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The Secret Life of Decorist Designers' Pets

JULY 13, 2016
Photo credit: Abbe Fenimore

Ever wonder what your pets are doing at home when you're not around? Well, our pet-owning designers do! And that's why they all designed their own spaces with pet-friendly items in mind, to be sure our little friends aren't getting into too much trouble while they're out.

In light of this summer's must-see, The Secret Life of Pets, we asked a few of our fabulous Elite Designers to share their best pet-friendly decor tips. Who said pet-friendly doesn't equal style? Our designers definitely beg to differ! A dream space for both you and your furry friend is way easier than you think...

Elite Designer Abbe Fenimore

Durability and clean-ability go hand in hand in my book when it comes to designing with pets in mind. I love incorporating outdoor fabrics on main furniture pieces and pillows inside a home with pets. Gone are the days of scratchy acrylic blend fabrics that are resistant to stains. Outdoor fabrics have come so far over the past few years, and it has become hard to tell the difference. Gorgeous velvets, bold graphic patterns and super soft solids make designing a home around pets a breeze! 

If reupholstering all of your main furniture pieces in outdoor fabrics doesn't fit the budget, bring in a company that can spray treat your pieces to prevent stain that pets can leave. Rugs, sofas and even those fabulous fur pillows can be saved with a great stain treatment.

Our sofa is upholstered in an ivory velvet with an embossed croc print. We had the sofa professionally spray treated for stains to protect it from dirty paws! 


Elite Designer Lisa Odyniec

As a complete lover of our family dog, Remy, I made sure most of the fabrics in our house can take a bit of wear (except for one sofa... and Remy is not allowed there!). That being said, I like to put large sheep skins on all locations Remy tends to rest. This is a great way to keep him from dirtying the area for repeated cleaning. Plus, sheepskins are so in! They look great a-top seating areas... You’d never know they’re out for my doggie ;)

I also had to get a black and white dog, because truth be told, I wanted him to relate to our interior space… and he does! Pets can totally be an inspiration when it comes to choosing colors for your room. Not only will they look adorable in there aesthetically, that unavoidable fur will not nearly be as noticeable.

This is a cat litter box idea I used in one project of mine. How cute?! It's totally functional, locating the smell in an isolated space, and so aesthetically pleasing!


Elite Designer Sarah Whit

Velvets with a nice natural patina make for the best paw-proof upholstery since they look better the more wear they get. Linen velvet is my personal favorite. And of course the darker the color, the less worry when your hundred pounds of dog hops on!

Canvas is another great durable fabric, and works wonders as a slip. It shouldn't scratch or rip, and if it gets dirty, you can simply toss it in the washing machine!


Elite Designer Simone Howell

It’s important to give your dog something to chew on or he might go after that gorgeous pillow! But definitely avoid greasy chew treats like pig ears or rawhide bones. They’re actually not good for your lil guy, and they leave stains everywhere. Instead, look for attractive toys in something more durable, like rubber or rope. There are some cute options out there. Shelves and hanging wall scratching posts/climbing trees are widely available for cats, and always so surprisingly attractive! Easy win-win for all the house-mates.


Elite Designer Ashley Redmond

For fun-loving pets that tend to track in lots of dirt, avoid wall to wall carpet! The best flooring for mucky paws is hard-surface. Laminate flooring, stone, ceramic tiles, or even painted concrete are easier to clean and easier to keep in tip-top shape. They’re also cooler in hot weather, which is an important consideration for the furriest of pets!


Thank you to our wonderful and talented pet loving Decorist designers!  If you've been waiting to start a room design project because you're wondering how a new room will work with your pet, fear not and wait no longer! All the designers above - and any one of our other designers - can create you a beautiful room that you and your pet can both enjoy!

Happy decorating! And give your pet a little extra lovin' on us today :)


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