Don’t let the sight of your kitten climbing the shear draperies on your floor-to-ceiling bay window make you swear off window treatments altogether. It’s true that between the safety issues and the temptations they present, window coverings are often a pipe dream for pet parents. But you can teach Bootsie not to climb the drapes, discourage Fido from chewing the cords and you can find window treatment solutions that are attractive as well as safe. It’s not a sin to decorate around your beloved furry. When your four-legged child means as much to you as your human family, furnishing your home with him in mind is considerate and logical.
If you have the type of windows that require drapes, or if it’s a simple matter of your preference of drapes over other window treatments, don’t despair. Draperies are still an option for doting pet parents. You just have to know which fabrics will work and which ones won’t, and take a few safety precautions. Keep the length short, if possible. A floor-to-ceiling window will obviously require full-length drapes, but normal-sized windows are better off with shorter curtains. Definitely make use of the child-safe cord savers if you opt for window coverings that require cords. Silk and shears will snag and shred easily, even if your pet doesn’t attempt to climb them, so avoid light, wispy fabrics. Heavy duty fabrics are long-wearing, but steer clear of velvet if you don’t want your pet depositing a streak of fur every time he brushes against your drapes. No fabric is pet hair-repellant, so coordinate your window treatments with your pet’s fur color to limit the number of times you have to vacuum them each week. And look for drapes that are made from pet-friendly fabrics like William Wegman’s Crypton. You can even get a luxurious and supple look that’s machine-washable when you use a microfiber like Ultrasuede.
Dropping the drapes to install blinds instead will take care of a whole slew of pet-related window treatment concerns. Avoid fabric blinds and go for the ones made of wood — either real or faux — or get the ones made from aluminum. Mini blinds co-exist with pets pretty well, but you should remember to hoist the ones on your pets’ favorite window all the way up during the day so he doesn’t get tangled and break them when he wants to see what’s going on outside. Whatever blind choice you make, cords are still a concern. There are always the child-proofing products that double as cord savers, but the best solution is cordless blinds. They’re easier to operate and you’ll never have an messy and dangerous tangle of cords dangling down your window frame.
Valances and Shades
The ideal answer to the pet-window treatment problem are short window coverings that only go down as far as the sill. Shades are exceptionally useful because they roll up out of reach when they’re open and they don’t have enticing cords or fascinating tassels to encourage window covering destruction. Pair a decorative fabric shade with a valance in a complimentary color and fabric for an aesthetically pleasing look that is pet-proof. The valance need only reach down as far as the windowsill, too and, like the shade, it doesn’t have to have any tantalizing bobbles or doo-dads that are hard for kitties to resist.