5 Tips To Keep Your Home Stylish When You Have Pets

Animal lover and writer George Eliot once said, "Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." Many pet owners would agree that their beloved companions are indeed the heart of their home. For this reason, you may feel you need to sacrifice form for function and beauty for practicality. After all, dogs and cats can be messy and occasionally destructive. But just because they have fur and claws does not mean you can't have a lovely home. You just have to be more intentional about the choices you make when buying home furnishings.

As you create your home design to include pets, the first step is ensuring you cover their basic needs. Evergreen Homes suggests identifying any unused spaces for extra pet beds. To keep food bowls available but out of sight, consider adding a nook in your kitchen island cabinet that you can close while entertaining. Although some things can be placed out of sight, your home décor cannot. That's okay though, because there are many ways to design a beautiful, pet-friendly home.

Double duty furniture

When updating your furniture, remember that pets need comfy spaces, too, and there are a lot of options from which to choose. If you're tired of looking at that big metal dog crate in your living room, consider getting one that is disguised as an end table, like this option from Fable Pets. It not only saves space but also replaces something ugly with a piece of furniture that is attractive and functional. Options include large doors with latches, and plenty of room for soft, washable bedding. If you're tight on space, there's even a solution for your kitty's litter box.

Including pet furniture in your home's design is a growing trend, according to The Real Deal. This includes selecting pet beds that match your own style. You can find anything from luxurious mini-chaise lounges to boho-style rattan dog beds for your living space or bedroom. Selecting just the right style of furniture for your sweet pets is almost as much fun as choosing your own home furnishings!

Pet-friendly fabrics

Your home's seating area is one of the biggest investments you'll make in furniture, so learn what works well with pets and what does not before you shop. To do that, think about how your pet causes the most dirt and damage. If you have dogs that tend to get dirty outside, a light-colored sofa in a delicate material won't last long. Instead, opt for either a faux or real leather sofa, which is easy to wipe down after Fido's muddy jaunt. If you have your heart set on a light-colored couch, slipcovers are another option. Choose a sofa with heavy-duty machine-washable canvas slipcovers.

Selecting fabrics for a home with cats is a different process. Of course, a sturdy fabric that repels hair will save you some cleaning effort, but leather might not be the right choice if kitty likes to scratch. While it's important to keep lots of scratching options available for your cat to use, there's no guarantee they won't select the sofa or armchair at least once. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to repair cat scratches. Hill's suggests microfiber, denim, and synthetic fabrics because they can tolerate a few swipes and are generally easy to clean.

The right rugs

There's no doubt that wall-to-wall carpeting is the worst flooring option when you have pets. According to Floor Authority, some carpets are more pet-friendly than others, but you will still spend a lot more time cleaning a carpet than you would solid surface flooring. Furthermore, if you have a dog that likes to chew, you could be out a lot of money if they do damage. To recreate the feel and look of carpet without the upkeep, add area rugs to soften your space. Just like choosing the right fabric for your sofa, selecting the best material for rugs will save you time, energy, and money.

Washable rugs are fairly new to the market, but there's a reason they've risen in popularity so quickly. Now available in just about every color and style, washable rugs are perfect for homes with any kind of pet — and dare we say, some messy spouses — because you can simply throw them into the wash. Whether you are house training a new puppy, have a cat that sheds everywhere, or your grown dog is a gentle giant with a love of mud puddles, washable rugs could save your sanity. RUGS USA advises that some of the best pet-friendly options are synthetic, low pile rugs, like polypropylene, nylon, or polyester. They are inexpensive and very easy to spot-clean.

Launderable linens

Do you love crawling into a bed of luxurious linens at the end of a long day? The Dog People (via Rover) state that more than 60% of people share a bed with their pets. If you are in this category, be sure to buy pet-friendly bedding for those nighttime cuddles. Thankfully, there are durable bedding options that will not require you to sacrifice softness.

The most important feature of pet-friendly bedding is that it's machine washable. Even though some sheets and blankets are considered pet hair resistant, there are many reasons you'll need to wash your bedding regularly. If it's made from a fabric that requires dry cleaning, that will get costly rather quickly. In addition to being machine washable, look for bedding made of smooth fabrics and avoid high pile faux furs, some types of fleece, or anything else that will trap hair and dirt. Soft cotton quilts, poly/cotton comforters, and duvet covers are all good options for attractive pet-friendly bedding that is easy to wash.

Gorgeous greenery

If pets are the heart of the home, then perhaps houseplants are the lungs. According to Piedmont, the right plants are good for your health and help reduce stress and improve indoor air quality. Plus, they're pretty. It's in a pet's nature to chew on leaves, but there are a few ways to keep plants and pets safely together in your home.

First, it is absolutely vital that you select only non-toxic plants. Even if you believe you can keep them out of reach, leaves fall and cats climb. It's better to be safe than sorry and only bring in plants that cannot harm your precious pet. Some beautiful non-toxic options that are easy to grow indoors include staghorn ferns, spider plants, and bamboo palms. The ASPCA has a full list of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats.

To avoid having your plants eaten down to a nub, consider hanging them or placing them on shelves far out of reach from your pet. They may not be toxic, but you still don't want to have to replace them every week.