How to Prep Your Home for a New Pet, According to an Interior Designer

From beds that are actually chic to the best upholstery fabric for your furniture, Lisa Galano has expert advice for you and your furry friend.

So you’ve decided to welcome a new pup or kitty into the family—first, congratulations are in order. Next, the setup. Whether you’re a first-time pet parent or just need some advice on reigning in related messes, interior designer (and dog mom) Lisa Galano has some expert advice on the accessories and tactics to keep everyone in the home comfortable and happy.

Lisa is the principal of Lisa Galano Design Consultancy, an interior design and consulting firm specializing in luxury residential and hospitality projects worldwide. A dog mom of two, she has a lot of pet advice to share from a design perspective. "Preparing for a pet in your home is an exciting time," she says. "However, you'll want to maintain a more simplistic approach to your furnishings initially, and especially if the pet is young."  

Set Up Your Pet’s Home Base

"Create a space that’s just for your new pet as their home base—a pet bed is essential to doing so," says Lisa. "These well-designed beds create a comfortable place for your new buddy to rest while not compromising the aesthetics of your living room or bedroom."

Whom Home Throne Pet Bed
Treat your pet like royalty with the Throne Pet Bed. This lavish pet bed features a plush pillow atop a handmade, alder wood base. Its elevated design provides better temperature control for your little Queen or King, bringing cushy comfort to your pet's even cushier life.
Whom Home Sound Sleeper Pet Bed
A fresh design on a traditional pet bed, Whom's elevated wood base is beautifully and sustainably manufactured by hand and finished in the wood color of your choice.

Rethink Your Rugs

"Consider what floor coverings—area rugs, sheepskins, wall-to-wall carpeting, bath mats, etc.—you have down and how precious they are," says Lisa. "Pet messes happen, and maybe it’s best to roll up that vintage area rug until your pet is housebroken. Consider everything on the floor as fair game in the initial weeks of bringing your new pet home. Less is more for now."

Minimize Furniture Damage With Toys 

Says Lisa, "Have plenty of toys for your new pet to play with so they don’t go after your furniture legs or corners of upholstered furniture. I love all toys from Wild One: They’re creatively designed, stylistically attractive to both humans and dogs, and come in the best colors. It doesn't hurt they're also borderline indestructible!"

Wild One Twist Toss
The ultimate fetch toy for dogs. It bounces unpredictably for active play and holds chews for a post-play treat. Head to the park and have a ball or add your favorite spread and freeze the Twist Toss for a longer lasting snack.
Wild One Bolt Bite
The ultimate chew toy for dogs. The Bolt Bite has a reinforced core for added strength, two elbows for engaging paw-play, and open ends for hiding treats. Whether you have a strong-jawed dog or a teething puppy, the Bolt Bite is made for all shapes, sizes and ages.

Find a Pet Bowl You’ll Want to Look At

"From a decor standpoint, your pet bowls will be a staple in your home, so make sure they’re gorgeous and a reflection of you, too, since you’ll be seeing a lot of them," says Lisa. "These are a few of my favorites."

Wild One Bowl
Timelessly simple and made of sturdy food-grade stainless steel. Personalize it with up to 26 characters and a choice of 10 emojis. Dishwasher safe with a nonslip silicone base.
Recreation Center Positive Rock Dog Bowl
Wheel thrown in speckled clay. Exterior glazed with speckled shapes and interior glazed with glossy black glaze.
Whom Home Amorist Pet Feeder
Unconditional love begins with mealtime. The Amorist serves your pet their meal in style. Each pet feeder is custom made by our craftsmen who hand cut and weld the base to create beautifully sculptured lines. Each piece is then hand sanded and finished, designed to enhance any room in your home.

Make Sure Your Plants are Nontoxic

"Look into your house plants online—not all are pet-friendly if consumed," says Lisa. "Anything that is toxic to your pet should be put out of reach. The Sill has a wonderful collection of pet-friendly plants, and even offers a subscription. You can keep the greenery in your home and rest assured it’s safe for your nibbling pup or kitten. My favorite feature of The Sill is the breadth of options for the plant vessels, and the extensive care information about each species. A must, if you ask me."

The Sill The Pet-Friendly Bundle
This pet-friendly duo pairs together two crowd favorites that even your furry friends will love. The Parlor Palm, an easy-care palm known for its air purifying qualities, is paired with the Peperomia obtusifolia.

Go For Durable Furniture Upholstery

"If you’re purchasing new furniture, especially upholstered furniture, consider purchasing performance, commercial-grade, or solution-dyed nylon fabric options," says Lisa. "Personally and for my clients with pets at home, I’ve often sourced Whom furniture as they have fabric options I can rely on their durability and commercial grading for heavy use, spills, and pet life generally. Not to mention, their fabrics are all eco-friendly, something I strive to incorporate into all of my interiors. Can you believe this sofa has pet-friendly fabric on it?"

Whom Home The Influencer Sofa
Contemporary chic meets timeless luxury in The Influencer.

Get Organized

Lisa says, "A pet comes a lot of stuff. Food, treats, toys, grooming items, leashes, collars, wipes, etc. Coordinate a few bins or baskets to keep all the items in their place: a basket by the door, a few concealed in a cabinet to hold food and other not-as-cute items, and of course one for toys."

MINNA Blocks Basket Medium
The Medium Blocks Baskets are made using a unique hybrid weaving crochet technique in Northern Coastal Peru. We're excited to be using a recycled yarn made of 70% plastic bottles and 30% cotton mixed with a 100% jute to create texture and contrast.
Like-it Stackable Storage Baskets
They really stack up. We never knew baskets could be so talented. Each helper here was made in Japan and has a super-stackable design that lets you customize your storage space.
Minna Lines Basket Large
The Large Lines Baskets are made using a unique hybrid weaving crochet technique in Northern Coastal Peru.

We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. 

Related Reading:

Wild One Makes the Coolest Dog Toys for the Fluffy Design Fans in Your Life

The Hardest-Working Air Purifiers for Homes With Pets


Get the Shop Newsletter

Smart shopping for the design obsessed. Find what you love in our expertly curated selection of finely crafted home, office, travel, and lifestyle products.