How to Design Spaces For Your Dog

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Though dogs probably do not care where they rest, their owners most likely do and it’s most likely in their own space. So why not make it attractive, right? Admittedly, I’ve never owned a dog. So, while I can’t speak from personal experience, I can speak (write) from my experience visiting friends with dogs. I can’t help but notice how the design of a doggy space often seems like an after thought. I find that the most attractive spaces for both humans and dogs merges their two aesthetics into one. Here are a few tips for designing for dog spaces.

Cool Dog Bed
Images: (Left) Design Sponge, (Right) Brigg Slekehus

  1. Design for you, not the dog. Is this heartless? Perhaps. But I find that dogs don’t really care where they sleep. They’d probably be content curled under the sofa! Design a space that fits with your already existing aesthetic like the middle picture above, left. Here they used fabrics that already fit with their space.
  2. That said, dogs naturally gravitate to something puffy and cozy. The top picture on the left shows the two white dogs cozying it up on a white sheepskin. Plain and simple. That’s all they need! And the best part is that you can move it around without it being too cumbersome.
  3. There are two options for doggy spaces: away from human traffic and combined with human traffic. If the first, find a corner where you can place the bed or a separate room like the dog bed below, right. If the latter, place the dog bed in conjunction with a place where the owner will be sitting often to create an easier reach for petting, like the dog bed above, right.
  4. If you have a bit more space and a bigger dog and don’t need to worry about stashing the bed away, find some beautiful products. Thankfully, well-designed dog products are becoming more and more common. Some of my favorites are below. Whether your taste is modern, traditional, whimsical, or simple, there is an option. It’s a matter of figuring out your priorities for the dog (front and center in the room, or far and out of sight) and selecting accordingly.

Cool Dog Bed
Images: Love Thy Beast, Bloom Room Studio, Inubar, See Scout Sleep, Unleashed Life, Love Thy Beast, Dog Milk

Do you like your dog front and center or out of the way in his own space?

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.