Interior Designer:  Mark D. Sikes

Interior Designer:  Mark D. Sikes


No, I’m not talking about Uncle Herb who wears the polo shirts unbuttoned with his chest hair poking out. Today, I want to talk about interior designing for our dogs!



Dogs are a part of the family! They’re our fuzzy family and are with us through thick and thin.  They make us laugh, they occasionally drive us bonkers, and they’re a source of unending, unquestioning love. Dogs are awesome.



Just like our children have their own spaces and we have ours, let’s give our dogs their own awesome getaway! Because let’s face it, a beautifully designed space, one that’s light, airy, and lovely is not always improved by a dog bed in the middle of a beautiful Moroccan rug or a ratty chew toy in front of the fireplace.



Or maybe your pup is the outdoorsy type, specifically, the roll-around-in-OH MY GOODNESS!!  WHAT IS THAT??? type, and you want a place to easily give him or her a bath without demolishing your master bathroom. Or you are tired of your toddler eating the kibble and would like a way to feed your dog in peace.



So, let’s look at some cozy bedrooms, spa-like spaces, and top-notch dining areas for your dog that will elevate the entire look of your house!


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Most dogs like having a den where they can feel safe and secure or where they can get away from excess noise or excitable children. Even if you choose to not have a crate or you’re fine with your dog being on the furniture, most dogs still like to have a place of their own. Here are some fantastic ideas to help you create a master suite for master’s best friend.


A Nook Under the Stairs


Spaces under stairs are SO underutilized! You can turn them into office areas, reading nooks, or, in this case, a dog nook! While you may feel a little nervous about cutting a hole under your stairs, the finished dog nook will look simply fabulous! Put in built-in shelving above the bedding area to store extra toys, or if your dog can make a small jump up, install drawers under the bed for extra bedding, toys, treats, or create a dining area from a slide out drawer!


Check out this tutorial to learn how to DIY this fun project!



Repurpose Kitchen Cabinets or Island Space


Okay, I KNOW for most of us, kitchen cabinet space is premium real estate. However, if you have some extra space, and your dog loves the kitchen, consider converting a bit of cabinet storage or cutting out a space in your island.


For a small dog, you would just need to replace the cabinet door of one side of a cabinet, and for a larger dog, remove both doors and any dividers. Then, put in a cute, comfy bed (bonus points to use fabrics that work with the kitchen color scheme!) and your pup’s favorite toy, and he’s good to go! You can also build awesome dog kennels underneath a counter in a mudroom!



Similar to the cabinets, but slightly more labor-intensive, you can cut out a space in your kitchen island or built-in window seat for your dog’s nook. Create awesome contrast by painting the interior a different color from your island or seat using one of your color scheme’s secondary colors!



Slide Out Space


If your dog sleeps in the mudroom, repurpose your washer and dryer’s storage bins underneath into a slide out dog bed. Simply place a dog bed inside, and there you go! Easy, out of the way, and there when your dog needs it! This is a good option if your dog is mainly with you during the day and sleeps in a separate area at night or stays enclosed while you’re at work.

Dining in Style

Having a specific feeding area is so much nicer than just putting the dog bowls on the floor, isn’t it? Plus, if you have a dog who likes to dig in the food dish or slide it around, having a set location prevents this problem. I LOVE these ideas for a dog dinner area!

  • An elevated food and water dish built into a recessed area at the end of a kitchen island or cabinet is convenient AND looks fabulous!

  • Converting the drawer under your washer or dryer into a place for your dog’s food dishes (it’s so easy! Just cut two circles into a piece of plywood that fits firmly between the sides of the drawer, and that’s it!)

  • Repurposing the bottom of a kitchen cart with a fitted piece of plywood and holes cut out to hold dog dishes and then attaching a piece of wood in front to box in the open space underneath.

  • The drawers under your dog’s bed (remember creating a space under the stairs or in a kitchen island? Install a drawer underneath and boom!)


Canine Spa


Okay, think less spa, and more like car wash, but for your dog. If you have a small space near your washer, consider turning it into a convenient bathing area for your dog! After all, if your dog comes in covered in mud, the last thing you want is to have to take him or her all the way through your house to the bathroom.


Instead, consider having a contractor install a canine-sized shower in your utility room. It’s less work than you may think, since it’s really just putting in a shower pan or bathtub, and if there’s already plumbing available, it’s not hard to run it in. That being said, this is NOT a DIY job for most people, but it’s well worth the investment!



Dogs are such a big part of our family and just like how we want to create lovely spaces for ourselves or our kids, we also want to create functional, attractive, comfortable spaces for our dogs, too! Plus, with so many homeowners also being dog owners, these kind of updates really do add value to your home, especially when done well.



For more design tips and ideas, subscribe to my newsletter where you’ll get fun ideas and useful advice sent straight to your inbox!


2 MW Custom Homes https://creativespacefurnishings.com/you-can-find-us-in-this-reading-nook-by-mwcustomhomes-this-sunday-afternoon/

3 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/207869339021230561/

4 Brown Eyed Fox Blog https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=112764

5 https://castleandcliff.com/2016/02/

6 https://housekaboodle.com/20-fun-house-design-ideas-for-your-pets/

7 Marie Flanigan Interiors https://marieflanigan.com/2016/08/31/pet-friendly-home-design/

8 Marie Flanigan Interiors https://marieflanigan.com/2016/08/31/pet-friendly-home-design/

9 Marie Flanigan Interiors https://marieflanigan.com/2016/08/31/pet-friendly-home-design/

10 https://housekaboodle.com/20-fun-house-design-ideas-for-your-pets/

11 Ashley Harding https://www.hometalk.com/9646302/diy-dog-shower

12 This Old House https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/laundry-room-vertical-spaces

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