The Dog and Cat Geek’s Guide to Interior Design

The Dog and Cat Geek’s Guide to Interior Design

Back when we got our first cat, Ripley, I was so excited to get our home ready! I remember going shopping for the bed, the collars and all of the toys.

Changing up your home is always exciting. And finding ways to make it an even more pet-friendly space is key to keeping you both happy and contented.

So, here’s my personal guide to making your home a stylish and functional space for you and your fur family.

cat lounging on beautifully designed chair

1. Add more washable, soft fabrics to your space.

Some fabrics are harder than others to keep clean. I really like the faux suede on our couch because it’s pretty resistant to scratches, tears, and cat hair. Especially as it has been treated to be stain-resistant.

Other great dog-and-cat-friendly materials include: genuine leather (or pleather), fabrics made from acrylic (great for outdoor furniture),  microfiber (keep a lint roller handy though), and vinyl (so easy to clean). Trust me – steer clear from tweed, chenille, and silk! Our first couch was made of a type of ‘pickable’ fabric and it was destroyed within weeks…

2. Laminate and tile for the win.

I grew up with carpet but it’s notorious for trapping odors and being difficult to clean. So, I vote for some sort of hardwood, laminate or tile whenever possible. They come in all sorts of colours and finishes so you can really create a space you love.

However, fair warning: if you choose real hardwood floors, you’ll probably want to pet-proof your floors and keep your dog and cat’s nails trimmed. And dark colours of any sort of flooring definitely show off the hair.

Of course, if you do have carpet, there are some great pet-odor eliminators and cleaners you can use, like Tackle The Tinkle.

3. Keep on top of the dog and cat hair.

While many have come to accept some dog and cat hair on their clothes, take care of pet hair in your home regularly. Trust me about keeping up with this! It makes all the difference. 

Vacuuming every couple of days (with some quick lint rolling in between) is fast and easy, and ensures that clumps of hair like tumbleweeds don’t appear around your home.

An added bonus is that if you have anyone (human) has mild allergies, they will be much happier. And, anyone (pet) who likes to eat everything they come across on the floor, will have less to chow down on and you will avoid finding wet deposits of thrown-up hair.

4. Use their stuff to accessorize your home.

Modern dogs and cats have a lot of stuff. But not all of it needs to be put away. In our home, we have specifically chosen cat trees, beds and furniture that matches our aesthetic and look really good in the living room.

Shop around for food and water bowls, dog beds, and blankets that go with your style and let it be part of the décor. 

5. Match your dog and cat.

Select pieces that match your dog’s fur or hair color. Your bedspread, wall treatments, pet beds, throw pillows can add an interesting element to any room. You can even go with a more permanent move like a matching accent wall or installing flooring that matches.

I had a client whose home perfectly matched the colouring or her cat. As you can imagine, the resulting portraits were absolutely stunning.

Which brings me to the next point…

6. Hang up a beautiful portrait of your dogs and cats.

My absolute favorite pieces of art in our house are the portraits I have of each of our cats. They are large (20×30 inches), properly framed, and they hang proudly in our hallway.

As a pet photographer, I am obviously biased, but ensuring that each client has beautiful portraits hanging in their homes too is what I do. The trick is to have a thorough design consult before any photos are taken. We talk about colours, personal style and yes, the aesthetic of your home. If you are including the artwork with a home renovation, I am happy to speak with your interior designer too.


So, there you have it! With a little thought and creativity, you can ensure that you, your cat, your dog and your family love your home.

I’d love to know what other dog and cat lovers are doing in their homes. What’s your favorite pet inspired interior design tip? Please click here to share them and let me know! (Send a pic too, if you can.)