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Creative Ideas for a Pet-Friendly Home

Mar 20, 2019 10:08:00 AM / by Jennifer Fields

With a renewed focus on providing comfort, style and functionality for all members of the family, more people than ever are re-designing their living quarters with their fuzzy friends in mind. So, throw away outdated ideas about banishing Fluffy to the laundry room, and check out the latest trends in pet-friendly decorating.

Focus on Fabric

The debate about pets on furniture has long raged, but steadfast pet lovers refuse to kick Fido off the chaise. To have on-trend furniture that doesn’t degrade with four-legged loungers, get picky about fabric choices. For example, velvet, corduroy, mohair, chenille and velour attract hair like crazy. Not to mention, delicate fabrics like silk can become easily damaged by sharp claws. Instead, aim for fabrics that can withstand and repel hair and nails, such as leather or other synthetic material.

This tip goes for floors, as well. While carpet keeps feet warm on chilly winter nights, it’s a magnet for odors and pet hair. Avoid the frustration of carpet maintenance and aim for tile, laminate, or other smooth flooring (wood looks great, but pet nails can damage soft varieties).

If you and your pet share a bed, experts recommend washable fabrics. Waterproof mattress pads, cotton bedsheets, and washable duvet covers help you react calmly to inconvenient accidents.

Create Zones

Cohabitating is all about boundaries. If pets feel free to run, jump or chew in every space they see, you might tire of chewed woodwork, chipped furniture, or scratched flooring. On the other hand, energetic pets need space to blow off steam. To make sure everyone stays active and anxiety-free, it helps to have designated play spaces. Not only will this distinction give you a place to store pet toys and accessories, it gives your pet a special place to feel at home. Depending on size and energy level, a play zone can be a loft, extra bedroom, or secondary living space. Whatever you decide, make sure your pet knows the rules.

pet friendly homes

In addition to a play area, it helps to have a special entry space for you and your pet to wipe clean before entering the main living rooms. For example, maybe after an afternoon outdoors, you and your pet come through a side or back door into a mudroom or laundry room. In this zone, you can tidy up with pet wipes, hang the leash or other accessories on the wall, and place dirty clothes in a bin.

Make Furniture Multi-Task

As a go-to for all things home and garden, HGTV corners the market on creative pet furniture. Click here to find out how make a dog crate that looks like a bench seat, a window nook that doubles as a built-in pet bed, and adorable pet toy boxes. With these weekend projects, you’ll create chic pieces that look like Crate & Barrell but act like PetSmart.

Give Pets Tidy Treats and Toys

While many dogs love rawhide bones and other meaty chew toys, they smell terrible and leave unseemly residue on floors and upholstery. Yes, dogs need something to satisfy their need to chew, but opt for rubber toys like Kong or mint bites. If you don’t want to banish bones altogether, consider letting your dog enjoy them on the back porch.

For cats and their handy scratch posts, you can find many chic options to hang low on the wall or prop in a corner.

Keep the Kitchen Clean

When pet food stays out, it generates odors and sludge (have you ever seen a bulldog eat?). Sustain a sparkling kitchen by keeping food and water bowls out of sight. You might designate an outdoor area for food and water, hide bowls under a cabinet, or keep them safe in the laundry or mud room. Whatever you choose, aim for balance. Your pet needs access to water, but you don’t need a tripping hazard in the middle of the kitchen.

pet-friendly home ideas

Mind the Window Treatments

Pets love a good view, so don’t deprive them of outdoor fantasies with thick fabric curtains. Not only do they keep out all that sweet vitamin D, but they attract and hold on to pet hair. Instead, maintain privacy while dressing windows in lightweight curtains, adjustable blinds, or sun-blocking window tint.

Pay Attention to Color

While many pet owners swear by matching fabric to pet fur, others go all out to make colorful surroundings invigorate their pets. If you own a yellow lab, you might consider oatmeal-colored rugs, and gray concrete floors can mimic your cat’s adorable coloring. But whatever you do, avoid white. Not only is this shade difficult to maintain without pets, it can look downright muddy with dander buildup and colored pet fur.

For the walls, white can be equally tricky, and depending on your pet, certain colors might induce calm or excitement. Studies have shown that dogs prefer shades of blue, yellow and gray, and it just so happens these colors make humans feel lighter, as well.


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Topics: Design, Custom Home Building

Jennifer Fields

Written by Jennifer Fields