The art of pet-friendly home comfort – sofas, fabrics and more

Pet-friendly furnishing fabrics and sofa

Top image by @maddercutchandco, featuring Midhurst sofa in V&A Brompton Collection Ikat Chilli.


We truly are a nation of pet lovers – according to the latest figures, 57% of homes in the UK are pet-owning. Our four-legged friends naturally become part of the furniture, bringing energy and joy to our living spaces and uniting the family.

For those who value a neat home or a particular aesthetic, creating a pet-friendly sofa or a home environment that allows for both design flair and practical utility requires a little extra consideration. At Sofas & Stuff, we are pet lovers ourselves, and our design consultants are often in conversation with customers about the possibility of a pet-friendly sofa or stain-resistant fabric options.

We’ve compiled some tips below for creating spaces that are as welcoming to pets as they are to people. After all, our pets make our houses feel like home – so why shouldn’t we extend the same courtesy to them?


What makes a pet-friendly home?

Our homes are personal spaces and the definition of a pet-friendly home will vary from family to family. For some pet owners, a comforting cuddle on the sofa with the dog or cat may be a regular occurrence, making stain-resistant or easy-clean fabrics a priority.

Other households run a strict paw-free sofa policy but seek more hard-wearing fabrics that resist scratching, or even interior design tips that allow ample room for furry friends to enjoy the space too.

Ultimately, a pet-friendly home is an environment that ensures safety, comfort and happiness for every member of the family. This might mean:

  • Balanced spaces which cater to your pet’s needs without compromising the home aesthetic.
  • A home environment where the safety of your pet is considered, minimising hazards and providing easy access to areas.
  • Furniture that promotes shared spaces where pets and owners can enjoy quality time together.


Furniture selection: pet-friendly sofas and more

Creating a harmonious home where both pets and your personal notion of style coexist begins with the right furniture selection. This doesn’t have to mean compromising on elegance, but rather adapting your choices to suit the needs of furry family members also.

Designing a pet-friendly sofa

When selecting pet-friendly furniture, the sofa often takes centre stage. It’s where the family gathers and, inevitably, where pets find comfort alongside their humans. 

For design consultant Jill at our Fittleworth showroom, this means that the best pet-friendly designs are typically comfortable family sofas. Soft and slouchy couches such as the Stockbridge and the Big Softie, as well as corner sofas which accommodate multiple family members, are where you will most likely find a pet happily snoozing.


Our pet competition winner Rex on the

Rex, relaxing in comfort on the Aldingbourne 3 seater sofa in Floral Linen Lela Mystery Indigo


Fabric selection

To create fabric sofas that are dog or cat-proof, focus on selecting durable materials that can withstand both wear and the occasional pet mishap. It’s here that you will find the greatest choice, to help you design home furnishings that retain their attractiveness no matter the nuances of your lifestyle.

For homes with feline friends, a priority is to avoid fabrics with a looser weave to them, as cat claws can easily catch and tear these textiles. Linen, for example, might be a less optimal choice for these types of households.

Synthetic velvets, on the other hand, are beautifully hard-wearing. Try as they might, they are far less likely to be marked by cat scratches or generally sharp claws. Our Signature Collection Clever Tough Eco Velvets and Essentials Collection House Clever Velvets blend elegance with durability and value, available in enchanting shades such as Indigo and Fern.


Saltdean sofa in Omega Velvet Peridot. Image from @lady_fitz_dog

For frequent muddy paw prints, choose a fabric which gives you peace of mind. Our library is full of stain-resistant, easy-to-clean and even wipeable options available in a variety of beautiful hues, meaning you won’t have to compromise style for practicality. Some of our best-loved options include Clever Cotton Mix in Forest and Easy Clean Plain in Cream.


sofas and stuff easy care sofas

Muddy paw prints are easily cleaned from the Aqua Clean Dunbar Oyster fabric on the Hambledon corner sofa, using water and a soft cloth or sponge.


Other pet-friendly furniture

Beyond the central family sofa, there are other furniture pieces to consider when creating a pet-friendly home environment. 

