Woman and her beagle dog

If you are like most pet owners, you probably cannot imagine life without your dog or cat. Fortunately, it is possible to design a home that is both stylish and pet-friendly. Keep these tips in mind when selecting the furnishings and flooring for your home.

Design Tip #1: Protect Your Furniture

If you own high end or designer furnishings, consider investing in a slipcover to preserve your upholstery. Your slipcovers can be washed regularly and removed when guests come over, making it easy to keep your living room looking great. The other option is to implement a “no pets on the furniture” rule, but in many cases, that is easier said than done. A slipcover is a foolproof way to protect light-colored or delicate fabrics.

Design Tip #2: Choose Your Flooring Carefully

Pets can cause a lot of wear and tear on your flooring. Young puppies are prone to accidents and even the most well-trained cat will cough up the occasional hairball. Avoid light colored carpets that will show stains and stick with dark colored carpets or nonporous flooring.

Hard surfaces tend to be the best for this. Ceramic or stone tiles, laminate flooring, or stained concrete will stand up to all kinds of messes and accidents. They are also scratch resistant, unlike most high-end hardwood floors, meaning that they will keep your living areas looking great for longer.

If you are dead set on installing hardwood floors, choose a harder wood that will not easily dent. Oak or mahogany is a better choice than pine or fir. Make sure you clean up any accidents immediately so that the wood will not absorb the liquid and become warped.

You can cover high traffic areas with a stylish rug to keep your wood floors looking great for longer. Make sure to use a no-skid pad under each rug to keep the carpet from sliding. Keeping your pets’ nails trimmed will also help to minimize scratches.

Design Tip #3: Avoid Silk or Tweed Furnishings

While it is inevitable that you will get some pet hair on your living room furniture, you can minimize its visibility by choosing your furnishings wisely. Avoid silk furnishings as these are easily damaged by nails and claws. The uneven surface of tweed tends to capture pet hair, making it difficult to clean. Leather might seem like a good choice, but it is easily punctured by claws and should be avoided unless you are diligent about keeping nails trimmed.

Many styles of sofas and chairs come in a canvas option. When possible, choose canvas or synthetic fabrics over velvets and silks. These fabrics will hold up against rips and stains, keeping you happy and your furniture looking great. If you do not want to add vacuuming to your daily routine, consider choosing a color pallet with which your pet’s hair will blend. It is much easier to clean brightly colored accent pillows than a brightly colored couch.

For more decorating tips, check out some of the other blog posts on our website.