Becca Gaines is an interior designer living in Collierville, TN. She's a longtime customer of Bella Vita, and is currently helping us bring our home to a style all our own. She has wonderful ideas for creating a beautiful home while still making it comfortable and enjoyable for your pets. - Stephanie

Pets instantly make a home feel like home.  For a family with beloved pets, it’s important that the home be durable and livable, so everyone can enjoy it.  But you don’t have to sacrifice beauty, high style, or quality to live worry free with your furry friends.  

Slipcovers

Singley Slip-covered Sofa
Keeping Brinkley in mind, I chose machine-washable slip covers for Stephanie's Living Room.

I love slip-covered furniture!  Even though value department stores have ruined the word “slipcover” for many people, try not to cringe!  Many furniture companies are offering upholstered and slip-covered furniture, right off the production line.  If you don’t like wrinkles in your furniture, slipcover styles can range from a vintage drop cloth to such a tailored fit you would never know it wasn't upholstery.  Slipcovers can be dry cleaned and sometimes machine washed, so you never have to worry about your pets’ fur, muddy feet, or sick days.

Rugs

Dash & Albert Rug
Dash & Albert Rugs

For the messiest pets, and particularly the ones who are accident prone, indoor/outdoor rugs are a safe choice. Companies like Dash & Albert have synthetic rugs that are beautiful, bright, and softly woven.  I love grass fiber rugs in any home, but sometimes it can difficult to remove stains from them.  Faux sisal and jute rugs have come a long way.  If you choose the right color, it’s hard to tell they’re not natural.  Cowhides are another great option for pets.  Worst-case scenario, you can shampoo (literally shampoo) them clean and hand rinse.

Machine Washable Bedding

Bella Notte Linens
Bella Notte Linens

Even if your pet doesn’t get on the furniture, it’s a good idea to have a machine washable coverlet and dustruffle with weaves that do not pick easily.  You never know where their wet noses or muddy paws might land when they’re excited.  One of my favorite bedding lines, Bella Notte has an assortment of shockingly machine washable bedding, which leads me to my next point… their cozy pet beds!

Pet Beds


Stephanie's dog, Brinkley, loves her new Bella Note dog bed!

Giving your pet its own special place to curl up is one generous thing you can do to protect your furnishings. But let’s be honest, most pet beds are just ugly! You can always have a custom pet bed made from outdoor fabric to coordinate with your décor.  Luckily, bedding lines Bella Notte and Pine Cone Hill have saved us some of the hassle by introducing pet beds to their product line up.  Both offer a variety of fabrics to choose from to blend with your home.  

Pet Bowls

Jan Barboglio Iron Cat Bowls Jan Barboglio Iron Cat Bowls

Instead of trying to hide your pet’s food, find them a bowl you don’t mind looking at.  A sturdy stand to hold the bowls in place can be helpful if your pet nudges or plays with their food.  Designers like Jan Barboglio (another one of my all time favorites!) offer stunning iron stands.  You can also find pretty options for a great price at stores like Pottery Barn and Three Dog Bakery. 

Pet Art



Hang a small painting or piece of art in your pet’s space, or above their food and water.  What a cute way to say “you’re part of the family too!”

Fiber Protection

Many fabric companies offer a fiber protection treatment that encourages spills to bead up and roll away.  Check with your designer or fabric shop before ordering to see if your selections can be pretreated.  If not, look for local businesses that treat upholstery and rugs to help you care for your most prized pieces.

-Becca

Becca Gaines is an Interior Designer in the Memphis area.  She lives in Collierville with her husband, Jake, and daughter, Jovie.  Becca is a graduate of The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and an award winning designer.  She has earned certification by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification and is a Registered Interior Designer with the Tennessee Board of Architecture and Engineering Examiners.  Oh yeah, and she has been featured in Southern Accents, At Home Tennessee, and Memphis' own Fix Magazine.

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