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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pet-friendly and child-friendly designs

Textured and tactile materials in this children’s bedroom create a child-friendly environment.  (Courtesy of Scott Gabriel Morris)
By Cathy Hobbs Tribune News Service

Design should not only be beautiful but durable as well. While in some instances, a higher price tag may mean higher quality, this isn’t always the case. Good design doesn’t always have to be expensive.

In the case of pets and children, there is an inherent “wear and tear” factor, that should be considered. Even so, of course, we want to have all members of the family be able to feel joy and relaxation in a well-designed space!

This is where a thoughtful selection of pet and child friendly materials and finishes comes into play.

General rules of thumb

Some general design rules for pet- and child-friendly spaces include:

Washable fabrics.

Cushions with removable covers for easy washing or replacement.

Wipeable fabrics.

Sturdy construction.

Pet- and child-friendly design tips

Light, washable cotton fabrics.

Commercial grade fabrics such as Sunbrella and Crypton.

Leather and faux leather.

Things to avoid

Boucle or woven knit fabrics.

Velvet or materials that will easily show dirt or pet hair.

Delicate or hard to clean fabrics.

Glass or items that can easily chip or break.

Color tips

Bright colors that can hide stains easily.

Bold patterns that can hide stains or light wear and tear.

Colors that can be easily touched up pens (typically white, black, brown or metallics such as gold or silver).

Takeaway tip

Purchase items that will go the distance as opposed to disposable items that will need to be repeatedly replaced. In some instances, those disposable items may serve a purpose during a certain phase such as a pet’s puppy years or a child’s toddler phase, but be sure to also incorporate those well designed quality pieces that will also be reliable and durable.