Footstools, for instance, not only serve as an extension of comfort for you but can also become a favourite perch for pets. Selecting a stain-resistant or wipe-clean upholstery fabric ensures these pieces can withstand being a go-to spot for your companions. 

Snugglers and armchairs present another popular option among pet-friendly households. Their compact size compared to traditional sofas makes them an ideal choice – a cosy sharing space for you and your pet for an evening in. 

Incorporating pet beds that match the style and fabric of your other furniture can also help to maintain a cohesive look while providing a dedicated space for pets to relax. All of our furniture can be upholstered in any suitable fabric in the world, so whether it’s a sofa, bed or something on a smaller scale, your pet’s own home furnishings needn’t look out of place. 

Pink velvet deep buttoned Ditchling armchair

Hamish, claiming the Ditchling armchair in Omega Velvet Folly as his own.

Enhanced fabric protection

In addition to the best dog- and cat-safe fabrics in our library, an incomparable way to ensure your home is pet-friendly and protected is with a Staingard policy. We’ve partnered with Staingard to offer you 5 years of protection against the havoc family pets can unintentionally wreak.

With a Staingard plan, you will be provided with the best furniture care products should you feel comfortable tackling a stain yourself, as well as support from experts who will visit your home and resolve the issue for you should it prove more problematic.


Wadenhoe corner unit in Lumino Velvet Midnight.

Beyond pet-friendly furnishings

While we at Sofas & Stuff can only go as far as handcrafting a beautiful piece of pet-friendly furniture for your home, we know that there is much more to consider. Below are some further points to consider, and seek expert guidance on, when pet-proofing your home.

The fundamentals of flooring

Your flooring will be an important aspect of designing a pet-friendly home, prompting similar questions of both aesthetics and practicality. Consider factors such as durability, ease of cleaning and comfort for your pets.

For soft flooring, such as carpets, considerations include how likely snags from claws are and also whether pet odours will become trapped, requiring more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Keeping spaces clutter-free

The right storage options are key in a pet-friendly home, helping to keep your pet’s bits and bobs out of sight and maintaining an organised living space. Built-in storage solutions or multi-functional furniture pieces, such as an ottoman, can stow away chew toys or leads.

Shelving units or decorative baskets can also provide accessible yet discreet places for pet items, ensuring they’re handy when needed but don’t detract from your home’s aesthetic. Designing a specific area or nook for your pet’s belongings can help contain their footprint in your home and establish a sense of order and routine for both pets and owners.

Pet-proof houseplants

Incorporating natural beauty into your home’s design is a delightful way to add life and vibrancy, but brings its own considerations when it comes to a pet-friendly home. Some species of houseplants can be toxic to dogs or cats, so carrying out some research ahead of your purchase at the garden centre is important to ensure their safety.


Snuggler sofa in Mohair Lichen with seat cushiion in RHS Gertrude Jekyll Meadow Flower

Haresfield Dipped Arm Snuggler in Mohair Lichen, Seat Cushion in RHS Gertrude Jekyll Meadow Flower


Cleaning and maintenance

There are several considerations to keep in mind when it comes to cleaning and maintaining a pet-friendly home. Recognising the nature of your pet’s shedding, for instance, is crucial and can have an impact on an upholstered piece of furniture as well as your flooring.

Air quality is another factor to consider, as our pets can contribute to dander (skin cells shed by animals with fur or feathers, which can trigger allergies) and odours that affect the home’s atmosphere. An air purifier can play a role in reducing these elements, enhancing the living environment for both you and your pets.


Creating harmony in your home

Curating a home that is both design-led and pet-friendly is about finding the sweet spot where your style preferences and your pet’s needs coalesce. Remember, integrating pet-friendly elements into your home doesn’t mean compromising on elegance or comfort – we have seen to it that our customers can harmonise the two.

With the right balance, your home can become a sanctuary where every member of the family, four-legged ones included, feels welcome and cherished. But if you are unsure where to start or need some expert advice tailored to your unique living situation and style, we are here to help.

Visit one of our nationwide showrooms across the UK or book a one-to-one appointment with a design consultant who can guide you through the process of catering to both you and your pets. Together, we can create a space that feels like home for everyone.

Abby Gadd