We love our animal companions. And why not? They love you when you’re at your worst, make you laugh when you need it most, and are always willing for a cuddle.
So it doesn’t make sense to keep them out in the yard. But you shouldn’t have to compromise on a stylish interior to create a pet-proof home either.
Here are some great tips to help you combine good-looking interior design with pet-friendly décor to create a home you and your furry friend can co-inhabit peacefully.
Have low-maintenance floors
Your pets spend a lot of time at ankle-level, whether it’s to eat, sleep or play. So it’s important you have the right kind of flooring to suit your darling and cause minimal work for you.
If you have the choice, carpets should be out. They soak up stains as well as odours and capture your pet’s fur. They’re difficult to clean and you can’t ever be sure a stain or odour is fully removed (no matter how much stain remover you apply).
If you must have carpet, low-pile options are easier to clean, but you should avoid continuous loop styles, which can be easily be pulled up by your loveable cat’s claws.
Alternatively, lay down some large, replaceable area rugs over the heavy-traffic areas. Rubber mats or rugs made of an indoor/outdoor material are both good picks and simple to hose down.
Don’t be deceived by the hardiness of marble or natural stone either – they are susceptible to permanent staining.
Wood is a better choice, but don’t forget your playful pal’s paws; wood scratches easily.
Your best pet-friendly floor options are painted concrete or ceramic tile, both of which are easy to manage. They can be mopped or vacuumed without wearing down. They don’t absorb odours or stains. And they’re virtually scratch-proof.
As a bonus, your pets will be drawn to their cool surface in summer, which essentially makes them not just pet-friendly but beloved as well.
Choose hardy fabrics
When it comes to rough-and-tumble play, pets and children are fairly similar. So the materials you use around children are also good choices for animals.
Rule out silk or chintz. They are far too delicate. And don’t even think about velvet – it’s a magnet for pet hair.
Synthetic materials such as microfiber, ultrasuede, and indoor/outdoor upholstery are durable stain-resistant fabrics.
But if you’re looking for something more authentic you can’t go past leather.
Leather is the ultimate pet-friendly choice. You can wipe it down and vacuum it and it will maintain its good looks.
It is susceptible to minor scuffs and scratches from pup and kitty claws, but such blemishes can actually create patina, the desirable aged-leather look.
If you simply can’t resist a sofa or dining chair you know won’t stand up to your pet’s use (and abuse!), consider using washable couch and chair covers to protect the upholstery.
Finally, choose fabrics that will hide your pet’s fur. If you have a black cat, don’t use light-coloured fabrics that will only accentuate shed fur. And of course if you have a champagne Poodle or Golden Retriever, stay away from darker fabrics.
Use your pet as inspiration
Instead of excluding your pets from your interior design, why not use them as a source of inspiration? It will make them look well and truly at home in your living room.
Match your décor to your pet. A cat demands elegance: sleek, button-accented couches and slender dining chairs. Use flowing curtains to mimic your Cavalier’s large ears, black-and-white décor to camouflage your spotted Dalmatian, or a faux-fur rug to cushion your curly-haired Maltese.
But pet- AND human-friendly décor
Animals are drawn towards humans – especially when they’re sedentary. You might struggle to stop your cat or dog crawling onto the couch to slumber on your lap. But if they have their own bit of furniture, they may be more drawn to nap there.
Dog beds are a must in every household, but they don’t have to look misplaced. Tie them into your existing décor; if you have leather couches, compliment them with a leather dog bed. If you have wicker dining chairs, select a wicker dog basket. Just make sure the bed stays within sight of humans so your pooch won’t be tempted to join you on the sofa.
You don’t have to stick with a generic dog bed either. Have you ever thought of giving your dog or cat their own ottoman? It will blend in with your living room surroundings – and if you choose one with wheels, it can be easily removed when you need a bit more space.
Having pet-specific furniture and accessories is also a great way to distract your pet from destroying designer furniture. A scratching post or climbing tree can deter your cat from testing her claws on your brand new sofa. Rubber and fabric toys encourage your dogs to chew on their own accessories rather than the leg of your brand new coffee table.
Make sure your furniture is safe for your pets as well. If you have playful pets, choose sturdy furniture with rounded edges (such as the Parc Coffee Table).
And remove any furniture that might tempt your pet to reach greater heights – choose tall tables with stools for those incessantly-hungry pooches always trying to nab the night’s supper.
Keep up regular maintenance
The only way you’re going to keep your living area always looking good is to keep up a regular maintenance schedule – for both the house and your pet.
Vacuum both your floors and your furniture twice weekly – or more if you have a pet that sheds copious amounts of fur. Carpet-clean your carpets a few times a year to target any deeper stains or odours.
You can also combat house-keeping problems at the source. Groom your pet with regular baths and brushing to remove loose hair and trim any overgrown nails.
Who said you can’t have both a pet and a beautiful interior décor design to enjoy simultaneously when you’re at home? With a careful selection of interior furniture, the right floors, and a consistent cleaning routine, you’ll be able to live stress-free alongside your closest companion.
Check out some of our other interior design hints and tips at our Skapa Brosa blog today. Or browse through our online products to find the perfect pet-friendly furniture for your home.