Don’t surrender yet. A few tricks of the design trade can give you photo-worthy rooms that don’t require trailing after your kids or pets all day with cleaning supplies.
1. New furniture? Go for the upgrades.
“Buying a sofa is like buying a car,” says Debbie Wiener, owner of Designing Solutions in the Washington, D.C., area. “There’s the showroom option and the 12 other extras.” She upgrades all her clients’ seat cushions without even asking. There’s standard foam, but you can spend more for better foam or even what’s called spring down (a bit like a mattress). The upgrades hold their shape better and longer.
This room features scratch-proof leather on the sofa, upgraded seat cushions all around and Slobproof!-brand chairs with special moisture-blocking fabric.
“It’s so relaxing,” says Warrenetta Baker, whose family lives in this Bethesda, Md., home. “I don’t have to worry about anything. My furniture still looks new even with two dogs and two boys.”