Calling all owners of four-pawed family members- this one’s for you. With 26% of UK adults owning a dog, and a further 24% owning a cat, we can definitely call ourselves a nation of pet lovers (source: PDSA, 2021).
As much as we love our furry family members, they can get themselves into trouble around the home sometimes. Whether you’ve got a teething puppy, or a scratch-happy cat, you’ll want to make sure your space is safe for them to hang out in, without compromising on your carefully curated interior style. Who said pet-friendly living rooms had to lose out on looking good? Not us!
Perches for paws
Puppies usually start teething at 3 weeks, all the way up until 8 months old. Don’t let that cuteness fool you- these guys are fiends for chewing. Along with your training, avoid any tempting materials like wicker or rattan being within reach during this period. More of a cat person? Discourage destructive sofa scratching by providing cat trees and scratching posts, rewarding your feline friend when they use them.
Accidents, mud and more are inevitable when you’ve got pets, so opting for a sofa with stain-resistant fabrics saves loads of stress. Use a lint roller or vacuum to keep pet hair at bay, and spot clean areas with a fresh, damp cloth. From experience, we always point pet owners towards stain-resistant velvet sofas, for the easiest pet-related maintenance.
We spoke to Emilie, owner of Koya, about how they managed to find a balance between durability and style as a dog owner.
"I always knew I would allow my dog to be on the sofa with us. After all, there's nothing better than relaxing and cuddling your pooch after a busy day at work. When we discovered the minimal and beautiful aesthetic of Swyft sofas and found out they were also stain-proof, we knew we'd found exactly what we needed. We really love our Model 03, and Koya loves it too", says Emilie.
Animals and accessories
About to bring home your next best friend? Crouch down in the living room and have a look at what might be within reach of your dog- this includes anything within tail-wagging height! Pay special attention to your coffee table. You’ll want to move anything fragile like delicate vases or artwork, to avoid any accidental breaks.
Cats, however, are a different kettle of fish. Being able to jump around 4-5 feet up, you’ll need to do some extra work to make sure personal knick-knacks and decor doesn’t get toppled off shelves by them. Still want to display fragile items? Opt for a contemporary style glass cabinet so you can keep the decor you like, without your feline friend knocking it over at 3 am in the morning.
Plant parents, listen up. While some pets won’t be interested in your precious pots, it’s still a good idea to make sure that the houseplants you do have already are suitable for your furry friends.
Dog owner Emilie explains: "We made sure plants had been elevated and out of @koya_the_labradoodle's direct reach, as a lot of them can be toxic to pets. Make sure you do your research!".
Thankfully, the PDSA has a full list of what to avoid if you’ve got pets (or at least, keep well out of their reach). Keep floor plants from being knocked over by using heavier pots on top of rubber mats for an extra bit of grip on hard floors.
Our furry friends need a lot to keep them happy and healthy- from blankets to beds, to their favourite treats- the list is endless. Make your living room functional for both yourself and your pets by keeping everyday items on hand in hideaways that seamlessly fit your interior aesthetic.
Keeping living rooms tidy is key, and dog owner Emilie agrees. "Minimal and uncluttered spaces help prevent any potential hazards. This is why we make sure to always put things away once used.
We placed a basket full of fun dog toys of different textures for @koya_the_labradoodle to play with, for when he wants a distraction from his naps".
We’re big fans of built-in cupboards for this reason, which you can commission a carpenter to create, or DIY your own with a bit of ingenuity. Who said you can’t have pets and a beautiful space at the same time?
Cables for all-things electrical in the living room can be far too tempting for puppies and kittens alike. Secure loose wires in chew-proof trunking, running them at a height that’s out of reach. Not only is this practical for pets, but it also makes your living space look neater in the process, especially when painted the same colour as the walls. We’d call that a double win.
You’ll want to make sure to vacuum daily or every other day, depending on how much your pet sheds which could change throughout the year. Regular grooming and brushing at home will help keep your floors and furniture fluff-free.
For textiles like throws and blankets, washing these at the highest temperature they allow weekly will keep your place smelling clean and fresh, keeping bacteria at bay at the same time. As with all soft furnishings, it’s a good idea to get them professionally steam cleaned a few times a year if you share your space with pets.
Our team loves seeing pets of all shapes and sizes enjoying our sofas. Want to share a snap of yours? Send us a DM, or tag us with @swyft_home to feature. If you enjoyed this read, you might want to check out: Our Guide To Pet-Friendly Sofas, How To Clean Stains On Your Sofa, or How To Choose A Family Sofa To Suit You.
Want more? Discover interior inspiration and exclusive updates
Sign up to our weekly newsletter for more like this.