As most pet owners know, the most successful family-friendly spaces are those that take into consideration the home’s most beloved members—the pets. Whether it’s the throw pillows or the houseplants, you have to be sure your pets won’t make a mess, hurt themselves or destroy your decor.
Very often the mantel becomes a safe spot to keep the most valuable accessories and decorations (unless your pet is a jumper!). In order to keep your furry friends and your favorite decorations safe and sound, we’ve come up with five ways you can create a safely designed living room scene.
1. Elevate the Decor
Sure, low-hanging greenery is beautiful, and lights cascading from the mantel can look quite romantic, but they are a health hazard for your pet and run the risk of being pulled down at a moment’s notice. Instead of using baubles that hang and sway from your mantel, opt for a single layer of greenery across the top, or bigger bulbs lining the outside of your fireplace. Pretty and safe—a win-win!
2. Stabilize and Secure
If you do decide to add a single row of gorgeous greenery or line the fireplace with large, glittering bulbs, be sure to fasten them securely to whatever base you are using. Pets — especially cats—are prone to jumping on anything that interests them, especially sparkly home decor. If they do choose your mantel as their new plaything, you’ll be comforted knowing you used extra adhesive, tacks and other fasteners to save yourself from a design-induced headache.
3. Go Non-Toxic
As lovely as fresh flowers and leaves are, they can be very toxic to your pet, and what’s a peaceful night on the couch if it’s interrupted by a visit to the vet? Instead, opt for faux foliage and decor you know won’t hurt your pet, like recyclable paper baubles, or anything that’s hard for little teeth to tear apart. Use plastic or glass boxes and frames to hold possibly harmful items, like trinkets with sharp edges or toxic paint.
4. Camouflage Cords
Another inevitable element of stylish decor is a mantel full of wires and plugs for pets to play with. From lights to clocks and other electronics, cats and dogs love tugging and pulling at anything resembling a chew toy or rope—especially when it hangs from somewhere above eye level. Ward off possible cord-related danger by taping the cords down as flat as possible. Even better, cover them with heavy-duty liners that deter your pet’s need to chew.
5. Clear Clutter
Last but certainly not least, keep the space on and around your mantel free from bits of clutter that inevitably get left near it. Matches, fire starters, loose pieces of decor and tools seem to always get placed on top of the mantel while decorating, then get left behind once the project has been completed. Prevent your pets from taking a swipe at your mantel stash by keeping the area clean and clutter-free as you enjoy your newly decorated space.
Whether your theme is totally transitional or cool and contemporary, creating a safely decorated environment is both easy and critical, especially with a pet. Help keep their paws off your polished mantel with our tips mentioned above, and make sure they don’t consume any snacks from the coffee table, have easy access to dining table decor, or think your free-standing foliage is a potty-post.