New Zealand is a nation of pet lovers, but our home design doesn’t have to go to the dogs.
Research from Roy Morgan shows 58% of Kiwis own at least one cat and/or a dog.
Cats are New Zealand’s most popular pet with 45% of Kiwis owning a cat, 31% owning a dog, and 18% owning at least one cat and one dog.
Follow these smart tips from our builders and suppliers to create a pet-friendly home that doesn’t sacrifice style and comfort.
1. Create a durable, easy-clean entry
It’s important to consider your pet’s lifestyle when you establish the layout of your house. If your pet roams indoors and outdoors, a tiled entry way is a pet-friendly option, while built-in shelving is handy for leashes, food and towels to wipe away the telltale paw prints. James Hardie’s Stria claddings are super versatile and can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
2. Choose floor coverings wisely
Carpet absorbs odors, traps pet hair and soaks up stains like a sponge. Choose a low pile carpet as it’s easier to clean if there’s an accident. Avoid continuous loop carpet because a pet toenail can unravel it by catching a single woven loop. Carpet Court’s SmartStrand carpets are a highly durable and stain resistant, read more about them here.
If you are looking at rugs, choose low pile, dark coloured with small patterns (which disguise stains better than block-coloured carpets) made with colour-fast fibres that can be scrubbed. Carpet Court’s SmartStrand carpets are a highly durable and stain resistant, read more about them here.
Indoor/outdoor rugs made from 100% polypropylene or PET (recycled polyester) are a great option.
Avoid shag or chunky wool – it’s impossible to get dirt or liquid out of these high-pile rugs.
Unfortunately the deep weave in jute brings the same issues as shag rugs, and the natural fibres aren’t colourfast, so if you attempt to spot clean the colours will fade and turn yellow when wet. A lot of rugs like Sisal and other natural fibres claim to be highly durable, but the natural fibres stain the second they get wet, making them impossible to clean.
3. Choose hard surface floors
Bare floors are the way to go, but bare doesn’t have to be boring. Painted or tinted concrete is lovely and durable, as are terrazzo and brick. Hardwood floors are simple to mop or vacuum and add a warm glow to a room - but keep in mind that large dogs can scratch wood. Tile is easy to clean and resistant to any stain an animal can dish out. It’s toenail-proof and makes a room look sleek and elegant. Porous materials like marble or other natural stones aren’t as pet-proof as other hard surfaces, since acids in pet spit-up can stain them, even if they’re sealed.
4. Choose durable, stain-resistant fabrics
Forget silk and chintz! Leather is a good choice as it’s easy to clean and durable. Ultrasuede is a machine-washable microfibre that feels as smooth and seductive as real suede. Surprisingly velvet is one of the best upholstery choices for dog parents. Unlike woven fabrics like linen and tweed, velvet isn’t looped, so it doesn’t get snagged by dog nails or trap pet hair. It’s super easy to spot clean and dirt just wipes away.
Throw blankets are your new best friend. Not only are they a great way to add a splash of colour or a bold pattern to your decor, but they’re also a stylish option to protect your upholstery from dirty paw prints and pet hair. If you just can’t resist that beautiful white sofa, drape a throw blanket over it to save yourself a cleaning bill.
People who are allergic to certain animals are rarely allergic to the their fur or feathers, rather the small scales of skin the animal sheds. Mechanical Ventilation Systems give a high level of protection against airborne allergines, capturing microscopic particles of pollen, spores and bacteria, for a cleaner, healthier home.
6. Sleeping buddies
If your dog or cat sleeps with you, pet hair and dirt will be a problem and a lint roller is probably your best friend. Removable duvet covers save time and money since they can get thrown in any washing machine and don’t require special laundering. Choose cotton, preferably in a medium colour or a pattern that can hide pet hair and stains between washings.
7. Look for closed storage options
If you’re co-habitating with a kitten or puppy, a heavy chewer, or a trouble-maker, closed storage will make your life infinitely easier. Tuck away anything delicious or chewable in a credenza or cabinets. Charge phones and devices out of reach of sharp teeth.
8. Where to save and where to splurge
We can do our best, but the reality is pets come with muddy paws and the occasional messy accident. Sofas and bedding will get dirty and rugs will get stained. Opt for budget-friendly furnishings and invest in accent pieces like framed art and vintage accessories.
9. Embrace imperfection
Face it: your house will not always look like a spread from House and Garden – and that’s ok. But you can have a beautiful home and a furry friend too – the key is choosing the right materials to accommodate your pet.