By Ridhi Kale/ India Today Home: Now you can create an animal-friendly decor without sacrificing on style. “Having a pet at home is like having a child wherein you have to ensure that you give it a healthy and nurturing space to move around, grow and be happy. A space where it can feel at home,” says Avani Khurana, co-founder and creative head, Beyond Dreams.
In fact, even a few small changes at home can ensure a happier and healthier life for pets. “Get pet-friendly plants so that it’s safe for your cats and dogs while keeping your green thumb alive and decor vibrant,” says Supriya Suriyanarayanan, co-founder of Tesor Designs, adding, “Hide open wires, get trash cans with lids and use chemical-free, natural floor cleaners.”
Choice of upholstery
For homes with pets, it’s important to pick tough fabrics that can withstand heavy use. “Choose a fabric with a tight weave and thicker threads so that they don’t unravel while our furry family members gallivant on them,” says Suriyanarayanan. She recommends upholstering your pet’s beds in fabrics similar to your decor so that it adds to the design. “Don’t go for fabrics such as velvets that are pet-hair magnets or fabrics which have that plush feel, like silks and art silks. Invest in quality textiles that will withstand the claws of the pets,” says Khurana. Opt for pleather, denim, canvas or synthetic fibres. You can also use slipcovers or throws on your sofas as they are easy to wash. Floor cushions can easily double up as great dog-beds.
Flooring makes all the difference
“Avoid hard-wood floors; instead use tiles, concrete or laminate flooring that are easy to clean and maintain. Also, avoid using floor-to-floor carpets or rugs that have loops. You can buy pet-friendly carpets that are stain-resistant and spill-proof,” says Khurana.
Suriyanarayanan advises SPC, vitrified tiles and other low-absorbent surfaces for flooring. “Natural stones with a slightly rough texture, like kota stone, would add plenty of character to the home while being fuss-free. More importantly, they are not as slippery as tiles. If changing tiles is not an option, invest in low-pile carpets and rugs that help keep pets comfortable while keeping spaces clean,” says Suriyanarayanan.
The market is full of rug-stoppers that keep rugs in place while your pets run around them, lowering the risk of injuries. “You can also use nano-coating sprays on your upholstery and rugs that make them stain-proof. Pets have a habit of marking their territory by making their favourite areas dirty. These coatings really help in getting rid of those stains,” adds Khurana.
Gone are the days of makeshift pet-beds. Pet-friendly furniture has reached a whole new level. “Furniture companies are integrating the needs of your pets into common furniture. Not only do these pieces look great but also work to save space in smaller apartments,” says Devanshi Shah, founder and CEO, PetKonnect. “Go for metal base furniture as pets tend to nibble or chew in the wooden legs of the furniture. Select furniture that is rounded at the edges to ensure your pets don’t get hurt,” says Khurana.
Less is always more
Many people live in apartments that do not offer open spaces for pets. “So, I have kept my space clutter-free. I have not kept a lot of things on the ground, so my pet has plenty of space to play and move around,” says Khurana. “Keep the decor elements as minimal as possible and avoid keeping floor-standing decorative pieces such as floor lamps, and floor vases.”
Let there be light
Avoid putting heavy curtains on windows; instead use sheer curtains that do not block the view. “You can place a pet-friendly couch near a window. Your pet would love to spend a lot of time on the couch enjoying the view,” says Khurana.
They love toys
“Have plenty of cute little toys and teethers in almost every room so that your pet’s need to play or nibble is duly fulfilled and it does not destroy your furniture and other knick knacks,” says Khurana. Look for creative ways to store pet toys that blend with your decor. “There are plenty of pretty baskets and storage options available in natural materials that look just as good with toys in them. Furniture with storage are great to hide away the extra toys, leashes and other accoutrements,” says Suriyanarayanan.
Create designated areas
You can keep your furry friends happy by creating designated areas for them in the house, such as a bed to sleep, a place to eat and a place to play. “The choice of colours and patterns should be thoughtful to ensure your pet enjoys the overall ambience of the space and stays playful,” says Khurana.
Not only can you make your decor and design better suited for your fur babies, but you can also enhance the overall look with pet-friendly decor pieces. “Pet portraits with cute designs are one of my favorites. You can have your pet’s face embossed onto a king or queen’s outfit or even have your pet dressed as a Royal British guard,” says Shah, adding, “Another one of my favorites is a whole wall of what may look like super creative artwork but is actually a play wall for your cats! Not only does it make a room look amazing but also ensures that your pet has sufficient home entertainment.”