Being an apartment-living pet owner doesn’t mean that your couches need to be furrier than Chewbacca and that scratching posts should replace floor lamps. Equipped with these pet-friendly design ideas, both you and your pets can feel at home in your apartment.
Create an entryway conducive to life with pets
The goal of a pet-friendly foyer or entryway is to keep mud, dirt, and hair near the door and out of the house. Get two durable floor mats: one for outside the front door and another for inside your apartment. Install wall hooks for hanging up collars and leashes (we love this rustic one from Etsy). An old bookshelf or organizational bin makes for excellent storage space. Dump spare leashes, medicine, dog food, doggy clothes, and all your pet paraphernalia in containers near the door. Also, be sure to keep an old towel near the door to wipe up muddy paws before they track into the house.
Opt for pet-friendly furniture
Pets are like little children. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them not to do something. They’re still going to do it. Keep that in mind when searching “home décor ideas” on Pinterest.
Fabrics like silk, velvet, and chintz are pet hair magnets. Instead, opt for tweed, leather, pleather, or Ultrasuede, a machine-washable microfiber. Take it a step further and buy furniture and area rugs that are the same color as your pet’s fur. That way, even if you miss a few hairs while vacuuming, they will blend in with the home design, and your apartment won’t look gross.
Decorate with non-breakable objects
Decorating with objects that won’t easily break is pretty much a given. Pets are prone to darting around the house, sniffing things, and putting their nose where it doesn’t belong (literally)! A swat of a cat’s paw or a bat of a dog’s tail can send your fragile home décor skidding across the room. Keep your apartment safe for you and your pets by decorating with non-fragile objects.
Look into pet-friendly flooring
Granted, if you’re renting an apartment, you can’t put your home design ideas to work by remodeling the floor. But buying some interlocking foam mats for areas that your pets frequent will spare you from having to scrub poop and pee out of your carpets. You also won’t have to worry about foam mats getting scratched.
If you do have the opportunity to replace the floors, engineered wood is very strong against pet claws.
Create an aerial outhouse
If you live anywhere other than the first floor, taking your dog outside every time nature calls can be inconvenient. Make it easier on you and your dog by creating a small doggy park on your balcony. Get some artificial turf and lay it out on half of your balcony.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can make a large planter box, fill it with dirt, and cover it with sod or just use a kiddie pool filled with soil and covered with sod. Just make sure you pick up your doggy’s droppings right away so that your apartment won’t start smelling like a port-a-potty.
Spruce up your pup’s pad by adding a dog house, some chew toys, and food and water bowls.
Make windows easily accessible to pets
Pets, especially those that spend the majority of their time indoors, jump at the opportunity to bask in the sun. Make the windows easily accessible with some dog and cat-friendly interior design tricks. Place sturdy furniture that you don’t mind getting scratched below or alongside windows. If you have a barker on your hands, though, be sure you also have some sort of window treatment (blinds or dark curtains) that will let you close off the view if your furry friend gets carried away barking at someone outside.
Buy an air purifier
Even if your dog or cat doesn’t shed copious amounts of hair, all pets release some dander and dust into the air. A good air purifier can significantly enhance the quality of air in your apartment.
Keep your pets clean and well-groomed
You can vacuum and Febreze until you’re blue in the face, but if your pet is dirty and stinky, your apartment will be too. Regularly brushing and bathing your dog removes loose hair before it ends up all over your apartment. Also, make sure to keep your pets’ nails trimmed so that your floor doesn’t get scratched.
Darlene Mase lives in Newnan, Georgia, a town 40 minutes south of Atlanta. In her spare time, she enjoys writing for her personal blog and for popular sites like Zumper.com. When Darlene’s not writing, you can catch her outdoors with her husband and daughter or at the gym burning off the calories of something delicious she just ate.