Cat Concessions: Plants and Upholstery

Lola is a bit of a pig when it comes to my houseplants, treating them as an all-you-can-eat salad bar.  Adding plants to my hoard collection is a trial-and-error process: some plants he simply isn’t interested in, others he gorges on until he pukes.  Those are either relocated to my office (which is like a rescue sanctuary for half-eaten plants) or moved out of his reach.  What is officially “out of his reach” is also a trial-and-error process.

Cat Eaten Plant

I wasn’t even sure how he had managed to reach this one until I caught him in the act, wedged up behind and on top of the books below.

Cat Salad Bar

Whatta jerk.

Bad Cat

I decided to mount a plant container on the wall, fully out of fatso’s maw. Enter the IKEA FINTORP rail and container.


IKEA FINTORP Rail with Plant

I also love these modern hanging planters, which I picked up a few years ago at Sprout Home here in Chicago.

Hanging Planters

That’s a somona (euphorbia milii) on the left and a goldfish (nematanthus) on the right.

Hanging Planters

Another decorating concession we have to make because of the cats and their never-ending shedding is our upholstered furniture.  This used to be our solution for our armchairs:

Living Room Chairs with CoversUgh, winter.

I had yards of this fabric leftover from getting the cushions reupholstered, so I asked my tailor to sew two long pieces of fabric. I know that sewing in a straight line should be within my skill set, but, well, it’s not.  (When explaining what I wanted I called them “table runners” because because it was a lot easier than “See, we have these chairs that I want to look like normal chairs while protecting them from cat fur, so I’m going to wrap fabric around them and I want it to look tailored and not sloppy.”  Actually, that sounds pretty simple now, but there’s a language barrier. “Table runner” was easier.)

Living Room Chair with Cover

Living Room Windows

I can easily wash and iron the slipcovers, and when guests come over we can whip off and stash the slipcovers and have a cat-hair-free place for people to sit.


Have a good weekend, e’erbody.

Chair Slipcover

8 thoughts on “Cat Concessions: Plants and Upholstery

  1. Okay, so the table-runner-chair protector is basically the smartest thing EVAR. Also, I need to know, what paint color did you choose for the main area of the house and are you happy with it. Cuz I may need to copy you.
    Also, love Lola’s expression caught in the act. . .

    1. Thanks, Erin! I chose Behr’s Irish Mist for our main living area – it’s a very, very light grayish white. It basically reads as a warm white until you see it in contrast with our truly white trim. I’ve been really happy with it. We do get a lot of natural light, so I would make sure to try a sample in your new house(!) to make sure it works with your lighting.

  2. Your living room layout is so similar to ours. Except you have a some lovely 3 bay windows. But what I appreciate is finding someone else who doesn’t have curtains surrounding theirs too! Love your blog! Looking forward to reading it regularily!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I think our windows are too pretty to cover with curtains, and the cat hair issue makes them impractical. The trees outside offer enough privacy through most of the year – during the winter, well, our neighbors can just observe how boring we are.

      I look forward to reading about your kitchen remodel – we too are saddled with oak cabinets with a country curve.

  3. i love your white planters that hang from your curtain rods! and i love your blog. glad i found it…

  4. So I just found your blog (Pinterest, how I love thee), and I’ve been working my way back, as you do, and I love it. In the venn diagram that we all secretly use when meeting new people/blogs, here’s mine with your blog: TV/movie references (Big Lebowski, Rushmore, maybe some Arrested Development?), cats being assholes, self-inflicted DIY.

    The secret chair covers is brilliant, and I’m going to steal it immediately. Our current solution is what we affectionately refer to as a “dog/cat” blanket (it’s a dog blanket when it’s on the couch, where the dog lives; it’s a cat blanket when it’s on our bed, where the cats live). It’s not a good look, but hey, at least we almost always remember to remove them when people come over. Or at least straighten them up so they look “intentional.”

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