Poinsettia Plant Basics – Pet Edition

If you’re like me, you’ve always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I’ve learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats! Keep reading to learn more about poinsettia plant basics and your four legged family members.

If you're like me, you've always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I've learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats!
Are poinsettias poisonous to pets?
The Truth About Your Beloved Poinsettia Plant

You may believe that poinsettia plants are deadly to cats and dogs.  But, this is unlikely. The leaves of a poinsettia plant contain a milky sap, which irritates the “tissues of the mouth and esophagus.” Ingesting the plant causes generally mild toxicity levels in dogs and cats. Reactions to these levels can include: drooling, licking lips, vomiting, and diarrhea. Skin irritation (redness, swelling, and itchiness) may also be possible. A large amount of this plant needs to be consumed to cause poisoning. Most animals won’t eat enough because of the irritation caused by the plant and sap.

Use of Pesticides and Poinsettia Plants

Your pets may become seriously ill if the plant was “treated with pesticides.” The amount ingested and the size of your pet determines the “severity of the poisoning.”  Young pups or kittens are the most at risk. If you believe your pet has consumed a plant treated with pesticides, monitor for potentially severe reactions: seizures, coma, and, possibly, death. You should also consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

play it safe

We all crave nature in our indoor environments. If you’re a die hard fan of poinsettia plants, but don’t want to worry about them with your pets, faux may be the way to go!

I attended the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival over the weekend. I fell in love with the wood flowers by D&M Wooden Flowers and Vases! One of the first items that caught my eye was a grouping of poinsettia bouquets on display. They looked so realistic and the craftsmanship was incredible!  They sell a variety of types of flowers, too. Easy to create a long lasting bouquet without the fear of harming our four-legged loved ones!

I fell in love with the wood flowers by D&M Wooden Flowers and Vases! One of the first items that caught my eye was a grouping of poinsettia bouquets on display. They looked so realistic and the craftsmanship was incredible!  They sell a variety of types of flowers, too. Easy to create a long lasting bouquet without the fear of harming our four-legged loved ones! 
Faux poinsettia flowers found at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival!
Final Thoughts

I want to remind my readers that I’m not a medical professional. And, while the research I’ve found shows that poinsettia plants aren’t poisonous, please do take care with all plants in the home. We all know how our pets act and when something is off. If you are sensing something not right, consult a veterinarian.

(I am not responsible for the health of your family/pets. Please consult a veterinarian for professional advice and guidance.)

If you're like me, you've always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I've learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats!
Poinsettias are a holiday tradition for many, but are they harmful to your four legged loved ones?
If you're like me, you've always thought that poinsettia plants were deadly to pets. After some quick research online, I've learned they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats!
Are poinsettias poisonous for cats?

Giving Tuesday 2018

I’m still mourning the loss of my angel Pebbles daily. I can’t believe it’s already been 16 months without her. But, since she brought so much joy to the world,  I want to celebrate the life I had with her! So, I’ve decided to participate in Giving Tuesday 2018!

I miss Pebbles daily. But, I'm determined to celebrate the life I had with her, and that includes giving back with GivingTuesday2018!
I miss Pebbles daily. But, I’m determined to celebrate the life I had with her, and that includes giving back with GivingTuesday2018!
What is Giving Tuesday?

“#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.” ~ givingtuesday.org

Giving Tuesday 2018

Homeward Hound Interiors will donate 30% of each online video consultation or “pick the designer’s brain” consultation purchased through Friday. Because of my deep love for these rescues, I will be donating to Rescue + Freedom Project, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation, and Dog World Rescue.  For more information on these three organizations, please read this recent blog post!

My Giving Tuesday 2018 offer will end on November 30, 2018 at 11:59pm Pacific. Please schedule your consultation prior to January 31, 2019. This offer makes a great gift for the dog or cat lover in your life, too. If purchased as a gift, I will provide a gift certificate and special thank you for the recipient. If you have questions, please contact me directly at kayla@hhistudio.com.

How do I sign up? What do I do next?

