How best to make your home stylish and still pet friendly

Dogs are man’s best friend, and cats make great hot water bottles but, let’s face it, houses with pets can sometimes become a little overwhelmed by their non-human residents. Hairy animals have a tendency to leave hair everywhere, while even supposedly low-maintenance pets such as fish or reptiles need a home, and somewhere to store their equipment.

So, short of having an outdoor only animal companion, how do you combine stylish living with pet ownership?

Go hell for leather

Fabric sofas can get stained very quickly by dog slobber so unless you are prepared to have multiple slip-covers and be continually washing them it makes sense to choose materials that are somewhat easier to wipe down. A dark leather, or modern leather alternative, sofa or suite won’t become stained, trap hair or hold smells as much as the fabric equivalent will.

On the floor

It goes without saying that dogs will bring in mud. So do yourself a favour and fit hard flooring in all rooms your pets have access to. Tiles are easy to wash and provide a waterproof surface that damp doggies will find hard to damage, while modern laminates can give you all the benefits of a wood floor with almost none of the disadvantages. Click-fit systems make it easy to change damaged panels if you need to as well!

Don’t dry clean

Where fabrics are unavoidable choose machine washable ones. Even better choose easy care machine washable fabrics that don’t even need ironing if they’re hung straight from the dryer. It’s far easier, and cheaper, to freshen up something you can pop in the machine when the inevitable accidents occur.

Give them a space of their own

There are plenty of stylish dog and cat beds on the market that blend in perfectly with every conceivable décor style and provide your furry friend with a place to call their own. Of course, we can’t promise they won’t still prefer your bed….

Use them for inspiration

Your pet is going to be living with you for some time, so plan your home around them. If you have a white cat then choose light coloured furnishings that, hopefully,  won’t show the odd hair as easily as darker colours might. Similarly, dark-haired pets are best matched with darker colours to mask their shedding.

Easy-come-easy-go

When painting opt for wipe-clean paints as even small pets can make a surprisingly large amount of mess! Lift breakable objects onto high shelves to avoid breakages from energetic welcomes or curious cats.  You can’t change how your pets behave so you need to think like they do and plan your room accordingly.

Keeping furnishings minimal is another good way to keep your home looking good. Even the tidiest of pets increase your cleaning chores, so do yourself a favour and avoid over-furnishing and making your chores take longer. If dusting and hoovering only takes a couple of minutes you’ll be more likely to do it!

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