don’t think you can have a stylish home if you have pets? Here’s how…

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Stylish home & pets - dogs on bed. This opens a new browser window.

The UK has long been known as a nation of animal lovers with over 21 million cats and dogs! For many it would seem unthinkable to banish them outdoors and not share the home with them.

Just because you have pets doesn’t mean you can’t have a stylish, beautiful home.  Here’s my top 5 tips how to create a stylish home yet still allowing the freedom for your furry friends to be part of the family.

1. Durability
The key concern is probably hair.  Hard flooring such as wood or tiles are the easiest to keep clean.  Be aware that wood may scratch easily.

If you have carpets, Dyson has developed a vacuum specifically for removing pet hair. Avoid using a steamer to clean pet stains or a hairdryer to dry them. Heat causes stains and odours to set, making them virtually impossible to remove.

When it comes to furniture look at hard wearing materials such as wood, metal and plastic.   Leather is great for easy cleaning but it may scratch easily.

Stylish home & pets - living room & dining room. This opens a new browser window.

My dear friend Lisa and her husband share their home with their two gorgeous Dalmatians. She has successfully combined beauty & ease of cleaning with durability.

2. Lingering Smells…
For any lingering smells let a pot of vinegar simmer on the stove.  The vinegar  will neutralise, deodorise and removes impurities from the air. Being eco-friendly it’s kind to your pet and for us humans too.  You can also sprinkle baking soda onto the affected area (after cleaned and dried), leave overnight, and then vacuum.

3.  Little messes
As soon as there’s a mess of any kind, clean straight away to minimise it soaking into the fabric/carpet and possible spread of harmful bacteria.

Avoid using ammonia based products when cleaning up after your pet as they smell like urine and it just may encourage your pet to keep soiling the same spot.

Stylish home & pets - Donna Karen's apartment. This opens a new browser window.

Fashion Designer Donna Karen’s super chic home - Perfect flooring for her pet to chill out on & to keep clean.

4.  Colours & Textures
Neutrals and light colours will quickly show up any hair, stains and wear and tear.  One way to minimise this is to think about using textures which will help concealment before your next clean. To minimise cleaning, encourage your pet to have a ‘favourite spot’ when they’re resting, one that you can easily and regularly wash the coverings.

5.  Knocks & Tumbles
It’s easy for your precious ornaments and collectables to be knocked or broken especially with happy wagging tails.  Pets can easily trip on electric cables and puppies just love to chew on them.  To make your home as pet safe as possible take a look from your pet’s eye level and you’ll very quickly be able to see what they can knock, trip over or break.

Stylish home & pets - Donna Karen's living room. This opens a new browser window.

Fashion Designer Donna Karen’s super chic home - Easy to clean surfaces, minimising lingering smells & making it easy to clean up those little messes!

It may take a bit of extra cleaning and organised living, but there’s no reason you can’t have a beautiful stylish home with the joy of sharing it with your pets.

Check out Allergy UK’s tips if you have pets and suffer from allergies.

I’d love to hear your top tips on what you’ve found to work in maintaining your pet friendly home.

Karen x

This blog post is part of the ‘Pass It On Living Room series’, a collaborative blogging project.

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