When you’re ready to move forward, please visit this page, and select the consultation you’d like to purchase. After that, you will need to fill out the questions and select your preferred consultation date/time. Payment is due in full and will be processed by Calendly and PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to purchase.

After you’ve paid and submitted your request, I will review, and be in touch with a questionnaire within 24 hours of purchase. Also, if you plan on gifting one of these consultations, I will also include a special thank you and gift certificate that you can print, and share with the recipient.

Thank you for your support in helping these organizations do what they do best for animals in this area, nation, and world!

xoxo,

Kayla

Kick off the 2018 charitable season with Giving Tuesday 2018. "#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving." ~ givingtuesday.org
Kick off the 2018 charitable season with Giving Tuesday 2018.

Top Dog & Cat Rescue Organizations

As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, dogs and animals mean a lot to me and are a huge part of my world. If you haven’t already, click here to meet my personal herd!  Because of that, I’m often asked about the groups or organizations that I recommend, so I’ve compiled a list for easy reference. This is a living post, meaning that I’ll continue to add and update, as often as I need to. This list includes local, national, and global organizations. And, without further ado, here are my top rescue organizations to support!

Rescue + Freedom Project (R+FP)

The R+FP is a US based non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing survivors of unique captivity and cruelty and telling their emotionally compelling stories to prompt social change and celebrate a #RescueLifestyle.

Since 2010 the charity has been freeing survivors from laboratory experiments, senior and special needs animals from shelters, and victims of horrific abuse from around the world.

No matter what the condition, the location, or the expense, the Rescue and Freedom Project stands at the ready to rescue, rehabilitate, and repeat.

My Thoughts on rescue + freedom project

Several years ago, my best friend brought this organization to my radar. We had our first beagle, and I was learning about the horrors associated with beagles and testing laboratories. Since learning about Rescue + Freedom Project, I have made it a mission to educate my friends and family, and make choices every day to support cruelty free products and companies. Much of my education has come from this organization, and I applaud their efforts and am proud to watch them grow on a global scale.

Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF)

The LDCRF helps homeless pets find their way into loving homes through rescue and adoption.

We offer same-day adoptions and two-week trial periods.

ALL pets are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

Over 30,000 lives saved since 2001.

Pebbles was adopted from LDCRF in July 2012!
My Thoughts on LDCRF

This organization has a huge place in my heart because two of our herd came from them. The first adoption was Pebbles, July 2012. And then a few years later, Maggie 2. They have a huge following in the area, too, and it’s obvious why. Our family highly recommends this organization!

Fun fact, before I adopted Pebbles, I purchased a tee shirt as a fundraiser for this group. I didn’t even realize it had been for LDCRF until several years later when I was cleaning out my closet. That shirt is still proudly hanging in my closet today!

Maggie 2 was also an alumnus of LDCRF!
Dog World Rescue (DWR)

We are a “dog-centric” all volunteer rescue organization that provides pet adoption in VA, MD & DC.

My Thoughts on DWR

While none of our pups came from this organization, we strongly feel that Pebbles brought DWR into our life for good reason. During late spring, they had a beagle that looked and acted so much like Pebbles. We met her and unfortunately she wasn’t a good fit for the house or herd, but by the end of the summer she did find her forever home with her foster family. When DWR says they care about their animals, they truly mean it. We met the organization’s leader during that meet up, and I was beyond impressed by her. I’ve stayed following her and the rescue ever since then, and I can see how much she loves and cares for every single dog and family she brings together. I’m definitely glad Pebbles brought DWR to our attention!

Final Thoughts

Make sure to check in on this blog post occasionally to see if we’ve added any additional organizations! And if you’ve got a dog and/or cat rescue or organization you’d like us to be aware of, let us know in the comments!

xoxo,

Kayla

I'm often asked about the groups or organizations that I recommend, so I've compiled a list for easy reference. This is a living post, meaning that I'll continue to add and update, as often as I need to. This list includes local, national, and global organizations. Here are my top dog and cat rescue organizations that I support and highly recommend!
This is a living list, meaning that I’ll continue to update with additional groups and organizations, as I find them.

