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Stylish or practical: Why not both?

When designing your home, you don’t have to choose between function and fashion

Living on the Coast, we are blessed with beautiful landscapes, warm weather and a vibrant lifestyle. But with pets and kids in the picture, keeping a stylish, functional home can seem impossible. However beautiful a space may be, it won’t work unless it can withstand the demands of a busy, sometimes unruly, life.

Let’s explore how to create a chic, yet practical, interior design that caters to your furry friends, little ones and the occasional spills and messes that come with them.


Choosing the right fabrics is key when designing for functionality. Performance fabrics are designed to withstand stains, moisture and wear, making them perfect for homes with pets and kids. Here are some popular options:


  • Known for its durability and stain resistance, Crypton fabric is one of my personal favorites and loved among pet owners and parents. It repels spills, odors and bacteria, ensuring your furniture stays fresh and clean.


  • Originally designed for outdoor use, Sunbrella fabric is now a popular choice for indoor furniture. It is fade and stain resistant, as well as easy to clean.


  • A budget-friendly option, microfiber is known for its softness and durability. It resists stains and is easy to clean, making it ideal for busy households.

By incorporating these fabrics into your upholstery and soft furnishings, you can enjoy style and comfort without worrying about the occasional mess.


Leather is another excellent choice for homes with pets and kids. Not only is it durable and easy to clean, but it also adds a touch of elegance to any space. Here are some of leather’s key benefits:


  • Leather is incredibly hardy and can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. It is resistant to scratches, spills and stains, making it an ideal choice for busy households.

Easy upkeep:

  • Leather is easy to clean and maintain. Most spills can be wiped away with a damp cloth, and regular conditioning can help keep it looking new for years.

Timeless appeal:

  • Leather furniture never goes out of style. Its classic look adds sophistication to any room and can be incorporated easily into a variety of aesthetics.

Whether you opt for a sofa, chair or ottoman, leather can elevate your home’s style while providing practicality.


Rugs add warmth and texture to a room, but they also can be a magnet for spills and accidents. Washable rugs offer a practical solution, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of a rug without the worry. Here are some options:

Indoor-outdoor rugs:

  • Made from durable materials like polypropylene, indoor-outdoor rugs are easy to clean and maintain. Simply hose them down or spot clean to keep them fresh.

Machine-washable rugs:

  • Some rugs are designed to be machine washable, making them ideal for homes with pets and kids. Just toss them in the washing machine.

Layered rugs:

  • For added protection, consider layering smaller, washable rugs on top of larger, less washable ones. This allows you to remove and clean the top rug more easily.

With these low-maintenance options, you can enjoy the beauty of rugs without worrying about the occasional spill or mess.

Designing for real life doesn’t mean sacrificing style. By making some thoughtful, wise choices, you can have both fashion and function.

Written by Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller is a certified interior designer, professional home stager and CEO of Jennuwine Design, Sophisticated Staging. Connect with her at, or (228) 285-1535.

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