Living Room Design Paint Ideas

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Pets bring a lot of love into our lives, but most of the time they also bring fur balls, scratched fabric and chewed table legs into our homes. The biggest culprits of decor destruction are dogs and cats, so designer extraordinaire Steven Sabados pulled together some pet-friendly decor picks that will stand up to our four-legged friends. He designed two spaces that incorporate useful pet-friendly elements — one with good pet-proofing ideas, and one filled with even better strategies to pet-proof your home. And if you don't have pets, all of these pieces are durable options that would be perfect for young families or any high-traffic home. Here are Steven's tips for a pet-proof living space that still keeps beautiful design in mind.

Choosing a colour scheme

It can be hard to choose between a light and a dark colour scheme for your living room. But Steven thinks that matching your furniture and colour choices to your pet's fur colour can be a good idea if you're up for it. Although not always possible, coordinating your basic decor with your pets fur will make life a lot easier and keep you from running for a lint roller or vacuum every day.

Wall coverings

Good option — Vinyl wallpaper

This type of wallpaper is a good option because it's washable, scrubbable and resists the stains, moisture, odour, and germs that go hand-in-hand with owning pets. Avoid something like natural grass cloth on the walls, which will be too tempting for your kitty's claws.

Better option — Washable satin or eggshell paint

A St. Bernard can sling drool around a room like nobody's business, and even if your pet is smaller, it might still leave smudges on walls. Steven says that although semigloss paint is the easiest to wipe clean, the sheen will actually draw attention to every imperfection. Satin or eggshell finishes are also slightly more refined looking and just as easy to clean as glossier paint.


Good option — Treated fabric

This chair is fantastic for spills, accidents and general day to day wear because it's made of treated fabric. Cats can hook their claws into looped fabrics very easily, so if you do opt for a performance fabric Steven recommends choosing a tight flat weave.

Better option — Performance velvet

While velvet might seem too nice for pets, synthetic velvet is perfect. A fabric like this is actually perfect to prevent scratching because it is not made of a looped thread. A synthetic velvet or performance velvet is long wearing, fade and abrasion-resistant with a soft, plush pile, so you can enjoy it destruction-free for years to come.  

Accent tables

Good option — Metal table

If you are in the market for a new accent piece, it is best to avoid soft materials like wood, rattan or even sisal — in short, steer clear of anything that resembles a chew toy or scratch pad. Instead, Steven recommends metal accent tables, because they'll hold up to claws much better than other materials.

Better option — Metal with a sturdy base

This metal table is the same in theory, but the biggest difference is the base. If your dog goes tearing through the house to greet you or gets spooked during a party, this table is a lot less likely to topple over. In general, always opt for something super sturdy and avoid spindly lamps and other decor that might easily tip over onto pets, or onto the floor.


Good option — Low pile rugs

When it comes to carpeting, consider an industrial rug, such as one that you might see in a high-traffic place like an office. Rugs like this are made to stand up to years of stains and wear and tear. Opt for small-scale patterns in a darker colour that will hide stains and dirt.

Better option — Low cut pile rugs

These are much better for pets than loop piles. Rugs can trap pet hair and dander, contributing to allergies and lowering the home's air quality, but this type of rug has a pile that's cut short. Opt for one in a durable and stain-resistant finish and made of synthetics like nylon and olefin. Steven recommends staying away from pricey and delicate silk and wool carpets.

Accent pieces

Good option — Wool blanket

If your pet ignores your rule to stay off the furniture, place throws where your dog or cat is most likely to lounge. Instead of an old bed sheet sheet, Steven always uses a wool throw that's easy to wash and helps catch a lot of fur. A thick throw will keep the hair stuck in place until you have time to wash it, while a thin throw will just move all that fur through the house.

Better option — A house of their own

Dogs and cats like their own space. Cats love to perch and climb and dogs love to lounge. If you aren't crazy about ready-made dog crates or climbing trees, consider incorporating something into your home's structure, such as this built-in pet bed featured above. It works well with existing decor, doesn't stand out, and provides your pet with a comfy place to nap.  

Resource guide: 

Beige room

The Art Shoppe



The Bay

Grey room

The Art Shoppe


Benjamin Moore

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