Interior Design With Your Pet In Mind

If you’re reading this thinking my blog is just an excuse for me to talk about my fur baby…you are absolutely right!!! Ok, I may have a few good design tips in the mix as well! 


But seriously…Imagine for a second we lived in a world where everyone had the capacity to love like a dog; unconditional, unending, loyal, pure LOVE.


Sign. Me. Up. 


This month marks my bulldog Flynn’s 5th birthday so it’s the perfect time to reflect on how this little nugget impacted my design inspiration (and my life)!  For the better part of the past decade the hubs would give me not-so-gentle nudges about getting a pup, but the timing just never seemed right for me with all the travel I was doing for work.  


He eventually broke me down…I surrendered.


We became “those” puppy parents, where the house was taken over by all things D.O.G…and the fur situation was real, waaaaay more than a lint roller could handle. Anyone who has a pet that sheds knows what I’m talking about.  Clean espresso color wood floors and an endlessly shedding dog is a losing battle. Plus, we’re down with on-couch cuddles so with that came a redesign of what we thought was going to be “just a couple of things”.  And, like most renovations, you can guess what happens next…the home improvement “can of worms” was cracked open.   


Pretty much everything was now on the list from flooring to bedding to furniture.  I normally lean toward neutral colors and textures, and without even realizing it I ended up designing my color palette around my dog! Crazy dog lady or genius designer? I’ll let you decide (yes crazy). 


So what can you do in YOUR home to make sure that your design style and four-legged lovebug don’t clash? Here are a few pet-friendly designer pro tips to consider. 


One of these things is not like the others.



•  Hardwood Flooring.  Despite the daily vacuuming, help disguise shedding fur and maintain an overall cleaner appearance by using lighter, more neutral colors for hard surfaces.  The goal is to find a flooring option that is not only resistant to scratches and damage but will also be comfortable for you and your pet. Milled bamboo hardwoods are super strong which make them naturally more stain and scratch resistant. Plus, its antimicrobial properties will help with allergens (that’s a plus!).  Luxury vinyl plank flooring is another stellar option for a pet-friendly home. It’s affordable, easy to clean, comfortable underfoot, water and scratch resistant. And much to many’s disbelief, LVP flooring isn’t slippery, a key benefit for older pets who rely heavily on good traction.


•  Furniture.  Choosing furniture that won’t attract pet hair is pretty much essentialGo for pieces that are easy to wipe down and will conceal scratches. Ideal option for us… distressed vegan leather.  A few blemishes here and there will only enhance the furniture’s “lived-in” look. Plus, it won’t hold onto odors the same way fabrics will.  If vegan leather isn’t your thing, choose an easy care, performance fabric like microfiber, acrylic or canvas.  A tightly-woven fabric will work but try to select a neutral color or a pattern which can conceal fur and/or stains better.  Better yet, look for easy-to-wash slipcovers or removable cushion covers.


•  Area Rugs.  It’s best to avoid high pile or shag rugs to keep fur and crumbs from being trapped in the deep, dense fibers.  Instead, opt for multi-colored, lower pile area rugs.  Go for synthetic, washable or wool rugs that are durable and easy to clean.  And, indoor/outdoor rugs are a rugged, smart option for pet-owners who need flooring that can stand up to life with a dog (take a look at my bestie Sabrina Soto’s new indoor/outdoor rug collection! SS Rugs).


A neutral-colored patterned rug and luxury vinyl plank flooring for the win! Photo: Dan Cutrona


•  Bedding.   If you let your dog on the bed (like I do), go all-white. It’s easy to bleach sheets and duvet covers so that they come out fresh and clean every time.  Any tightly woven materials (rayon, microfiber, satin, tight-knit cotton) for sheets and blankets should help repel pet hair and keep it from getting embedded into the fabric.  A waterproof mattress cover can’t hurt and if you want a little more longevity between comforter/duvet washes, try placing another layer on top like a throw blanket.


•  Organized Entry.  For convenience, we keep treats, a leash and waste bags organized by the entry on a little accent table in our “drop zone”.  Bins with towels for wiping muddy paws and hooks for other pet necessities work, too.  Simplify your world by keeping everything handy for those multiple daily walks.


•  Cleaning.   Last but not least, a hard-working vacuum cleaner is a non-negotiable with pets. Do whatever it takes to make your life the easiest. Think easy, cordless and convenient like the Dyson V8 Animal Pro+ or a Roomba.  Recently I received a vacuum as a gift from Mom but as I write this, I am starting to think she was trying to send me a subtle message…(haha!).  These are the kinds of things pet-owners get excited about, am I right?  If you’re looking for just the right gift or need to stock up on your own supplies, check out my list of favorite pet-friendly items on my shop.


My spirit animal


Becoming a dog mom meant a whole new design scheme for my home and I welcomed it with open arms.  Dogs have a way of filling up an emptiness we don’t even realize we have. It blows my mind that with all the things we do for Flynn, he still gives us more than we could ever give him.  ♥ 


If you don’t already have a fur baby but are interested in adopting one, is a great place to start your search. 


Lastly, don’t forget to share this post with a friend and to message your ideas for future blog posts to me @taniyanayak.  I’m listening and always inspired by you.