Kid + Pet Friendly Backyard Living

Kid + Pet Friendly Backyard Living

Photos and text by Kate Bohannan

If you're a parent, you know how important it is to have a fun backyard for your kids. And if you're like us, and also happen to own animals, then your backyard living space should be pet-friendly too! The good news is that with just a little creativity and thoughtfulness, you can create a space that puts the fun in functional, and provide a backyard that the whole family can enjoy for years to come!

When creating a functional backyard living space for kids and pets, I won’t sacrifice comfort for style. Though I want everything to fit my style and be aesthetically pleasing, it is equally important that items have a purpose and are comfortable or they will rarely be used. And it’s no secret kids and pets can be rough on everything, and the outdoor elements (especially the Phoenix sun) can take a toll on outdoor furniture! That's why we love furniture pieces that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday life, as well as endure the harsh environmental elements.

Kid and Dog Hanging by Paddy O' Furniture Bliss Pouf

Featuring Paddy O’ Bliss Pouf

As a parent, we want to create magical moments for our kids (and dog too!), and the backyard is one of our favorite spots our family loves to hang out and enjoy being together. It’s where some of our best memories are made. Whether it’s sharing a meal, a hug, or even a popsicle - creating areas to make memories is what it’s all about. 

Here are some ways we personalized our backyard and make our backyard kid (and pet) friendly:

1. Playhouse with a slide. We purchased a playhouse from Target and painted it to fit our aesthetic. My husband Will is an excellent carpenter on the weekend and built flower boxes and furniture for it to really customize it! My daughter and son love being outside and it gives them something to do while we clean the pool or entertain friends.

Playground in Backyard

2. A splash pad area with a bubble machine. This helps keep our kids entertained during the hot summer days when we don’t feel like swimming, but want to get out of the house and stay cool outside. And let’s face it bubbles make everything better and a little more magical. Even our dog Jorgie finds it enjoyable!

3. A place to dine together. Of course dining al fresco is such a treat when the weather is great, so we have everything we need outside so all we have to bring out is the food! We don’t want to drag out indoor furniture outside, so what is outside stays outside and we make sure that it is durable to withstand all the Arizona elements.

4. We have a desert tortoise. Three summers ago we adopted a desert tortoise from Arizona’s Department of Game and Fish. We built a burrow for him, and we love when he makes his summer appearance! He hibernates all winter long. Surprisingly, desert tortoises are really friendly animals, and they love to eat lettuce out of your hand! Of course having a desert tortoise might not be on everyone’s wish list, but his existence fits our lifestyle, we don’t find him high maintenance and we are so happy to have adopted him!

We recently added the Paddy O’ Furniture’s Bliss Pouf to our backyard furniture set up! This is new to the Paddy O’ line and we were honored to be one of the first to try it out! The Bliss Pouf is the perfect poolside addition for our family. The Bliss Pouf comes in round, square, rectangle shapes and we chose the bamboo color out of the 13 available Bliss color options.

Dog, Mom & Kid Hanging By Pool With Bliss Pouf

The best part is how lightweight the pouf is, so we can push it around to where we need extra seating, or just a place in the sun when we dry off. We’re also thankful for not only the style, but how it won't degrade or fade over time thanks to Paddy O’s Bliss fabric that is waterproof & stain resistant 

So, one thing we won’t be sweating this summer are the spills, the messes, and stopping our dog Jorgie when it comes to shaking off after a swim!

Dog Hanging on Paddy O' Bliss Pouf

With plenty of summer and sunshine left, it's a great time to grab those pieces that help you make the most of your backyard living space. Happy summer!

Mom, Dog & Kid Next to Pool with Paddy O' Bliss PoufFeaturing Paddy O’ Pouf

Kate Bohannan is a Phoenix-native and professional photographer and branding expert. She resides in Scottsdale with her husband Will, two kids and a dog and tortoise. You can find her at or on Instagram @kate.bohannan 



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