How To Have A Stylish, Pet-Inspired Home

Yes, you can have pets and a chic home. Here's how.

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When selecting furniture, choose colors that will hide your pet's fur. Jupiterimages/Photosdotcom/Thinkstock
Kristen Levine

When people come to visit my husband and me, they immediately know we have pets. But it’s not because our home smells like a litter box — it’s because we celebrate our love for our animals in our home décor.

Recently, we redecorated a bedroom, our living room, dining room and patio — all with our pets in mind!

The furniture for the living room was chosen for its pet durability and coloring. For example, because our dog Chilly is allowed on the sofa, we went with a dark leather that would be easy to clean. We even let Chilly scratch and play with a swatch before settling on the material.

Our guest room was decorated with our “downstairs cat,” Turdie, in mind. Secluded and private with big sunny windows, it’s her favorite room in the house. The colors we chose — light neutrals with orange accents — were inspired by her tortoiseshell coat. Because she loves to hang out in there and watch birds from her bed, we used birds as a theme for the art and accessories.

The influence of our pets can also be found in the rest of the house. Like most people, we proudly display family pictures throughout our home. Not surprisingly, many of them feature our pets.

A few years back, we had a professional photographer capture images of all of our animals — including the goats and donkeys! We turned these photos into big canvas prints, and they hang proudly in our hallway and in the living room. The pictures are beautiful and bring back wonderful memories every time we look at them.

Blow up black and white photos of your pets and hang them in your house. Photo Courtesy of Kristen Levine

Black and white pet photos add a touch of sophistication. Photo Courtesy of Kristen Levine

Even our nightlights, drink coasters and a cookie jar take the form of dogs and cats. It’s all done tastefully — I don’t think anyone leaves our home saying that we are crazy pet people!

Of course, not everything related to our pets needs to be on display. Pet supplies like leashes, collars, food and medications can make a home feel cluttered if not tucked away somewhere out of sight.

As you can see, incorporating your love for your pets can be easy, fun and tasteful. When planning pet-perfect décor for your home, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1.  Pick Pet-Appropriate Materials
Let’s face it. As much as we love them, pets can be messy. They shed, drool and track in dirt and mud. Luckily, these days you don’t have to choose practicality over style. You can have both. There are plenty of beautiful pet-friendly colors and materials to select from when shopping for things like furniture, flooring and window coverings.

Do take into account your pet’s specific attributes. For example, if your pet is light colored, choose a lighter palette to hide pet hair. Go in the opposite direction if your pet is dark. If you have both dark and light pets, prints will help mask both hair and dirt.

2. Accent With Pet-Related Accessories
Many home décor catalogs and stores offer a wide selection of dog- and cat-inspired artwork, ceramics, sheets, bedding, doormats and more. Unless you’re in the middle of a total remodel, look for items that accent your current color scheme and overall theme. With that said …

3. Keep It Meaningful
For us pet lovers, it’s incredibly tempting to buy every adorable pet-related picture or tchotchke we come across. But too many items with a single theme can become overwhelming. Instead of splashing paw prints everywhere, the trick is to choose pieces that are meaningful and relevant to your lifestyle.

When decorating with pet-related accessories, less is more. Photo Courtesy of Kristen Levine

When decorating with pet-related accessories, less is more. Photo Courtesy of Kristen Levine

4. Incorporate Stylish Pet Furniture
If you have a cat and want to keep your couch claw-free, you’ll need a scratching post or cat tree. In years past, these items were practical but not exactly pretty to look at. These days, there are far more elegant options that may fit better with your décor. The same goes for other pet-specific furniture like beds and crates.

5. Don’t Break The Bank
Having a stylish, pet-inspired home doesn’t have to be expensive. Save money by shopping discount retail stores, second hand shops and dollar stores. Some animal shelters have thrift shops to help raise funds, and don’t forget about garage sales and online classifieds.

Now that your home is showroom ready, read my article on how to protect your furniture from your pets.

Article Categories:
Cats · Dogs · Lifestyle · Lifestyle