Don’t let pets ruin your interior decor.

Credit: Laura Negri Photography.

Credit: Laura Negri Photography.

To keep your home from looking like a CSI crime scene or a free-range pet toy zone, we tapped Atlanta design experts (who have pets of their own) to find out how to reign in the chaos. be done and possibly hide the fact that animals lead their own lives.

Drawing Room ATL’s design philosophy calls for thinking outside the box, said the interior designer Seth Van Den Berg. Van den Bergh currently has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Black Lab puppy and has learned from past experience that you need to customize your home to your specific animal’s needs.

“I had a dog, for example, that was over 15 years old. When dogs get older they have a lot of accidents. We had a baby cow in our sitting room. He had a Syria messed with it. I took it outside and put it down,” said van den Berg, who now incorporates animal skins into many of his projects.

Hope Austin Of Hope Austin Interiors has a rescue dog named Finley, as well as 35 chickens and a goose at her Madison home. “Growing up, my dogs were outside dogs. But times have changed for today’s pet owners. “Dogs are part of the family,” she said.

Jean Group designer Jenny Wilburn made the mistake of buying a white sofa even though she has a black dog (Juniper, shown here).  (Courtesy of Lauren Chambers)

Credit: Lauren Chambers

Credit: Lauren Chambers

Like most interior designers we talked to. Jenny Wilburn Jane Group has let her chihuahua and border collie mix juniper on the furniture. “She’s allowed to sit on the couch, she’s allowed to go to bed, she comes to work every day,” he said.

“I think it’s like having small children: nothing can be too precious,” Wilburn said.

Leave the dog bed.

Van den Bergh prefers the natural beauty of cowhide and sheepskin for easy-to-clean and comfortable places for your pet to sleep. Cow and sheepskins can also do double duty to protect your carpets and furniture. Van den Bergh buys sheepskins from a variety of sources including; Fiber by Ascon, SafaviyaAnd Ikea. “They’re easy to move, I can take them to the dry cleaners,” he said.

Designer Hope Austin created this pet. "Nap room" Off the main bedroom to the show house.  (Thanks to Chris Little)

Credit: Chris Little

Credit: Chris Little

Use carpet strategically.

Van den Bergh uses luxurious vinyl rugs and Austin likes to lay his rugs with a large indoor/outdoor rug as a base and beautiful, fine throw rugs on top that can be picked up and washed or dry cleaned. can be taken to

Stay away from wall-to-wall carpeting

If you have pets, the designers warn it’s a no-go.

MacGyver to him

Van den Bergh discovered that her two new dogs were sloppy eaters and drinkers, so she came up with a new solution to solve the problem. “I bought large gerbil feeders and attached one to my table leg and one to my cabinet. And now they both use them.

Astroturf your yard.

Dog traffic and potty breaks can wreak havoc on your yard, turning grass into a Coachella-worthy mud pit. Van den Berg solved the problem by planting artificial grass. Dogs don’t detect dirt and it’s the perfect solution for a shady yard like this where growing grass can be a challenge.

Interior designer Jenny Wilburn recommends looking for carpets made with stain-fighting fibers and treatments if you have pets.  (Courtesy of Katrina Maxwell)

Credit: Katrina Maxwell

Credit: Katrina Maxwell

Performance fabrics are your friend.

All three designers emphasized the need to pay a little extra to get a sofa or chairs with a stain-resistant performance fabric. Krypton A performance fabric you can find on sofas sold at Pottery Barn, Arhaus and Ballard Designs. Rug company Stark has its own SPA (Stark Performance Acrylic) fabric. For the most part, Wilburn said, these fabrics are “more expensive, but it’s better than replacing something in two years, which is bad for the environment.”

Many homeowners are integrating pet feeding stations into their kitchen designs.  (Courtesy of Hope Austin Interiors/Laura Negri Photography)

Credit: Laura Negri Photography.

Credit: Laura Negri Photography.

Swap hardwoods for luxury vinyl.

Hope Austin thinks luxury vinyl is more durable and easier to clean, especially when you’re dealing with water dripping around dog bowls. The durable, polyester PET (polyethylene terephthalate) yarn used by companies such as Surya and Jaipur Living adds stain resistance to the original fabric fibers, Wilburn said.

Customize for new builds

If you are renovating or building a home, you can get really creative in designing a space for your pet. Austin built a doggy nap nook out of the primary bedroom in a show home she decorated. Other desirable options include water and food bowls integrated into kitchen cabinet bases. At the end of an island you can create a nook for water and food bowls and even a pot filler for easily accessible water.

A mudroom like this one with a place to wash the dogs is a great way to keep track of pet messes outside.  (Courtesy of The Jane Group/Photo by Jeff Hare Photography Inc.)

Credit: Jeff Hare Photography Inc

Credit: Jeff Hare Photography Inc

Add a mudroom if possible.

If you have the space, a mudroom with a tile floor can be a great solution. This can include storage for food and hooks for leashes, even a mini doggy wash station to keep animals clean of messes throughout the house, which Wilburn added to one of her client’s homes. what was Even if you don’t have a mud room, try to create a buffer between the inside and the outside and have towels to mop up messes, a washable rug and a mop or mop to deal with large messes. Keep the wipes.

Install an indoor cat door.

These can give the cat access to the litter box while keeping it out of sight in a closet or laundry room.

Coordinate your decorations with your animal’s coat.

It may sound crazy, but mixing clothing and rugs with animal fur can help hide a lot of dirt. “I have a white sofa and a black dog so I’m constantly in there with Dyson,” laughs Wilburn. “I would absolutely not get a white couch if you have an animal, no matter what color they are,” Austin said.

Choose a slipcover.

Washable slipcovers are great if you let your animals on your furniture. Just make sure the slipcovers aren’t prone to shrinkage so you can avoid the hassle of trying to wrestle a small cover onto your cushion.

Invest in a good cleaner.

Some designers swear by workhorse dish soap Dawn for dealing with pet messes, while others recommend it FOLEX Cemko Carpet Cleaner To remove pet stains.

Bring in a professional

If you already have an upholstered sofa and chairs but want a little extra protection from animal waste companies such as microcell, Fiber cell or coat They will come to your home to clean upholstery and even include a stain-resistant fabric protector to protect your furniture from future damage.

Stay away from delicate natural fibers

Mohair or silk will not tolerate a dog or cat. Opt for silk drapes instead, says Wilburn. “Instead of having a mohair sofa, have two mohair pillows,” suggests Wilburn.

Tile your kitchen.

“Tile floors are incredibly durable. I wish I had tile in my kitchen. Tile cleans up so much easier and it’s so forgiving,” Wilburn said.

Commit to an annual deep clean.

Austin suggests scheduling a regular six-month or quarterly cleaning service for deep-cleaning carpets and upholstery.

Act quickly.

“It’s important to attack when spreading,” Wilburn said. Keep your towels to stain and the cleaner on hand for those accidents you know are inevitable. She tells anyone building a home to make sure there are plenty of outlets for the vacuum cleaner. Going to places where pets like to roam every day with a vacuum, she said, can make all the difference in keeping dirt at bay.

Felicia Feaster is a longtime lifestyle and design editor who spent 11 years covering gardening, interior design, trends and wellness for Felicia is a contributor to and has been interviewed as a design expert by The New York Times, Forbes and the Associated Press.

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