If you are anything like me, your pets live on the furniture and throughout your home as much and as well as the human family members do. 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. Leather (preferably sustainably sourced leather) is a great option for homes with pets. Polyester options are typically easy to clean and very durable. I often also offer Guardian protection prior to delivering pet-owning client’s upholstery products. Also, consider trying to match your fabrics to their fur so that their shedding isn’t as noticeable.

Tucker begging for cuddles on my sofa/ottoman at home

2. Don’t buy expensive rugs: If you own dogs, you know that at some point some accidents will happen. If you own expensive rugs, or wall-to-wall carpeting, you know how painful these accidents can be. You can 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.

Trouble in the living room we designed in her Fairfax, Va. home

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.

Rex on an armchair in his McLean home

4. Incorporate them in fun and functional ways – Consider creating an organized and stylish area near the entrance door that houses leashes and baggies, 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. Maybe even a pet wash station! Why not ensure that your new design incorporates your pet’s needs as well?

Mel and Marv watching TV in their Sterling condo

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