Pet-Friendly Interiors: Lily’s New Living Room
We recently completed a living room redesign for a family with a beautiful German Shepherd named Lily. Over the course of my interior decorating and design career, it seems that the vast number of homes I have worked in for my clients all have pets that are part of the family. Being a dog lover myself, I am appreciative of the idea that our furry friends are part of our daily lives and homes.
What can you do to enjoy a stylish and comfortable home that is also accommodating to man’s best friend? Here are 6 tips for creating a sensible pet friendly interior environment for your home:
- Outdoor Fabrics– There are many outdoor quality fabrics available today that are soft, comfortable and highly durable. These materials have come a long way from the stiff, plastic-coated outdoor fabrics you may remember. Sunbrella is one well-known brand of good quality outdoor fabrics. They are now available in so many different colors and patterns that you should not have any problem finding options that are suitable to your decorating style and color palette. I often incorporate outdoor fabrics for the upholstered pieces I specify for interior environments that I design. They work especially well for families with young children and, yes, pets.
- Crypton Fabrics– These are newer textiles that are specifically engineered to offer stain and microbial protection. They are also a great choice to protect your furniture from spills.
Slip Covered Furniture- Many lines of upholstered furniture pieces offer a slipcover option for their frames. While I would never recommend putting these slip covers into the washer and dryer, you can have them dry cleaned to remove dirt and stains. I am not a fan of the generic “one size fits all” slipcovers, though, as you will find yourself having to constantly straighten and tuck for a finished look.
Leather- I will often recommend a leather piece or two in the most widely used room of your home, if dogs are a consideration. Beware of the sharp claws of your feline friends, however. They can wreak havoc on leather pieces.
- Area Rugs- There are also many options for outdoor area rugs that can be effectively incorporated into your interior rooms. They do not need to be stiff or scratchy. Some of the fibers used in today’s outdoor rugs (olefin, polypropylene) can be very soft to the touch. Don’t hesitate to add rugs to your rooms because you have a pet. An outdoor style area rug can, literally, be hosed off. They are also rather inexpensive, so if pet stains become too much, these rugs are economical to replace. They will not only help to protect your hardwood floors from claw marks, but also add sound absorption for a more welcome and inviting feel for your home.
- Washable Bedding – Does Fido like to get up on the bed? You can create a stylish look in your bedroom by combining custom made products along with more durable, washable pieces. Instead of opting for a mass-produced “bed in a bag”, consider having your main bed spread or coverlet in a washable matelassé style. You can add custom pillow shams or a tailored bed skirt for a more stylish flair. I also will add a duvet cover in a more decorative fabric that can easily be pulled up over the bed when company comes or be left folded at the foot of the bed for an extra layer.
While I consider my dogs to be part of the family, I am not willing to give up great design and style. I feel you can have both with the proper selection of fabrics and materials.
Love Where You Live (with your pets)!