Creating a Pet-Friendly Home: Design with Your Pet in Mind
Our pets are with us every day. So, it is important to show them how much we care day in and day out. And the best way to do this is to ensure our home is as pet friendly as possible.
April 11 is National Pet Day – a celebration of our furry, four-legged family members. Originally founded in 2006, this unofficial holiday has become a cultural phenomenon with everyone from the U.S. Department of Defense and Good Morning America to the BBC joining in on the fun as #NationalPetDay trends on Twitter.
Of course, our pets are with us every day. So, it is important to show them how much we care day in and day out. And the best way to do this is to ensure our home is as pet friendly as possible.
Pet-Friendly Interior Design
“You’re the type of person who can’t imagine living without a dog or cat,” writes Debra Steilen, Traditional Home, but you also don’t want to “compromise your sense of personal style in order to accommodate your four-legged friends. Thankfully, you don’t have to.”” “You can have a beautiful house and a pet, too,” adds Julia Szabo, pet columnist for the New York Post and author of Animal House Style: Designing A Home To Share With Your Pets.
Furry Friend Friendly Flooring
When choosing the perfect pet-friendly flooring, it is important to consider a few different factors:
- Style: After all, you want your home to look good. “A lot of stylish people are letting their houses go to the dogs and the cats and the birds — without sacrificing style or comfort,” says Leanne Potts, HGTV.
- Durability: You want your home to keep looking good! “A pet friendly home must make special considerations for just how many accidents can happen around bushy tails and clumsy paws,” says Stacey Sibley, creative director of interior designers Alexander James Interior Design.
- Traction: Certain floors are just not ideal for pets. Just remember, hard surfaces “can be slippery, especially for older dogs and cats,” says Steilen. “You may need to add area rugs or rubber mats for safety’s sake.”
“I try to steer pet owners away from carpet,” says Nan Ruvel, Chicago interior designer. “It’s difficult to keep clean. It’s a bad idea.” Instead, we recommend a hard flooring, but not hardwood flooring, paired with some strategically placed and stylish area rugs for added traction and durability. “Keep in mind that hardwood scratches and dents,” says Steilen. Consider alternatives such as laminate flooring, porcelain tiles, or linoleum. These flooring options are ideal as they will stand up to pets and paws, but also make it easy to clean up dirt, fur, or the occasional accident. “These also have the additional benefit of keeping your pets cooler during hotter weather,” says Sibley.
Furniture, Fur, and You
Perhaps one of the most difficult interior design decisions for any pet owner is furniture. “Your goal is to choose upholstery fabrics that create less work for you,” says Steilen. “Think carefully before you buy chairs and sofas covered in velvet or chenille (they’re magnets for pet hair) or delicate fabrics that can be easily ruined by pets.”
“The key is choosing the right materials and accommodating your animal’s needs,” says Szabo.
White Wall No-No
“You won’t be surprised to hear us say, ‘Avoid white,’” says Steilen. “Instead, paint your walls in beautiful colors.” This will not only help your home look great, but also stay looking great. White walls show every tiny little flaw and speck of dirt. And if you have a dog – particularly a large dog – you know just how much dirt your furry friend can trek around the house. Brightly colored walls will better help hide dirt and scratches, but Steilen recommends keeping a stash of paper towels handy to “wipe away slime.”
Pet-Friendly Window Treatments
“Every pet loves to peer out of the window to watch for their owners coming home and to bask in the sunshine on those sunny days,” says Sibley. Unfortunately, this can wreak havoc on your window treatments, which is why it is so important to choose the right blinds, shades, or shutters for your home.
Safety: According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), window cords are one of the top five “hidden hazards” in the home. While this most often applies to small children, cats, dogs, and cords don’t mix either. Our furry, four-legged friends sometimes mistake dangling cords for toys, which can lead to broken window treatments and even dangerous entanglements.
“Your cat could strangle themself by getting the cord wound around their neck or choke on a plastic pull that they’ve chewed into pieces,” warns The Humane Society of the United State. This is why we recommend Cordless Window Treatments.
Easy to Clean: “Long drapes that pool on the floor will collect pet debris,” says Steilen, “so you may want to choose Roman shades or simple, easy-to-clean wood [or faux wood] blinds instead.”
While cats tend to get stuck in, and break the slats on horizontal wood and faux wood blinds, there are a few options that are a bit more cat proof. Vertical Blinds allow your cat to easily slip in and out without damaging the window treatments. Roller Shades, meanwhile, are another durable option. Plus, they do not easily collect dust and cat hair. Finally, Shutters are rigid and capable of standing up to your curious cats.More Tips for Pet-Friendly Window Treatments