It's a Ruff Life: Trends in Pet Home Décor

Your furry friends deserve their own space, yet they shouldn't take over your home. Incorporate them into your décor with thoughtfulness and a bit of whimsy.

dog on blue pet bed

Keep your pooch cozy with a matching pillow and blanket. Photo credit: Jamie Street/Unsplash

Coordinate Basics for Design and Durability

Your furry friend can be tough on your home. So when it comes to flooring, opt for hardwood with rugs in places like the living room and bedroom, offered Danasia Fantastic, who runs the home décor blogs, The Urban Realist and Large Dogs Small Apartment. “Area rugs are a godsend - you can vacuum them regularly and have them shampooed.”

Another option is stone and tile, according to Bill Philby, President of Retro Interiors, who said that wood and rugs can sometimes be slippery for pets like dogs, and can often become scratched.

What furniture you put in your rooms should also be pet-friendly. You should think about using pet-friendly fabrics, such as polyester, and acrylic since they “still reign supreme since they are solution dyed fibers,” he recommended. “They hold up to the outdoors so they will obviously hold up to the indoors even better.” Performance fabrics, typically synthetic, will repel stains and clean well. “For people with pets, or kids, these should definitely be high on the wish list,” said Philby.

Leather also works well for the furniture of pet owners. “It makes controlling pet hair and dander very easy,” added Philby. “Fabrics to stay away from [are] anything containing linen, silk, rayon or any type of velvet. These fabrics do not like water so any pet accident will leave a permanent mark.”

dog in dog house

This doghouse offers function and form. Photo credit: Jana Shnipelson/Unsplash

Keep Decor Clean and Tidy

While you’ll need to make compromises when you bring pets into your home, it’s not as bad as you think. Just stay mindful of their needs and yours. For instance, a living room filled with toys and bones scattered everywhere is avoidable. Invest in some durable, attractive baskets, advised Daniel Caughill, co-founder of The Dog Tale. “Putting things that belong together in a nice storage container makes it look way neater, and depending on your decor, the storage containers themselves can complement the room. Now, training your dog to put their toys in the basket’s that’s another task entirely.”

Remember, too, when it comes to toys and clutter, less is more. “Your pet doesn’t need access to every single toy they own at all times,” said Caughill, “Only keep one or two out at a time, and rotate them every few days with another one you have stored in the back of the closet or somewhere out of sight. This keeps your home cleaner and helps keep your pet interested in their toys.”

indoor tent for dog

Find a theme and make it your own. Photo credit: Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash

Build a Better Doghouse

You want your pet to be comfortable. That means taking who they are into consideration. Animals will need different things depending on their age and breed, and their human should consider that when arranging their rooms. “Young puppies will need plenty of chew toys to distract them from your furniture and shoes, but this habit will decline some as their permanent teeth fill in,” said Caughill. Senior dogs will likely start to face mobility issues later in life that may require you to move their bed downstairs. This is especially true of breeds predisposed to spinal issues, like French Bulldogs, or hip dysplasia, such as Great Danes.”

If you allow your older or heavy-set dog into your car or on your bed, you should consider getting dog companion stairs, suggested Fantastic. “The older they get and the heavier they are, the more weight they put on their joints that could have long-term effects and damage.”

While these stairs aren’t always stylish, Caughill suggested having them reupholstered to match your furniture.

cat wallpaper

Give your cat a room they can appreciate. Photo credit: Wallsauce

Be Whimsical When You Can

Pet furniture can offer more than images of bones and cat toys. “The trends I’ve noticed over the last year are the perfect intersection of functionality, style and sustainability,” said Fantastic. Pet items have come a long way and you can find beds, scratching posts and more that are eco-friendly, well-designed and comfortable for your animal companions.

One of the biggest trends is to give your furry friend a bedroom of its own. “No longer is the kitchen, living room or your own bed good enough for your cat or dog,” said Amy Hillary, content creator at So choose that squishy bed next to the basket of toys in a dedicated space. “If you take a look online, especially Pinterest, people have been really creative making a dog or cat bedroom under their stairs, in a converted garage, an unused corner of a room or in a large open door cupboard,” offered Hillary.

scalamandre bed sheets, shams and comforter

Bedding by Scalamandré: Photo credit: Scalamandré. If you like zebras, try any one of these prints (available at Fabrics & Home) for a perfect look your pooch will love.

Designer Is Always Good

Even in the pet world, designer reigns supreme. Caughill is seeing lots of innovation in products, such as high-end cat furniture. “It doesn’t look anything like pet furniture,” he said. “It truly blends in with the modern to mid-century modern look that is all the rage right now.”

You can also use performance fabrics to create better and more durable beds ... and you can provide several of these around your home since dogs often like more than one spot to do their snoozing. “Fortunately, dog bed manufacturers offer so many choices in all kinds of styles, it’s increasingly easy to find a dog bed to suit any room of your house,” said Sarah Dooley, director of upholstery at Sunbrella. Plus, such fabrics are stain-resistant, making any needed cleanup from accidents easy. They “are also soft, ensuring your dog will [be] comfortable, as well as UV and fade-resistant, so your dog can lay by the window without you worrying about the color fading,” added Dooley.

Don’t forget to throw in a few comfy blankets; your pet will appreciate the extra warmth on those cold, winter nights.

Featured photo credit: Wallsauce

Did you like the Scalamandré animal prints? Here's more of the brand.


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