3 brilliant ways to create a pet-friendly yet attractive home

The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
Published on January 22, 2020

Americans love their pets. As a matter of fact, 85 million American families own a pet, according to the latest survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

It’s no wonder then that the pet industry is worth a wopping $75 billion. Aside from food and medicines, we buy a lot of cleaning products to go after those inevitable pet messes and, sometimes, destruction.

It’s not easy to keep a home attractive to visitors when a pet lives in it but it’s not impossible. Let’s take a look at three parts of your décor that can help a room look stylish yet still accommodate your four-legged friends.


It may be your home, but it’s your dog’s territory and he (or she) won’t hesitate to let everyone know. They do this by “marking” it – from spraying to rubbing against objects to leave their scent.

In the home, the walls bear the brunt of this territorial activity. Since we typically don’t wash our pets with the same frequency that we bathe, oil and the other grime in their fur ends up smeared on walls and baseboards.

In the past, painters recommended semigloss paint for the walls. Today, however, some flat paint brands are scrubbable, making cleanup easier while still providing the style and color choices you crave.

Voted the best interior paint by the editors at The Wirecutter, Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior (a combination of paint and primer) is pricey, but worth it if you own pets.

Looking for a flat paint? Sherwin-Williams offers Showcase® Stain-Blocking Paint and Primer, a scrubbable interior latex.


When you own pets, especially dogs, deciding on flooring options is a challenge. Whichever you choose needs to be tough enough to avoid scratches from dog claws, easy to clean those “accidents” and yet still remain aesthetically pleasing.

What doesn’t work for dog owners are carpeted, cork, laminate and linoleum floors. Cork and linoleum floors scratch easily and laminate floors (despite what manufacturers advertise) do warp.

Consider tile, concrete or vinyl flooring. The latter, by the way, is quite stylish, with luxury vinyl planks that mimic wood and stone.

There are even some manufacturers who have developed moisture proof vinyl planking. Check out the top six at FloorandDecor.com.

While we can’t vouch for it, Mohawk has a line of pet-friendly carpet available.


Cat owners don’t need to be reminded how their kitties love to scratch. Whether it’s the sofa or the curtains, cats will claw and scratch whatever is handy to mark their territory or remove debris or the dead outer layer from their claws.

Decorators suggest smooth fabrics, such as leather or something with a flat weave, that your cat can’t readily get their claws into.

Then, there’s the fur problem. If you long for silk, velvet or chintz, think twice if you own a furry friend.

Fabric color is important as well. If you own a black dog, for instance, a white sofa won’t work for you. Patterns are better at hiding pet fur than solids.

Need inspiration? Take a look at some stylish, pet-friendly rooms at Forbes.com.

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