In honor of our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the Nashville Humane Association, we’re continuing our series of blog posts all about your pets this summer! One struggle we personally face with our pets is decorating our homes (and keeping them clean!) when we have our fur babies running around inside every day. All pet owners want to keep their dogs and cats safe and happy, but we also want to make sure our homes still look nice in the mean time. After talking it over in the office, we’ve compiled this list of 8 fool-proof furniture ideas for you and your pets.
1. Your favorite furniture, wrapped in machine-washable covers.
When we all started adopting our pets, we didn’t want to start throwing out all of our old living room furniture sets. Instead, a practical option is finding some attractive canvas covers for your existing furniture. Canvas is made with cotton, which is totally machine-washable, very durable, and comfy to sit on. You can also protect your bed from potential pet-mess disasters by covering your mattress with a thick, cotton mattress pad and wrapping your bedspread in a washable duvet cover.
2. Bringing the outdoors in.
When you bring pooches and putty-tats into your life, there’s no such thing as outdoor vs. indoor furniture anymore. Outdoor furniture is built to withstand harsh weather, kid play, and pet claws, so why limit it to your backyard? If you find some patio cushions with a great pattern, don’t be afraid to pull them into your indoor living areas.
3. Pet-safe wall art.
While there isn’t a specific type of picture frame or sculptural design that is pet-resistant, strategic placement of your wall art can keep it safe from your pets. Be sure to hang pictures high enough that your pets can’t inadvertently knock them down, and keep your most fragile wall art in areas that your high-jumpers don’t have access to. Remember that your pets can also climb on couches and side tables to reach particularly attractive-looking art if they really want to, so keep this in mind when choosing where to hang those pieces. (For example, our marketer Jenni has a replica of a Lord of the Rings sword hanging in her living room. Instead of hanging the sword over furniture, she chose a high spot on the wall away from couches and railing, where her puppy Lucille has no hope of climbing!)
4. Mud room inspirations.
Families who have children often have mud rooms near the back door to hold dirt-crusted shoes away from the rest of the house. Take some inspiration from this mud room idea and consider making an “animal room” near the main pet entrance of your home. Use easy-to-clean linoleum floors and tiled walls in this room, and keep an old towel on a hook to wipe off muddy paws on rainy days.
5. Attractive pet gear.
When you have pets, not all of your furniture belongs to you anymore! Your kittens need their own litter boxes, and your pups need some sort of dog bed to hold their favorite toys and dog chews. Plan ahead for these pet spaces and purchase homey-looking furniture and toys. Litter boxes can be hidden in side table/kitty spot combo pieces, dog beds can be upholstered to match your existing decor, and you can purchase toys that won’t shed or fall apart all over the rest of your house. Be sure to purchase dog toys made of durable rubber or fleece instead of toys stuffed with cotton pieces, and find scratching trees for your cat that are made of pretty carpet materials instead of corrugated cardboard. (When office manager Donald realized his dogs were going to rip apart all of their stuffed toys and bring stuffing around the house, he started supplying them with rubber toys that stay in one piece.)
6. Crypton, leather, and ultrasuede.
These three upholstery materials were invented specifically for pet owners. (Ok, maybe not, but they may as well have been!) Crypton is a synthetic fabric that is super resistant to stains and pet smells. Our move supervisor Joe M. opted for leather living room furniture because leather is very easy to wipe off and clean if you have pets that tend to shed more than normal. And Donald found some great arm chairs covered in ultrasuede, a microfiber fabric that is machine-washable and stays cool during all types of weather. You can find plenty of furniture options made with these great materials.
7. Low-pile carpets–or no carpets at all!
Especially if you’re potty-training a new puppy or kitten, carpets can be a huge hassle for pet owners. Consider a more pet-friendly alternative to your cozy carpets that will be easier to keep clean and fresh-smelling, such as a low-pile carpet or a smooth floor surface. One good option is ceramic tile. This tile is easy to clean, resistant to pet nails and claws, and is stain-resistant.
8. Strategic color options.
When choosing your furniture pieces, always keep your pets’ coats in mind. Our marketer Jenni will never purchase dark-colored furniture because Lucille’s fur is a light blonde color, and our customer service supervisor Joe G. chose bold patterns for his ottoman because the patterns hide his dog’s fur more easily than solid-colored pieces.
Pets definitely add a complicating factor to consider in your home decor options, but we hope these tips can narrow down your choices to keep your home looking sharp and clean. If you liked this blog post and want to help us “move” some rescue pets into permanent homes, check out our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the NHA!