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Journal

June 7th

Home Design Dogma: Creating Pet-Friendly Spaces

A pull-out drawer in this kitchen’s island provides clean food storage that’s easy for pets to reach.

I love my dog, Maggie, and my cat, Simba. And I love interior design. So people often ask me about the best ways to combine an affection for pets with an eye toward design. Here are 10 tips to help you achieve just that!

• Use satin paint instead of flat paint. When your dog comes racing in the door and shakes water off his coat, flat paint will stain with water drops. Satin paint will wipe clean.

• Avoid carpet in favor of hardwoods, tile or another solid surface. Pet stains can be impossible to remove from carpet, and it traps odors. If you must use carpet, choose a low pile that can be easily scrubbed after an “accident.”

• Pets tend to jump on beds — and sometimes accidents occur there too. Use washable fabrics on your bed rather than those that can only be dry-cleaned. Select patterns that hide pet hair and smaller stains.

• Use stain-resistant, durable fabrics for your upholstery. Leather and ultrasuede wipe clean and look good too. The Crypton branded fabric is named that for a reason — it’s virtually indestructible and perfect for a house with pets. And don’t forget about those wonderful outdoor fabrics we told you about here. With all of the color choices, you can create a beautiful room that Fido can’t rip apart — no matter how hard he tries.

This TV stand does double duty as doggy’s hideaway bed.

• Make your functional pet gear more interesting so you can integrate it into your home. If you need a cage or bed for your dog, peruse online sites (like this one) that carry fanciful versions. Make your furniture do double-duty with pet beds hidden inside TV cabinets or end tables.

• Populate your room with hidden storage that allows you to put away Muffy’s toys when needed and keep breakables stashed away from her swinging tail.

• In the kitchen, you can incorporate pet feeding stations and even pet beds in cabinets or islands. If you are remodeling, include a pull-out trash drawer to hold pet food bins.

• It might not be an easy fix, but adding a direct exit for your pet to the yard will save paws from tracking water and grime through your house.

• Keep your pet bathed and groomed to reduce odor and hair loss. Also, vacuum regularly to avoid fuzz build-up.

• Remember that this is your home, not just a house. With pets around it will never be perfect. But the love they give you is more than worth the trouble!

If we can assist you in designing a pet-friendly home — or with any of your design needs — please contact us for a complimentary consultation.