interior design and pets

Interior Design and Pets – Match Made in Heaven or … not

Pets. They are members of our families that are irreplaceable. For most of us, if we had to choose between fine interior design and pets, we’d choose our pets time-and-time again. While it would be a rather easy choice to make, the good news is that we don’t have to choose! With some thoughtful execution, it is 100% possible to have a well-designed home with pets.  

You can’t exactly change how your pets operate, but you can certainly make changes to your home. As a pet owner myself, there are particular challenges that arise when merging interior design and pets. With some thoughtful planning, your space can be welcoming to four-legged and two-legged friends alike. 



This is probably not your first thought when thinking about interior design and pets, however, it is an important area to consider. Be careful when choosing textured wallpaper. If you have a cat, you know that they enjoy rubbing against things. Cat or dog, fur will latch onto the textured wallpaper and you’ll have a very hard mess to clean. Instead, opt for smooth wallpaper, or eggshell paint which can take a beating and be cleaned with warm soapy water. Pet shedding is just a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to contain. 



Since our furry ones most likely spend the bulk of their time on the floor, flooring is probably the most important area of consideration. If you can, avoid carpeting as much as you can. Very light carpet holds onto pet accidents like none other. Dark carpet can be worse since it may mask accidents for some time. If you use abrasive cleaners you may fade and damage dark carpeting. Also, carpeting easily harbors pet odors and generally, it’s not the best choice for flooring. 

I highly recommend flooring that can be easily cleaned and withstand wear and tear, such as hardwood flooring. In an effort to make the flooring more comfortable, opt for a high-performance rug with a tight-knit. As with most aspects of interior design and pets, consider your pet’s coat color when choosing a rug. Imagine for a moment that the doorbell has just rung and four excited paws are running at full speed across the rug. The best thing to do to ensure that everything remains intact is to invest in a non-skid pad underneath your rug. 



Choosing the right textiles are equally as important as choosing the right flooring. This is especially true if you have a cat. My wonderful cat, Violet has been with us for seven years, and throughout that time she’s completely ruined two sofas. When I say ruined, I mean straight-up demolished them. It took us the span of two sofas to get to the root of why she was shredding them to pieces; she was dealing with anxiety after we had Camille. 

Perhaps you don’t have a little kitty obliterating your textiles, but whatever the case, you should really invest in performance fabrics. There are so many great performance fabrics that can accommodate your interior design and pets. The options are truly endless!

If reupholstering pieces isn’t within your budget, make sure that you look for fabrics that are tight-knit and washable. You should also be mindful of the color of your textiles. Ideally, you’d choose pieces that can mask dirt or pet hair between washes. Just keep in mind that natural fibers aren’t the best fit when looking for durability, opt for synthetic when you can. 


Everything else  

Our interior design and pet needs are just as variable as our pet’s personalities. The next few pointers don’t really fall into one bucket, so take the best and leave the rest!  

When selecting seating, be mindful if your furry friend likes to perch on the back of your sofa for window-watching. Seating with semi-attached backs or tufted backs will work the best overtime to avoid a saggy cushion look.

Whenever I receive floral arrangements, I almost always have to prune them to make sure that they don’t contain any plants that are toxic to cats. Try to avoid this headache as much as possible by using faux plants. I even went so far as to explain why I’ve ditched real plants for good. When in doubt, keep real plants and anything else that could harm your pets out of reach.  

Finally, I am a huge fan of designated pet spaces. When Jo and I had a dog a looooooooong time ago we had a designated point-of-entry space. This designated space allowed us to clean dirty paws and get settled before releasing the hound into the rest of the house. We also found that having a designated play space for our pup made it so that we didn’t allow our entire home to become a giant playpen. Our house felt more orderly and less stressed with designated pet spaces. I even know of a couple that has a doggy wash in their designated pet point-of-entry.  

Thankfully, we don’t have to choose between our interior design and pets. Just being mindful of our pet’s needs in the interior design process can make our homes more welcoming to all!  

Side note: As I typed this post, my lynx-point siamese slept in my lap and completely molted her entire coat on my black pants. At least it looks like she molted her entire coat on me. 😕 So basically I’ll never get her fur out of these pants ever again. 


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