One ground rule for selecting furniture is to take into account how family members will use the space. This includes pets! After all, most of us consider our pets as part of the family. Here are some things to keep in mind when furnishing a home with non-human animals in residence:
Performance fabrics should be considered when looking for upholstery. Stain-resistant and easy-to-clean, these fabrics can better handle the occasional hairball or dog drool. Today’s performance fabrics have a great touch appeal and can mimic the look and texture of natural fibers. They are typically made with synthetic fibers, including acrylic, polyester, olefin and nylon. Acrylic and polyester fabrics provide superior fade resistance too. Microfiber fabrics are tightly woven from polyester fibers; stains can’t penetrate the fiber itself and the tight weave helps prevent the stain from going through the fabric.
If you prefer to go with a natural fiber on your upholstery, there are many options out there, but be prepared to spot clean and be aware that the life span of natural fibers is generally shorter than that of synthetic fibers. Slipcovers are another option, but most manufacturers will recommend that you have those professionally cleaned in order to maintain fit.
If your pet tends to shed, you may want to consider a leather or leather-like upholstery cover. These covers allow you to remove accumulated fur with a damp towel. Here’s another reason to consider leather: cats will be less likely to use this furniture as a scratching post.
We all love out pets, but let’s face it – they can act like animals. Destructive behaviors like chewing and scratching are often part of their nature. Having an accessible outlet for these habits will help save your furniture. Scratching posts for cats and chew toys for dogs are important to have in your home. A pet bed in your family room can help make everyone comfortable and save wear on the furniture meant for humans.
Crate training your dog will allow your pet to have a cozy den and keep him safe. Many decorative crates that double as end tables are now available to blend in with your décor. When your dog is out, he is supervised, and you can redirect destructive tendencies away from your furniture.
You can even take color palette inspiration from your pets. Fish and birds are often vibrantly hued, and since they usually reside within one particular room, they can contribute to its décor. Looking to your furrier, more mobile pets for color inspiration can help make shed fur less noticeable.
Regular cleaning of your furniture will help extend its life. You should vacuum upholstery on a regular basis to remove soil and fur. Spot clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Please note that most warranties and extended warranties do not cover damage caused by pets; however, every warranty is not the same, so it’s best to ask the sales associate or designer about the warranty coverage.
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