Do you want to decorate your home, but you’re waiting because you’re afraid your pets will destroy it? You don’t want to spend money on beautiful things only for them to be ruined because your pets don’t care. Guess what? You can have nice things and keep your pets! Here are my interior decorating tips for pet owners.

True Story!

Let me tell you a funny story. I’ve been there. Last summer we adopted two dogs from the local Humane Society. One was a puppy, Link, and the other,Talia, looked like she had recently been pregnant. That’s what they told us anyway.

Well, it turns out that she was pregnant when we took her home! We had scheduled her surgery to get spayed and we called them back because we could feel the puppies moving. The surgery was for the next morning. It turns out that they require you to take them in for surgery anyway. God had other plans (and a sense of humor).

My husband felt sorry for Talia and let her in the house. I wasn’t home and everyone else was outside. Why was the dog inside by herself? I don’t know. All our pets stay outside where they have five acres to roam and play except for our cat, Blue.

interior decorating tips for pet owners mama dog and puppies

Anyway, when I walked in the front door, I turned and saw Talia on the sofa. I asked her (because all good pet owners have conversations with their pets), “What are you doing in the house by yourself?” She looked at me, I looked at her and then I heard it. Tiny little puppy squeaks. Coming. From. The. Sofa.

Yes, you read that right! She had her babies on my sofa. I probably should have been upset, but all I could do was laugh. After fifteen years it was time for a new one anyway. It was also perfect timing. I went to Las Vegas Market a couple of weeks later and found our new sofa. So now everyone is happy.

All puppies were adopted to good homes and Talia still tries to sneak inside. Especially when it rains. Sometimes we let her, sometimes we don’t. In honor of our precious puppy Talia, here are ten interior decorating tips for pet owners:

Best Area Rugs for Pet Owners

You can have area rugs. There are many rugs that look expensive but are made of materials that you can clean easily. Make sure to check what material an area rug is made of before you buy it.

Nylon and nylon blend rugs are very durable and stain-resistant. Polypropylene and olefin are also highly durable and stain resistant except for oil-based stains. Natural materials such as wool, cotton, or sisal and sea grass are also good options when you have pets.

wool area rugs for pet owners interior decorating tips
Blue has approved my wool area rug from Loloi

For one client, we chose multi-colored, cotton kilim area rugs for her living room. She puts chili powder on the edges of the rugs to keep her dogs from messing with them. They will sniff the rug, turn up their nose, and move away. I have seen it myself. I get lots of requests for interior decorating tips for pet owners.

You can also choose cowhide area rugs. The texture of the hide will repel pet hair and it’s also very durable. The sisal, jute, or sea grass rugs are easy to clean but they won’t hide liquid stains. Plus, cats like to scratch these types of rugs.

Forget Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Wall-to-wall carpet will trap pet hair and soak up pet related stains. It acts like a sponge. Over time, your carpet will take on pet odors as well. If you really love carpet, try to choose one that has a low pile such as Berber.

Another option is to use carpet tiles. These can be easily pulled up and replaced if one or more ends up getting stained. You can replace only the parts that are stained instead of the entire room.

kitchen with hard floors interior decorating for pet owners
Kitchen design by Diva by Design

Choose Hard Surface Flooring

Terrazzo, brick, and ceramic tile are excellent choices for homes with furry family members. Very simple to keep clean and you don’t have to worry about your pet’s nails scratching the floor.

Hardwood is another option. Keep your large dog’s nails trimmed since they could scratch the hardwood. Pair your hard floors with area rugs from the first tip to cut down on echoes and to warm up your space. Natural stone flooring is more porous and will take on pet smells and stains over time.

interior decorating tips for pet owners close up of glass bowl

Buy Non-Breakable Knick Knacks

Like children, pets will eventually break something fragile. We all know what happens when your cat decides that he or she doesn’t like where you placed a glass vase or other ornament. Down it goes!

If you truly want to use glass items to decorate, I do have a solution. Another client showed me this idea. Don’t I have great clients? I don’t have an affiliate link for this.  To keep your cat, or child. from knocking things off your tables or shelves, use Clear Museum Gel.

I love this stuff and use it in my own house! Unlike the yellow putty, museum gel will not harm or stain your furniture surfaces. It is simple to use and your cat can brush by your glassware without it falling over.

clear museum gel interior decorating tips for pet owners

Here’s how it works:

Take a little bit out of the container and roll it between your fingers to make a “snake”. Stick that on the bottom rim of your vase or other glass item. Place it where you want it to stay and then wiggle it back and forth while pushing down slightly. Let it sit for an hour so that it can create a tight seal.

Try to pick it up or knock it over and it won’t move. Removing the item is simple. Just grasp it firmly and twist. It comes right off and the gel can be rubbed off and put back in the container or reused. Just make sure your hands are clean since the gel is clear.

