Decorating a home for people alone can be tricky enough, but adding furry family members into the mix requires new considerations. Balancing the unique needs and preferences of person and pet can be tricky, but there’s almost always a good middle ground if you know where to look. Here are eight great ways to comfortably and durably decorate your home to suit two- and four-legged residents alike.

(Don’t) roll out the red carpet

Stay away from carpet, if you can. Fabric flooring has an unfortunate habit of attracting pet stains, odors and hairs. Inexpensive rugs provide a great carpet substitute yet can be picked up, cleaned and – if need be – disposed of with ease. Seagrass or sisal rugs provide a desirable combination of durability, aesthetics and affordability. If you can’t bear to part with an heirloom rug, simply hang it on a wall as art. If you still prefer carpet, consider modular carpet tiles so that stained or damaged sections can be replaced.

Use potty-proof porcelain

When it comes to stain and scratch resistance, few flooring materials can compete with porcelain tile. Natural stone is also promising, but its porous properties make it more susceptible to staining, even when sealed. Painted or glazed concrete is another option worth considering. While hardwood floors are mop and vacuum friendly, they are vulnerable to scratches, especially from the toenails of large dogs.

Camouflage with color

If pet hair is a fact of life in your home, your décor choices shouldn’t highlight this. Nothing makes white pet hair stand out like a black rug or couch. Instead, minimize the appearance of your furry family member’s shedding by avoiding contrasting colors for the areas where pet hair tends to collect. Just don’t slack on your cleaning routine just because the hair is less visible!

Try tidy treats and toys

Stay away from treats and toys that leave messes, attract stains and odors or become unsightly with wear and tear. Pigs’ ears for dogs, which can leave greasy stains, are out – choose rubber toys instead. Consider attractive shelving or Everyday Studio’s Cat Tree to provide engaging play spaces for cats that integrate with your décor.

Clean with the sheen

While most of your pet’s messes are likely to end up on the floor, your walls may not be safe either. If your home has a flat paint finish, attempting to clean your walls could mean damaging the finish. Instead, opt for a satin or eggshell finish on your paint that will stand up to scrubbing. Just note that these paint types have a glossier finish that does not hide imperfections as well as matte finishes.

Be finicky with your fabric

Your first choice for fabrics may not be best when it comes to living with pets. Instead of traditional fabric upholstery, synthetic Crypton fabric with its stain-, odor- and moisture-resistant properties may be preferable. If you’re looking for animal-product-free alternatives to leather or suede, consider pleather or Ultrasuede. Use easy-to-wash duvet covers, stain-hiding bedding patterns and a thick or waterproof mattress pad if your pets share the bed with you.

With these decorating tips mastered, person and pet alike will enjoy greater harmony in your home home.

  • By: Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.
  • In: Housing, Tips
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