I’ll come right out and say it: My dog is spoiled. He goes to doggie daycare, he always rides in the front seat of the car, and he got more Christmas gifts than I did this year. I also keep him in mind when I shop for new housewares and furniture. After all, it’s no easy feat to clean dog hair off a black sofa.
With today’s pet-centric culture (in 2012, 62 percent of American households had at least one pet), it’s no surprise that there’s now home décor designed specifically for dog and cat owners. And I’m not talking about cheap slipcovers and plastic gates. Home furnishings for pet owners come in a variety of styles from modern to rustic chic, and can even be customized to match your existing décor.
If you’re planning to buy a new home or remodel your current abode in 2015, here are a few ways you can make it pet-friendly while maintaining your unique style.
Yep – it’s a thing. If you’re not keen on carpeting, bamboo is a great alternative to hardwood. Tip: light colored bamboo (as opposed to dark) is harder and more resistant to dings and scratches. High-quality wood laminate is another way to achieve the look of hardwood without having to deal with the maintenance.
Stain resistant fabrics
If your dog has claimed your living room furniture as his own, it’s important to upholster chairs and couches with stain resistant and durable fabric. Crypton is a heavy duty, synthetic material that holds up surprisingly well to stains, smells, and muddy paws. Leather (or pleather) is another good option, as is ultrasuede – a soft, machine-washable microfiber.
Indoor dog gates
There’s no need to sacrifice style to keep your dog corralled in (or out of) a specific area of your home. Swap that plastic baby gate for something more elegant, like wrought iron or wood. You can keep your dog gates out of sight completely when they’re not in use by installing pocket doors at all entry points.
Built-in pet beds
Give Fido a place to sleep that’s out of the way and that flows with your existing décor. Under the stairs, beneath a nightstand or end table, and in a bookshelf are all great spots to put a built-in pet bed. Bonus points if your dog or cat actually sleeps there and doesn’t crawl into your California king (nobody wants dog hair on their Egyptian cotton sheets).
Attractive treats and toys
We know – your dog loves rawhide bones. But they’re covered in nitrates and can leave yucky spots on your flooring and furniture. Go for tough rubber toys instead, like a Kong or Super-Tuff Rhino. For cats, skip the monstrous climbing towers and go for something more chic, like wood “Tiger Branches,” which attach to your walls and double as architectural interest.