You’re going to love this stuff! You can use it to keep wall art from moving too. It does work best on non-porous surfaces.

cat on blanket match upholstery color to pets decorating tips for pet owners

Match Furniture Upholstery to Fur Color

This is one of the best interior decorating tips for pet owners. If you allow your pets on the furniture, choose fabric colors that are inspired by your pet’s fur. You won’t notice the fur as much. It’s not an excuse to clean it up less often, but it’s not the first thing visitors will notice when they come into your home.

White walls won’t stay clean when you have pets since they tend to rub up against them when walking (or running) by. Your beautiful, snowy white walls will turn gray quickly. This gives you the perfect excuse to choose color for your walls. Get creative!

Throw blankets are also your friend. My new sofa? Blue loves to lay across the back and scratch. I put a throw blanket there and she now chooses to lay on the window sill behind the sofa. I’ve done the same for clients on their new chairs to discourage cats from scratching there.

Image from

Pet Station Interior Decorating Tips for Pet Owners

Our pets are part of the family. They deserve to have a space for their stuff too. You can plan a space for your pet in a mudroom, kitchen, or your entryway.

You want a place where you can get the mud off before they enter the rest of the house. Read number three again for flooring choices. Use stain resistant fabrics and colorful paint here as well. A cabinet for towels, leashes, and food is a good idea near the entrance for your pets

Custom Behr paint home color palette by Diva by Design

Wall Paint for Pet Owners

Whether or not you take your pet to the groomer regularly, they will leave smudges on the walls and inside door jambs.

Doggie drool and water will fly when they shake their heads and bodies upon coming inside. Cats have a habit of splashing in their water bowl before they drink it. And birds love to throw stuff out of their cages and onto the wall.

Many interior designers will specify flat paint for your walls. Except when you have pets. Flat paint is hard to clean and when you scrub it some of the paint comes off and leaves a mark. Semi-gloss is easy to clean, but scratches and dings will be emphasized by the shine of the paint.

My favorite paint finish is eggshell. It hides imperfections better than glossy finishes and stains wipe off easier without taking the paint off the wall. Some paint manufacturers do make scrubbable matte paint now.

crypton fabrics for pet owners
Crypton fabrics available through Diva by Design

Use Stain-Resistant Fabrics

Choose wisely when it comes to fabrics in a household with pets. Silk fabrics will be a nightmare to keep beautiful and velvet draws pet hair like a magnet.

Leather? Pick the right leather. A cat can shred your bonded leather furniture faster than you can leave the room after installing it. You should see my brand new office chair! Yes, I knew it would happen. I bought it for the way it was made knowing I would be reupholstering it later. Maybe sooner rather than later now.

A higher grade of leather will show scratches from your pet’s nails but will hold up much better. Bonded leather is actually a fabric made of ground up leather and a bonding agent (hence the name) with a fabric backing. This is why it will eventually disintegrate.

Crypton is a synthetic fabric that’s resistant to stains, smells, bacteria and muddy paws. You can surface clean it, but don’t wash your cushion covers. It removes the stain-resistant protective coating and the fabric may start pulling apart.

washable fabrics on bed for pet owners custom bedding from diva by design harlingen texas
Custom bedding by Diva by Design

Use Washable Fabrics on Your Bed

If your pets sleep with you, choose fabrics that are washable like cotton. Cats tend to leave “gifts” in weird places. Choose colors and patterns that will hide stains easily between washing. Another of my best interior decorating tips for pet owners.

Duvet covers are great because you can take them off and wash them regularly. Quilts as bedspreads are another good choice when you have pets. They are durable and stand up to pet nails and washing.

interiors and custom pet beds from Diva by Design

Have Your Designer Make Custom Pet Beds

When you choose pet-friendly, washable fabrics for your décor, you can also use them as pet bed covers. We did this for our client who has three small dogs. The dogs claimed them as soon as we brought them in. We had two covers made so that one can be used while the other is in the wash. You know your pets deserve to be fancy too, right?

With these tips, now you can move ahead with creating your dream home. By choosing the right materials you can match your home to your vision and keep your pets too!

Creating a home that supports every member of your family is important. You will feel less stress when purchasing beautiful pieces for your home because you know that there are materials out there that will stand up to your pets and their antics.

Many people want a beautifully furnished home, but don’t have time to figure out every small detail. Christina Rodriguez of Diva by Design guides you through the process of creating a personalized and pulled together space. Then you can relax stress-free in your fully finished home or office. Let us take care of the details so you don’t have to!

CLICK HERE to contact Diva by Design about our feng shui Design Work Sessions.

©Diva by Design 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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