#SHOPSMALL Small Business Saturday

I’m so blessed and thankful to have had the opportunities and experiences this year that led to where I am now. It’s because of all of you that I get to share my love of dogs and design, and that they do actually belong together.  😉 Over the past year, I’ve developed even stronger friendships and relationships, which have also guided me here. And so, today, I’m celebrating all of you with this #shopsmall offer. Details below!

I know life is probably pretty hectic since we’ve officially started the holiday season of 2018. But, believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start thinking about those home improvement projects you’re considering for 2019. Whether you’re looking for advice and answers or planning to hire out design services, together we can set up a plan of action! By determining your goals and timelines, it’ll be much easier to decide what steps to make next.

Now through November 26, 2018, save $75 on an online video consultation!

Now through Monday, I’m offering my 1 hour (60 minutes) online video consultations for just $222! That’s a savings of $75!

Are you in need of some design or decorating advice? Are you DIYing and want to run some things by a pro? Or are you in need of clarification on where or how to begin your home improvement journey? If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then this #SHOPSMALL offer is PERFECT for you!

Plus, this offer makes a fantastic gift for your loved ones or friends! If you plan on gifting this consultation, I’ll send you a gift certificate with the offer details on how to schedule with me. Just let me know during the purchase and I’ll make the arrangements!

Book your consultation now to get a plan of action for those 2019 home improvement projects started!

Ready to Purchase?

Step 1: When you’re ready to purchase, click this link to place your order. All payments will be processed through my scheduling service, Calendly and PayPal; you do not need an account to pay through PayPal. Although a booking date is required to move forward with this purchase, you will have the opportunity to reschedule, if needed. If this is going to be a gift, make sure to schedule the appointment AFTER you plan on gifting this to the recipient. Please email me at kayla@hhistudio.com with any questions.

Step 2: I will contact you within 48 hours of purchase to confirm and welcome you to my client family. Please watch for this email, which will be sent from kayla@hhistudio.com with the subject “SBS 2018 Online Video Consultation”.

#shopsmall Offer details:

This offer ends Monday, November 26, 2018 @ 11:59pm Pacific time. Fee is non-refundable. Please be sure to pay the $222 consultation fee in full by Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Consultation must take place before January 31, 2019.

xoxo,

Kayla

Are you in need of some design or decorating advice? Are you DIYing and want to run some things by a pro? Or are you in need of clarification on where or how to begin your home improvement journey? If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then this #SHOPSMALL offer is PERFECT for you!
This #shopsmall offer makes a fantastic gift for your loved ones or friends!

Living Life with my Senior Beagle

If you told me I’d have a dog live past 15, I would have raised my eyebrows. Over 18? I would have laughed! But we’re already at 18 – 3/4 years with Maggie, so that’s actually become a reality for us! It’s a daily blessing to have our Senior Beagle, Maggie (aka old lady, mags) in our life.

Our senior, Maggie! Living with a senior dog past 15 has been quite educational.
A Little Background: Adopting a Senior Beagle

If you are a reader of the blog, you may recognize the picture and Maggie’s name from the earlier post here. She was 13, fast approaching 14, when she came to us. Sadly, her human mom had died 10 months earlier in January of that year, and then her human grandmother died in July that same year. Unfortunately, her other human family members couldn’t keep her and started looking for someone to take her. At that time, we were still a 1 dog household. However, we had been thinking of getting another dog for Pebbles. Mags fit right in with the family and Pebbles became her caretaker and best friend, immediately.

Caring for a senior beagle (or any senior dog) can be a struggle, as well as very rewarding. And over the last 5 years, especially within the last year, I’ve learned a lot. We had never had a dog live past 15 before, so this is new territory! In this post, I’ve pulled together a few thoughts and tips I’ve learned from raising this senior beagle and wanted to share.

thought 1: Food Matters

What they put in their bodies is just as important as it is for us. We use a combination of brands and canned veggies to give balance and variety for Mags. This has changed, especially in the last year as she has lost teeth and can’t chew the dried nuggets anymore. Maggie eats canned dog food made from real food. It honestly looks like something we (humans) could or would eat right from the can. We also add in some pumpkin to regulate her digestive system. And have recently started adding oatmeal and freeze dried meat patties. We mix everything all together with some water. She gobbles it right up! In fact, her internal clock tells us when it’s meal time.

