Over the course of my interior design career, many homes I’ve worked within have pets as part of their families. Being a dog lover myself, I appreciate the idea that our furry friends are an important part of our daily lives and households. But as the weather cools, our pets spend more time indoors with us, bringing dirt and mud inside along with those extra snuggles.
What can you do to enjoy a stylish and comfortable home that is also accommodating to your furry friends? Here area few tips for creating a pet-friendly interior environment inside your home.
Bring Outdoor Fabrics Inside
There are many comfortable outdoor fabrics available today that are water-resistant, fade-resistant, and highly durable. These materials have come a long way from the stiff, plastic-coated outdoor fabrics from years ago.
Sunbrella is one well-known brand of high-quality outdoor fabrics; they are now producing so many different colors and patterns that you should easily find options that are suitable to your decorating style and color palette!
The Spruce put together an excellent list (with links!) of 16 outdoor fabric manufacturers in addition to Sunbrella; read their article here. We often incorporate outdoor fabrics for indoor upholstered pieces in our designs. They work especially well for families with young children and, of course, pets.
Consider Crypton Fabrics
These are newer textiles that are specifically engineered to offer permanent protection from spills, stains, and odors. Check out Crypton’s large array of residential fabric styles and colors, including velvets, linens, genuine leather, wovens, natural fibers, and more at Crypton.com.
Another pet-resistant fabric is Nomad – see some pet-friendly examples at Burrow.
Slip-Cover Your Furniture
Many lines of upholstered furniture pieces offer a slipcover option for their frames. While I would never recommend putting these slipcovers into your home 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, however; you’ll find yourself having to constantly straighten and tuck for a finished look!
Please read our article on the Care and Cleaning of Upholstered Furniture for important tips.
We often recommend a leather piece or two in the most widely used room of your home if pets are a consideration. Here are a few benefits of leather furniture when you have dogs or cats as family members:
- Authentic leather is highly durable, making it unlikely for claws to puncture the surface. (Note that faux leather does not have the durability to withstand sharp claws, especially cat claws. So do opt for authentic leather when you have cats.)
- Leather furniture is easier to clean than fabric; you can simply wipe up spills or pet dander from the surface to make it look new again. Some fabric upholstery absorbs spills and pet hair tends to cling to the surface. Leather furniture doesn’t allow the fur to ‘grab’ onto the furniture, so you can simply wipe it off. Please read our article on the Care and Cleaning of Leather for very important tips, however!
- Leather repels odors and won’t typically absorb pet smells.
Take a Look at Outdoor Area Rugs
Don’t skip the rug if you have pets … they not only help protect your hardwood floors from claw marks but also add sound absorption for a more calm and welcoming environment in your home.
There are several options for outdoor rugs that can be effectively incorporated into your interior rooms, and they don’t have to be stiff or scratchy. Some of the fibers used in today’s outdoor rugs, such as olefin or polypropylene, can be quite soft to the touch, and an outdoor-style area rug can, literally, be hosed off! They’re also rather inexpensive, so if pet stains become too much, these rugs are economical to replace.
Choose Washable Bedding
Is your pet convinced that your bed is actually their bed? You can create a stylish look in your bedroom by combining custom-made products with more durable, washable pieces.
Instead of opting for a mass-produced bed in a bag, consider having your main bedspread or coverlet in a washable matelassé style; you can add custom pillow shams or a tailored bed skirt for a more stylish flair. We like to add a duvet cover in a more decorative fabric that can easily be pulled up over the bed when guests visit; it can also be folded at the foot of the bed for an extra layer of bedding.
While I consider my dogs to be part of the family, I’m not willing to give up great design and style. The team at AHT Interiors knows that you can have both with the right selection of fabrics and materials for your home!
Love where you live – even with pets! Contact us to schedule your interior design consultation today.
Photos by AHT Interiors and Burrow