There is a line that is now notorious in my office, and it was uttered by Margaret Russell, Editor of Elle Decor, during one of the first episodes of Top Design, "you can't design a room around a cat." While that statement may be true, for those of us with cats, or dogs; designing with a pet in mind, can produce its own unique challenges, I hope that this helps:
- If your pet has access to the outdoors, then traipsing dirt back into the house is always going to be a problem. Try to make the access point somewhere with a hard surface, such as wood or stone, rather than carpet, as that will make it easier to keep clean.
- Provide a textured mat, both inside and out, it will help capture some of the dirt.
- Slipcovers are an excellent idea for furniture pieces that are frequented by pets. Using a natural material, such as cotton or linen, will hold up well to regular washing (remember to wash the fabric first, before you have the slip covers made).
- I have heard people give the advice that you should create furniture the color of your pet so you don't see the shedded hair. I don't know about you, but I would dread not knowing whether my furniture was clean or not. This is not an argument for all white, but a warm neutral I think provides some relief, but also early warning of dirt.
- Clean the rugs at least twice a year. So many times rugs, to their own detriment are ignored and not deep cleaned regularly. If you have pets this is crucial to keeping a home that will feel fresh all the time.
- This one may seem self-evident, but groom your pet regularly. Regular washing and more regular brushing will keep your home fresher and cleaner than almost anything else.
Most of all, enjoy your pets, and let them enjoy your home too.