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Pet-Friendly Furniture That's Forgiving to Slobs and Slobberers

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Once upon a time, Debbie Wiener understood why people shooed their pets off the upholstery. She, too, cared more about how her home looked than how it functioned.

But she found herself cleaning endlessly because she lived in a house full of slobs – a husband, two sons and a “chubby, large-scale Yorkie” named Daisy, who vomited often. “I would return home with dread,” Wiener tells of facing the mess.

So Wiener, an interior designer from Silver Spring, Md., decided that slob-friendly furniture was what her home needed. She recently launched a line of upholstered furniture, Slobproof, made with Crypton mess-repelling fabric.

Though there are abundant options for pet furniture – dog beds and cat condos– “this is furniture for the pet lover,” says Wiener.

Crypton fabric, which was originally used in institutional settings, repels water, food, drool, mud and worse. Its moistureproof treatment is woven in at the fiber level rather than sprayed on afterward. But the fabric’s stiffness made it less than comfy.

Wiener helped the company develop a fabric with “a better hand and a softer feel” – one that people and their pets would enjoy sitting on, lying on and even wiping their feet on. She demonstrates its properties by squirting on ketchup and chocolate sauce, then successfully sponging off the mess. Upholstered chairs range from $490 to $1,175, while sofas range from $1,399 to $2,500.

Wiener’s clients tell her that with Slobproof furniture, their pets are welcome in formerly off-limits rooms. No longer are the animals relegated to unhappily “whining in the hall” behind closed doors, Wiener says. “This is furniture both humans and animals can enjoy.”

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