Design | Ideas to Create a Pet Friendly Home

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For many of us our pets are another member of the family and we willingly make space for them in our homes, but this can often come at the expense of our interiors. As such, we’re answering the question, ‘How can we make our homes pet-friendly?’

An Animal Friendly Garden Room with Stone Floor


The first thing to consider is the type of flooring required. For instance, a loop pile wool carpet can be problematic as its fabric is easily snagged by claws. At Sims Hilditch we love the look of natural flooring like sisal but it is extremely unforgiving for pets as it is not easy to clean. You can take steps to protect it using Intec spray, but this isn't a permanent solution. A more formal cut pile carpet design is also fairly difficult to clean when subjected to dirt and damp. So, what other options are there?

Sims Hilditch Design Studio Dog Friendly Flooring

A natural stone floor not only looks fantastic, but is incredibly durable and easy to clean. We installed limestone tiles in the interior of our Cotswold studio, and for a client in our Garden House project. Artisans of Devizes is a great place to look for a selection of natural stone flooring styles. If possible avoid opting for dark coloured tiles; contrary to expectation they tend to make muddy paw prints more visible, especially when they dry!

Image: Buscot Limestone tiles from Artisans of Devizes in the garden room at our Cotswold studio.

It is worth noting that a stone floor can be sealed with a product called Stain Stop, and this should be done every few years for the best results. Stain Stop acts as a protective layer, especially for porous styles like French limestone. Finally, a mid tone grout is a great choice when laying your flooring to avoid visible dirt collecting.

Image: Limestone tiles from the hallway of our Garden House project.

Stain Resistant Stone Tiles

Timber flooring looks wonderful and is a really good option for those with pets. However, dirt can build up quickly so a regular mop with a soapy wood floor cleaner and minimal water is a good way to clean it. Ask your timber supplier to advise on the best aftercare products for your wooden floor. At Sims Hilditch, we tend to use an engineered board for our flooring with a thick top layer. This can get scratched by your pets' claws, so make sure they have regular pedicures!

Image: We used a lovely rustic timber flooring in the family room of our Malvern Family Home project.

Image: We laid an engineered wooden floor in our Georgian Rectory project.

Hard wearing floor in family room designed by Sims Hilditch
Georgian Rectory Sims Hilditch Interior Design Wooden Floor

For carpet lovers, we have another option for you! We used Unnatural Flooring in our Chelsea Townhouse project as it is a great alternative to sisal - it will withstand being cleaned and is incredibly hardwearing. Unnatural Flooring is a good option for a hallway, or any area of the house with high foot traffic such as a staircase.

Unnatural Flooring Durable Stair Runner
Unnatural Flooring Hallway Carpet

Reupholstering Furniture

If you have a piece of furniture that your pet has taken a particular liking to, why not get it reupholstered with something more durable? A fabric house will gladly advise on the right choice for your home, but generally we recommend selecting materials with a rub count of more than 18,000.

Sims Hilditch Pet Friendly Sofa Fabric

We reupholstered the sofa in the snug of our Converted English Farmhouse with a 100% heavy linen fabric supplied by C & C Milano (rub count of 45,000). As well as being durable, linen is a great choice for reupholstery as it tends not to pick up dog hair!

Image: The reupholstered sofa in the snug of our Converted English Farmhouse project.

For the reupholstery of the ottoman in the drawing room of our Malvern Family Home project, we selected a heavy wool and linen fabric from Colefax and Fowler. The combination of natural materials like these make an excellent pairing in terms of durability, and work well to protect your furniture from curious pets.

Images: We reupholstered this ottoman with a linen and wool blended fabric to create a strong coating against animal related wear and tear.

A Reupholstered Pet Friendly Ottoman in the Sitting Room
Pet Friendly Living Room

Dog Showers

We are now installing many more dog showers within boot rooms for our clients. This functional addition will protect your home from muddy paws after a long countryside walk. The shower doesn't have to be reserved for your pets - why not use it to rinse your wellies?

So, how can it be incorporated into your home's design?

A Bootroom with a Dog Friendly Tumbled Stone Floor

We made a feature of the the dog shower in our Garden House project. We laid the same hardwearing and minimally porous Dijon tumbled stone tiles on the floor and wall and added a drainage slot to transform the space into a wet room that is easy to mop. These same tiles appear in various other locations throughout the rest of the house, creating continuity and flow.

Images: This dog shower is designed using a Dijon tumbled stone on the walls and floor. The tumbled stone continues through into the utility room which creates continuity and flow.

Hopefully these examples have given you a few ideas to help you pet-proof you home, and what better time to do it than at the beginning of a new year? If you would like to find out more about us and how we work, then please feel free to get in touch here. In the meantime, we wish you and (your pets!) a healthy start to 2021.

Pet Friendly Sofa Designed by Sims Hilditch with Hard Wearing Fabric