Welcoming a dog into your family does not mean saying goodbye to your designer home dreams.
Designing a home is part aesthetic and part practicality. Aesthetics vary on personal tastes but practicality has universal application.
What a dog owner needs to accept is that every dog sheds, drools and likes to dig even when he’s indoors. Knowing that, all it takes to live with your dog in a chic home is some smart thinking and planning.
Thinking About Fabric
Well tailored slip covers can save you a lot of trouble while looking elegant at the same time. Choose fabrics that are easily washable and that flow with the rest of your decor. Stay away from delicate silks and fur-attracting velvet. Instead, choose synthetic fabrics that are stain resistant and easy to maintain.
Leather or ultrasuede is a good upholstery option since it’s easy to clean and sturdy. The downside to leather and its alternatives is that it is prone to scratches. However, in time, it can be passed off as part of the look. Synthetic fabric from Crypton is the current winner on pet friendly upholstery fabrics.
Make living with a dog a little easier by choosing colors that will camouflage their fur when picking out upholstery fabrics and other accessories.
Opt for shades and draperies that will give you the privacy you desire without becoming trip magnets for your dog. Make sure any cords that are attached to your window treatment are kept short and as far out of reach as possible. The Shade Store has a variety of structured window treatments, such as cord-less grommet draperies, that are ideal for a pet loving home.
Thinking About Your Walls
If your house has wallpaper, try using vinyl instead of paper-backed wallpapers. They are easier to maintain and can be simply wiped down to clean your dog’s spittle. Better still, use wallpapers only on the upper half of your walls and paint the lower half in a coordinated color.
White is a colour you may want to stay away from when you have a dog in your family. Big dogs are especially prone to staining your walls with saliva splatters. Hence you will need a paint finish that is easy to clean. Satin and eggshell finishes are the easiest to wipe down without leaving unsightly marks, and will add elegance to your room.
Thinking About Your Floor
Stay away from wall to wall carpets as much as possible. If it’s an absolute necessity, look at modular carpet tiles. It will be easier to clean or replace a messed up tile than an entire carpet. Carpet tiles from Flor are easy to install, clean, and replace.
Keeping your decorative silk carpets on the floor is asking for trouble in a dog-friendly house. Take them off the floor and onto the walls to display them as art instead. This way, you still get to show them off and your dog won’t be able to reach them.
Dogs have a tendency to bite leaves and uproot plants, which can force you to choose between the dog and the plant. If you have a green thumb and like keeping plants indoors, look at window boxes and hanging planters as an option.
The only other things you will need to take care of is to groom your dog regularly and not let its toys lie strewn about the place. With that done, you will have no excuse to not have a home that’s worth a magazine centerfold.