We love our pets. We love our homes. But sometimes, these two things can be at odds with each other — pets are kind of infamous for their love of scratching, rolling in mud (and then on your couch), burrowing into spaces they’re not meant to be in, and so on.
So when your home is your castle — but your dog is your best friend — how do you ensure the two play nicely? Here are our best ever tips for keeping a stylish home… that also happens to be pet-proof.
Pet-Proof Your Upholstery
You love your nubuck leather sofa… and so does your Great Dane, who slobbers all over it as he sleeps. When you have pets, it pays to choose your fabrics wisely. For cats, velvet fabric works well. Cats don’t tend to scratch it as much, so they won’t ruin it! Ultrasuede and microfibre, similarly, aren’t great for cats to scratch, and they’re easy to clean.
Leather is a great option for dogs, too, as it doesn’t soak up smells or attract hair. Scratches can usually be buffed out, too. As much as possible, choose fabrics in colors that match your pet. A white couch with a black lab? It’s probably not going to work.
It’s also wise to invest in a durable blanket for your living room — you can put it under your pet while they relax on the sofa. And always choose cushions and sofas that have slipcovers, so you can remove and clean them when necessary!
Pet-Proof Your Rugs
Grace Bonney of Design Sponge has a great tip when it comes to rugs: choose an indoor-outdoor rug, in a material like a sisal or a seagrass. These rugs are more durable than straight indoor styles and can handle deep cleaning well (they’re also UV-protected if your house gets a lot of natural light).
Go for low-pile rugs (soft, fluffy rugs are like magnets for curious claws) and stick to dark colors in small patterns. Big patterns allow a lot of exposed, solid color to show, making stains seem more visible. If you’ve invested in a beautiful rug you’re worried your new pet might destroy, why not hang it on the wall instead, and choose a sturdier floor rug?
Pet-Proof Your Walls
Between their slobber, dirty fur, and rogue paws, pets can damage walls quicker than you can say “Grab the Ajax!” Choose a paint finish in semi-gloss, it will be easier to wipe down that other paints in a matte finish.
Pet-Proof Your Floors
Wall-to-wall carpet is plush and comfortable, but probably not the best choice for pet owners. Instead, go for more durable flooring choices, like tiles, polished concrete, and hardwood. These are much easier to clean and won’t attract fur. Arm yourself with a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner that is designed to pick-up pet hair.
Pet-Proof Your Legs
Table legs, that is. Cats love scratching, but cat toys and trees are pretty hideous to look at. Instead, protect your table and chair legs by wrapping sisal rope around them — your cat can use these to scratch against, and you’ll also protect the wood itself.
Pet-Proof Your Walls
Open shelving and pets don’t often mix, especially if you have a new puppy or kitten (known for their love of exploring!). Invest in closed shelving as much as possible, to keep knick-knacks away from curious paws and mouths.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.