Your home is your sanctuary, and it's important it stays that way for you and your pet. Whether it's the start of a new year, the beginning of a new season, or anytime at all, it's always refreshing to give ourselves a clean slate to reflect on our pet-friendly homes and their role in our lives.

Simple changes can make a big difference in how a space looks, feels, and functions. Here are a few quick pet-friendly design tips from interior designer Heather Higgins, ASID, CID, of Higgins Design Studio, LLC, on putting a fresh coat of paint—literally or figuratively—on your living space. 

Fresh Paint

Changing the wall color is the easiest way to boldly transform the look and energy of a space. Paint is the safest and most affordable pet-friendly way to cover scuff marks and stains and give tired walls a fresh look. Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select "Matte” finish paint is a favorite. It has the rich appearance of a flat paint but is washable, like an eggshell or satin paint finish. It also does not highlight imperfections in the wall like glossier finishes. When selecting wall colors, do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. However, it is always good to paint a couple of test strips and live with them for a few days before making a final commitment.


A New Point of View

You don't have to spend a dime to give your space a whole new look. Instead, experiment with more interesting furniture layouts using the furnishings you already own. You can always move things back if you don't like it. Set furniture and rugs on an angle or float your bed in the middle of the room. The whole dynamic of a room will change.


Cover It Up

To create a cohesive look with furniture pieces that do not match in color or style, very fitted slipcovers work wonders. They are usually less expensive to fabricate than reupholstering an item, but are also a great pet-friendly investment because they are easily removed and cleaned. Covers sewn from washable fabrics are the wisest, most affordable choice.


Celebrate Personal Style

Decorative accessories add personality to a living space. However, it is not uncommon for us to keep adding them to a space, without taking any away, which dilutes their effectiveness. Paring down accessories can change the feel of a space with little effort. To complete the transformation, rearrange the remaining items or group them together with other pieces, making them feel new again. Make sure to keep breakables out of the reach of wagging tails.


Set the Mood

Light levels affect the energy levels of people within an environment. Dimmers are easily added to your existing light fixtures and allow you to select the desired level of light and mood that you want to create in each space. The lower the light level, the more relaxed the energy—and what better way to enjoy your space than relaxing with your four-legged buddy?

Even small changes to our homes can produce significant pet-friendly results! 

Heather Higgins is a New York City–­based interior designer, specializing in elegant pet-friendly living spaces. Contact her at or by clicking here.

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