Interior Designer | Moraga, Lafayette, Orinda | Kimberley Harrison Interiors


KHI Insight: 7 Styling Secrets to an Enviable Interior - Pets & Kids Welcome!


Is it possible to have a stylish décor when you have pets and kids? Absolutely!

Your house and decorating style tell a story to friends, family and guests. Your décor is an expression of your personality and the lifestyle of your family. It delivers a first and lasting impression when people come to visit. The challenge for many homeowners is achieving the sense of style desired when you have children, pets…or both! These mess makers can make keeping your house clean a bit of a challenge, but never fear, with these seven design secrets you can achieve an enviable interior for your home and family.

Design Secret #1: Don’t Scrimp
Sometimes families with little ones consider purchasing less expensive furniture because it will be more cost effective to replace if the kids or pets damage it. When it comes to your couch, don’t scrimp. Investing in a piece that is well-constructed is a smart decision. It will last longer and be more difficult to damage. If you are looking for areas to save money, then look at side table options. There are a variety of styles and price points available and they are easier to replace. There are certain pieces that are not worth cutting corners on, and your sofa is one of them.

One of my favorites…rene cazares

Design Secret #2: Fabulous Fabrics
Fabric choices these days are endless. And the good news is that these choices include durable options. Durability and clean-ability are the most important considerations when you are designing with pets and kids in mind. Believe it or not, you can even have that white sofa you have always wanted as long as you are mindful of selecting the right type of fabric. Try stain-resistant Crypton® (yes, think Superman but with a “C”), durable wool and wool blends. Leather can be a versatile solution as well, especially for homes with children. Scratch marks may be a problem if you have pets. So, think about what you really want and then go for it.

One of my favorites…Perennials

Design Secret #3: Rugs…Yes, really!
Just like the sofa, people tend to want to spend less on an area rug, thinking they will just replace it if pets or kids ruin it. While you can easily purchase cheap rugs, the materials they are made of (such as viscose) tend to get dirtier faster. Spending a little more for a wool rug will give you the look you want and a material that is easier to clean and maintain.

One of my favorites…Stark®

Design Secret #4: Pillows that Pop
Accent pillows are a great way to add pops of color and personality to your home. From fur, fringe and tassels to graphic patterns and bold colors, these accessories pile on the style. Take off the pillow cover and toss it in the wash or get out the vacuum to remove pet hair. Refresh your décor throughout the year with pops of seasonal colors. Accent pillows are available in a variety of sizes and price points. This is a design secret that offers both comfort and style to your home.

One of my favorites…Ryan Studio

Design Secret #5: Soft Edges
When you have small children or even corner chewing pets, eliminating sharp edges is a smart decision. So instead of a glass, metal or wood coffee table, consider an ottoman for this prominent position in your living room or family room. A large ottoman with a tray on it offers soft edges and supports baby’s first steps while still providing a place for you to set your glass of wine or cup of coffee. It can serve as an extra seat, a foot stool and can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles.

One of my favorites…Lee Industries

Design Secret #6: Eye-Catching Light Fixtures
Light fixtures are like art; they are a statement piece that commands attention in a room. They can be sculptural, glamorous, industrial or whatever you desire. A beautiful light fixture will grab attention, but most important, it is too high for kids and pets to ‘keep out of reach of children’ warning needed! Light fixtures are a great investment that express personality and help achieve that enviable design aesthetic.

One of my favorites…Circa Lighting

Design Secret #7: High Style Out of Reach
Just like the out of reach light fixtures, think about adding art and other accessories in signature spots throughout your home. Consider locations that are high above your pets and beyond the reach of tiny fingers. Create focal points with large art pieces on the walls. Then place eye-catching vases, bowls, sculptures and other decorative items on high shelves and above cabinets to add texture, color and drama to your space. People will be enticed by the art and accessories. Their eyes will be drawn to these objects, yet they are safe and out of reach.

One of my favorites…Made Goods

I have children and have had several pets. I now have a new puppy! Ryker, the sweet llittle ball of fur who warms my heart, will not stop me from having the décor I love. Our homes are an expression of our souls. Use these secrets to bring your own true style to life, so your house is a happy place for you, your kids and your pets.


Photo Credit: @kimberleyharrisoninteriors

Kimberley Harrison