Jun 11, 2012

Pets rule the design!

When you have a pet, you want their home to be easy for them to live in, easy for you to care for, and easy on the eye, to coordinate with the style you love.  Here are some tips for products and styles that can help you accomplish that!

Wood floors are OK for small pets!
Floors: Having wall to wall carpeting when you have pets makes it tough to stay on top of cleanliness. Fur and pet oils, among other body fluids, get trapped within the carpet creating a breeding ground for odors and bacteria. Consider using area rugs that compliment your home decor. You can easily clean under them, so nothing gets trapped below the carpet, and the pattern will help hide any stains. It’s also less expensive to clean or replace an area rug than to replace a room full of carpet. Pets will track in mud and muck after being outside. Installing tile, especially in entries, rooms where litter boxes reside, and areas where your pet loves to sleep works well for durability and maintenance. Keeping a door mat outside the door will also help trap debris before entering. Utilizing a small cupboard, closet, bench or other piece of furniture to hide pet leashes, pet wipes, doggy treats and other pet essentials, keeps your home clean and organized. Wood floors are OK if you use the proper species..hardwoods are rated on a scale. Know the coating or finish and select a floor that will look better as it ages!
Pet center!

Walls: Consider the texture of your walls if you have pets that roam freely. A highly textured wall will act as a magnet for pet fur when your cat or dog rubs against it. Another idea to keep in mind when painting the walls is to choose a scrubbable matte finish - like those from Benjamin Moore - which are easier to clean and less likely for fun to stick to. While sheen paints, satin, eggshell and semi-gloss, seem like good choices, if you have to touch up anywhere, it will be more obvious than a flat or matte finish paint.

Fabrics: You may be in love with gorgeous silk bedspreads or drapes, but  cats will think nothing of shredding the fabric to pieces. Mine are attracted to the scent and lick it.  Choose fabrics - try to select pet-friendly colors - like cotton/polyester blends and Crypton, that fur won't stick to, also won’t attract your pet to use it as a scratch post or a chew toy. Tapestry and other heavy woven fabrics can work well but beware of too much texture since it is a claw magnet and could pull. If you just can’t part with a favorite piece of furniture – think slip covers. Take note of  exposed wood on your furniture. That, like wicker, rattan and sisal will serve as a teething toy for your new puppy, whereas metal or chrome will keep them searching for another source. When you need a quick solution, fleece throws are generally inexpensive and easy to wash!

Crypton makes dog friendly fabrics & patterns.
Window treatments: Your cats will love to sun themselves on the window sill and dogs want to know who just drove up in the driveway. Although there are some fabulous window treatments for all styles, consider using blinds that you can raise and lower so they stay out of the way; use safety cords for pets too.  Roman shades, wood and woven blinds, and roller shades are all good choices. If you must cover a window, use sheer fabrics since they allow dogs to look out while enabling access to the window sill for cats.

Toy baskets are neat and
attractive. Better than
scattered toys!
A wide window sill without coverings.
Conceal that litter box for best aesthetics.
Toys and Dishes:  For pet dishes, try utilizing the toe kick under your cabinetry to store pet dishes. The food bowls simply slide out when it’s time for dinner, and slide back under to be easily concealed when not in use. Keeping fresh water available for your pets is important so just select an attractive water dish that remains out all the time. . Baskets, cabinetry, covered benches and decorative boxes are just a few ideas to store cat and dogs toys so you keep your living spaces neat while having them ready at a moment's notice. Even litter boxes can be concealed nicely.