If you are a pet lover and also want to have a beautiful home that you enjoy being in, this article is for you!
Let me be clear, this article is for humans. Your pets don’t need ‘feng shui-ing’ they are perfect as they are! (Except, of course, keeping their cages and living spaces clean.) We all know our pets would be happy sleeping on an old towel as long as they can be by our side.
As a Feng Shui Consultant, Interior Designer and an avid pet lover myself, I have helped many clients figure out how they can co-habitate with their furry friends without their place looking and smelling like an animal shelter. With a little planning and effort, you and your beloved four-legged can successfully share a space where the needs of all parties are met!
Are you one of those people who has lovely furniture but it is all covered up by the unattractive and un-matching pet blankets? Training your pets to not jump up on furniture is a subject for pet behaviorists, but if you do allow them on the furniture, you can enjoy looking at your nice furniture and take care of the pet fur issue with a little planning. Here are some ideas on how to do so.
Order Slip Covers along with additional material in the same fabric.
If you will be purchasing new sofa and chairs, Pottery Barn and other stores have furniture with a canvass base where you choose your slip cover. Choose medium blue denim or any of the other washable fabrics. It is best to match the color of your pets (for example, darker fabrics for darker coats).
Medium blue denim worked well for me when I had multiple pets. Order extra yardage and ask them if they will do a special order as well. This will consist of sewing two sets of arm covers and two sets of seat and back covers in the same fabric as the slip cover. Add an extra 12 inches for seat and back to allow for shrinkage. If they won’t do it, order the extra fabric and hem them yourself. Most dry cleaners also have sewing services available.
You can then wash the slipcover monthly (because this is more of a pain) and change the seat, back and arm covers once or twice a week as needed. One always goes in the washer when the other replaces it. I had nine feral rescue kitties at one point and this method worked wonderfully. I always had attractive furniture to look at, and could always replace a furry seat with a clean one when needed. When company came I would remove all the covers and just have the slipcover showing. Everything was in the same fabric creating a neat and coordinated look.
I had to be diligent about vacuuming and cleaning more often, but I was committed to having a place that I could enjoy as much as my pets.
If you are going to use your same furniture, find washable throws in solid colors that match your furniture. Costco has great fleece throws in solid colors that work wonderfully. Ross and T.J. Maxx are other great resources for these. Purchase enough of them to successfully cover the seats and backs so that you have one extra set that is in the wash while you are using the other. If you have furniture with patterned fabric, choose one color within the pattern that is more neutral and stick to this. Avoid the loud reds and yellows. This will bring a uniform look to the room that will appear planned and purposefully arranged. If you are a seamstress, do it yourself. Find a washable fabric that matches a color in your pattern, measure the seat, back and arms allowing 12 ‘ more for shrinkage and sew two pairs of each as described in the slip cover section above.
Select Pet Beds in Colors that Match Your Furniture
If you have large dogs it is ideal to train them to go to their special bed and not the furniture. Find a bed that matches your color scheme in a neutral color with a neutral pattern, not something loud and busy. (Remember, this is for you to enjoy looking at, your pet could care less as long as they are near you!)
Make sure the cover is washable and easy to take off. Commit to washing it weekly so that you and your pets can enjoy a clean looking and clean smelling home.
If you sleep with your pets in the room, Costco has inexpensive large dog beds that can be stored under the bed during the day and pulled out at night. This way you are not tripping on them during the day and everyone has a space to cozy up at night.
If you have a little extra money, you can purchase attractive pet sofas, as shown here.
If your dog is crate trained (I will not go into the pro’s and cons of this, but will leave it to the experts) you can purchase attractive crates that will look like a piece of furniture and add to rather than detract from your décor. They are pricey but are quite beautiful and run about what you would pay for a nice end table.
Find Rugs that Match the Colors of your Pet’s coat.
For easier cleaning, it is ideal if you have wood floors rather than carpeting. If you are a renter I realize you don’t have a choice. If this is the case, choose area rugs that can be cleaned in areas pets spend most of their time and put them over the carpeting.
My friend Lisa Spector (pictured above with her beloved dogs Gina and Sanchez) is also a pet blogger with Care2 and has Yellow and Black Labs. Your pets will always gravitate to your favorite rugs, so choose colors that match their coats and the hair will not show as much.
If you own your home and are choosing carpeting, match your animals coats to the new carpeting if possible. I chose a golden color carpet to match my beloved golden retriever and didn’t have to vacuum as much. (Of course you run into the problem of stepping on them on occasion because they are so well disguised!)
In redoing Lisa’s loft, we chose a patterned area rug with cream colors, blacks and browns which covered all bases, as you can see from the photo of Lisa’s dogs, Sanchez and Gina.
Next: Cat Boxes, Scratching Posts, and Pet Smells