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Designing a Pet-Friendly Living Room — How to Successfully Include Fido In Your Plans

Designing a Pet-Friendly Living Room — How to Successfully Include Fido In Your Plans

By: Mary Jane Gallagher

Interior design trends in 2022 put emphasis on features that are warm and welcoming, such as curved furniture and earthy tones. However, for those looking to update their living room to the latest aesthetic, doing so in a way that successfully incorporates the family dog can feel like a major challenge — especially when aiming for a stylish result. From the considerations needed when choosing furniture to innovative ways you can include pet-friendly features, here’s what you should keep in mind.


The pros (and cons) of seating material

For those who aim to replace their living room seating, considering several different materials can help you choose the best one for you and your pet needs. For example, while microfiber can be a great choice for pet owners, it isn’t very aesthetic. And, while cotton is a popular fabric choice, it isn’t as durable like other options, such as linen — though even linen has drawbacks as it’s known to be difficult to clean. While each material has its pros and cons, keeping the drawbacks in mind is a great way to choose the best pet-friendly option. If you plan to keep Fido off of the furniture, then cotton may be the way to go. On the other hand, linen is a dog friendly fabric which may be a better option if you plan on letting your pup have a seat next to you (though keeping extra cleaning supplies on hand is a great idea).

In addition to a variety of fabrics, leather is another option for stylish seating. Regarding the pet-friendly aspects of the material, The Spruce states “Pet hair and most spills on leather furniture can be easily wiped away, as leather doesn’t absorb odors as quickly as fabric upholstery.” However, that doesn’t mean leather seating is indestructible. Regardless of the material that you choose, knowing how to clean it can prove to be quite useful should Fido happen to make a mess. For those who choose leather seating, for example, cleaning a leather couch can be “as simple as mixing up equal parts vinegar and water and wiping the material down with a soft cloth,” according to The Spruce.


Providing your pup with his own space

For those who are worried about their pup making a mess of new seating, using a waterproof cover or towel can help — however, opting to create boundaries when it comes to furniture is another option. “Dogs are pack animals, which means they think of their human family members as pack mates. When you allow your dog on your sofa or bed, instinct tells them they are equal or above their humans in the pack hierarchy. For some dogs, this can lead to territorial behavior,” notes Pedigree. With that in mind, creating a pet-friendly living room that features a bed for your dog can be a great way to preserve your furniture while giving them their own space. However, this idea can also be incorporated into the furniture itself.


Redesigning with function in mind

When looking at new and pet-friendly furniture for the living room, choosing pieces that are multifunctional in nature is a great way to create a space that’s made with humans and pets in mind. This can be done in a variety of ways — for example, an ottoman with hidden space can be used to store extra dog blankets or toys in a tasteful way, and can prove to be especially useful when visitors come over. Creating a space for Fido can also be done through the use of furniture, such as a coffee table that features space for a pet bed underneath. Whether you choose to buy it or make it yourself, such an inclusion will allow your pup his own space that fits right in with your living room layout.

Redesigning your living room is a great way to keep up with today’s trending styles. However, by keeping your pup in mind while doing so, you can effectively design a living room for both you and your pet.