Written by Diyana J/ 15th April 2022
Whether you’re a cat person, dog person or have adorable rabbits hopping around the living room, you’d want to make sure your living space is as pet-friendly as possible. Here’s a few pointers we’ve gathered from seasoned homeowners and overall tips you might find useful.
1. Above all, Consider your Material First.
Personally, I’m a cat person and although I love squeezing my ginger cat’s toe beans, claws and dirty paws are an obvious concern. When it comes to choosing upholstered sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, dining tables etc ensure that there are as few visible seams as possible. Your fabric should be as tightly woven as possible. Most felines and canines are instinctually attracted to scratching at open seams, which may lead your brand-new sofa to be turned inside out beyond repair.
Materials such as fully upholstered leather sofas with zippers hidden out of sight and micro suede or canvas armchairs are one of the best options for the living room area. If your pet companion is considerably tiny but sassy, choosing sofas, dining tables or coffee tables with wooden legs of a rustic finish would also help to mask the ‘accidental’ scratches or gnawing. Metal legs are a good option too as most pets are not keen on gnawing on these metal legs either.
2. Customize your furniture Accordingly
Unless your pets are disciplined and fully trained, chances are they’ll love to jump up on couches and coffee tables. Consider the size and weight of your pets and you’ll have a better idea of how stable your furniture needs to be. For example, leather ottomans can also double up as coffee tables, which make for comfortable seating for yourself and your pets at the same time.
Sturdy furniture that sits as close to the ground as possible would also be the best option, so as to prevent furniture from toppling over under the weight of your pets. Other than creating a visually appealing space, you’ll also want to prioritize safety concerns on the top of your list. This applies to recliner chairs as well which will topple over easily if your dogs or cats hop on. Instead, opt for stationary longue chairs that sit low to the ground.
In the case of TV Consoles, sideboards and stand-alone cabinetry, opt for those that have no legs or short legs. Smaller pets from rabbits, kittens and pups might want to snuggle under your furniture which might cause them to topple over if they are extremely narrow.
Opt to get built-ins installed with your local carpenter during the ID process, or simply customize your furniture to include no legs or have them as low to the ground as possible. Your adorable pets might love cosy spots like these as they have good shade and are hidden away from sight, but if you have fragile pieces like vases or dinnerware displayed, this might be a rather concerning safety hazard.
3. Babyproof your furniture ASAP
Perhaps you didn’t originally plan to keep the kittens when you agreed to foster them, but oh I don’t want to let them go, they’re so adorable! I’ve heard those comments more than a few times in my life, and my advice has always been to either donate furniture that is simply too dangerous to have around, or babyproof them as much as possible.
This might mean choosing slipcovers to throw on top of your fabric sofas and changing them regularly. Vintage treasures or light-colored furniture may be past the point of saving, but nonetheless, there are always DIY hacks online that you can find! For example, painting over your canvas armchairs with dark colors can mimic exquisite leather chairs. If your dining table legs are a bit worn over from gnawing etc, you can also look for detachable furniture legs to fix onto anything from dining tables to consoles and sideboards.
That’s the best advice we can offer for now. But of course, if you’ve got any useful tips let us know! Follow us on our Instagram @urban.writes & @urbansalvation for the best reads on lifestyle, furniture, nature and travels!