Design Notes Archive

Dog Days

Dog Days

You’ve probably heard the term pandemic puppies by now, coined to capture the mass adoption of dogs during lockdown last year. As restrictions ebb and flow, we’ve continued to find comfort and companionship in our furry friends and designers, in turn, are getting more requests than ever from clients wanting dog-centric adaptations to their homes. Carving out space in the boot room is par for the course, but doing so with a designer’s eye can transform those spaces into ones that flow seamlessly, not just with the rest of your home’s aesthetic but also with the way you and your pup live together in it.

In one New York manse (left)—a brilliant collaboration between architecture firm Historical Concepts and interior designer Steven Gambrel—the vast mudroom boasts pet friendly-features that feel completely in tune with the home’s Dutch and Belgian influences (Vermeer paintings are counted among the inspiration). There are subtle elements, like a stone floor that provides scratch-proof durability and a Dutch door that lets fresh air in without muddy feet running back and forth. But the pièce de résistance is a bespoke concrete basin with industrial-style spray tap for rinsing those aforementioned paws. Where the rest of the room is clad in wood-paneling, the bath’s backdrop is tiled for easy clean up. But rather than a smooth finish, the handcrafted tiles are installed unevenly to create a sense of texture in keeping with the home’s historic feel.

Of course, if your pup‘s size skews more Vizsla than Westie, a shower might be more apropos and it needn’t take up gobs of room. Designer Stephanie Sabbe tucked one into the corner of a laundry room she recently designed for American House Beautiful’s Whole Home showhouse (centre). The alcove's black Caesarstone and penny tiles are stain-resistant, while high sides keep splatter at bay. Contrasting yellow cabinets (painted Farrow & Ball #66) provide ample storage for housing towels, treats, and accoutrement. Plus the rounded cup pulls won’t give pooch a poke if bumped into.

Mealtime is also top of mind and designers have been carving nook’s into kitchen islands as of late. This one by Blackband Design (right) features custom cut slots for a pair of raised doggie bowls and a plumbed-in pot filler that makes topping up water a cinch. At the end of the day, these little luxuries are about bringing your dog into your world in a way that makes your lives together more harmonious. Because ask anyone if you should get a dog and the answer—regardless of whether they say yes! or no!—will usually be followed with the caveat that it’s a lot of work. So why not treat them as you would any new addition to the family, and make space, not just in your heart but physically in your house too?

If someone on your list is wishing for a new puppy this holiday season, consider adopting a rescue. The RSPCA can help you find your match.

Photographs © Stephen Karlisch; Eric Piasecki; Ryan Garvin