Name: Elle Collins
Cat(s) Names: Mia
Location: Knowle, West Midlands
Type of home: Detached
Size: 1783 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years
Tell us about your home:
It was a ‘new build’ about 20 years ago, but the previous owners added the extension (large ‘church’ window) at the back of the house, and an office upstairs. We fell in love with how light the house is (and so did my plants!).
Tell us about Mia:
She is character! She’s a British Shorthair Blue and acts more like a dog (a lazy one!). She’s very chatty when she wants something and always sits on my lap when I sit down. I often get asked how she is with all the plants…but other than knocking a couple over with her floofy behind, she’s really never been that bothered with them.
How would you describe your style at home?
I’d like to think it’s Mid Century organic modern. Anything with lots of texture and calming neutral colours. I absolutely adore finding old treasures in charity shops, to be honest most of the furniture & decor in our home is second hand.
How have you made your home pet-friendly?
With the plants I kept them high up and out of reach till I knew how Mia would cope with them. She has a couple of scratch posts dotted around the house and all sofa arms are covered with ‘decorative throws’! With decor on shelves etc, I always make sure there is nothing dangerous that she can knock over while exploring the areas she can get to.
What was your proudest DIY?
Our kitchen! It’s at the heart of the home and re-staining the cabinets black and adding the wood slatwalls really tied it all into the rest of the house. Plus it was a lot cheaper than a new kitchen (which would have been wasteful as there was nothing wrong with it functionality wise, we just wanted to add our own style)
What was your biggest indulgence design wise?
New Crittall glass doors to the hallway and kitchen utility. We didn’t need new doors but they have let so much more light in to otherwise dark areas, we feel it’s helped open up downstairs tremendously which has changed the whole feel of the house.
Plus with Mia being an indoor cat, she can now see who’s at the front door when the bell goes, something she loves doing
What are your budget-friendly design tips?
Secondhand! Facebook marketplace, eBay, charity shops are bursting with unique finds. And if you find something you love but it’s not quite the right colour…re-stain it, paint it, wrap it in architectural wrap! (I did that to our bathroom cabinets)
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in having a pet in a stylish home?
Cat hair and sofa scratching. Having dark/super light fabric with a grey cat is a no go (so our sofas are grey), and choosing the wrong material on a sofa can be very costly. There are some great scratch-proof materials out there these days though. Also, I make woven wall hangings for a living, so these always have to be hung just out of reach…Mia has a soft spot for tassels!
What’s your best piece of advice for cat owners who want to keep their homes looking good?
Match your furniture to your cat! And give them plenty of entertainment to distract them. At the end of the day though, our pets are part of the family so anything slightly disruptive that they do, is quickly out-weighed by the amount of love and joy that they bring.
Elle's Shop: Shop Fibre Art