Thought 2: senior beagle [Dog] Dementia is Real

She sleeps 20-22 hours a day, most days. When she is up, it’s very obvious she isn’t the same as she was even a year ago. Part of that I blame on the very sudden loss of her dog caretaker, Pebbles, in August 2017. But also, and obviously, it’s due to her age. We try our best to keep watch over her so she doesn’t hurt herself. She is also rather stubborn, and a creature of habit, so we’ve had to make some changes, which took time for her to adjust to. Example: she no longer is trusted with going up or down stairs by herself. Or jumping on or off furniture. She pushes that stubbornness often, though. Giving us heart palpitations on the regular.

thought 3: Don’t veer off her schedule, much, or at all!

Her internal schedule dictates EVERYTHING.  We have very little flex room from her regular schedule. What little room we have, if that gets stretched too far, it can take days to regulate her body back to normal. And, it can mean long nights for everyone.

thought 4: Regular outside visits even more critical

As I’ve mentioned with her schedule, the bathroom visits are just as critical. We are almost back to that puppy stage. Where you take them out ASAP after naps, meals, night, etc. And making sure she actually does her business is also important! Often, she forgets why we are out there, and tries to head back inside without doing anything.

thought 5: life happens, plan ahead for your furbaby

Sometimes, we are lucky to automatically know if something happens to us that our furbabies will be taken care of. But that’s not always a given. So this last tip is a reminder: make sure you have an action plan for them if something happens to you. Senior dogs are the ones most likely to end up in shelters, and they often don’t get adopted. Folks looking for animals to adopt typically aren’t wanting an older animal, for whatever their reasons. Make sure your furbaby doesn’t get forgotten. Have a plan for them, too.

final thoughts:

I swear this girl has 9 lives with near death scares she’s given us over the years! I’m so glad she’s held strong and stayed with the family this long. She’s pretty easy going and goes with the flow of the other dogs. But, I know she’ll take a large chunk of my heart when she passes. People have said we are special people for having adopted a senior dog, but I don’t see it that way. Maggie fit perfectly into this family pretty much the first minute we saw her. Maggie’s been with us for 5 years now, and it’s an honor to have had her in our life this long. While I know her time with us isn’t probably much longer, I will continue to cherish the time we have with her and continue to learn how to care for seniors.

Here are my top 5 thoughts and tips on living with a senior dog.
Would I adopt a senior again?

Absolutely. In fact, I have a dream to someday open a pet sanctuary, where I will adopt senior dogs for their forever homes. Senior dogs deserve to live out their life with love and family surrounding them. And that’s my goal. One dog at a time. One senior at a time.

xoxo,

Kayla

Home Selling Tips from an Interior Designer

Interior designer gives 5 tips to get your home ready to sell.

If you’re looking to sell your home or if your home is on the market, check out these home selling tips below. From the eyes of an interior designer!

I’m one of those people who loves to see what’s on the market regularly. Partly to get exposure to new neighborhoods and housing developments in the area. But, also to stay up to date on trends in the area, especially among buyers and sellers.

It may seem like an odd thing for an interior designer to care about, but what I’m looking at is what attracts buyers and what motivates sellers. Because at the end of the day, if you’re updating your home at any point of home ownership, you want to be sure you’re spending money wisely. Not just for your benefit right now, but for resale in the future. I value my clients’ time and money, and I want to make sure anything I suggest will benefit them right now and when they are ready to sell.

Here are a few of my top tips when listing your house. Things that I regularly see and can often pinpoint why a home isn’t selling. Price plays a factor, of course, but ensuring that you have buyers actually wanting to tour your home is another piece of the puzzle.

