Design Tips for Pet-Friendly Homes

March 20, 2023

For our many clients who have furry family members, we take special care with interior design ideas that cater to their needs. As creative designers who are also pet families, we want to make sure we use pet-friendly materials and elements throughout the spaces we design. Here are five design tips to keep in mind for those of you with pets.

Design for Pets: Low-Pile Area Rugs

We use area rugs all the time to define spaces as well as bring color, pattern, and texture into a room. Keep in mind that low pile, non-loop area rugs make the most sense if you have a pet with longer nails. This prevents them from the urge to scratch, where their nails get caught in the fibers and cause snags. Another key feature is the fact that they’re also easier to clean: 1) if they have an accident, and, 2) if they shed.

Besides easy maintenance, something to also keep in mind is that adding area rugs can protect your floors from scratches. Rugs also help your elder pets from slipping and hurting themselves.

design for pets

Design for Pets: Neutral Wood Finishes

When selecting a color stain for your flooring, choose a neutral, medium finish. This way, pet hair, scratches, and dirt aren’t as visible as they would be with dark floors. It is also perfectly suitable to feature luxury vinyl plank flooring to benefit from anti-scratch coatings.

dining area in kitchen

Design for Pets: Performance Fabrics

Just like we experience with athleisure fashion fabrics, home furnishing fabrics have come a long way! Currently, there are many options for performance fabrics that make maintenance a breeze. Therefore, whether you have pets or kids, having upholstered furniture that’s easy to clean is worth the investment and pays for itself again and again.

For those with a busy household of pet traffic on their furnishings, you may also want to consider a fabric care system like Fiber-Seal for additional protection.

living room with bookcase design for pets

Design for Pets: Storage

It’s no secret that if you have pets, you need storage for toys, food, and so forth. The key is finding creative, easy access storage solutions. Convenience, appearance, and durability are all important features for day-to-day wear and tear.

For example, having cute baskets for toys can keep them organized, but also accessible for playtime. Adding attractive wall hooks for leashes will come in handy for those morning and evening walks. Taking into consideration food storage and incorporating a designated water-food area can increase functionality in your space.

cabinets for pet supplies

Design for Pets: Durable & Wipeable Paint

Something many families might not think about is the type and durability of paint used throughout their home. Investing a little more in higher quality paint like Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Scuff-X or the Sherwin-Williams Cashmere line of paints can be worth it if you have pets. They’re beneficial for preventing scuffs and being able to wipe walls clean.

pet proof stair

To close, here’s a group portrait of some of our own furry family members at TEW Design Studio!

design for pet friendly

—By Frances Acevedo, interior designer, TEW Design Studio

Interiors photos: Allie Mullin Photography