I have a white couch in my living room. I love that couch; I’ve had it for over a decade. It hasn’t been white in a long time, though. With the help of our goldendoodle and cock-a-poo, it’s more of a faded greyish/brown that we keep covered with a washable blanket. I adore my pups, but when we became parents to these two fur-babies, we knew our decor would have to change.
The Livery Apartments is all about luxurious living in the Ottawa/Kanata area. We’re proud to welcome pets into our building, helping to make our residents feel at home. We’re also located next to Alexander Grove Park, a great destination for dogs. That’s why this article is full of tips for finding pet friendly furniture & decor.
KNOW AND PREDICT YOUR PETS’ CHARACTERISTICS
Only you know your pets’ habits and this knowledge can be very enlightening when designing your living space. Specific characteristics to plan for:
- When dogs or cats like to scratch, they can end up causing some damage, especially to couches and rugs. Choose a fabric that is tightly woven to stand up against that behaviour. Patterned or busy materials can also help hide scratch marks.
- It can be tough removing pet hair from certain fabrics. If your fur baby sheds a lot, try leather furniture. Pet hair just slides right off. If it doesn’t, it’s easily wiped up with a damp cloth. Microfibers don’t trap hair as much either. Silk can also be good for battling pet hair, but can be easily damaged by claws.
- LICKING/CHEWING. Licking habits can leave spots (that look like watermarks) on upholstery, as well as exposed wood. While the microfibers are great for shedders, they’re bad for lickers. Wooden tables and couch legs are also popular for chewing.
- If you’re training a pup, or caring for an older dog that’s losing bladder control then you definitely want your living space to be surrounded by washable fabrics such as slipcovers.
THE COLOUR OF YOUR FURNITURE
We’re probably going to buy a new couch next year, definitely not white. Even if we didn’t let them up on the furniture, they still like to rub their faces and sides along the bottom of the couch, making the material down there slightly darker every time.
It can be tricky deciding what colour furniture will work best. Black or dark brown might seem like an obvious choice to hide dirt, but pets leave their mark in other ways. If you have a husky, for example, who’s snow-white fur sheds daily, then dark colours will only help that shed fur stand out.
RUGS, FRIEND OR FOE
Rugs are a beautiful way to tie a room together. Pets enjoy sleeping on them and if you have furniture they like to sleep on, such as your couch, a rug gives them traction. That allows them to safely jump on or off the furniture.
The two main problems with rugs are that they get dirty, and scratched/torn up. Be sure to choose a rug that can be cleaned with a carpet shampooer, or even tossed in the washing machine. A rug that is tightly woven to stand up against their claws is also recommended. Additionally, multi-coloured or busy patterns help to hide claw marks and dirt.
HOW TO KEEP PETS AWAY
Of course, you want your fur baby to feel at home, but there might be certain areas of your home you want to keep them away from. This could include a bookshelf full of decor you don’t want chewed, or a suede couch you don’t want collecting fur. Sometimes the best option here is a natural repellent. There are solutions available from pet stores that you can spray on, but natural options, especially in your home, are usually preferable. These are the top scents that repel catsand dogs:
- CITRUS. This is the most popular option because pets hate it, but people love the smell of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc.
- Dogs especially will turn their nose up at vinegar, but unfortunately people do too. Some materials will stand up to vinegar, but it’s best to play it safe and keep vinegar-soaked rags or cotton balls in an open container.
- Capsaicin is the chemical that makes chili peppers spicy. It can be rubbed or sprinkled around decoritems to keep pets away.