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Pet Friendly Design 101: How to Pet Proof Your Home

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

As with many of my design clients, I regard pets as part of the family.

Meet Mimi!

Mimi - she sits anywhere and everywhere she pleases

cats, air vents,

Playing and lazing in the sun are Mimi's fave things to do around my home. Though I wouldn't say I design for pets, I do pay attention to their needs and how much maintenance they require. Today's blog is for the pet-obsessive - we’re diving deep into pet-friendly design! Read on to discover:

  • The best materials to use for pet-friendly design

  • The best brands to shop for high style pet furniture and accessories

  • Tips & tricks for pet-proofing your home

Materials to Pet-Proof Your Home

I recently completed a home for a wonderful empty-nester couple and their pup, Whiskey, who was undoubtedly the star of one of our project photoshoots. This got me thinking about the best materials to use on your upholstery in your home when you have pets:

Thank you to Regina Andrews for featuring our kitchen dining nook! To see more of this project, click here.


The term "Performance Fabrics," which is used in the furniture and interior design industry, indicates fabrics that are easy to clean, stain-resistant, and durable to last through the demands of everyday life - especially with kids and pets. Check out some examples below of what to look for when choosing durable performance fabrics:

  • Crypton - this is the gold-star choice when it comes to pet-friendly homes. They’re almost indestructible and will last for many years. It may come with a higher price tag but totally worth it!

  • Outdoor fabrics - the stiff outdoor fabrics of the past are now softer-- velvets, chenilles, linen look alikes and softer twills.

  • Tight weaves - microfiber, canvas, and denim are all durable tight weave fabrics.

  • Leather/Faux Leather - great for a distressed look, which I talked all about with Living Cozy recently. Read all about that here.


When it comes to choosing flooring for a pet-friendly home, a number of factors need to be taken into consideration. We recommend selecting flooring that is durable, scratch-resistant, has a lot of traction, and is, of course, low maintenance.

  • Tile - looks great, resists spills, and is scratch and stain resistant

  • Bamboo and cork flooring - both known for their durability and stain resistance.

  • Engineered hardwood flooring - a great option if you don't want to sacrifice the look of real hardwood floors, but don't want to spend a lot of money on them. it is also water-resistant when cleaned quickly, but excessive moisture can permanently damage its finish if left untreated.

  • Luxury vinyl planks or luxury vinyl tile. It's super durable - like the flooring in our mud room:


When it comes to rugs and carpet, you want to steer clear of high pile, shaggy rugs. Instead, opt for printed polypropylene and good indoor-outdoor rugs. This one from Loloi is gorgeous and has a super thin pile to it.

  • There are some amazing washable rugs out now. Like this one from the Ruggable collection by Jonathan Adler

Best Pet-Proof Furniture and Accessories

When it comes to dog gates, kitty litter boxes, and pet beds and bowls - here are the brands that get the designer stamp of approval from me:

Best Looking Dog Gate

How cool is this gate from CB2. Also this dog is adorable

Sleek Cat Litter Box

Genius design from Tuft and Paw

modern Pet Beds and Bowls

Provoo, Crate and Barrel, pet beds
Super sleek pet bed - Porvoo by Crate and Barrel

Alessi, pet bowls, modern pet
Alessi pet bowls are so whimsical as well as functional

Modern cat scratching towers

Here are some great examples of cat scratching towers that are unique that your cat will love!

tall cat scratchers
The Calypso Cat Scratcher by The Refined Feline

cat tower
I love this one by Archie & Oscar! I'd also love to have 3 cats

Pretty Pet Food Storage Containers

You need storage for all that food right? Why not make it look gorgeous in your home?

This dog food bin is SO clever by Nambe

pet food container, HuBee
Pet Food Container by HuBee - comes in lots of colors!

Tips & Tricks for Your Pet-Friendly Home

  • Use a stain guard product to protect upholstery. My favorite products for stains and accidents are from Nature’s Miracle.

  • Choose colors and patterns that hide pet hair

  • Purchase steps and ramps for elderly pets to get on and off beds and sofas

  • Use training tools like this Foldable Pet-Training mat to keep dogs off furniture.

X-Mat for keeping pets off furniture

And just for good measure…a photo of my boy Thurgood and his buddy Mimi the cat. Thurgood was the best boy and left us for the #rainbowbridge in 2021. He and my cat Mimi are who I designed our current home for. What about you? Are you as pet crazy as me?

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