century end tables.
It’s been said that a “house isn’t a home without a pet.” Though this may be true, you shouldn’t have to compromise your home and your sense of personal style in order to accommodate them.
Fellow pet owners, toss out the old raggedy pet beds, stained sheets and plastic food bowls. This is the new age of pet ownership: where side-kicks and swag come together!