Pet-Friendly Home Decor Do's and Don'ts

The Do's And Don'ts Of Decorating Your Home With A Pet
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Your new puppy might be so adorable that he has thousands of followers on Instagram. But how cute is he when he sheds all over your couch? What about when your cat scratches your favorite armchair?

Don't worry-having a pet and having a beautiful home are not mutually exclusive.

But remember that accidents will happen, so you can't be too precious about anything. (If you are, owning a pet might not be the right decision for you.) The key is to design your home with pet-friendly surfaces and fabrics to minimize damage and cut your cleaning time. Our designers love home decor as much as they love their pets, so they outlined the items that you should consider and those you should avoid when renovating a home or redecorating a rental. So, keep these tips in mind to avoid making an expensive mistake.

Area rugs are great for defining spaces and making them pop. Unfortunately, they can easily get covered in dirt, fur, and much, much worse. Also, keep the items on the floor to a minimum. For example, it might look cook to lean artwork against, the wall, but if you're not regularly dusting those areas, they can be magnets for dust and hair. It can also be a tempting place for dogs to mark, if you know what we mean.

Do: Choose tough fabrics that can withstand heavy use.

Area rugs made from fabrics like sisal, silk, and wool are solid choices for pet owners because they're sturdy and can be cleaned. Also, rugs with patterns and colors can help mask shedding and light stains.

Don't: Select materials that stain easily.

Avoid rugs in fabrics like viscose, rayon, art silk (which is short for "artificial," and not "artful" or "artistic," in case you were wondering). These rugs can be gorgeous, but overall they're too delicate to withstand life with a pet.

Any hard-surface flooring is obviously going to be more forgiving to pets than textiles, but there are some other things you can do to keep things as clean as possible. For example, use a floor duster on your hard surface flooring at few times a week, or every day if your dog or cat is a serious shedder.

Do: Pick flooring that can stand up to scratches and moisture.

Tile is a great flooring option for pet owners, but you probably don't want it in every single room. In that case, try sealed hardwood or synthetic woods, which are durable and less expensive than hardwood.

Don't: Choose light carpeting if it's going to make you crazy.

Wall-to-wall carpeting is OK, but obviously it's more difficult to clean than tile or wood, and light colors especially are going to show stains more easily. Make sure to seal the carpet to avoid stains, and save yourself the hassle if you're going to obsess over keeping a white carpet pristine.

Even if you don't allow your dogs or cats on the furniture (and you actually believe they're not jumping up there the second you leave for work), somehow pet hair seems to end up everywhere. Everywhere. And if they do get free reign on your furniture, the upholstery can take a beating from dirty paws and sharp claws.

Do: Opt for fabrics that stand up to stains.

Consider reupholstering your sofa or chairs in indoor/outdoor fabrics, which can stand up to frequent use without feeling hard or scratchy. Commercial-grade fabrics are another great options, because they were made for high traffic. Leather is another durable option, and you can just wipe off pet hair. But make sure to choose one with a more of a patina, which helps camouflage scratch marks.

Don't: Buy furniture in fabrics that trap pet fur or scratch easily.

Some fabrics, like velvet and bouclé, seem like fur magnets. And once the fur is there, it can feel impossible to remove. Avoid delicate leathers with smooth, uniform surfaces. One errant claw could transform it from statement piece to yard sale special.

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