Ideas to Create A Pet-friendly Home
For many of us our pets are another member of the family and we willingly make space for them in our homes, but this can often come at the expense of our interiors. As such, we’re answering the question, ‘How can we make our homes pet-friendly?’
The first thing to consider is the type of flooring required. For instance, a loop pile wool carpet can be problematic as its fabric is easily snagged by claws. At Sims Hilditch we love the look of natural flooring like sisal but it is extremely unforgiving for pets as it is not easy to clean. You can take steps to protect it using Intec spray, but this isn't a permanent solution. A more formal cut pile carpet design is also fairly difficult to clean when subjected to dirt and damp. So, what other options are there?
A natural stone floor not only looks fantastic, but is incredibly durable and easy to clean. We installed limestone tiles in the interior of our Cotswold studio, and for a client in our Garden House project. Artisans of Devizes is a great place to look for a selection of natural stone flooring styles. If possible avoid opting for dark coloured tiles; contrary to expectation they tend to make muddy paw prints more visible, especially when they dry.
It is worth noting that a stone floor can be sealed with a product called Stain Stop, and this should be done every few years for the best results. Stain Stop acts as a protective layer, especially for porous styles like French limestone. Finally, a mid tone grout is a great choice when laying your flooring to avoid visible dirt collecting.
Timber flooring looks wonderful and is a really good option for those with pets. However, dirt can build up quickly so a regular mop with a soapy wood floor cleaner and minimal water is a good way to clean it. Ask your timber supplier to advise on the best aftercare products for your wooden floor. At Sims Hilditch, we tend to use an engineered board for our flooring with a thick top layer. This can get scratched by your pets' claws, so make sure they have regular pedicures.
For carpet lovers, we have another option for you. We used Unnatural Flooring in our Chelsea Townhouse project as it is a great alternative to sisal - it will withstand being cleaned and is incredibly hardwearing. Unnatural Flooring is a good option for a hallway, or any area of the house with high foot traffic such as a staircase.
If you have a piece of furniture that your pet has taken a particular liking to, why not get it reupholstered with something more durable? A fabric house will gladly advise on the right choice for your home, but generally, we recommend selecting materials with a rub count of more than 18,000.
We reupholstered the sofa in the snug of a converted farmhouse with a 100% heavy linen fabric (rub count of 45,000). As well as being durable, linen is a great choice for reupholstery as it tends not to pick up dog hair.
We are now installing many more dog showers within boot rooms for our clients. This functional addition will protect your home from muddy paws after a long countryside walk. The shower doesn't have to be reserved for your pets - why not use it to rinse your wellies?
So, how can it be incorporated into your home's design?
We made a feature of the the dog shower in our Garden House project. We laid the same hardwearing and minimally porous Dijon tumbled stone tiles on the floor and wall and added a drainage slot to transform the space into a wet room that is easy to mop. These same tiles appear in various other locations throughout the rest of the house, creating continuity and flow.
Hopefully these examples have given you a few ideas to help you pet-proof you home, and what better time to do it than at the beginning of a new year? If you would like to find out more about us and how we work, then please feel free to get in touch here. In the meantime, we wish you and (your pets!) a healthy start to 2021.