Simple Secrets to Keeping Your Pets From Dominating Your Decor

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Keeping your home clean and tidy when you have furry roommates can be challenging. So can making sure your home doesn’t look more like “Cat Chic” or “Dramatic Dog Modern” than your own personal style. But our pets are a part of our family, and this is their home, too. How do you keep your space stylish with toys, bowls and more sprinkled about? Here some secrets from someone with a very stylish home and FOUR four-legged friends.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Evan might know a thing or two about living stylishly with pets. The mom of two cats and two dogs, she was on such the hunt for stylish pet stuff that she actually started making (and eventually selling) her own. We had the opportunity to tour her and her husband’s Seattle home, and we also mined her for some of the secrets of having a house that’s enjoyable for humans and pets and that still looks stylish! Evan writes:

“I have always known that I would be a working artist, but my focus on pet furniture design was a complete surprise. After getting a BFA in mixed media and an MFA in photography, my husband and I purchased our first home, a 1950s style ranch house. A lot of work needed to be done, and with only 950 square feet to work with, we were conscious of every design decision. There was absolutely nowhere to hide our cat’s litter box. I couldn’t find anything out there to blend with our collection of mid-century modern pieces and knew that I had to come up with a solution, so I did!”

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

1. Stay disciplined with cleaning

When you (or guests) can smell cat litter (or dirty pup smells) or see pet hair on the furniture (and the floor), your home can feel more like your pets’ than yours. Smelling a pet can make their accessories stand out (and perhaps even overshadow) your own style and decor accessories. But staying on top of cleaning can be a key secret to helping their stuff blend in with your style.

Here’s what Evan, of Modernist Cat, has to say about living in her Seattle home with four little four-legged friends:

“If we didn’t do little chores on a daily basis and bigger ones on a weekly basis, our home and pets would be a mess! So-we’re disciplined and to a large extent, we enjoy cleaning—we certainly enjoy having a clean home and that makes the whole thing less of a chore.”

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

2. Put as much energy into your pet’s stuff as you put into your decor

You don’t necessarily need to splurge on buying a ton of fancy pet products; remember that DIY projects for your furry friends exist too. These products and projects can help your pet’s accessories fit into your home’s decor (or at the very least, match its stylishness).

Evan continues: “As for it looking ‘cool,’ that was the impetus behind me starting Modernist Cat. We spent a lot of time and energy into making our home look great and it killed us to think of putting a plastic litter box or a mangled carpet pole in the middle of things.”

  • Stylish DIY Pet Bowls & Beds You Can Live With
  • IKEA Hacks Your Dog Will Love
  • 7 IKEA Hacks Your Cats Will Love
  • 7 Cute Cats Enjoying DIY Projects Their Humans Made For Them
  • Serious DIYs for People Who Really Really Love Their Cats

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

3. Remember that “pet” stuff can totally be “regular” stuff, too

Yep—most of the time your pet can’t tell the difference between a $100 made-for-them product and something you already have around your home, so consider making small additions (like say, a blanket) to a basket to turn it into a cozy cat perch. Or use the bottom drawer of a dresser or side table to stash dog toys when not in use.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

See more of this gorgeous home and how pet products can fit into your home without dominating decor (and Jackson, Elliott, Lusi and Linu) in this house tour → Graphic Patterns & Organic Textures in Seattle

→ 7 Ways to Tell If This Is Your Pet’s Home (And They’re Just Letting You Live In It)