‘Pawsable’ Interiors

Living in style with pets



Photograph by ©unleashedlife.com

Your dog’s hair is everywhere, paws prints are everywhere, and so are those little wet marks a curious loving nose leaves while exploring the world.  So, how do you plan a great design for your home, which after all should be about beauty and function, while still accounting for the limitations caused by family pets?

It was not until I adopted my own dog, that I realized how much can be done to design homes that are better suited for our furry friends while being stylish and timeless at the same time. These days, most of my clients ask me to create spaces that are pet-friendly – and this no longer means designed for pet impact but first and foremost beautiful, practical and fun for the whole family.

Here are my tips for a pet-friendly home:

1. Create a comfortable area for pets near an entry so your friend is always ready to great you when you come home from work or running errands. “Dog stations” consisting of raised bed, elevated feeding station and a basket full of toys work great in mudrooms, near kitchens and great rooms where family life happens these days.

Photographs courtesy of Olson Photographic

2. Outdoor/indoor fabrics are my favorite option while designing dog beds and pillows, and with the popularity of casual living spaces I often use outdoor fabrics for family rooms, sunrooms and kitchen furniture.  If they can survive the elements…they sure can survive pet impact.

Photograph courtesy of ©unleashedlife.com

3. If you want to incorporate your dog’s accessories into your décor I recommend creating your pet’s bed or pillow using the same fabrics as your furniture or window treatments – reverse it and you will have an interesting, coherent look without it being too “matchy.”

4. Trying to relate your fabrics (or your rugs) to your pet’s fur color is another idea worth implementing. You may also try animal prints – they work great in any décor.

5. Unsightly food and water bowls can be easily swapped for fun designer ones

6. Dog crates are so ugly but…they don’t have to be. You can “hide” a dog crate using a custom-made dog crate cover such as the ones made by Dog House Beautiful.

7. When choosing flooring for a dog-friendly home hardwood seems ideal for its durability and undisputed beauty but tile is also great, especially if it is made of natural honed or tumbled stone.

8. I design custom dog-friendly rugs, which allow my clients to have sophisticated floor coverings appropriate for formal rooms that are very practical at the same time. If you have a scratchy cat then cut pile rugs are your only option!

9. If you are renovating or building, plan to have your kitchen, mudroom and family room floors heated – your dog will thank you!

10. Custom doggie shower is another great idea for all those times when your pooch had too much of a good time outdoors (even if you have a professional groomer handle the washing, brushing and clipping on regular basis). In those “hygiene emergencies” a doggie bath tub with raised bottom, clad in durable ceramic or natural stone tile and equipped with hand held shower should do the trick.


Olga AdlerOlga Adler is a fashion-loving and world-traveling interior designer. Known for her fondness for simple forms, love of color and unique accessories, she has won acclaim for her refreshing approach to classic design. She is the author of “Distinctive Interiors of Fairfield County” and recipient of 2010 Fairfield County “40 UNDER 40” award.

To contact Olga visit her website: www.olgaadlerinteriors.com or call 203-438-4743

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