How To Furnish Rooms To Be Elegant And Pet Friendly

Hint: Furniture should not be chewable.

One of our local sales reps recently moved, got some great new furniture (three guesses where?) and a dog, in that order. She had chosen a golden retriever puppy. Now, if you have any experience with this lovely breed, you know that they are referred to as ‘mouthers’. In other words, they discover the world around them with their mouths (and teeth…) You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Our rep didn’t think about this fact when she brought home the puppy and her story is now legend in the office. She had (note the past tense!) a lovely new solarium on the back of her home and thought she would put the puppy in there for two minutes, with a baby gate at the doorway, so she could answer the front door. Big mistake.

All it took was a few minutes for the pup to chew its way along one entire window ledge! Luckily, the dog wasn’t hurt (splinters or otherwise) but the solarium was going to need a carpenter to bring it back to life! The pup, originally called Farley, was rechristened Muncher.

Result? Some of the furniture she had chosen was immediately cancelled in favor of more pet friendly options. Here are a few of her tips for choosing wisely, and still maintaining elegance and style with your décor:


Less Wood… More Iron

One of her original choices was the Lakeview Dining Table in Vintage Pine from !nspire. It would have been the perfect blend of country chic for her new home, but all she could picture was the rustic modern blend table legs being chewed up by Muncher.


Lakeview Dining Table in Vintage Pine


Another rep, who happened to have solid experience with raising puppies, recommended sticking with metal bases, with wrought iron being the number one choice.

So she switched up her look a little, still getting the vintage feel, but this time with iron legs and fewer chances of it becoming a very expensive chew toy. What was her choice? The industrial retro inspired Bronx Dining Table in Antique Black from !nspire.

BRONX 201-267BK

Bronx Dining Table in Antique Black


The pipe design for the legs and feet are classic industrial and gave her that antique look she wanted!


Furniture Made Of Non-Chewable Glass

Okay, there is no such thing as chewable glass, but we’re making a point: keep to materials that are easy to maintain and tooth resistant. This is in everyone’s interest in the home because while puppy classes and crate training are both great ways to keep the furniture in good condition, reform doesn’t happen overnight and a solid investment in some statement furniture needs to last longer than a month.

The Morrison Coffee Table in Rustic Oak from WHi was the perfect choice. A little country feel that blended well with the Bronx Dining Table in her open concept dining room / living room. The iron frame and legs were perfectly puppy proof!


Morrison Coffee Table in Rustic Oak


Keep To Faux Leather For Ease of Maintenance

For pieces that must be fabric, faux leather comes out on top as the easiest to maintain in terms of removing dog fur, dog drool and muddy dog tracks. Of course, the true ideal is to train the dog NOT to sit on the newly acquired accent chair, but what happens when you’re not home, or even while you’re taking a much deserved bubble bath, is anybody’s guess.

A good option is the Foster Accent Chair in Tobacco from !nspire. The distressed faux leather tufted cushions can withstand a little canine abuse, particularly since the cushions are removable to make it all easier to clean.

The ultimate chair for the most sophisticated gentleman.

How to care for faux leather furniture:


  • The upholstery attachment on a vacuum cleaner will pick up any stray dog hair or crumbs, quickly and easily.
  • Get to spills quickly by blotting the fabric with an absorbent towel, not rubbing. The former will soak up the liquid while doing the latter will simply push it into the fabric.
  • You can refresh the fabric easily by using a simple solution of water and soap. Dampen a cloth with the mixture—or better still, use a clean spray bottle to spray a light layer on—and wipe down your furniture. Remove any soap residue with a separate, damp cloth.
  • TIP? Baby wipes (unscented ones) make PERFECT spot cleaners!


What Happens If You’re Naughty!

If you really want to scare your pup straight, get the Angus II Accent Chair, place it next to their crate, and tell him or her straight up that if they eat anything else in the house, they’re next!

angus from site

Just kidding (sort of)! If you’re going to embrace your home as partly being a haven for your four legged friend, you might as well go whole hog (see what we did there?) and embrace an animal print design.

Add in some leopard print throw pillows or a faux fur rug and you’ve got wild kingdom in your living room! All joking aside, an animal theme to your decor is a great way to add fun and whimsy while still keeping an elegant space.

However you embrace your animal side, do it with style! And don’t forget to snap a picture, post it to Instagram and share it with hashtags #inspireathome or #whiathome