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By Emma Hooton

Dog Friendly Interior Design

Creating a stylish, pet-friendly home for your beloved family member can be a walk in the park when you know how. We asked resident studio pooch, Maggie, for her top tips for dog friendly interior design.

Pet friendly interior design elements

Sleeping, walking, eating and playing are the most important things in your dog’s life. By focussing on their needs when designing your home interior you can create a luxury sanctuary for you and your furry friend.


Dogs like to sleep. Unlike humans that sleep on average for eight hours in a single block, they follow a polyphasic sleep cycle in which they sleep on and off for 14 hours a day. Similarly to humans, insufficient doggy sleep can lead to stress, irritability and behaviour problems.

To sleep happily, a dog needs:

  • to feel safe (an elevated sleeping area away from damp and draughts is preferred)
  • access to cooler and warmer spots to regulate body temperature
  • comfortable sleep spots – especially for older dogs and those with painful joints
  • space to stretch

Build your dog’s bed into the joinery

Building your dog’s bed into joinery will help keep your home tidy and create a lovely, cosy snug perfect for squirrel dreams. Any sheltered spot can be a potential sleep space, so look around your house for discreet spaces that could house a dog bed or crate, such as under the stairs.

Next, choose a dog bed that’s comfortable enough for your dog’s size and health needs, making sure it’s in a colour and style that coordinates with your room scheme.

You can then use the bed measurements for the joinery to create an opening that fits the bed.

Top tip: According to clinical pet behaviourist, Helen Greenley, you should also ensure the spot is suitable for your dog’s needs. Heavier set dogs such as Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers or Malamutes need cooler sleeping spots so as not to overheat. Breeds with finer coats such as Vizslas, Whippets and Miniature Pinschers need more warmth.

Interior Design for Dogs

Dog beds as soft furnishings

If your dog sleeps in the living room or kitchen, think of their bed as an extension of your soft furnishings and pick one in a colour and pattern that complements your room scheme.

For the fully-designed aesthetic, ask your upholsterer or curtain maker to create a bespoke dog bed in the fabrics you’re decorating the room. Just make sure the fabric can withstand a furry friend snuggling into it for 14 hours a day! If not, see if they can source suitable fabric that complements the room scheme.

Dog-friendly fabrics

There’s no need to have a trade-off between style and practicality. There are plenty of fabulous pet-friendly fabrics out there that can withstand paws, hairs and a bit of mud. Tight-knit fabrics are less likely to collect pet hair and easier to keep clean than beds made from fabrics such as velvet, corduroy, velour and chenille. Avoid delicate materials that can be easily damaged by your little friend.

Our favourite dog beds

For country homes online retailers such as George Barclay and offer beds with classic style and maximum comfort.

For contemporary homes, Mungo and Maud and Mutts and Hounds have a lovely collection of stylish dog beds.

Struggle to keep your dog off the bed? Snoozer Cozy Caves are perfect for dogs that like to burrow and nestle under covers.

Walking and washing

It’s no fun being hosed down with freezing cold water after a muddy winter walk. The quickest and easiest solution is to install an outdoor tap with the temperature fixed at a comfortable ‘warm’ setting to keep your hound happy.

If outdoor grooming isn’t your thing, an indoor dog shower could be the answer. A half height shower area incorporated into your joinery and tiled to match the room scheme looks smart and helps contain the post-walk clean-up job.

For the ultimate in pooch pampering, you can also create your own fabulous four-legged spa complete with shower-dryer, massage jets and LED mood lighting. Check out Biopets for the best in doggie bathing.

And of course, if your dog has their very own spa they’ll need the best bathroom products as well as monogrammed towels.

Top tip: When planning your boot room layout and joinery, remember to include a cupboard next to the doggy spa are to store the washing products and towels so they’re close to hand.

Eating and drinking

Eating and drinking can be a messy business. Building a doggy dining area into your interior design plans creates an eating station for your dog that will contain spillages. Use the materials and design from the rest of the room to create a space with low level taps over bowls for a smart but practical area that’s in keeping with the rest of your interiors.

Alternatively, for a stylish free-standing feeding station, check out Jolly & Bea.

Playtime and storage for toys

Play is an important part of your pet’s day. To keep your hound stimulated, an indoor doggy play room or designated play space can provide a safe environment to let off steam. Building bespoke, made-to-measure cupboards and shelving helps keep leads, dog food, toys and other dog accessories in one place. Ideally these storage spaces should be above and around your dog’s sleeping area or play zone, so everything is easy to find and discretely stored. As with all good design, having a place for everything will bring order to your home life and create a feeling of space.

Mungo & Maud Dog Treats on a Shelf

If you’d like advice on dog-friendly interior design, email Maggie and the Studio Hooton team on

Main photo and first photo credit: | Final photo credit: Mungo & Maud

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