As a pet owner of two, one-year-old extremely hyper lab mixes and a sweet 20-year-old rescue cat, I know how wonderfully crazy, delightfully messy, and often unorganized a home with pets can be.  Add kids to the mix – and it’s easy to throw in the towel (and not clean with it!) However, as an interior decorator I want a beautiful and functional home for every space in it, including our pets’.

IMG_7449Our pets are part of our family and as such should be considered in the design of our homes.  We want them to feel at home in our space, but we don’t want our home to look like even the most up-scale doggie day care.  With some careful consideration, we can make our homes work well for every member of the family – both 2-legged and 4-legged!

Here are 9 ideas to help you add design, function, and beauty to your pet-friendly spaces.

  1. Make use of often under-utilized spaces in your home.  Areas such as the dead space under the stairs can be dedicated refuges for our pets.  Building the pet areas into these spaces keeps the clutter to a minimum.  I love this idea captured here in this New Orleans home.
  2. Add a dog washing station in your laundry room. As soon as your fur baby comes in covered with dirt and mud, you can clean him up with ease in a dedicated dog washing station.  All the necessities will be within reach and you save yourself the hassle of cleaning the muddy paw prints throughout your home.
  3. Add custom art of your pooch. An artist can interpret a portrait of your pet in a one-of-a-kind painting.  Or, for a more cost-effective method of displaying your four-legged friend’s beauty, opt for a framed photograph instead.  Your local drug store or office supply store can print photo enlargements relatively inexpensively.IMG_7454
  4. Keep leashes in a designated spot.  Keeping leashes in a designated spot makes taking your pet for a walk a breeze.  No one says functional hooks have to be unattractive, though! Some hooks look like modern art sculptures.  A store such as Ikea offers them at a great price in a variety of colors.
  5. Craft a pet gate out of reclaimed wood. Sometimes it’s necessary to restrict your pet to a certain area of room in your home.  It is not, however, necessary to install an unattractive pet gate that detracts from your home’s style.  In fact, you can turn a negative into a positive by installing a gorgeous reclaimed wood barn door to corral your pup!  Customize the color and style to match your home’s decor.  Remember, I work with reclaimed wood and can easily create one of these for you!
  6. Organize pet supplies in one location.  To maintain order and tidiness in your home, organize pet supplies in one location.  Toys, treats, food, and supplies are easily accessible in a well-planned pantry.
  7. Incorporate feeding bowls into cabinetry.   This may be one of my favorite doggy-design ideas!  How many times have you or a guest been bustling about in the kitchen and tripped over the feeding bowls?  There’s no avoiding a food and water bowl, but why not incorporate the bowls into your cabinetry? It’s a small detail with a big impact.  You may already have dead-space in an island, ideal for installing a pet feeding station.  
  8. Use pet-friendly fabrics on furnishings.  When you own pets, it’s nearly inevitable they’ll end up on your furniture.  Furnishing your home with pet-friendly furniture and fabrics is key.  Many manufacturers offer stain-guard at the factory.  When purchasing custom pieces, look for fabrics with the highest rub count available.  The higher the rub count, the more durable the fabric.
  9. Keep carpets in mind.  In addition to furniture, keep carpets in mind.  The best rugs and carpets for pet owners are low pile carpets which trap less fur and dirt.  There are many pet-proof rugs on the market in a variety of stylish patterns and colors.  A patterned rug shows fewer stains than a solid color.

With careful planning and consideration, your home can be both stylish and pet-friendly!

~ Theresa

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