Every year more clients are asking for pet friendly interiors for their urban, suburban, and vacation home. What constitutes “pet friendly” interior design varies upon your needs and the location of the home. Are you located in an urban, suburban, or coastal environment?
Here are our recommendations for created pet friendly interiors based on your location – but please read through as some of these options are interchangeable regardless of your location.
The Suburban Home
An example of Suburban homes would be our clientele in Bergen County. Designing pet friendly interiors in these areas lead to more formal design and do not lend themselves to casual solutions.
Wood Flooring: In more delicate formal spaces, the wipe up needs to be quick and easy. Wood floors will require extra coats of clear finish to protect from the acids that a pet may accidentally produce.
Forego Carpeting: I would recommend eliminating all wall to wall carpeting throughout the home and install hard surface flooring such as wood, tile, or stone. The use of area rugs will still give you the layered look of a more formal home and will allow you to pick these rugs up for a better cleaning on a regular basis.
Tile and/or Stone in the kitchen, laundry, and mud room areas are a given. If you have multiple pets, I would recommend using a stone or tile. We recently installed porcelain tile that has the look and feel of wood to add visual warmth as opposed to other tile options. I also recommend extending the installation from the kitchen to the family room (or great room) which is usually connected now that we have open concept spaces. These are the spaces that get heavy use on a daily basis.
Stain Repellent Fabrics: As for fabrics, we will often seal and waterproof the fabrics used on upholstery and draperies so that we have an extra layer of protection in case you don’t get to the accident right away. These coatings help protect the fabrics from absorbing the soils and surprises that a pet may bring up with them when they lay on the sofa (that they are not allowed on). It is only a tool not a guarantee that you will be safe. So much depends on what kind of pet it is and their physiology.
The Urban Home
We are currently redesigning an apartment in Manhattan. For this space, we have chosen a vinyl plank flooring for its cleaning properties and easy care. There are no pets in this case, but there is a desire for the easiest care possible as she is a professional who has limited time in between visits from her housekeeper.
Vinyl Flooring: If you do have pets or multiple pets; then vinyl flooring is a great choice for its waterproofing, antimicrobial, and durability properties. Today’s generation of vinyl flooring mimics the texture and feel of real wood.
Wood Flooring: If you opt for the real thing, wood flooring will require extra coats of clear finish to protect from the acids that a pet may accidentally produce.
Area Rugs: As mentioned above, the use of area rugs will still give you the layered look and add a bit of warmth to the space. Area rugs will allow you to easily remove these rugs from the room for a professional cleaning on a regular basis.
Stain Repellent Fabrics: As for fabrics, we suggest safe guarding your fabrics and adding a stain repellent coating. We often seal and waterproof the fabrics used on upholstery and draperies so that we have an extra layer of protection in case you don’t get to the accident right away. These coatings help protect the fabrics from absorbing the soils and surprises that a pet may bring up with them when they lay on the sofa.
The Vacation Home
For your vacation home or beach community residence where water may be a concern, we suggest the following materials for protection against water and accidents caused by pets.
Vinyl Flooring: Vinyl wood-plank flooring is a great option as opposed to tile or stone. New generation vinyl is water proof and has the look and elegance of wood flooring when chosen correctly. Manhattan typically does not have water issues like flooding unless you are ground level and downtown which is rare. But in Beach communities, the closer that you are to the ocean the more your flooring is at risk. This is also a great option because there is sand, pool water, and ocean salts that will place much stress on flooring.
Protected Fabrics: As for fabrics, fabrics tend to be less formal like silk and more casual such as man-made blends, washable linen, and sail cloth. Combine this with waterproofing and other protective coatings so it is protected from pets and outside soils.
When you are ready to redesign or build your new home, contact us so that we can assist you in the beginning and help guide you in selecting the right materials for your residence.