Let in natural light

I get it. We all want privacy. We all like to keep our nosey dogs from yelling at the neighborhood dogs walking near(ish) to the house. (Maybe just me?). But one of the biggest turn offs for buyers is seeing a dark and depressing space. If you do nothing else during picture day and showing appointments, make sure your windows are open and letting the light and view in! Humans naturally crave to see nature, as mentioned here. Open windows with a view are an easy way to showcase this in your home.

Get professional pictures taken

We all know that first impression is a huge deal when selling yourself for a job, meeting new people, etc. And it is just as critical for your home, too! Think about it from the buyers side. If or when you’re looking at homes, which ones do you gravitate toward and which ones stand out? It’s usually the ones with better photography. Make sure your realtor understands the importance of good photography. It doesn’t matter if your home is magazine ready, if your pictures aren’t a good first impression, it’ll just get skipped over and forgotten.

Selling your home? Make sure it's giving buyers a good first impression!
5 Tips to get your home market ready
Decor and personalization

I am absolutely not telling you to hide who you are in your own home. But, I will tell you to bring it down a level or two. Too much personalization is overwhelming for buyers. And they often can’t overlook it. I don’t think you need to completely neutralize your home, just to sell it. But, I do believe simplifying is key. Your goal is to get a buyer to come in and envision living in the home. With their things. That doesn’t mean get rid of everything, and in fact I highly do not suggest you do that either. The key is to find the right balance of you still living there and allowing the buyer to feel right at home. Need assistance with this? I offer home selling consultations just for this type of thing!

Hire the right person or team

The absolute best thing you can do when selling your home is finding the right person or team dedicated to selling your home. Meet with them. Make sure they have similar belief systems as you and that they see you as a client and person, and not dollar signs. Will they maintain a relationship with you outside of this sale? Do they truly care about you and your family? It makes a huge difference to know someone has YOUR back on a professional level.

If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, I highly recommend the Ron & Kelli Team. And while I should add that Kelli is my mom, I strongly believe in the dedication and passion that this team has for real estate and their clients. It’s not just a job or career, it’s their life. They eat, breathe, and sleep real estate. I have watched them build friendships and strong bonds with their clients over the years. They’ve been invited to numerous parties, weddings, and so much more. To work with them, you become family.

it’s ok to ask for outside help

Getting ready to sell your home can be overwhelming. And it’s absolutely ok to look for professional help outside your real estate professional(s). Remember, you want your home to set the best first impression it can to those who are house hunting. Sometimes, it helps to have a neutral 3rd party come in and offer guidance. If your budget doesn’t have room for you to complete the renovation(s), you still have options. Technology today provides ways to show updates, without the hefty expense or extended timeline to complete the project. Instead, ideas can be shown to potential buyers digitally, and can show potential of what your home can become. Other options include virtual staging to show empty homes with ideal furniture and/or various suggestions on color schemes. Just make sure to clearly note that these are not actual images, but professional suggestions.

Final Thoughts for selling your home

Feeling stuck or want a neutral party to help get your home in top selling shape? Contact me for a home seller’s consultation. I promise, I won’t tell you to toss everything and start new. But, I will walk space to space, room to room with you, while discussing your budget and timeline. And then, I’ll figure out the best plan of action just for you!

xoxo,

Kayla

5 tips from an interior designer to get your home market ready.
What first impression is your home giving to buyers?

You Smell Like a Dog!

Wet dog smell; dog bath.
“Yuck, you smell like a dog!” “But I just changed the cat box!” “This house needs aired out!”

Do any of these sound familiar? Are you desperate to get your home smelling fresh and clean? Then this blog post is for you! Keep reading to find out how you can combat that dog and cat smell. 

While I will be sharing a few products that I highly recommend, I first want to point out some simple home maintenance and pet care tips. The time frames for these will vary in each household, but it’s a routine that you should develop for your home ASAP.

Household maintenance: HVAC system

It is critical to perform household maintenance on your home, especially in maintaining the life of your HVAC system. Your filters need to be changed multiple times a year. The exact number varies depending on your type of filter or situation (multiple animals, only one animal, location/seasons, etc). But, definitely change at a minimum 3 times a year or every 4 months. Some, however, need to be changed every 2 months or even monthly.

