5 Ways to Decorate Your Living Room if You Have Kids and Pets

published Aug 5, 2022
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Having a stylish and organized home is something that has always been important to me. However, achieving the Pinterest-inspired home of my dreams isn’t always as simple as I’d hoped. I’ve tried in vain to decorate my living room like I don’t live in a home full of pets and kids, only to be inevitably devastated when it doesn’t work out. 

At first, I thought I’d be destined to only have bland, low-quality furniture and decor for the foreseeable future, but over time I came to realize that having a kid- and pet-proof space can still be stylish and high-end. Turns out, it just comes down to making a few smart choices. Here are five ways I decorate my living room for kids and pets without sacrificing my aesthetic.

Choose Couches with Removable Covers

My number one must-have item for decorating my living room with kids and pets in mind is a couch that has removable covers. They are just too practical, especially if you have a dog that is allowed on the furniture (like mine). We simply remove the pillow covers every couple of weeks and throw them in the wash for a good cleaning. We tend to go with IKEA couches for our living room because they are affordable, there are lots of options, and they are easy and convenient to find. Plus, you can buy new covers for the entire couch should some kid- or pet-related accident cause irreversible damage to your existing one. 

If you aren’t an IKEA lover, there are tons of different options available when it comes to couches with removable covers at a range of different price points. Alternatively, if you aren’t currently looking to replace your entire couch, you can purchase a slipcover that will give your current one some added protection.

Get Machine-Washable Rugs. Period.

You know how pets have this innate need to throw up directly on the nearest rug? Especially when it’s nice and clean? Yeah, turns out kids are the same way. So when I tell you that machine-washable rugs are truly all they are cracked up to be and more — believe me. They are worth the investment. 

Not to be graphic, but our Ruggable has already survived a neon-dog-puke incident, more baby throw ups than I can count, a diaper blow out or two, several spilled drinks, and more within less than a year. I will truly never go back to non-washable rugs as long as kids and pets live under this roof. Plus, if you choose a rug from a company like Ruggable where the mattress pads and top rug covers can be purchased separately, you can easily refresh the look of your living room by choosing a new rug cover for a fraction of the original price. 

Use Covers on Throw Pillows

If you can’t tell by now, being able to wash the textiles in my living room is super important to me as a new mom with a house full of pets. Throw pillows get a lot of wear and tear and are another one of those things that will get ditched quickly in my house if I can’t wash the covers. I like to buy the inserts and covers separately, and usually get the pillow inserts from Amazon because they sell a huge range of sizes at affordable prices. Then I source fun and funky covers from a variety of my favorite shops.

Be Strategic About Choosing Fabric Colors and Patterns 

On top of being able to wash a lot of the fabric in our living room, it’s also important to be smart when you are choosing the colors and patterns for your space. As much as I’d love to have a light beige or white couch, it just ain’t happening and I’ve come to accept that (begrudgingly). Here are a couple of things that I’ve learned when it comes to choosing your colors and patterns. 

First, patterned rugs are your friend, especially if they are kind of dirt-colored already. Choosing a rug with a pattern versus a solid color, particularly one with some beige and brown tones throughout it, will help to hide the inevitable dirt and grime that will accumulate between vacuumings. It also hides pet hair better. Second, opt for darker colors for your couch. Seriously, stay away from those light tones. It’s just not worth it! Instead, bring light tones into your room in other ways, like with blankets, curtains, wall paint, and artwork.

Opt for Hidden Storage

Kids toys, dog toys, cat toys… chances are you are storing a lot of toys and accessories in your living room. While a little bit of clutter is to be expected here and there, I like to be able to clean the space up and not be able to see all the stuff every once in a while. Hidden storage comes to the rescue. I’m talking drawers, ottomans with storage, bins that hide away under the couch, toy bins masquerading as stylish baskets or wooden chests, and so on. Get creative and have fun brainstorming all of the ways you can hide the clutter in plain sight.