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Pacho the cat on furniture
Photo by Berkeley Homes, Interior Design by Wells and Maguire

Designing With Pets

The W&M team know only too well what it’s like to design with pets in mind – both avid pet lovers, with two dogs Nell and Shumba and one cheeky cat Ollie, the team have put together their tips and tricks to consider when designing a space for pet lovers:

1) Space planning and layout. it isn’t always something at the forefront of our minds but for those who have large dogs (or pampered pooches with loads of dog beds!) dogs and their beds take up a lot of space. Often thought about last or at the end of the process, dog beds and doggy areas tend to be a final addition. Why not build the beds into the bespoke joinery in the kitchen or living room, the dogs get their own space which is functional and practical plus the joy of it all being bespoke is it can be completely tailored to your and your dog’s needs.

Pacho in the Kitchen
Photo by Berkeley Homes, Interior Design by Wells and Maguire

2) Utility Space; If you have an area for a utility space, maximise its potential by using built in joinery which can hide the muddy welly’s, coats, jackets and dog leads. You might even want to consider a pet wash down station or shower – especially if your dog hates the garden hose on a cold winters day.

Shumba walking in a puddle
Photo by LM Photography

3) Flooring; an absolute key element when designing with pets especially in entrance zones and by external doors. Whilst we love a beautiful light tumbled limestone floor it would get completely ruined by muddy paws and would constantly need washing and cleaning. Consider a hard finish such a porcelain tile which can be easily cleaned and will stand the test against mud, grit and dirt. Don’t forget the grout colour- keep away from lighter grouts which can get dirty very quickly over time. Steer clear from carpet in ground floor entrance hallways which will get ruined fast and highly polished floors which wet paws will skid and slip all over.

4) Rugs; whilst they are great at adding texture, pattern and zoning a space, rugs can get dirty very easily. Consider using an outdoor rug in your living area, outdoor rugs are a lot more hard wearing and can withstand a lot more than indoor rugs plus dirty paws can be cleaned off easily. Also consider using rugs made from natural fibres such as sisal or jute, the fibres are strong, very durable and easy to clean. Picking the right colour is key because a white rug is going to spoil very quickly!

Nell with toy

5) Fabrics; we all know pets love to sleep on sofas and chairs- anywhere where the humans are! Its important when selecting fabrics for key furniture pieces to consider longevity and the possibility of those little paws scratching it up.. We like to use hard wearing performance fabrics which can be cleaned and wiped down and even better, ones which can be stain guarded to help protect the fabric for longer. One tip would be to use a fabric with a texture or subtle pattern which can help hide marks and stains better than a flat plain fabric (unfortunately we learnt the hard way!)


6) Wall finishes; a bit like having young children you may find yourself constantly wiping down your walls where your pet has been. Consider wall tiles in kitchen areas where pet food bowls are located- easy to clean and maintain. Steer away from light paint colours which will quickly show marks and dirt, if you do go light be prepared to do a lot of touching up over time! Alternatively we love to use hard wearing vinyl backed wallpapers. They are easy to maintain and can be wiped clean, a lot of people are put off when we say ‘vinyl backed’ but the papers available on the market are beautiful, really versatile and extremely hard wearing. We love the linen look papers which give the wall surface a subtle texture and pattern.

Pacho on sofa
Photo by Berkeley Homes, Interior Design by Wells and Maguire

7) Throws; the team here love a throw and they prove incredibly useful in protecting furniture items and beds. Especially if your bedding is crisp and white – not only does a throw add layering and texture to your bed, it helps stop little paws from messing up the bedding and helps prevent hair from going over everything! Another tip we would suggest is use a throw which doesn’t snag easily.

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