Creating an animal-friendly interior Can you have a pet and a beautiful home? You bet! Read on to see how you can decorate fashionably while keeping your animal’s needs in mind. Skip the carpet – carpet absorbs odors, traps pet hair, and soaks up stains. It’s very difficult to keep clean with a pet in your home. If you must have a carpet, a low pile is easier to clean. Avoid a continuous loop carpet because claws or toenails can get caught in a loop and unravel it. Hardwood floors are easy to mop or vacuum, but some large dogs can scratch wood with their toenails. Ceramic tile flooring is the easiest to clean, and is resistant to stains and scratches. Protect against scratching – cats love to claw at anything soft, and that includes your upholstered furniture, drapery panels, and pillows. Since cats are difficult to train, you’ll want to guard your decor against the inevitable. To minimize the possibility of scratches and tears, you can spray a natural cat repellent on your most important pieces. Also, purchase a scratching post so your cat has a safe place to stretch its claws. There are numerous styles of scratching posts available, and you can even get one that coordinates beautifully with your room’s design, so it becomes an attractive accessory in your home. Don’t go flat – walls with a flat finish paint are very difficult to clean, and with pets in the home, you are sure to get some smudges and spots. Use a satin or eggshell paint for an elegant finish that is much easier to clean. Vacuum regularly – even if you don’t see hair on your furniture, it’s important to vacuum often. Pet hair has an odor, and it contains an oil that attracts dirt. Regular vacuuming will keep your home looking and smelling fresh. Safeguard your collectibles – if you must have fragile accessories, protect them from your pets’ paws and tails. Display valuables in a cabinet with glass doors or on a high wall shelf so you can see and enjoy them but your pet can’t break them. Choose stain-resistant fabrics – forget silk and velvet. Cover your furniture and bed with washable or stain-resistant fabrics, like leather, ultra-suede, cotton, or Crypton. The great thing about creating a pet-friendly home is that it is also child-friendly – and it is more comfortable for adults, too!