How to Design a High-End Home That's Kid- & Pet-Friendly

A mix of durable furnishings, extra-tough wall covering, indoor-outdoor rugs and performance fabrics makes this beautiful home low-maintenance, toddler-proof and pet-proof.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Vinyl Wood Walls

The formal living room is meant mostly for mom and dad to entertain friends and family. That said, the kids and dogs are more than welcome since the faux bois wallcovering is made of thick vinyl that's easy to clean, and the area rug is indoor-outdoor. The aged leather sofa has a patina which weathers beautifully. The Danish modern chairs are upholstered in performance fabric.

Print Canvas Art

Although the high-end appeal of the art adds a very sophisticated touch to the formal living room, it's not precious because it's simply a print on canvas that was elevated with a floating frame. Should tiny fingers make contact with the art, it can be wiped clean with ease.

Performance Fabric

Good-looking furnishings don't have to be sacrificed for practical ones. To keep the formal living room fit for grownups but durable enough for kids and pets, these Danish modern chairs were upholstered in a neutral greige using a performance fabric which is stain resistant and soft to the touch.

Washable Paint

The master bedroom walls are painted a soothing blue-gray in a wipeable eggshell finish. This slight sheen helps play with the beautiful light coming in from the windows. If the walls get nicked or smudged from muddy pup noses or toddler hands covered in finger paint, a sponge will erase any trace of the foreign substances.

Vinyl Dog Window Seat on Wheels

Since both of the family's labradoodles love to stare out of the windows, a vinyl upholstered bench on casters was placed below a window wall in the master bedroom. Vinyl has the look and feel of leather without the delicacy or the cost.

Indoor-Outdoor Pillows

Since little ones and pets often get on the bed in this home, the bed was outfitted with durable indoor-outdoor pillows upholstered in a surprisingly soft acrylic blend. Nowadays, there are so many great performance-based textile options that it's difficult to tell the difference between what belongs inside and what goes outside.

Durable Rug

To keep the master bedroom light, bright and airy while also keeping the blue and white color palette consistent, an indoor-outdoor area rug was selected with a small pattern and different shades of navy, gray and white. When this lightweight rug needs to be refreshed, it can be rolled up, taken outside, washed off with a hose and left in the sun to dry.

Concealed Storage

In the media room, all toys and playtime supplies are kept out of sight but in arm's reach thanks to a custom wall of navy painted built-ins. The same vinyl upholstered bench used as a window seat for the dogs in the master bedroom can be wheeled out near the TV when it's time for little ones to gather and watch their favorite educational programming. Anytime you're sourcing furniture on wheels in houses with kids, be sure to choose lockable casters for extra safety.

Low Washable Slipcovered Seating

Wasted space in the corner of the great room was reinvented as a multipurpose lounge for kids and adults thanks to versatile slipcovered bean bag chairs. These are lightweight, low to the ground and durable enough to withstand kids and pets. If something spills on one of the chairs, the covers zip right off and can be tossed into the washer.

Indoor Outdoor Lighting and Rug

With two active little ones and two large dogs, it was important for the dining room design to stay casual. Underfoot is a flatweave indoor-outdoor rug with a Danish modern walnut table on top. When in use, the table has a folding false top allowing for daily food messes from the little ones; when it's time to entertain grownups at the table, the folding false top comes off to expose the beautiful walnut finish. The chairs are covered in easy-to-clean stitched leather and the midcentury globes above are available in milk glass versions and also acrylic versions which are virtually indestructible and an excellent choice for areas with active kids.

Outdoor Lighting in the Kitchen

Remodeled in the early 2000s, this modern kitchen was given a facelift with a sprayed white finish on its cabinets. For proper illumination, outdoor pendants were installed above the island. Since the pendants were designed to withstand the elements, they're a great fit inside an active kitchen.

Washable Black Vinyl Walls

The home office was designed to be moody. Since painted black walls could possibly show all imperfections from messy little hands and snouts, the walls were instead covered in a black vinyl which has the texture of grasscloth. This allows the family to have the sophistication of grasscloth wallcovering without the delicacy.

Pet and Toy Storage DIY

Two active dogs and two little kids usually come with lots of little toys and everyday supplies. To make room for those clutterables in the home office, three walnut bookshelves were grouped together side by side, secured to each other with screws and then bracketed to the wall. With open shelving above, the family's favorite accessories can remain out and on display while dog toys, treats and kid toys can be tucked inside the drawers below.

Family Art of Dogs

Just above the desk, a pair of family dog portraits by artist Blayne Macauley keeps the dogs in full view as mom and dad work hard on their computers.

Durable Seating and Rug

From time to time, the little ones want to get up on mom and dad's office chair, and thanks to the faux leather upholstery, it's totally OK. In addition to the seating being kid- and pet-friendly, the chunky jute rug below was chosen because it can easily hide and flaws within its pattern and variation of neutral tones.

Washable Furnishings

The outdoor living room is wide open, airy and worry-free thanks to outdoor furniture that's 100% washable. The pieces out here are made to look like woven wicker but they're actually made from a composite that's much easier to maintain.

Woven Acrylic

If you have the option to select outdoor furniture, woven acrylic is a smart option for homeowners seeking something with virtually no maintenance. Almost identical in appearance to wicker and rattan, woven acrylic is mold- and mildew-resistant and also known for keeping pests away.

Swivel Chair

This swivel chair made of woven acrylic is a safer option for little ones than a rocking chair. Designed to turn 360 degrees, it also has a limited recline so that it's not as easy to tip over as a rocking chair would be.

Outdoor Fabrics

As the family's style evolves over time, it's likely their taste in color palettes will too. For longevity, the sectional sofa was upholstered in a neutral sand-tone performance fabric, but the indoor-outdoor throw pillows are in different shades of orange and red to add energy and personality.

Indestructible Lighting

During the warmer months, the outdoor dining room gets a lot of use. To keep the entire space worry-free and solidly durable, the room is outfitted with a dark metallic half dome pendant and a table and chairs made of teak.

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