Design For The “Woof” Under Your Roof

We have a 3 1/2 year old beagle named Harrison. He is stubborn and a bit mischievous, but just about the cutest and sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.

Exhibit A:

Harrison the Beagle

Exhibit B:

Harrison the Beagle

Exhibit C:

Harrison the Beagle

Though my husband and I are both dog lovers and each grew up with wonderful canine companions, we didn’t really have a plan to get a dog. But when we saw pictures of the pups online from “The Beagleman,” a dog breeder in North Carolina, we knew that resistance was futile. We would get a dog. And we did!

However, our house wasn’t exactly ready for Harrison. Our open floor plan presented a challenge for training a puppy – we didn’t want him to have free rein to roam about the house where he could chew on things, or worse, “make his mark” on them. And the plushy microfiber sofa we had purchased just a few years earlier turned out to be a magnet for shedding dog hair, which Harrison produces in spades. We put his dog bed in front of the gas fireplace in our family room so we could keep an eye on him, but then we couldn’t use the fireplace for fear of burning him.

I’m sure these problems are not unique – and there are, no doubt, more challenging situations for pet owners than this. And these are exactly the situations that designers who specialize in pet-friendly interiors are positioned to help with. They can recommend durable, easy-to-clean materials (flooring, furnishings, fabrics, bedding, paint finish, etc.), as well as address issues not unlike babyproofing, to keep your pet safe.

There are also fun (and functional) ways to elegantly adapt your home to make it a better place to live for the furry member(s) of your family. Namely, built-in solutions for eating, sleeping, and more!

Artisan Kitchens - Dog Station In Island

Kallweit Graham - Dog Shower

RLH Studio - Built In Dog Bed

LDa - Built In Dog Crate

Photo source (all): (Artisan Kitchens, Kallweit Graham Architecture, RLH Studio, LDa Architecture & Interiors)

And, of course, if your house simply isn’t enough for your pampered pooch, you can invest in high-end dog houses, or “barkitecture.”

Beagle with Luxury Dog House

That one was just for fun! I thought it could be Harrison’s long-lost cousin. If you want to see even more doggie dream homes, in a variety of styles, check out the entire article on The Coolist.

Posted in

Kelly Rogers


  1. Rich Grogan on May 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    These are some great customizations for dogs. Love the shower. Our dog’s water bowl is constantly being kicked by visitors as we keep it in the kitchen.

    We’re also not looking forward to first time we find Sophie, our 9 month old, playing with Murphy’s water or eating her dog food. We’re trying to find a good solution for that as we speak.

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on May 22, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      Ah yes, the old baby in the water bowl trick. I have yet to see that one too with Quinlan, and I don’t really have a solution yet, unfortunately. I did see an interesting built-in which was a toe-kick drawer on a kitchen island containing a water and food bowl, but the drawer would need to be closed to avoid baby interference. And then your dog doesn’t have access to water – not good. I have seen those ‘on demand’ type water stations, but I don’t think my dog would go for that. For now, we remain vigilant…

  2. Stacey@aGh on May 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Harrison is too cute for words! I’m afraid that dog would get away with murder at my house. I only have cats but still have the same problems. The bowls are always in the way and …… the litter box!… eeee, that’s never in a good place! Great solutions here. I agree with Rich, the shower is awesome, especially for a dog owner.

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on May 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Aw, thanks! He is our first baby boy, now a ‘big brother’ to our human son :). The dog shower – I know, awesome, right? I wish I had thought of that when designing the laundry room for our new house – a big stainless steel utility tub with a handheld shower head would have been so perfect for bathing Harrison.

  3. Iris Interiors LLC on May 22, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I also agree that the shower is awesome. I love the three dog bowls that are such a perfect extension of the design. I have two dogs and several cats so I know the challenge of having a beautiful home that is also functional and pet-friendly. Here is a link to a home designed by Japanese architects that is literally centered around the comfort of the cats (I think it’s easier to incorporate pet-proofing with cats):

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on May 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Neat, thanks for sharing that. Man, those cats are really living the life in that house! They can go places even humans can’t.

  4. Clarine Rathmanner on March 25, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    A German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler and other large dogs should have large houses, while the Chihuahua and smaller breeds will need smaller houses. The door of the house does not need to be based on the height of the dog from the ground to the top of its head, or even taller, as it will lower its head to be able to enter the house. The width of the door should be just enough to accommodate the dog. These height and width measurements can be adjusted if there is a physical requirement to do so. The house should also be large enough for the dog to stand at full height inside, move around and lie down. Owners should remember that a larger-than-needed home will compromise the dog’s retention of body heat during the winter or colder months.


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