Living With Style: Creating a Pet Friendly Home

By Sasha Witte
Gazette Columnist
Nov 4, 2017 

I think pets are such a wonderful enhancement to quality of life.  I know not all of my friends would agree with me on this one – but I can’t imagine going thru life without the playful company of a four legged friend.

Here are a few ideas on how you can make your home environment one that will work well for both you and your canine or kitty companion.


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Consider the four legged family members and create viewing spaces for them to watch the world go by in comfort.—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

I love how many of my client’s consider their love for their cats and dogs as they make plans for both furniture and window treatments. 

Most animals love a place to perch and look out at whatever entertainment value is available outside our windows.  Window benches are often perfect for this.  And a furniture piece such as a window bench that will get lots of time getting touched by paws is a great one to cover in highly durable fabric.  There are so many great options these days and I would recommend a fabric that comes with a Teflon finish and passes at least 30,000 double rubs for testing before it shows any sign of wear or tear.

For window treatments, I recommend not using curtains that pool on the ground or have long cords.  It’s too easy for pets to get caught in these and to damage them.


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Consider an eggshell wall finish for rooms where pets hang out, as it is easier to wipe down—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

If there are going to be multiple pets in the home, you may want to consider painting the rooms they will spend the most time in with paint that has an eggshell (sheen) finish.  Under most circumstances I prefer flat (matte) finish on most room walls, but paint that has sheen to it is much easier to wipe clean when necessary without leaving any smudges.

Also consider color – I generally prefer the addition of color instead of white walls, but it will also help to camouflage pet hair.

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For rooms that our pets will be in, tile flooring is great for ease of upkeep.—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte


Consider flooring that can stand up to scratches and is easy to maintain and clean.  Ceramic or porcelain tile is easy to clean and resistant to any stain and all scratching.  It also gives pets a cool place to nap during hotter weather.

There are some terrific tiles that have been coming out in recent years that beautifully mimic the look of wood.  If choosing a real wood, make sure that it’s a hard wood to resist scratching.  Of course, trimmed nails help too…

If you must have carpet, consider choosing one with a low pile.  It’s easier to clean if there’s ever an “accident.”  Generally avoid continuous loop carpet because a pet toenail can unravel it by catching a single woven loop.


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When purchasing furniture, consider the color of your pets hair - it helps camouflage in between vacuuming.—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

If you are in the market for new furniture, think about the color of your pet’s fur when purchasing pieces you know they’ll be spending time on or around.  This will help to camouflage the fur that clings to the fabric between cleanings.  Slip covers can also be a good tool. 

Recently we created slip covers for a client’s living room chairs out of almost indestructible commercial grade fabric.  They looked terrific when done and are holding their own with her scratch happy cat.


Most micro suede and leather will hold up well to scratches and allow for easy hair removal. 

Crypton is a nearly indestructible, synthetic fabric that’s resistant to stains, smells and bacteria and these days it’s coming in some beautiful colors and patterns! 

Patterned fabrics help to hide hair. 

And definitely focus on finding stain resistant fabrics for areas that will see a lot of use by your four legged friends. 


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Avoid breakage by keeping delicate items above tail wagging height.—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Definitely consider putting washable fabrics on your bed.  I generally prefer washable covers regardless because I don’t care for the thought of sleeping next to something that’s been bathed in chemicals.  Pine Cone Hill, the line of bedding we carry at our shop, has terrific washable bedding in a wide variety of styles. 

Delicate looking matelassé coverlets are actually surprisingly durable.  Their tight quilting resists pet toenail snags and repeated washings.

Area Rugs

There is now a wonderful selection of “indoor-outdoor” area rugs that are readily available.  Some of these rugs are quite fabulous and would not be readily recognizable as rugs created to withstand heavy wear and tear.  And they are fabulously easy to clean.

Their Eye View

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Trixie and I enjoying the view!—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Consider the home from the eye level of your furry friend.  Think about things like electrical cords or curtain ties that could be a problem for a curious kitten or pup.

Avoid Breakage

Think about items that are at tail wagging height.  It’s best to keep the irreplaceable glass sculpture you purchased on vacation up and away from the sway of a happy doggie tail. 


It’s great to give your dog something to chew on (so they won’t go after that table leg!) but consider rubber toys instead of things like pigs ears which can leave greasy stains on floors and furniture.

I wish for you and your pets many happy days and nights of love-love-love!

Sasha Witte can be reached at Sasha Witte Design or (562) 434-8824.


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