Aug 29, 2012

Tips for pet friendly design.

When you have a pet, you want your home to be easy for them to live in, easy for you to care for, and 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: Wall to wall carpeting makes it tough to stay on top of cleanliness. Fur, pet oils and body fluids, get trapped within the carpet creating a breeding ground for odors and bacteria. Consider using area rugs that compliment your decor. You can easily clean under them, so nothing gets trapped below the carpet; a pattern might help hide stains. It’s less expensive to clean or replace an area rug than to replace a room full of carpet. Since pets track in muck after being outside, installing tile in entries, rooms where litter boxes reside, and areas where your pet loves to sleep is ideal 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. 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.  Select pet-friendly colors - the same as your pet - and fibers like cotton/polyester blends and Crypton, that fur won't stick to and 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 they can be claw 'magnets' and will pull. If you just can’t part with a favorite piece of furniture – think slip covers.

Crypton makes dog friendly fabrics & patterns.
Furniture:  Wood, wicker, rattan and sisal might 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, cover pieces with fleece throws that are generally inexpensive and easy to wash.

A wide window sill without coverings.
Window treatments: Cats 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; be sure to 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!
Conceal that litter box for best aesthetics.
Toys and Dishes:  For pet dishes, try utilizing the toe kick under your cabinetry to store them. Food bowls simply slide out when it’s time for dinner, and slide back under to be concealed when not in use. Keeping fresh water available for your pets is important so 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.