By Julie Sheer, Houzz.
Pet experts will tell you that dogs need a space of their own to snuggle up and sleep in. Canines curl up in a ball in the wild to retain warmth, an instinct that carries over to our suburban pets. So instead of just throwing a dog bed on the floor, why not carve out a space to satisfy your pet’s denning instinct? As den animals, dogs need a “sanctuary that is just large enough for them to fit inside and feel secure,” the American Humane Association says.
A built-in sleeping area in a home’s cabinetry fits that bill and makes a perfect hideaway for our domesticated canine friends. It can be adapted for any home’s style — traditional, sleekly modern or a bit blingy. An added bonus is that built-ins keep the house uncluttered by clunky dog beds. Here are some striking examples.
1. Lucky, a goldendoodle, enjoys his special spot in his family’s renovated kitchen and mudroom. “The small addition, tucked between existing spaces, gives Lucky his own hangout area in the mudroom, and allows the family to easily (and stylishly) gate him when need be,” Jean Rehkamp Larson of Rehkamp Larson Architects says. “The custom metal gate operates like a concealed pocket door, conveniently sliding in and out of the wall when needed.”
2. A dachshund gets a cozy nook in this modern kitchen-dining area in a country house near the appropriately named Petworth, in southern England. The cabinet doors, drawer fronts and side panels are covered in ash veneer.
3. Talk about the best of both worlds. This dog gets to keep an eye on dinner prep while lounging in bed. The Muir Showrooms in Bedford, New Hampshire, included the built-in dog bed in the kitchen so the whole family could hang out together.
4. The dog cubby in this kitchen was part of Bunch Design’s partial renovation of a midcentury house in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. The peninsula is wrapped in strips of painted medium-density fiberboard.
5. Dog crates, or kennels, can be an excellent housetraining aid, and act as a temporary “special retreat” rather than an all-day cage, according to the American Humane Association. But their boxy, chain-link ugliness is a design challenge. Not for lucky rescue dogs Maxie and Scout, though, who get to hang out in a custom-designed pen in this Newton, Massachusetts, kitchen by Betsy Bassett. The pups open the gate with their noses. The dog den can be replaced with a base cabinet later if desired.
6. A cavalier King Charles spaniel peeks out from its bed in an English country kitchen in New Jersey. The niche is part of a handcrafted Kuche+Cucina cabinetry unit in soft yellow with brown glazing and light distressing.
Related: Add a Curtain to Your Pet’s Nook
7. These pooches enjoy luxe sleeping digs in custom-made cabinets with a tufted backdrop in the living area of their Atlanta home. The space includes removable, washable bedding, and a laser-cut metal screen in the kennel door offers ventilation. Pineapple House Interior Design created the space with a cabinet fabricator and upholsterer. Toys are also stashed inside.
8. This sleeping space under the stairs gets the chic treatment in a Cape Cod-style home in Huntington Beach, California. “Our dogs love it,” says homeowner Janine Roth, who put custom foam beds in the space and painted the walls a dark color, then hung photos of the dogs inside. “Our friends love to stick their heads in and look at all the photos,” she says. The space is bigger than it looks. An electrician fit inside to install can lights, a carpenter added baseboards and a painter finished the walls.
This article is part of a collaboration between Pets Best pet health insurance and Houzz. We’ve teamed up to provide you this series of articles focused on pets and homes. Learn more about pet insurance at petsbest.com.