Decorating your home for your dog or cat? Not you! You love your pets, but c’mon---it’s YOUR Morris or Sussex County home first, right? Here’s the catch: decorating with your pets in mind benefits not only your pets, but also your furnishings, your house and your family! Here’s our top 8 tips for making your New Jersey home animal-friendly:
Carpet OUT! Rugs IN!
Carpeting soaks up stinky pet stains and traps pet hair--yuck. Unlike carpet, inexpensive rugs allow easy picking up, cleaning, and if necessary, tossing out. Go for seagrass or Sisal mats--they offer a great combination of durability, elegance and affordability. Can’t part with your heirloom Persian rug? Hang it on a wall as art! Gotta go for carpet? Get modular carpet tiles for easy replacement of dirty sections.
Floor It Hard
Question: Which flooring gives a room cache, offers furry pets a cool nap spot when the temps rise, cleans easily, and is even toenail-proof? Answer: Ceramic tile! Marble and other natural stones also supply great benefits, but show stains from pet vomit due to their porous nature (even when sealed.) Another option: paint concrete for a durable, attractive appearance. Of course, hardwood floors bring warmth to decor and are mop-and-vacuum-safe, but watch out for big dogs’ toenail scratches and warping from frequent cat urine accidents.
Ever attempted picking tons of white cat hair off of a black sweater? Imagine trying to do the same for an entire home’s worth of furniture-- forget that! Instead, match your home decor to your pet! Black Labrador? Black couch! White kittens? White rugs! This practical choice means hair left by pets blends in as opposed to standing out, screaming for immediate, repeated vacuuming.
Where do your animals enter your home? If you’re constantly cleaning that area while silently cursing, consider changing your entry to suit your pet. Add porcelain tiles to the floor and walls. Use stain-resistant fabric on benches. Leave storage space for old towels (to clean paws), leashes and food. Giving in a little saves a lot of sanity!
Tidy Treats and Toys
Your dog smells pigs’ ears or sees rawhide and thinks, “Mmmmmm!” Bad idea. They stink, look gross and they leave greasy stains on furnishings and floors. Yes, your dog needs to chew, but go for rubber toys. For cats, purchase scratching posts such as the Everyday Studio’s Cat Tree that hang on the wall and look like art. Those hideous carpet-covered plywood posts belong in the trash. Cats also love sleek shelving for perching--no need for big carpet-covered constructions.
Pets leave smudges on walls--drool, mud, poop, etc. For this reason, avoid flat-finish paint--just attempt wiping off a spot and you’ll take off paint as well, leaving an ugly mark. Semigloss wipes down easier, but the sheen emphasizes dents and dings. Go for satin or eggshell finishes for elegant, easy-to-clean paint. Better yet, try Real Milk Paint; it’s environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, 100% organic, fume-free and easy-to-use!
Resist the Stain
Forget upholstering in velvet, silk or chintz, and discover Crypton! Resistant to bacteria, smells and stains, this practically indestructible synthetic fabric includes twills and sturdy suedes for the pet-obsessed. Love your leather? While easy-clean and durable, you’ll see claw marks. Pleather offers a cruelty-free, inexpensive alternative to leather, while machine-washable microfiber Ultrasuede feels like suede and stays cool and comfy in every climate.
Gonna’ Wash That Pet Right Off Of Your Bed
Curling up at night with your pup or kitten brings comfort, but accidents happen. Protect your mattress from smelly stains with a thick pad. Purchase cotton sheets in stain-hiding patterns. Employ duvet covers in place of bedspreads for easy washing. Lastly, consider matelasse coverlets for their durability and snag-resistance.
There you have it! Employ our easy, pet-friendly home decor tips in your Morris or Sussex County home and you’ll discover that an animal-friendly house is more comfortable for humans, too. With our two dogs, one cat, and homes always on our minds, Team Nest Builder knows what we're talking about!
Additional Source: Julia Szabo, Nan Ruvel, DIY Network