You know the tale—you’ve decorated your home in the flawless style that not only embodies your taste, but may also be family friendly if you have the pitter-patter of little feet. However if those tiny footsteps include pets, have you thought about the fact that this verified member of your family may require pet-friendly décor? Perhaps not. Nevertheless, if you want a totally harmonious lifestyle between humans and critters, this should be a major factor when decorating your home. Fear not. It’s not a major feat. From furniture and rugs to pet bedding, feed bowls and even the art on the walls—you can design your rooms with a furry-friendly edge and still exhibit the most upscale interior.
Carpets and Rugs
When designing with accent rugs, easy-care, affordable cottons are a great choice. Most cotton rugs are machine washable with line dry or a low heat drying, so that a puppy, kitten or older pet’s "accident" doesn’t have to be a tragedy. According to Dave Pillard, owner of Tender Land Home in Phoenicia, “Pets require practicality when accessorizing with rugs for your home. Flecked or tweed patterns hide pet hair much more effectively than solid colors. And two or three smaller rugs in a room rather than one large area rug make for much less furniture moving when cleaning up a mess.”
However, if you prefer a room size or wall-to-wall carpet you should keep in mind the colors that blend with stray pet hair. Orientals, modern color-block patterns, and subtle tweeds are best. Incidentally, cat owners beware—those great sisal rugs are considered room-sized cat scratchers by your felines!
When it comes to upholstered furnishings, Don LaFera of Lounge in High Falls, Hudson and his newest store in Kingston says that micro-suede fabric “really makes ease of living really high.” It’s easily spot-cleaned with any water-based upholstery shampoo and any removable covers can be machine washed then dried on a cool setting. However, when it comes to just wet paws—because micro-suede is not woven, it doesn’t absorb water. A quick wipe-down with a clean towel or even letting it dry on its own and then fluffing up the nap with your finger will renew the texture. In addition, being non-woven it won’t unravel under a cat’s claws. Of course you can also choose prints and patterns in many other fabrics that will work with your décor as they camouflage pet hair between de-furring clean-ups.
When it comes to occasional tables, coffee tables, and other furnishings that are often wooden, it may be a decorator’s dream to get some older, shabby chic items from flea markets and yard sales. After all they’re already “distressed”. And, who’s going to see one more puppy gnaw or cat scratch? Vintage accessories are the perfect, stress-free accent pieces. They’ll also save you money for those items you wish to splurge on.
Pet Beds and Sleepers
Co-owners at Pet Country in Rhinebeck, Ira and Kathy Licht said they’re often asked to address issues concerning pet accessories in relation to interior design, which include pet beds and sleepers, bowls and feeders, and cat furniture and scratchers. They suggested when selecting sleepers and pet beds it’s all according to the size of your pet. They said, “Also consider the colors, fabrics and styles that’ll coordinate with your décor. You can choose from cuddlers, mats, pads and mini sofas. For those seeking the ultimate comfort for your pet you can purchase steps, available in a variety of heights and styles for the furry member of your household to step onto and enjoy the family bed.”
Recreation and Feeders
When it comes to choosing activity accessories for indoor cats it all depends on the amount of room available and if you wish to have them blend in with your living quarters’ style of décor. Cat furniture ranges from simple hook-on window sleepers to floor-standing single pole platforms—all the way to more lavish cat perches with many layers and complicated configurations. Most have carpeted platforms and natural woods that can easily be chosen to meld in with your home’s color palette. And don’t forget cat scratchers—also in many carpet shades to eliminate furniture scratching.
When it comes to feeding accoutrements, like most fine china, pet bowls and feeding stations should be carefully selected to fit your décor. The Lichts said the most popular are ceramic dishes with traditional to modern graphics as well as the double-bowl diners or feeding stations that come in oak or cherry wood. These look like furniture and can definitely complement your kitchen cabinets and wall colorings.
Wall Art and Collectibles
Many pet owners love dog and cat oriented artwork and figurines. A few symbolizing your favorite breed on a side table, shelf or bookcase—whether new or hunted-down at antique stores, flea markets and yard sales—it’s an expression of your love for your pets. For those who wish to bedeck walls with portraitures—there are many pet photographers and painters who can expertly capture your beloved pet’s image, thus showcasing them as art.
Preventative and Environmentally Safe Hair Removal
The optimum plan in the prevention of pet hair build-up on furnishings is to brush your pets as often as possible. For canines, the shedding seasons are July through December and January through June. As for the feline—they seem to shed all the time as cat owners can attest to—so brushing them daily is a good course of action.
A terrific, fast and environmentally safe hair remover for both dogs and cats is the Furminator. It not only produces incredible results but it’s a pleasurable way to bond with your furry friend and give them daily attention. One brushing can yield the size of a small dog’s worth of hair from a medium-sized dog. These can be special ordered at the New Paltz Agway.
However, as prudent as you may be with brushing your pets, we all know carpets and rugs can turn into furry floor coverings in a short time. There are several tools on the market to use in between vacuuming. One is called the carpet rake. Just a few passes over your floor décor and this amazing tool transforms a, seemingly, “faded” Oriental or patterned carpet into its colorful vividness.
When it comes to hair removal on couches, chairs, ottomans and other upholstered furnishings you don’t have to spend one dime. Just go with the tried and true old standby—the “really green” damp washcloth! Just briskly whisk the cloth over upholstery to gather stray hairs into clumps to revive the colors and textures of your furnishings. No chemicals or special products needed.
Article lovingly dedicated to the memory of Texas.