Loving this adorable guy doesn't mean you have to give up on stylish home interior.

Loving this adorable guy doesn’t mean you have to give up on stylish home interior.

What’s furry, loves to give you kisses, and would be happy to chase a ball and bring it back forever? That’s right, your adorable and precious dog!

Dogs bring a lot of joy and love to their households, but they can also accidentally cause damage or ruin expensive decorative pieces. How many times has your dog come in from the yard and jumped right onto your expensive sofa? Or how about the swishy tail of doom that can knock books off the shelf? I’ve actually met homeowners who want to redecorate their home but are afraid they can’t have nice things with dogs in the family.

Dogs and a beautiful, stylish home are not mutually exclusive. Trust me, I have two canines of my own! You just need to design the interior of your home with your dog in mind. Below are a few tips I use when designing and decorating the homes of dog owners. I realize that dogs come in many shapes and sizes, and each has a unique personality. These tips are just general guidelines, and they may not all pertain to your specific cuddly canine.

Invest In Stain Resistant Furniture and Carpeting

Dogs that spend time in the yard get dirty. They may decide that today is the day to dig that hole to China or to indulge in a skin exfoliating mud bath. As soon as they come in, they’ll want to run all over your house leaving muddy paw prints in their wake. Life with a dog means mud stains. If you have a puppy, get ready for waste and urine stains. Other dogs, especially older dogs, can have sensitive stomachs and may occasionally vomit.

Accept that stains will happen, and limit the damage by choosing stain-resistant furniture and carpeting. Many different carpeting is specifically made to resist stains. You can also find couches, loveseats and other pieces of furniture made with stain resistant fabric. For beds, choose a comforter that is machine washable so you don’t have to haul it to the dry cleaner on a regular basis, or, worse, throw it out after a stain. You’ll also want to invest in a quality stain remover for fabrics and carpets. It may also be a good idea to choose flooring that camouflages dirt, like natural slate with a darker grout or wood flooring with a matte finish rather than a gloss finish.

Pretend There Will Be A Minor Earthquake In Your Home

Look around your home right now. What would happen if a small earthquake struck? (Californians know exactly what I’m talking about). Would pictures fall off shelves and break? Do you have an expensive collection of plates or Faberge eggs that you’d dive to try and catch? Living with a dog – especially medium-sized or large dogs – is like risking an earthquake in your home every day. Your dog may have a swishy tail that accidentally knocks things over. She may jump up on shelves or bump against the wall when running after a toy. If anything would fall down and get damaged by an earthquake, these same items are at risk with a dog in the house. You’ll need to secure them or move them to a safer location.

Also, even if certain arrangements are durable, consider whether or not you want to have to keep picking up the same fallen pieces and arranging them day after day. Your time is valuable and you may want to consider moving or simplifying certain decorative arrangements if your dog often interferes.

Meet Your Dog Halfway

As a dog owner, you may sometimes feel frustrated that your pooch treats your home with all the grace and delicacy of a slobbish family member at Thanksgiving. However, remember that your pup doesn’t know any better. When you work with your dog’s natural behaviors, things will go easier for you both.

Make it a habit of wiping your dog’s paws when she comes in from the yard. Consider putting washable slipcovers on the furniture if you are not there to watch for dry heaves or accidents. You may also be able to gently train your dog to stay off certain pieces of furniture. You can even purchase a pet bed so your dog spends more time in the pet bed (transferring fur and mud) and less time directly on your furniture or bed.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on your dog or your home. Interior beauty and your canine can coexist!

For more tips on decorating for dog owners, contact me at (760) 277-7442. I’m also happy to work with dog owners in San Diego and Los Angeles to make their homes fabulous and dog friendly!