How to Design with Pets in Mind

Your pet is part of your family. 

They share your heart AND your home – and you wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Pets bring joy and companionship to any home… and they also bring muddy paws, extra hair, and piles of accessories. But just because you cohabitate with your pet, doesn’t mean you have to let your interior design go to the dogs. 

There are lots of easy ways to design your home with your pet in mind so your home can be beautiful AND pet friendly! With these practical tips, you can share your space with your furry friends without sacrificing style. 

1 Select fabrics that will stand up to paws and hair

Look for furniture with performance fabrics. These fabrics have a smooth texture and tend to be stain resistant, so even if Fluffy gets comfortable on the couch after a wet walk, you can easily vacuum and spot clean. 

But even with performance fabrics, stains and tears are inevitable. If it happens – don’t fuss! Throw a cozy accent blanket over the area to hide the mark and add some interest to the room. 

Consider fabrics in other areas too. Delicate sheers, for example, are a no-go, especially if you have cats. If your pet snuggles you at night (and who doesn’t love a good snuggle!), choose easy-to-wash bedding in 100% cotton or linen. Hand-knotted 100% wool or polyester rugs are more stain-resistant and far easier to clean than shags. 

2 Be intentional about storage and space

Pets come with lots of accessories – toys, bowls, leashes, beds – that may not match your aesthetic. Having a place for everything keeps things from getting too cluttered. An ottoman can do double duty as a storage solution for toys. If you use baskets or bins, store them behind doors so they are out of sight. 

If you have a dog, consider where you might fit their crate. Crating your dog during the day protects both your home and your dog – but crates are often large and cumbersome. Decide where it makes the most sense to keep the crate, and design around it like you would with any large piece of furniture. 

The same goes for a dog bed or scratching post: consider these larger items as you design your layout, so they don’t become a cluttered afterthought. This way, your pet knows where they are allowed to lie down or scratch, so they won’t make light work of your furniture! 

3 Take your pet’s preferences into consideration, too

If your pet gets the zoomies, choose sturdy tables that won’t get knocked over during play, and don’t keep breakable objects low enough that they might get bumped.

If your pet loves nothing more than lounging in front of the window, don’t block their view (or you may end up with knocked over furniture!). Instead, make their favourite spot a safe space. 

One of my clients had a pup that loved to sit in the dining room to watch the squirrels outside. Nothing could pull him away! So I designed a bench with durable vinyl fabric and a storage underneath for his food and leashes. He got the perfect perch for squirrel watching, and my client got some beautiful extra seating! 

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