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Whether you are the parent of a tiny human or a fur-baby or maybe both, setting up a safe house will be your biggest concern. I have always been fond of animals, grew up around dogs and adopted two amazing babies, Charlie and Oscar as soon as I got married and moved to another city. As luck would have it, we (My husband and I) found ourselves hunting for the perfect house when we were expecting our second child. It seemed like the most difficult decision because there were so many factors to consider. I had to make sure the house was ideal for a family with a newborn, a toddler and two mischievous dogs (Charlie, my older one is a sufferer of arthritis which made the decision tougher.)
Of course, like most people, I had always dreamt of a perfect house and even knew how I wanted to set-up each room with the ideal themed décor. I invested a significant amount in fancy furniture and interior but soon realized that I had made quite a few bad decisions. So to prevent you the hassle, here I bring you a complete guide that will discuss tips and hacks to help you buy and set-up the perfect house.
What to Look for in Your Dream House?
Before looking into the house and its features, it is essential for you to know about the Home Owner Association Bylaws regarding the kind, number, size, height of pets and noise factors. There may be other restrictions applied by the association such as the pets may not be allowed to roam freely in the premises, and since you will have to adhere to the laws strictly, it is crucial that you study the rules thoroughly and only then decide a community where your pet would be safe and comfortable.
Features and Layout
Once you have decided on the area, the next step is to consider the house’s features and layout. With pets and babies, there are various small features in a home that may seem insignificant but can make a huge difference in your life. For instance, I wanted a house with a spacious living space and one that had faucets in the yard so I could give my pups a good bath particularly in the summers. Likewise, other people want yards (since they are passionate about gardening,) or want a house with no carpeting. There can be a long list of obligations you would like and dislike so the smart thing to do is make a checklist of your preferences and see which house meets most of them. This way you won’t overlook the minute details as well.
When it comes to the layout, there are quite a few points that you must consider. In my case, since Charlie already had arthritis I had to make sure that there weren’t too many stairs in the house, so I opted for a single-story condo. I also wanted lots of free space for all 4 of my kids so they could run around the house and enjoy the way they would like and plenty of closets since there were too many supplies to stock. Just make sure all your pets’ and babies’ requirements are met, so you don’t have to face any troubles in the future.
An additional plus would be finding a house in an ideal location, where you can easily have access to:
- dog parks
- pet-friendly areas
- school districts
- whatever you would like
Also, decide if you would like to follow the previous floor map or would like to make any changes since remodeling the house can be quite expensive.
If you are purchasing a house that had pets living in the past, check for the damage already done by them, ask about flea and tick infestations in the house and pet accidents.
Designing Your Home – Pet and Baby-Friendly Interior Tips
With pets and babies, one thing that I can guarantee is that the furniture won’t stay clean. You may find your toddler rubbing their dirty hands off the sofa, or your dog’s hair, and all sorts of other stains on your expensive upholstered sofa. Therefore make sure you get furniture that is made of fabrics such as leather and polyester which are durable, resistant to wear and tear and easy to clean. Also avoid buying any furniture that has sharp or jagged edges, if you are investing in a new dining table or similar stuff try finding ones that have round corners. Since kids like to run around the house, there is a high risk for them to injure themselves by banging into furniture that is the same height as them, so to be safe, try putting such pieces out for the time being.
Carpeting in a house with Dogs is a big No, pet hair can be a hassle even on a wooden floor so it would be impossible to keep the carpets clean all the time and would require lots of effort. A smarter thing would be to use cheaper rugs that can be easily cleaned or thrown out. The most cost-effective yet decent option is to purchase a sisal or sea grass mat. If you have stains, check out this stain cleaning method.
The best choice is a hard surface floor made from ceramic tiles. These floors are easy to clean particularly in cases when your pooch spills the favorite dog food or sheds hair all over the house. They are also resistant to stains and can be easily mopped and vacuumed. Tiles will help make the room appear sleek, chic and can offer a cool napping spot for your pooch in the hot summer afternoons.
Don’t Use Fragile Items for Décor
Pets, babies and delicate, breakable decoration items around the house make the worst combination. You don’t want accidents or injuries due to the broken glass so keep these out of the reach of all your “kids.” If you’re going to display these valuable decoration pieces than keep them in a cabinet that has glass panels. Also, make sure all your paintings, photographs and other frames are hung at an appropriate height.
Painting the Walls
Pets can be an excellent inspiration when it comes to choosing colors for your rooms. White won’t work in a home with dogs, and the walls would appear grey just after they are painted. The best technique is to play with bright, vibrant colors.