So many clients ask me how to decorate with pets in mind. They love those furry family members, but not saggy sofas, picked apart rugs or stains on their upholstery fabrics. Let me share 3 tips that make it work:
How To Decorate With Pets, Tip #1
Polyester is a synthetic fiber and your new best friend when it comes to upholstery fabrics. Steer clear of cotton fibers. Cotton loves to absorb, and that includes cotton blends and linen. Does the word "absorb" sound like a good thing in this case? No, it does not. Rayon has cotton qualities, so add that to the no can do list. "All weather" fabrics are almost always great choices (notice I said "almost" - I'm saving that for another blog post). Choose synthetic fabrics that feel good, don't snag easily and have some color, pattern or texture to them. Know that white/cream/beige/almond choices are going to show pet wear and tear--I don't care what the fabric is made of.
Side note on seating: large dogs should never sit on sofas or chairs. Their weight wears down the inner construction. If you insist that they do, subtract several years from the life expectancy of the seating.
How To Decorate With Pets, Tip #2
Notice those zippers on cushion covers. That means you can unzip, take the insert out and wash that cover right in your washing machine. I do it all the time. Pay attention when drying - don't run it on high and check it's progress every 15 minutes or so. If you have a messy pet, buy the stain protection plan the store offers OR hire an outside company to provide that service for you.
Side note on stain service providers: DO NOT buy that service if you're not going to call them when a stain happens. You wouldn't believe how many people do that!
How To Decorate With Pets, Tip #3
Use accent rugs. Yes, that's right where they're going to have an accident, but pets don't like to walk on slick floors all the time and rugs add so much to any room. Avoid hooked rugs--the ones with all those little loops. Pet nails get stuck in them and it's much harder to clean up those accidents when they're on hooked rugs. I favor wool rugs, but if you can find an indoor/outdoor carpet that really feels nice, go for it. Again, I warn you to steer clear of cotton content. Jute or sisal may be tres chic in the shelter mags, but it's just gross with pets. I've got a lovely wool Kilim rug in the Living Room and it's been barfed on many times (TMI? Sorry.) and still looks great. Wool is a wonder, and a busy pattern doesn't hurt either!
Side note on stained rugs: if you own a pet, own a carpet cleaner. You will love both.
Here's our girl, Raven, standing on the much-barfed on rug. I place a high priority on the safety and comfort of family pets, but you can have beautiful furnishings as well.
Would you like some help creating a beautiful home that you and your pets can enjoy together? It's not hard. Call me today and let's get it done!