Published on June 4, 2019

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Imagery by Aaron Bengochea

Whether it’s rustic planks or a plush carpet, having good foundational surfaces is a big investment, especially if your home is stomping ground for little ones and pets.“Flooring has such a meaningful presence in the home,” says Lisa Lux, director of product development for hardwood flooring and carpet company Anderson Tuftex. “We interact with our flooring more than any other surface, even though we might not think about it.”

Knowing that it sets the tone for a space—and guided by research that reveals that most homeowners believe you have to forsake style for performance upgrades—Anderson Tuftex created the Unleashed collection. The 14 carpets and hardwood options are “design-driven, while still being pet-driven,” emphasizing timeless style, but with added benefits like stain- and soil-resistant yarns made from STAINMASTER® PetProtect® carpets that also easily release pet hair when vacuuming. These carpets are durable and perform but not at the cost of sacrificing design. The hardwoods in the collection feature a durable, scuff-proof finish. Given that Americans spend around $70 billion per year on pet products and services, it makes sense that pet owners should be more than willing to upgrade their design choices to create a better environment for their four-legged friends.

Nonetheless, what makes for paw-friendly flooring isn’t always clear to those of us who are in the market for an upgrade: Is there truly such a thing as pet-friendly carpeting that’s also stylish and long-lasting? How do you go about choosing flooring that’s durable and conveys your individual style?

To help shed some light on these common queries, we asked our own Domino dog owners to curate mood boards of their dream rooms grounded by Anderson Tuftex’s style-conscious flooring collection (you can get a free sample over at Anderson Tuftex with the code ATDOMINO2019). Each vision board represents their personal style while also accounting for their canine companion.

Meet the dogs of Domino and get inspired by their owners’ ideal pet-friendly space.

On Choosing a Carpet Color

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Our visuals director Meghan McNeer has a knack for color like no other. Naturally, it extends to her idea of the perfect living room, which also has to double as digs for her new corgi, Niles. But how do you ground color on color while also using more color underfoot—all with durability in mind? Now that is a challenge.  

The Expert Advice: “The color palettes in the Unleashed collection were curated to coordinate easily yet vary in complexity,” says Anderson Tuftex product designer Maeriel Mumpar. By looking to an unconventional neutral (the navy hue seen here), McNeer was able to lean into her love of color while still keeping things balanced. The dark tone of the Pawstruck Carpet in Downpour she chose grounds all the graphic prints, while the flooring’s lattice pattern has a smaller scale to offset the larger florals and geometrics.

Carpeting has the ability “to bring warmth, texture, and coziness to a room,” adds Mumpar, so a darker color will naturally enhance those characteristics. If you need to carpet more than one room, find single solids in your color scheme that marry well. Or try mixing flecked varieties with patterned ones, making sure both styles have at least one common hue.

On Choosing a Hardwood Tint

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Fashioning a space that’s as unique as it is edgy was the vision our studio manager Brooks Corrigan had for his dream space. Though he wanted a custom tint, he also knew the cost might not equate, considering how active his shih tzu–yorkie, Venya, can be on his floors

The Expert Advice: “Hardwood brings in warmth and natural texture,” Lux says. “Start with colors that speak to you and find one that fits the identity of your home and will elevate its architectural features.” Brooks chose Buckingham Hardwood in Kent, a prefinished, engineered hardwood in a dapper color that practically looks custom as a result of a multi-staining process. The durable yet subtly distressed white oak is cut into extra-wide planks that enhance the luxe look. But the real solve? The lustrous, lacquer-like finish, which means this wood flooring resists scuffs and abrasions.

“Another thing to consider when choosing the color of your hardwoods is the amount of natural light in the space,” adds Mumpar. “If you want to brighten up a space, lean toward the lighter shades of wood. They can completely transform a dark room into one that appears calming and bright.”

On Finding Common Ground

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Keeping things airy is a priority for email marketing manager Hayley Squire. But having seen the damage her energetic mini poodle, Tito, can do to bare hardwood floors, she also appreciates the camouflage properties of carpeting. Her challenge was to find a pet-friendly option that feels as natural and neutral as hardwood.

The Expert Advice: Lux says to focus on what she calls your “forever style,” a timeless tried-and-true look that works just for you (in Hayley’s case, light and easy). The relaxed Fetch Carpet in Desert Palm Hayley chose adds texture to the room; resists zippering, snagging, or runs; and doesn’t take away from the colored walls and statement art. The pattern-loop carpet also has the same ability as a sisal to blend seamlessly into her decor style for lasting impact but also boasts stain- and pet-friendly finishes that resist hair and fading. “In the past, pet owners stayed away from pattern loop carpets to avoid snagging from claws,” explains Lux. “The way we construct our loops encourages them to be bold with their flooring selections.”

On Where to Start

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Photo Editor Aaron Bengochea’s mood board represents a calming, contemporary space where both he and his fiancé can happily live with their pup, Chauncey, a French bulldog. The issue? By keeping things gender- and color-neutral, Bengochea risks having a space that is lacking in visual interest and personality.

The Expert Advice: Start from the ground up. The floors “should be the beginning of color palette selections for any project,” Lux says. “It’s the blank canvas that allows all the rest of our style choices to evolve throughout our home.” By choosing Buckingham Hardwood in York, a distressed hardwood with a gorgeous, visible grain and subtle color variations, Bengochea’s more traditional foundation delivers natural texture and pattern that will permeate throughout the room and enhance the streamlined decor.

Whether you’re looking to buy new flooring for a one-room update or a major home revamp, start by asking questions that take into account your personal style and needs. Below are some of Mumpar’s suggestions for the most important things to consider:

  • Do you prefer hard or soft surfaces?
  • What type of maintenance or cleaning does the floor require?
  • How durable is the flooring? (Different constructions of carpet and hardwood have varying levels of durability).
  • How highly trafficked is the space you are covering?
  • What part of the country is your home located in? (This will help with deciding between solid or engineered hardwoods.)

Overall, it’s important to remember that your lifestyle, the type and size of your pet, and the room’s function are the most important factors in choosing carpeted or hardwood floors. But when pairing it all together, Lux says, “don’t be afraid to mix and match. The best rules to follow are your own.”

If you’re ready to step up your flooring at home, consider Anderson Tuftex’s swatch program, which provides you with flooring samples that are mailed to your home, allowing you to mix, match, and visualize how one of its new carpet or hardwood designs will look in your space. Use the code ATDOMINO2019 over at Anderson Tuftex to get free samples.