The interior design addicts amongst us can often find it difficult to combine our desire for beautiful homes with the practical requirements of children, pets and general wear and tear. Available to buy is an abundance of attractive and very usable materials, devices and novelty products that help make your home charming yet child friendly and generally safe. Unfortunately, however, similar products and practices for protecting your favourite pooch from the dangers of the home (or vice versa) are not as commonly publicised. Making your animals and your homes live in harmony however is not as difficult as you may think.
Whether you have a hamster or a hound every animal will occupy some space within your house. Whether it is a corner table for a cage or a large dog’s bed in the corner of the living room these items are generally not the most attractive or complementary to the rest of your interior design. Damage limitation however can be seriously reduced! For example, when looking to buy a cage, fish bowl etc be sure to consider the colour and size of each item. Firstly, and most importantly, ensure that your choice is of a safe and suitable size for your animal but then choose a colour that complements or stands behind the colour scheme in your home. Instead of buying a dog bed covered in garish paw print material opt for a plain fabric or make an organic, washable and hard wearing loose cover that can be removed, cleaned and replaced easily.
Alongside the specific equipment bought for your pet it is also heavily advised to consider the impact of your pets on the rest of the home. For example, if appropriate, opt for laminate, tiles, marble or stone that resists dirt, are easy to clean and do not trap bacteria or unpleasant aromas. Furthermore, choose upholstery and soft furnishings that have removable and washable covers in a pleasing yet practical colour. If inline with your design scheme it may also be advised to choose patterned or textured fabrics and wallpapers that will hide any undesired marks and stains. When purchasing furniture, consider avoiding wooden legs that can be scratched and chewed and opt for more hard wearing metal.
Alongside the larger pieces within your home, as with children, ensure the smaller pieces are out of harms reach. Keep smaller, delicate or potentially edible ornaments and accessories at higher levels, out of reach of animals. Purchase waste bins with lids to keep out greedy noses and tack any electricity wires or dangling cords to walls to resist cat’s trapeze like tendencies.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them!
Finally, although it is important to many to have a beautiful and well designed home remember that a home is ultimately for living in. Your animals are a part of the family and should be welcomed and enjoyed within the home. Although simple precautions are sensible and advised, with correct training most pets will behave perfectly and, if not, remember most things can be replaced!