By Ande Waggener
Has your house gone to the dogs? Are you looking for interior design advice that will give you a home where you, your guests, and your dogs can be happy? Then I’ve got just the tips you need!
Dogs are awesome companions, but they do bring challenges to home design. If we’re not careful, we dog lovers can end up with homes that make us cringe in shame. They’re minefields of dog toys and dog beds, they reek of pet odors, they often look like they’ve been attacked by a rabid beast, and they’re full of furniture that gives new meaning to “hair of the dog.”
You don’t want a home like that. So does this mean that if you have a dog, you have to give up your interior design style? Or if you have style, do you have to give up your dog’s happiness? Nope. You can have both. As a fanatical (yes, I admit it) “dog momma,” I have found seven ways to create the perfect balance of dog care and comfortable, beautiful surroundings. Beyond the obvious basics of keeping your home as clean as possible (a vacuum cleaner designed for pet hair pick-up is a must), follow this interior design advice to please canines and humans alike.
1. Keep Fido Stimulated
Much of home interior damage done by dogs can be prevented by making sure your dog isn’t bored. A great way to do this is to give your dog multiple views to the outside world. If you’re putting in windows, make sure some are placed low to the ground. If you have to work with existing windows, position dog-friendly furniture in front of at least one window.
2. Everything in its Place
Keep dog toys in a decorative basket or other container. Once a day, pick up all stray toys and put them in the basket. (it’s good exercise!) You can even teach your dog to help you do this. Get a book on dog tricks and teach the commands, “take it,” “carry”, and “drop it.”
3. Microfiber is Best
When choosing sofas and other soft furniture, pick the best couch material for dogs: microfiber. Unlike leather that can be gouged or fabrics that can be snagged by claws, microfiber stands up to even the most rambunctious canines. Microfiber is also easily cleaned. A rubber fur-removal brush quickly swipes away dog hair so you and your guests don’t have perpetually furry backsides.
4. Create an Attractive Feeding Area
Water and food bowls don’t have to look ugly. Choose a furniture-look feeder station and place it over an attractive small rug to turn an eyesore into a design element.
5. Decorate Your Canine Utilities
If you have dog helpers like crates or ramps or gates, you can style them up by draping them with a pretty throw.
6. Protect Your Linens
Dogs can quickly stain or tear up your bed coverings. Protect spreads and comforters by purchasing a fleece or flannel sheet in coordinating colors and place it across the bed. It adds layer to your bed design and life to your spread or comforter. You can do the same for plush furniture as well if you’re not a fan of microfiber.
7. It Makes Scents to Buy an Aromatherapy Diffuser
A diffuser can do double duty. Not only will it mask any pet odor that gets past regular cleaning, but it also can help calm a hyper dog. Try lavender, valerian, or ylang ylang oils to de-stress your canine (and yourself, for that matter). Either alternatively or in addition, you can add a Himalayan Salt Lamp to your décor. The lamps emit negative ions that remove toxins from the air. Group a lighted diffuser and a salt lamp with additional lighting that will lift your mood (even if your dog could care less).
We know you’re proud of your dogs. How about your home? Do you have any dog décor tips to add? What tricks do you have to create a happy comfortable environment that suits both dogs and people?
Images used with permission, courtesy of Ande Waggener and www.shutterstock.com