I also suggest that you have seasonal check ups on the system twice a year to make sure it’s running efficiently and properly! Ideally, before the first time you turn on the AC or the heat. This will help you be proactive on any problem that could occur with the function of the unit. And, you can also utilize this time to get an education from the technician on your exact system’s needs. Ask during your maintenance visit or locate the manual for the unit to determine the correct size of filter you should be using. This will also determine how often you need to replace it. Getting ducts cleaned is also a good idea, but I’d advise that you discuss with your technician for their recommendation on how often.

Quick tip: purchase the number of filters that will last you for 6 months to have on hand. Add to the calendar on your phone to alert you when you need to change the filter. Is it monthly, bimonthly, or every 3-4 months? Set an alarm in advance so you don’t forget. And before you put the filter in, write the month/year on it so you can be sure to know how fresh it is, especially if something happens to your calendar reminder.

 

A clean home combats dog and cat smell.
Home maintenance tips.
household maintenance: home care

Make sure you are vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, etc regularly in your entire home. This will help you remove pet hair and dander so it doesn’t build and set in to hard to access places. Also, don’t forget to vacuum furniture, wash bedding, and anything else your pets come in contact with on a regular basis. Check to see if your furniture fabrics are the best or the worst to have with pets!

Bathe your dog regularly to prevent dog smell.
Chihuahua with soap on head.
groom your pet

Regularly groom your pet to help combat the smell. Brush them often, especially during the transition months from hot to cold and cold to hot. Most dog breeds and some cats will shed their winter and summer coats as they prepare for the incoming weather! Plan puppy/kitty spa days (at home or at a groomer), too. During the warmer months at our house, we typically give the dogs monthly baths to help combat that dog smell; and then every other month once it cools down.

pet health

Diet, allergies, weather (rain, snow), health, breed, etc. can all play a huge factor in the pet smell. If you have specific questions about your pets, talk with your vet to find the best solution for you both. With litter boxes, make sure you’re cleaning it out daily. Scooping the pieces out that need it and adding some fresh litter to what’s left. It seems to be the best routine in my experience, but your pet may be different and require a different routine. Just like with humans, our pets are unique and have their own specific needs.

suggested items to purchase

Add items to your home that can help you combat the smell. Plants are a great option, but please do check out the ASPCA’s website for a list of poisonous plants.

Another option, and personal favorite of mine, are small air purifiers that plug in to a wall outlet and have a filter you can remove/change as often as necessary.  I highly recommend this one from Amazon. They have specific refills for pets, tobacco, etc.  You can even set up a subscribe and save order so you can install, plug in, and forget until the new filters arrive!

Combat the dog and cat smell with the TrueAir Purifier.
TrueAir Purifier and Replacement Filters

We have two on the main floor (where the dogs and humans hang out the most, two on the lower level (in the main rec room area and the bedroom where the at least a few of the dogs sleep regularly), and then three upstairs (main loft area and two bedrooms where at least a few of the dogs sleep regularly). There are many other options out there, but I love these! They are quite compact, plug in directly to the wall outlet, easy to change the filter, and easy to mask or hide wherever they’re installed. Plus, units and filters are pretty reasonable! We’ve had at least 3 of these for over 3 years and then purchased the others when we moved into the large home 3 years ago. And they’re still going strong!

final thoughts

I tend to avoid anything with scents for a few reasons. The main one is that many of the products on the market today that have any scent/parfum added to them, will also have formaldehyde in the product. Check the ingredients of anything you plan to use with an added scent; it’s pretty shocking how many products have that ingredient. Formaldehyde is not something I want to inhale. And, I most definitely do not want my dogs to inhale it either.

xoxo,

Kayla

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to feed my hounds. if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep my pups happy! It’s a win for everyone, really.

Upholstery Fabrics Not Pet-Friendly

worst fabrics to use in a pet friendly home

Earlier this week, I discussed the “Best Fabrics for Pet-Friendly Spaces”.  Now it’s time to chat about the worst fabrics for upholstery in pet-friendly spaces and why! Scroll down to see my “Worst Fabrics for Pet-Friendly Spaces” list!

