We love our pets. They enrich our lives, keep us happier and healthier, and make our spaces feel more like home. We think pets are great. Until we see the stain on the carpet, the fur all over the new sofa, the claw marks on the floor… Living with pets comes with a few challenges, but you don’t have to give up great design to make it work. It just requires a little bit of thinking, and adapting, to the unique needs of our furry family members.
Fabrics and upholstery
Skip the silks and velvets and opt for easy-care organic cotton and linen. They’re far more durable, washable, and they won’t attract quite as much pet fur. Forgo the plush and fluffy in favor of smoother weaves that are easy to wipe, brush or vacuum clean. That goes for everything from upholstered furniture to throw pillows and even bedding.
If your pet sheds quite a bit, you might even opt for upholstery that’s a similar color. The downside is, the fur will be less noticeable, so harder to clean. But the upside is… well, the fur will be less noticeable!
When it comes to flooring, wall-to-wall carpet is not the best choice when it comes to pets. It wears, shows stains and holds onto dirt and dander. Sustainably grown, or reclaimed woods or bamboo are all great, but you will have to keep your pet’s claws trimmed. If you need a really durable surface, look into stone, tile, or some of the newer, environmentally friendly linoleums.
Use area rugs liberally, they soften the look and feel while adding color and style to your space. Make sure to get rugs with a no-slip backing or lay a no-slip pad down. We’ve all seen the video of Fido running into the room, sliding on the rug and taking out the birthday cake.
Around the house
Satin-finish, low- or no-VOC paints are your best friends. Not only are they less toxic than regular paints, the satin finish means those paw and nose prints will wipe right off. We’re not even thinking about drool marks!
Check your houseplants! Quite a few plants are toxic for pets, it’s best to remove them from areas where you pet hangs out. While you’re at it, make sure your houseplants are in sturdy containers or out of the way so they won’t be as easy to tip over.
Corral your pet’s toys in an attractive box or basket to keep them all together, and make for quick, easy clean up before company comes over.
If you haven’t already, switch to green cleaners. Since they use no hazardous chemicals, they’re good for you, the planet, and your pet.