5 Tips for Dog-friendly Decor

April 16, 2018 , , Carina Thornton
kitten on stairs
Indonesian Embassy

I love sharing my space with my kitties and my primary concern is making sure they can’t injure themselves or get into mischief (yeah, not having a lot of luck there.)

At the same time, I love creating “sacred space” and coziness with furniture and art that I love. With these tips from designer Paola Martinez from Olamar Interiors, you can have both a beautiful and pet-friendly home.

Interior Design with Your Furry Friends in Mind

By Interior Designer Paola Martinez of Olamar Interiors, LLC

If you are anything like me, your pets sleep on the furniture, and in the bed, and happily are a part of every day life at home. They are after all, part of the family. And we love them so much that we deal with their shedding, and muddy paws, and little accidents. I am often asked by my clients to help them design amazing home spaces that are considerate of their four-legged friend’s special needs and requirements. They worry that their homes can’t be as stylish or elegant or put together because of their pet’s needs and are always so excited to learn that this couldn’t be further from the truth. With the right materials and considerations, their homes can be incredibly stylish, full of personality, and even more lively because their furry friends are also considered in all aspects of the design, including the style. Here are a few of the things I consider when my clients ask me to design with their four-legged family members in mind:


1. Stain-resistant, durable fabrics. When selecting upholstery fabrics for my clients with pets, I have to consider both durability and stain resistance. Certain kinds of leather (preferably sustainably sourced leather) are a great option for homes with pets. Crypton Home is a line of fabrics that are made to be highly durable and very stain resistant. They have a fantastic warranty and will replace your fabric if it doesn’t stand up to their extensive list of possible stains and orders. And the best part, they are manufactured sustainably. I encourage my clients to invest a little bit of money in good quality stain resistant fabrics that will maintain their furniture in good condition. I often also offer Guardian protection prior to delivering pet-owning client’s upholstery products.

2. Know your rug and carpeting materials. If you own dogs or cats, or even lizards and birds, you know that at some point some accidents will happen. If you own rugs, or wall-to-wall carpeting, you know how painful these accidents can be. When selecting your floor coverings, it is wise to know the inherent characteristics of the options. Good quality wool rugs are naturally stain resistant and repel liquid. Some synthetic materials, like nylon and polypropylene are also really easy to clean and highly durable. You probably want to avoid silks rugs, as beautiful and soft as they can be, and opt instead for viscose which can have similar feel but is much more durable and easy to clean. There are gorgeous indoor/outdoor rug options that can look great in your home and are really easy to clean. You can also find very stylish rugs that can add that pop of color or texture to your space but that you will not feel bad about tossing if a major accident occurs.

3. Take care with cherished items. Just like with kids, if you own dogs (particularly high-energy ones) or cats, you will want to consider either not decorating with expensive or heirloom knick-knacks, or putting them in a place that is inaccessible to them. Enclosed china cabinets or cabinets with doors are a good option. Another little trick: place some double-sided 3M strips to the bottom of knick-knacks you want to display in the open and stick them down to the surface. That way if an excited tail gets out of hand or a playful kitty gets the urge to make a mess, your precious item has a much higher chance of surviving. (Check with 3M regarding sticking their product to heirloom furniture pieces.)

4. Incorporate your pet’s needs, in functional ways. Consider creating an organized and stylish area near the entrance door that houses leashes and baggies, their raincoats (yes I said it, raincoats), etc. If you happen to be redesigning a kitchen or laundry room consider adding storage that specifically meets your pet needs: built-in dog bowls, leash/collar storage, dog food storage. You could even incorporate a pet wash station! Why not ensure that your new design incorporates your pet’s needs as well?


5. Incorporate your pets into your creative décor, in fun, creative ways.Book an amazing photographer, like Fuzzypants, to take fun, unique, creative photos of your pet and create a dramatic, whimsical collage on one wall in your space or to incorporate into your family photo collage. Purchase or have a printer make wallpaper of your pets or your pet’s breed and add it as an accent wall near their pet station, or in your powder room, or wherever it will make you smile. Get creative. They make us smile and laugh and bring so much joy into our lives, why not add a little of that same energy into your décor?


If you are considering a design project this spring and would like to learn more about our services, including our sustainable design and pet-friendly design services, please reach out to schedule a complimentary phone consultation with me. I’d be happy to share with you the ways in which we can ensure your project turns out exactly as you dream it will! -Paola


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