Ultimate Dog Owner's Guide to Designing a Chic Comfortable Living Room

Updated 10-23-2023

There is around one dog or cat for every 2.4 people in the US, indicating the extent to which dogs have become a crucial part of American families.

By the same token, around 70% of Americans have home design projects on their agendas. If the pandemic taught homeowners one thing about their homes, it was that these could potentially need to serve as an oasis, escape, office, and relaxation and resting space, all rolled into one.

Having a dog does not mean sacrificing aesthetics; it simply involves adapting your choice of fabrics and materials, prioritizing those that are sturdy yet pleasing to the eye.

A small dog is sitting inside a tent designed for dogs

Designing a Comfortable Living Room With Dogs in Mind

On Solid Ground: Choose Your Flooring Carefully

Dogs spend considerable time on the floor, running, jumping, and (in many homes) changing resting spots between the sofa and the floor or their doggy bed.

When it comes to choosing the perfect beautiful yet dog-friendly floor, finding the right balance between support for your pet and strength and practicality (so your floor has a long life) is vital.

Floor choices that guarantee this equilibrium include bamboo (which is sustainable, durable, and scratch-resistant), engineered hardwood, and tile.

The latter is particularly easy to mop up if your dog should spill the contents of her bowl or have a little ‘accident’ indoors. You have a myriad of tile types to select from, including porcelain, natural stone, and marble tiles.

The latter doesn’t have to be boring. Many boasts beautiful, distressed wood, floral printed, or mosaic effects that can be real showstoppers.

Choosing Pet-Friendly Seating

If you enjoy having your pet snuggle next to you while you are reading or Neflix ‘n chilling, then investing in quality seating should be one of your main priorities.

Sturdy dog-resistant seating materials include microfiber, cotton, and nylon. If you have the budget for it, and you love natural materials, cotton is an infallible choice. It is strong yet comfy, and it can be dyed in a myriad of colors. Choose a high thread count if you want a long-lasting sofa or chair.

Embellish your seating with pretty seasonal cushions and throws, picking items that can be washed without losing their color or structure.

A Spot to Snooze:  Choose Stylish Dog Beds

When winter sets in, most dogs love snoozing in a ‘cave’ or dark spot where they can sleep tight and have sweet dreams. Dog beds can be a quaint component of your living room décor if you select stylish bedding.

Cute ideas include cozy cave dog beds (which come with an incorporated wool blanket that dogs can burrow under), pull-out beds (which you can pull down from the wall), and regal beds (with wood finishings and carvings inspired by antique furniture and art).

Beds with removable mattress coverings will ensure your dog always sleeps on a clean, fragrant surface. Some homes have recesses in walls, complete with bedding so that canines can ‘hide away’ when they need a little me time. Staircase sides make ideal spots for this type of resting spot for pooches.

Designing Built-in Feeding Drawers

Most homes have their dog’s feeding area in the kitchen, but if you have a small kitchen, or you simply want all the floorspace to yourself while you’re whipping up a gourmet meal, the living room can make a good feeding spot.

When designing your storage furniture, incorporate low-level drawers with built-in bowls for your pooch. These look great pulled out, but if you are having a formal event, you can push them back in and they will smoothly integrate with the rest of the furniture.

Creating a Gourmet and Entertainment Section for Your Dog

If you have a spacious living room with a bar and snack area, include a couple of cabinets or drawers with snacks and items for your dog.

These can contain everything from food labyrinths to balls, squeaky toys, grooming items for your pooch, and more. It can also house dog treats, clickers, and other items you use to teach your dogs fun party tricks.

Having a beautiful living room is perfectly achievable if you have one or more dogs. The key to success is investing in sturdy materials for your flooring and seating.

Smaller items like cushions can be purchased seasonally, with washable items being ideal complements to your main furniture pieces.

Get creative by looking for unique places to set up dog nooks or resting spaces. The space beneath the staircase, isolated corners, and spaces next to your main sofa and seats are suitable.

You can create discreet create feeding and gourmet spots in your living room that can also be hidden when you wish. Pull-out feeders and storage furniture for toys allow you the flexibility you need to entertain both your dogs and your guests, while also keeping handy items like clickers and snacks nearby.

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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