Our pets are our family. . . . Our drooly, hairy, messy family. And while we would never suggest owning a house full of crazy-expensive, museum-quality furniture, we do want our interior design to look amazing. To take a lot of the guesswork out of choosing pet-friendly décor, Annie has put together this simple guide, which will help you put together rooms that are both practical and pretty.
- Choose sturdy furniture with substantial legs or weighty or broad bottoms. This will allow your favorite pieces to withstand an onslaught of jumping and circling, and will prevent them from getting knocked over when an enthusiastic pet inevitably barrels into it while chasing after a squeaky toy or catnip mouse.
- Look for indoor/outdoor upholstery fabrics that can be scrubbed with detergent and wiped clean with a damp rag or even hosed off outside. If you follow this important step, you can even go for that white sofa you’ve always lusted after, without worry that you’ll never be able to keep it clean. For accessories, opt for no-fuss, machine-washable materials like cotton, bamboo, and Tencel.
- Whenever possible, opt for rounded corners on coffee tables, end tables, and lamps, so that your Mario Petdretti doesn’t find himself on a collision course with pointy corners. More often than not, a bump on a pointy corner will only cause some bruising and soreness, but older and less coordinated pets can experience some pretty serious injuries. Look for furniture and accessories that would be safe around toddlers, and your pets will stay safe, too.
- If your pet loves to hang out on the furniture but is too petite to make the jump (or if age is starting to slow him or her down), pick up a set of mini steps or a ramp, like this one, to give her a boost. She’ll appreciate the extra snuggle time with you, and you won’t have to worry about her getting injured while you’re not home.
- Remember that indoor/outdoor rugs and accessories are a pet owner’s best friend. Whether they’re made of polypropylene or PET (recycled polyester), you’ll be thanking your lucky, tail-wagging stars that you can take these handsome fellas outside, give them the scrub-and-rinse, and leave them out in the sun to dry. And they’ll come back inside looking brand-new.
- Keep clutter out of sight with storage bins. These are perfect for everything from tucking away your pet’s toys to storing your own magazines, books, craft projects, and more. Because storage bins are inexpensive and come in so many versatile sizes and fun designs these days, we use several—on shelves, beside the sofa, and in any corners of the room where random stuff is likely to collect.
- Pick your patterns. They’re not just pretty to look at; patterns are also great at camouflaging the accidental “oops.” Stripes, geometrics, florals, animal prints—anything goes. Keep in mind that darker colors often provide the best opportunity for hiding stains, so you may want to use them on high-traffic surfaces like rugs and chairs.
Like what you see? Let’s go shopping: