It's no secret that we are part of a world who loves its animals. Whether we are visiting them in sanctuaries or working to protect them in the wild, we spend a lot of time and money on our favourite animals. So it's no wonder that when it comes to domesticated animals, so many of us choose to invest in them. In fact, in the USA alone, reports estimate that there are around 70 to 80 million pet dogs, and almost 96 million pet cats. That means that approximately 40% of all households have either one of these common domestic pets. For many of us, our pets are like our children. We baby them; we dote on them dutifully, and we couldn't imagine our lives without them. But what many pet owners find is that their love of their pets and their love of a clean, stylish home don't always mix. If you take great pride in your home and love the eye-catching decor, it can be incredibly frustrating to have a pet around who proceeds to destroy all your hard work. In some cases, it can lead to us simply not bothering with our homes anymore. But how exactly can we have the chic home of our dreams, while still being able to share it with our pets?
Pick your upholstery wisely
A lot of animals love to dig their claws into items of furniture. The worst offenders, however, have got to be cats. When cats feel comfortable and relaxed, they tend to push their paws in and out of anything remotely soft. This is said to originate from their behaviour as a kitten when they would push on their mother's belly to signal that they wanted milk. Adorable, yes - but not so perfect for your home furnishings! Especially as for every cat that does this with their claws retracted, there will be a cat that does it with claws firmly out. There is nothing worse than admiring your new sofa or chair in the morning, then coming back from work to find it has been ripped to shreds. Thankfully, however, there are some stylish materials you can look out for when furnishing your home that will minimise any pet-related damage.Take a look at web pages such as www.PlumGoose.com/arteriors/ for ultimate inspiration. Leather chairs are a great classic choice. Unlike fabric sofas, there aren't any loose fibres, meaning that your cat won't have anything to hook its claws onto. Plus, leather is timeless and effortlessly cool. The recent 'industrial penthouse' trend has brought leather firmly back into the interior design ballpark. So investing in leather upholstery won't just be practical for you and your furry friend; it will also be fashionable too. If leather isn't your thing - maybe you don't agree with it on a moral basis, or perhaps you find you stick to it - velvet is the next best thing. Although still fabric, the fibres are much shorter than traditional upholstery materials. Therefore, similarly to leather, your cat will find it hard to hook its claws into the fibres how it wants to.
Strip down your floors
Typically, carpets do make for a slightly cosier home. But, as any pet owner will know, having a carpeted room comes with a lot of risks. As with your upholstery, household pets may want to scratch at your carpet, pulling bits out and making it look threadbare. Or, sometimes, it may be completely unintentional - they may simply rip it up with their claws whilst they are walking on it. Another issue is stains and dirt. Your dog may come bounding into your living room after a walk with muddy paws and before you can shout 'NO!!' at him, there's mud all over your cream carpet. Or, if your pet is ill in any way, they won't understand that they will need to be ill outside, or in the bathroom. Whatever has to happen, can and will happen on your carpet. It's not a very pleasant thought - but it can all be avoided by opting for a stone or wood floor instead. If you currently have a carpet down, consider ripping it up as part of a wider renovation. The minimalist look is huge at the moment, and a common feature of this trend is the wooden or stone floor. You can sand and polish floorboards yourself providing they are intact, but be aware that it is a tasking job. If you are in any doubt, call a contractor. Another option for your floor is to go with patterned black and white tiles, if your minimalist look takes a monochrome angle. Stylish, and suitable for you AND your pet.
Match your apartment to your pet
Now this might seem a little crazy at first - but you would be surprised at the moment of people who are citing their pet as their interior-design inspo! If you have a beautiful, shiny Red Setter, compliment the copper tones in their fur by opting for rose-gold interiors. Rose gold and copper have been huge trends in 2016, and the style looks to be still growing in popularity. Candle holders, light bulb cages and even cutlery are all subtle ways you can feature this trend in your home. If you have a Doberman, opt for mixing tan leather with black fabrics to mimic their distinctive coat. Mixing two different types of fabric is also an easy way to give your home a contemporary finish.
Stylise your pet's accessories.
There's nothing worse than your friends coming to see your immaculate home, only for them to turn a corner and spot an unsightly litter box. Thankfully, certain companies have been manufacturing pet essentials that will seamlessly blend in with the rest of your home. If your cat loves playing with ropes, why not get some hung from your ceiling to act as a nautical decoration AND your pet's toy? Buy cushions for your dog's bed that match the design of your living room so that everything is nicely tied together. Just because your pet doesn't know what's going on, doesn't mean they can't be part of your stylish home too!