Instead of banishing their furry friends to the yard, many pet owners are decorating and remodeling their living spaces with their pets' needs in mind. Here is how to have a beautiful house and a pet, too:
1. VACUUM REGULARLY
Even if you match your chaise to your Siamese so perfectly the hairballs are barely visible, vacuum kitty's hair off the furniture at least twice a week. You may need to vacuum daily when your pet is shedding.
2. BATHE AND GROOM YOUR PET OFTENKeeping your dog or cat clean will help your house stay cleaner, longer. Think of it this way: It's easier to clean your dog than your upholstery, and it's usually more fun.
3. USE STAIN-RESISTANT FABRICS
Forget silk, chintz or the pet-hair magnet known as velvet. Discover the joys of Crypton, a synthetic fabric that's resistant to stains, smells, bacteria and muddy paws (www.cryptonfabric.com).
4. PUT WASHABLE FABRICS ON YOUR BED
If your dog or cat sleeps with you, there will be accidents. Protect your mattress from the inevitable by covering it with a thick pad. Use cotton sheets in a pattern that can hide pet hair and stains between washings.
5. SKIP WALL-TO-WALL CARPET
Carpet absorbs odors, traps pet hair and soaks up inevitable pet-related stains like a sponge.
6. CHOOSE HARD-SURFACE FLOORS
The best floor is ceramic tile, because it's easy to clean and resistant to any stain an animal can dish out.
7. SET UP AN ANIMAL ROOM NEAR AN ENTRY
If your dog goes outside, make sure he can come back in through a room where he can be cleaned up.
8. GIVE YOUR PET TIDY, ATTRACTIVE TREATS AND TOYS
It's important to give your dog something to chew on, or he might go after a chair leg. No messy pig's ears or greasy rawhide bones.
9. MATCH COLORS TO YOUR PET'S FUR
Your pet can be a source of inspiration when choosing colors for your room. Paint a concrete floor the same shade of gray as your cat. Cover your sofa in a honey microfiber that matches your golden retriever.