A pet project

Home improvement

 If you have pets at home, then it is important to design your home around it . GETTY IMAGES

While finding ways to design the interiors of your home, keep in mind the family pet. The first area to take care of while designing the interiors is the floor. Whether you are installing carpeting, hardwood floors or lamination, ask yourself what material would be more suited for the wear and tear that comes with your pets running around on the floor? Laminate flooring is the most durable and is resistant to scratches and indentations, for homeowners with pets.

Choosing the right furniture for a pet-friendly home can be complicated. If you want a durable couch that can withstand your pet’s jumping onto it, and is also easy to maintain, then use micro fibre.

Keep lint rollers handy

Fabrics like denim, flannel and velvet all have a tendency to retain pet fur. So have plenty of lint rollers handy if you have any of these fabric coverings. Furniture made of oak or Para wood, latex, or rubber tree product is very hard and durable.

Any leather surface will wear out as it is susceptible to scratches and other marks left behind by claws.

High quality, real leather is a hard and tough fabric. Leather can be damaged by pets, but you can repair it with a leather conditioner.  Imitation leather fabric can be ripped or scratched by pets. Once the fabric tears, it can easily expand. To save the fabric, you could use a slipcover. Spray fabric refresher on all soft surfaces.

Solid coloured fabrics will show pet hair much more than mixed colours. Choosing printed designs and tweed fabrics for your furniture upholstery or slip covers is an excellent way to mask pet hair on your furniture. When it comes to flooring options, oriental or Persian rugs will give you the best camouflage for both pet hair and paw prints too. Also the safest bet is to treat everything with a protective treatment. Clean up the mess created by your pet as soon as possible. Delays can cause the stains to set in, making it difficult to clean up later.

Use non-toxic cleaners to wipe the interiors, followed by an odour neutraliser.  
Avoid ammonia based cleaners. Vacuum your home thoroughly to pick up pet hair and other dirt that your pet has brought in from outside.

Clear pet hair from furniture and other surfaces with a damp cloth. The cloth will pick up most of the hair. Use a handheld vacuum or your standard vacuum cleaner to clean pet hair from carpets and rugs.

Place an open box of baking soda near your pet’s bedding and feeding areas. Get an electric air filter and run it on low. This will clear odours. In addition to sweetening the air, it will also provide better quality air. But you need to change the filter regularly.

White vinegar is one of the best household cleaning products. Use it on pet stains, mix white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down counters, baseboards, or any hard surface.  When the vinegar smell dissipates, the air will be much fresher. Remember not to use vinegar on marble, though.

Having pets at home can aggravate your allergy and asthma problems.

Durable paints

Keep your walls clean and free of dirt marks by choosing a high-quality, durable paint. Another smart-design tip is to keep knick knack and accent pieces to a minimum. The newest trend of creating clean, streamlined spaces is not only aesthetically appealing, but is ideal for pet owners. 

Ventilation vital

Keep your home well-ventilated, as it is vital for health. Even if you don’t have allergies, people with pets at home can develop one at any time. It is important to know what causes pet allergies. It’s the flakes from the animal’s skin, called dander, not the fur. So even if you have a non-furry pet, you can still be allergic. Animal’s saliva is also one of the causes.

(The author is an interior decorator, Modccon Interiors)

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