7 Home and Interior Design Tips for Pet Owners
What wouldn’t you do for your pets? About 12 million (41% of) households in the UK have pets in 2020. It begs the question of how pets and their people live under one roof in harmony. Whether it’s tripping over Fluffy’s food bowl, or Fido leaving the sofa hairier than he is, it can be difficult to coordinate the needs of your pet with the visual appeal and functionality of your home.
The good news is that there are definitely workarounds to most indoor pet woes. This can range from knowing what kind of furniture to buy and invest in, to smaller hacks that make things a whole lot easier. We’ve rounded up seven of our favourite interior design tips for pet owners below.
You’ve just come home from a long trek with your pet, and the house has recently been cleaned. Within minutes, your little darling is through the door, and the house is a muddy mess yet again. Prepping a pet-safe entryway may save your kitty or pooch a scolding and grant you some peace of mind.
Grab a baby-gate or pet-divider and cordon off an area just past your front door.
Put up some hooks where you can hang your keys, and even your pet’s harness and leash.
Store the basic cleaning essentials in a cupboard: that means high-value treats, wet wipes, towels and a brush, anything else you might need for a quick clean.
When you’re done sufficiently cleaning them up, open the gate.
You can finally come into the house with your pet, knowing that your home is safe from dirt once more.
Flooring and Rugs
Hardwood, with its sleek appearance and longevity, is a universally agreed-upon “best” when it comes to flooring. However, as with most woods, softer hardwood is unfortunately equally prone to bearing visible scratch-marks from scrabbling paws. It also happens to be a disaster to clean stains out of. If your heart is set on wood, consider investing in a ‘harder’ hardwood like mahogany or oak for your flooring.
Furthermore, lighter colours show scratches less obviously. For extra protection, seal the flooring in with a matte-finish varnish. Glossy finishes highlight imperfections much more easily.
Full carpeting, albeit comfortable, is a pet owner’s worst nightmare.
Consider strategically placed carpets and rugs (low-pile is easier to maintain than high-pile) and mats: under food and water bowls, at the entranceway, and by the back door. If possible, look for special backing in carpets that prevents urine from being absorbed. Pair your low-pile rugs with tiles or porcelain floors for the ultimate pet-proof flooring.
Whether your furry family is allowed on the couch or not, it doesn’t change the fact that animals have needs that only your furniture seems to satisfy. Be it chewing on or scratching, note that wood and rattan will come under fire, even with the best trained pets. Cover up exposed edges that your pets can access. If you cannot, consider metal, glass, chrome, marble, or quartz as furniture materials. These are scratch-resistant and deter most biters before they get the chance to do some serious damage.
A cover for your sofa is always a good idea. Scratch-proof leather hide is a good long-lasting material for your sofa’s upholstery. More affordable alternatives are synthetic textiles, or polyester.
Windows and Curtains
Windows are a place your pet will likely be spending a lot of time watching the world from, and you want to keep their experience safe and enjoyable. If you have blinds, make sure that they are lowered all the way. When not in use, keep them up and out of reach for your pet’s safety.
If you prefer curtains, invest in translucent, lightweight curtains that add space and radiance to your rooms. These also double as a see-through veil that your pets can enjoy. Draw your curtains when your pets are unsupervised during the day to ensure nobody gets hurt.
Ever noticed pet fur or paw prints on your walls that seem impossible to clean? Easily overcome this by avoiding textured walls and wall paints, as these grip onto shedded fur. Instead, opt for paints that are matte, satin, or semi-gloss in finish. As an added bonus, these can be easily wiped clean so those scuffs and marks from excited play disappear in an instant.
A pet that’s tired itself out with play is a happy pet. Enrich their playtime whilst adding to the decor of your home by installing floating shelves for cats to perch on. Leave strategically empty spaces where your pet may run around and play with their toys. Make sure to include a box to store away toys. Teach them to “put away” their toys after they are done playing to keep their play-area spic and span!
Most pet owners know that pets come with their own furniture. From crates, to litterboxes, tanks, or even food and water bowls, a clever homeowner seamlessly blends their pet’s furniture with their own home’s aesthetic.
Consider drawers with built-in food and water bowls that can be easily slid out and stowed away. Alternatively, have bowls built into the bottom edges of counters; so your pet has a fashionable, permanently accessible watering hole. If your pet resides in a tank or a hutch, integrate tanks into indoor furniture (like the centrepiece of a big display cabinet) and use hutches decoratively in your yard.
As for crates and litterboxes, consider designs that fit your own house aesthetic. Here are some ideas for how to stylishly build a crate into furniture you already use. And remember, litterboxes are best placed somewhere private, but that does not mean you cannot choose a design that complements your household’s overall vibe.
Harmony at Home
At the end of the day, bringing harmony to your home, filled with people and pets alike, is what matters the most. Considering your home’s overall aesthetic, incorporate your pets’ lifestyles into it too. Pets want to be around you and your guests, but may not necessarily always want to be the centre of attention.
A pet always needs their own space to retire to; somewhere that feels safe when they may have had enough. No matter how small your home is, the kindest courtesy to them is finding a not-so-busy spot in the house designated just for them to decompress when they would prefer to be left alone.
And there you have it. We hope our tips help you, devoted pet-owners, craft homes that are just as stylish as they are pet-friendly. Do you have a favourite hack or special way of blending your pets’ living space with your own? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!