Ask An Expert

Ask An Expert: Can I Have a Modern Interior That’s Also Pet Friendly?

Q. I love my pets, but am worried that I’ll have to choose between them or having a stylish modern home. Is there any way that I can have pets and still enjoy a nice contemporary interior without constantly cleaning?

A. Pets are the best. They give you unconditional love, and make coming home so rewarding. But while your pet may be your best friend, they are surely not your decor’s best friend. As a designer, I love having my home filled with beautiful, well-designed things. Unfortunately, my 80 lb. American Bulldog doesn’t to share the same passion, and can do damage to some of my beloved items.

But fear not; it is totally possible to have your home be pet friendly while keeping your modern interior stylish and damage-free. There are a few tips I’ve learned, and they can help you to create a living space your pet and you can both enjoy.

Choose stain-resistant fabrics

Margot Sofa by Gus* Modern

Animals are cute, but let’s be honest. They drool, sneeze, slobber, drip, and can damage your upholstery. Consider buying items like sofas, chairs and rugs made with stain-resistant fabrics like treated leather, microfiber, wool blends, coated cotton and velvet. They are easy to spot-clean, and dirt just wipes away.

Consider your window treatments

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Floor-to-ceiling draperies may not make sense for a household that has pets with fur and claws. Instead, opt for cafe curtains, cellular shades, vertical blinds or wood shutters. I personally love a stylish set of clean, white plantation shutters, and have chosen that route ever since my pup moved in.

Use easy-to-wash bedding

Japiko Duvet Set from Surya

If you’re like me, you like having your pet snuggle in bed sometimes (or maybe, all the time). Whether you have a huge Lab, a calico cat or a small fluffy bunny, you’re going to need bedding that is easily washable. Duvet covers are your friend, and they take the worry out of snuggling with your fur child.

Match your pet

Classie Shag Rug from Nuloom

Say what? Before you think I’m bonkers, hear me out. If you deal with a lot of shedding from your pet, choosing furniture and accessories of a similar color will help you keep your sanity and reduce vacuuming. You can’t make everything the color of your pet, but certain items like couches or rugs would be smart to color-coordinate. For example, if your dog has gray hair, consider a modern gray rug like the one shown above.

Have throw blankets on hand

Zoom Out Blanket from Zuzunaga

I love how versatile throw blankets are. They add a splash of color or a bold pattern to your decor, but also protect your upholstery from dirt and fur. Easy to wash, throw blankets will save you a lot of stress, especially if you just had to have that bright white couch made of linen.

Get stylish pet accessories

Fatboy® doggielounge stonewashed from Fatboy

Your pet may not know the difference between not-so-pretty and stylish, but you and your visitors do. There are plenty of modern, stylish accessories for pets that are also durable, comfortable and useful. I love the modern, whimsical look of the Fatboy® doggielounge for my pup. Meanwhile, the Cat Scratcher Wheel from Way Basics looks like a decorative item that could fit in any space, while providing some entertainment for your feline friend. Check out more modern pet accessories to add to your space, here.

Happy decorating! Please be sure to share any of your own pet-friendly decorating tips in the comments below.

Whitney Todor

Whitney Todor

Whitney is the senior web designer for YLiving. As a mom with an energetic toddler and a large, playful dog she is all about simple, well-designed furniture and storage solutions that make life easier.

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