Silk

In my research to see what others online are saying, I noticed several resources say that silk is pet hair resistant.  While that may be true, silk is a very fragile and high maintenance fabric. It can easily stain, rip or tear. And it doesn’t respond well to liquids, making it very tough to clean, too. Due to these factors, and the expense (!), I personally do not recommend silk on upholstery. And, depending on the client and the space, I often don’t recommend it at all in a pet-friendly space (i.e. window treatments or pillows, etc).

worst fabrics for pets, don't use these fabrics in a pet friendly home
cat on stool
Velvet

While a luxurious upholstery fabric, Velvet, is another fabric I don’t recommend. It is a high maintenance and delicate fiber for anyone, but especially pets. It’s super easy for the fibers to be damaged and crushed. Any rough playing, cleaning, or scratching/digging on the fabric can permanently damage the fibers. Professional cleaning is also recommended, and that can add up quickly! And on top of all that, pet hair clings to it like a magnet!

worst fabrics to use in a pet friendly home
dog on chair
Loose Weaves

The Loose Weaves category include many types of fabrics. These include linens, cottons, tweed, chenille, and many other open weave upholstery fabrics. The looser the weave, the more likely these fabrics will snag or unravel. Claws easily get caught in the fibers, while dirt, hair, and dust get trapped. And, over time, that trapped debris embedded into the fibers, will cause the furniture to smell. It is best to save the open weave fibers for machine washable knits or fabrics to use as accents in your space, like removable pillow covers and blankets that you can easily and regularly clean.

Suede

I’m sure many of you think that suede should be a good option for upholstery due to its strength and durability, however, it is not something I’d recommend with pets. Water spots from cleaning, wet pet hair, licking, etc. make this fabric one to skip when furniture shopping. Please note, ultrasuede is a whole other subject, which you can read about here. 

worst fabrics to use with cats
cat sunbathing on sofa

Have you had experience with any of these fabric types? Let me know your real life examples in the comments below!

xoxo,

Kayla

it’s time to chat about the worst fabrics for upholstery in pet-friendly spaces and why!
Have a dog? Avoid these 4 fabrics for upholstery!

Fabrics Best Used in Pet-Friendly Spaces

If you’re like me, your pets have full or almost full access to your house. I even jokingly say that the sofa we bought when we first moved to the new place (3 years ago already!!) was a purchase for them, not us! And, almost daily, I get asked what fabrics are best for pet friendly homes. Below, I’ve created a brief review of the types of fabrics that are best for you and your pets. Stay tuned for the second part of this topic to be posted later this week: the worst fabrics to use with pets.

use these fabrics for pet friendly homes
cat on sofa with pillows

One quick reminder, each home and space are different! Each pet, each breed, each living situation, different seasons, different environments, etc., so while these are the best fabrics overall for pet friendly spaces, things may be slightly different for your own living situation. If you aren’t sure which is best for you or if you’d like some guidance, feel free to click here to schedule a virtual coffee chat or a virtual consultation with me!

these are the best fabrics to use in a pet friendly home
large dog sitting on dog bed; tongue sticking out
High Performance Crypton/Commercial Fabrics

Most think of healthcare or educational settings when mentioning commercial fabrics, but the reality is that there are so many uses for these fabrics, including among pets!! Options are seemingly endless and often quite luxurious, rivaling some of the top residential fabric brands out there. They come in a large variety of patterns, solids, and textures; are stain, odor, bacteria, and water resistant; and, due to their durability and technology used to produce the fibers, they are easy to maintain.

Crypton is a specific name brand for this technology, and many other fabric companies have begun to develop residential fabrics using this brand technology in their own brand. It is becoming easier to find on the market.

High Performance Sunbrella and Indoor/Outdoor

We are long past the days of “crunching” or that plastic fabric when sitting on indoor/outdoor fabrics! In fact, most would NEVER guess these fabrics are outdoor safe! Technology has indeed come a very long way! Sunbrella is a top leading brand in the industry, however, there are others as well. All come in a variety of patterns, colors, and textures.

