Pet Friendly Design Tips

For those in Edmonton and the surrounding area, this weekend from January 25-27 the Edmonton Renovation Show will be taking place at the Expo Center. (PS I’m giving away a pair of tickets HERE so go enter!)

Throughout the weekend there will be all kinds of design and renovation experts on hand sharing tips on everything from renovating tips, the newest materials and finishes on the market, winter florals and a pet friendly design feature. As a ‘fur mama’ to my #1 little guy Herman, the pet feature definitely stands out for me and I know I’ll be checking it out when I visit this weekend.

Inspired by the ‘New Leash on Lifestyle’ feature, today I thought I’d share a few of my own Pet Friendly Interior Design Tips. And make sure to visit the Renovation Show this weekend for even more home design, renovation and building tips and inspiration!

pet friendly interior design tips

Pet Friendly Interior Design Tips

Opt for Hard Flooring

If there’s one thing you can count on with pets, it’s that with their lovable, furry selves - comes a lot of mess. Whether you have a cat or dog, or even a bird or small animal like a guinea pig with those animals comes a lot of mess! When it comes to cleaning mess, it’s much easier to wipe and wash a hard surface than it is to vacuum or spot clean a carpet. If possible, opt for a hard scratch or dent resistant wood floor, laminate or vinyl floor (vinyl is FABULOUS for pets!) over carpeting where you can.

  1. With dogs and cats it’s understandable that there will be shedding or maybe accidents (out of either end lol) that would be handy to have hard flooring for but for smaller animals too (birds that throw seeds and feathers around from their cage, hamster food and wood chips, etc) hard flooring is a much easier cleanup. Trust me on this one.

    Choose Affordable Area Rugs

    Now just because I’ve told you that you need to have hard flooring doesn’t mean you can’t have any carpeting! Area rugs are a great way to bring in the softness and decorative touch of carpet but in a more functional way for homes with pets. That being said rugs can get expensive and as mentioned above, pets are messy. So my tip is to opt for affordable area rugs. Rather than investing thousands of dollars into a rug that could get ruined in a few years, spend a little less on your area rug and just be aware that over time, you may need to replace it. As a rule, shorter pile rugs are best, avoid looped rugs with cats or dogs that might claw at the rug and pull the loops and for an easy to clean brand I love for homes with pets and kids - check out FLOR!

    Choose Your Fabrics Wisely

    Some of the biggest investments we make when decorating our home is in our larger furniture pieces. A sofa or sectional and accent chairs are a big part of our homes and they’re often pieces that take up a large portion of the decorating budget. So, when you’re making those large investments you want to make sure you get the right ones not only for your space but for your lifestyle - pets included. If you have a large dog that sheds you might want to opt for leather as it’s easy to wipe down or vacuum up the fur. For cats that scratch, a microsuede fabric will be best to deter cats from clawing/hide any evidence of paws that claw. If your dog is a drooler or a messy pet, you might want to make sure that your fabric is stain resistant or that your furniture comes with a pet friendly warranty. Make sure to ask questions and do your research online when shopping around! Urban Barn has great furniture warranty and protection policies on their upholstered pieces so they’re always a go to of mine for custom pieces that you don’t need to worry about!

pet friendly design tips
pet friendly interior design tips

Keep the Breakables out of Reach

In a way decorating around pets is fairly similar to decorating with children in mind. When I used to have a German Shepherd I had to keep everything breakable away from ‘tail height’. So, on any lower shelves or surfaces I had to make sure I didn’t have any breakables at the level that his tail could swing and take one out. Fortunately with Herman, that’s less of a concern! If you have a cat, you’ll want to consider what you place on your shelves if your cat is a jumper. For some people having objects such as books and larger items on a shelf is a deterrent to a cat jumping but for others, something like a plant might attract a cat to jump to a certain shelf. You know your pets best but keep in mind where you place your breakables and try your best to place them around your pets.

Safety First When Buying Plants

If there’s one piece of advice that I give for easy, affordable decorating over and over again it’s to use plants and greenery everywhere!! Now, that being said - for pet owners not all plants are created equal. Especially for cats, many indoor plants are unfortunately poisonous! SO - do your research before you buy a plant for your house! If you’re in Edmonton I love Ellerslie Gift and Garden and their greenhouse is where many of my own plants come from. Not only do they have a huge selection but they’re also extremely knowledgeable about their plants. If going to a greenhouse is out of your way or you’d rather shop from IKEA or Home Depot etc for your plants make sure before you buy, that you make sure that your new plant will be safe for your furry friend!

Make Smart Furniture Choices

I can’t tell you how often I’ll be working on a design plan where accommodations have to be made for pets - it’s no big deal and very common. Sure we all want the Pinterest dream home but there are lots of furniture styles, finishes and other design elements that just aren’t pet friendly. For example, wicker and woven pieces are very in right now but if you have a cat - they’re probably not best. The look of open stairs is gorgeous but might not be very small dog friendly. With stairs in mind - I can’t tell you how many people say they either need carpeting upstairs or they need to get a runner because their dog can’t go down hardwood stairs! In my own home, because Herman always has to be right next to me, I have a small stool permanently in our living room so he can easily and safely hop up and down the sofa and also, we opted for a very low bed frame so that Herman could jump up on his own. The things we do for our pets!! lol

These are just a few of my pet friendly design tips - for more ideas and inspiration, don’t miss the Edmonton Renovation show this weekend!