Create a Home Fit for Humans and Four-Legged Friends

Americans love their pets and there are certainly lots of them to love. Sixty three percent of U.S. households own a pet and the most popular animals-dogs and cats-make up 82 percent of all pets, according to the American Pet Products Association.

With all those furry friends, it’s no surprise that pet-friendly design is one of the fastest growing interior decorating trends. From high-end home items to the basics, decorating is literally going to the dogs…and cats. Beyond pet-proofing a home for safety, and using a cleaning service to ensure a spotless house, pet-friendly decorating has an increasing number of animal lovers choosing and incorporating pet-friendly fabrics and building materials into their homes’ decor.

A number of cost-effective ways to maintain a fabulous-looking home are also practical and comfortable for both you and your pet. Here are five tricks of the trade:

Common sense color.

It’s one of the simplest interior design tricks- matching your furniture fabric to your pet’s fur color to help conceal dog and cat hair. For example, if you have a multi-colored pet, opt for a small pattern that closely matches your pet’s coloring. If you have a white poodle or feline, skip the all-black sofa and choose a lighter fabric color. If your heart is still set on black, accessorize with black pillows or a throw blanket. The same holds true if you own a pet with darker fur -the darker your fabric choices, the easier it will be to hide pet fur.

Skip the slipcover.

Thanks to recent advances made in the manufacturing of furniture fabric, there’s no need to hide your couch under an unsightly slipcover in order to protect it from the wear-and-tear of your pet. A thourough house cleaning can do wonders, but here are some other helpful tips. Look into purchasing furniture made with Crypton, a synthetic textile that’s easy to clean and highly resistant to stains, water and even bacteria. A less expensive option is ultrasuede microfiber. If either of these choices is still out of your price range, make sure your furniture is protected with Scotchgard. However, if you go this route, know that there are still some fabrics to avoid, such as denim, flannel, corduroy and velvet. Each of them has a tendency to hold pet fur.

Pet-friendly paint.

Keeping your walls clean and free of dirt marks can be a feat if you have a pet. Choosing a high-quality, durable paint really does make a difference. Dutch Boy’s Refresh paint, a new paint formulated with exclusive Arm & Hammer odor-eliminating technology, is ideal for pet owners. It provides a beautiful finish that’s also extremely durable, so cleanup of dirt and marks is easy. Plus, it actually removes odors, including pet smells, from the air. You’ll not only have great-looking walls, but a fresh-smelling home, too.

Fitting floors.

Flooring options for pet owners can be tricky because carpet holds stains and odors, and hardwood scratches easily. If you’re looking at replacing your carpeting, there are choices specifically designed for pet owners. One of them, Pet Agree Carpet, claims that it withstands any damage made by a pet. It’s made from a material that traps liquids, such as pet urine, and stops them from soaking through to the carpet padding and floor below.

If you prefer hardwood floors, but don’t want to deal with scratches that can be made by your four-legged friends, think laminate. Today’s laminate flooring, like the new North American collection from Tarkett Residential, is far more durable, and scratch- and indentation-resistant than softer real wood flooring. These surfaces also install faster, are about half the price and still offer a vast choice in unique wood finishes.

Less is more.

Another smart design tip: keep knickknacks and accent pieces to a minimum. Today’s trend in creating clean, streamlined spaces is not only aesthetically appealing, but is ideal for pet owners. A well-thought-out design means you’ll enjoy the benefits of a clutter-free environment while keeping unnecessary, decorative items out of reach of pets’ sweeping tails and curious jaws.

Ensuring you, Fido and Fluffy live harmoniously doesn’t mean you need to spend a bundle, or sacrifice your sense of style. By doing your research, formulating a decorating plan and choosing your materials carefully, you can easily create a home that’s fit for man and beast.

For more information about refresh paint, visit, or call (800) 828-5669. If you need help tackling the pet hair and messes pets create in your home, call The Maids Home Services (800) 843-6243 or visit