This type of material is also a favorite of mine for pillows and accent furniture (chairs, ottomans, etc.), but easily work for larger pieces (think sofa, sectional, headboards, etc). Very easy maintenance with these fabrics in case of spills or areas needing to be cleaned. Some can even be cleaned with a diluted bleach solution!

Leather/Vegan Leather

Leather is resistant to smells and doesn’t attract pet hair. In fact, it’s super easy to wipe clean with a dust cloth. If scratches occur, a high-quality leather can typically be buffed. Distressed or patterned leathers may even disguise added scratches. There are also vegan leather options with similar characteristics and options to natural leather.

That being said, not all leather out there is the same. It is critical to make sure the leather that you are looking to put on your furniture is high quality. Leather is sold in different quality types: genuine/bonded, bicast, split-grain, top-grain, nubuck, and full-grain. Genuine/bonded and split grain are the lowest quality, top-grain is the upper mid to high-level, and full-grain is high-level. I highly recommend the top-grain or full-grain leather qualities for furniture in any house hold, but especially with pets.

I’ll be sure to go into detail on each of these in a future blog post.

Ultrasuede/Microfibers

This is one of my favorite fabrics for pets and their owners. It wears exceptionally well, is easy to clean, and typically is available in a variety of colors, although mainly only solids or a heathered look. This material does attract pet hair, but it is very easy to brush off because it does not embed itself into the fibers. It’s also resistant to nail or claw punctures! Add accents with pillows and throws (perfect for those nesters!!) in various prints, colors, and textures to add a personal touch.

Ultrasuede is the name brand and original microfiber invented (Japan, 1970s). Since then, many other fabric houses have developed their own microfibers, in varying price points (usually less expensive). While just about any of the microfibers on the market today are quite durable and hold up to pets well, the name brand, Ultrasuede, is still the best on the market. If you were to compare samples of the typical microfibers in competition to the Ultrasuede, you would see some differences, including that Ultrasuede is usually thicker than the other variations.

use these fabrics for a dog friendly home; blue gray sofa, tufted sofa, living room design, interior design
dog sitting on human’s lap on a sofa

Still have some questions about one of these fabrics? Feel free to send me an email or post a comment below! And, don’t forget to come back later this week when I share the worst fabrics for pet friendly spaces!

xoxo,

Kayla

Bringing Nature Indoors

Americans spend an average of 93% of their time indoors. And as humans, we crave nature; we respond well to it. Plants help cleanse the air around us. They bring life to a space (literally if it’s a plant 😉 ). These are just a few reasons adding natural elements can enhance your space and living experience!

So how do you bring natural elements into your space? It can be pretty easy, and you may already have this covered and not even realize it!

Evaluate the Elements of Nature around your space:

Do you have any natural wood elements: flooring, furniture, decor? Do you have windows in your space? Can you look out into nature (think trees, plants, water elements, etc.)? Are there stone elements in the space (granite or marble, certain tiles that are made from natural stone materials, fireplace surround with stone, etc.)? Do you have indoor plants or flowers (potted or an arrangement/bouquet)? What about artwork or wall-covering that has leaves, water, trees, or variations of these in an abstract design? If you have any or all of these elements, congratulations, you’ve accomplished this step!

If you don’t have any, or if you want to add some additional elements to your space, look around and see what you could add to increase the natural elements. I absolutely love to get fresh flowers at the farmer’s market in the summer and I’m developing a huge addiction to succulents (hello Plant Nite!!). I also LOVE shopping for fun and unique planters or vases for them (home goods and target are my go to spots for these!!). Etsy also has some very creative wall or hanging pieces for succulents. Often mixing materials to bring in various natural textures.

You should have fun shopping for natural elements, and looking at them should bring a smile to your face!

If you’re planning to add live plants to your space and are a pet parent, be sure to check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs and cats before you buy!

Here are a few more examples. Now it’s your turn! What natural elements do you have in your home or office?

xoxo,

Kayla