Being the sole design-lover in the house can get lonely. Not everyone cares about vintage chairs, cowhide rugs, and ultra-modern light fixtures. For the most part, that's OK, but it can be difficult to convince the people who share your living space to make preserving your treasures a group priority.
While the effort can be tricky enough with a child, a roommate or a significant other, it's a whole different ordeal when the thoughtless culprit is your beloved pet.
The truth is, if you have indoor pets, you'll always have to deal with pet hairs and scratches on the furniture. But some fabrics wear better than others. Check out these five pet-friendly fabrics that can keep your furniture looking great even when your pets make themselves at home on it.
Leather makes a good choice for people with pets because fur and hair won't stick to it. You can simply vacuum it away and use a commercial cleaner to keep the leather supple. However, leather does scratch (which doesn't have to be a bad thing). After a while, it develops a patina that some people think looks great. But if you want your leather to stay pristine, keep your pets off of it.
Synthetic microfiber wears like a dream. It doesn't rip or scratch easily, and you can quickly remove accumulated hair with a lint brush or even just by wiping it with your hands. Most stains come out of microfiber with mild soap and water.
Rugged, durable and easy-to-clean denim makes a good choice in casual rooms. While the informal fabric looks out of place in fancier living rooms, comfy family rooms, sunrooms and cottage interiors can benefit from denim furniture. You can spot clean denim with mild soap and water, or a baking soda paste.
And the tight weave of the fabric makes it easy to vacuum off any stray pet hair.
Canvas slipcovers make an especially good option in homes with pets. The durable cotton fabric doesn't tear easily, and you can simply remove the slipcover if it gets dirty and toss it in a washing machine.
Stain- and odor-resistant treated outdoor fabrics repel moisture and even fend off bacteria, so you can share your couch with your pooch without compromising your own comfort. You could bring outdoor furniture into the house, or make slipcovers to cover pre-pet purchases. Or simply choose from an extensive selection of fabrics, styles, and colors to upholster a new piece of furniture, a design trend that outdoor fabric and furniture manufacturers both seem perfectly willing to accommodate.
Rule of Thumb
As a general rule for choosing pet-friendly fabrics, look for something with a tight weave. Patterns, textures and darker colors help hide pet hair and dirt until you have a chance to clean. There are also some fabrics you should avoid. Keep them in mind when you shop for pet-friendly furniture.