A Room of Their Own (Part One)

Having rented rooms and a 500 sq ft loft over the past several rears, the dogs and I are quite used to sharing very small spaces; we know how to gracefully trip over one another and never to be in too much of a rush. I knew that when I did have the space, I would want to design them a room of their own. Plenty of dog rooms can be found online, particularly cute rooms for tiny dogs to show off all of their dainty accessories. These rooms are practically an accessory for as much utility as they would provide an 80 pound rambunctious doberteen. I have picked and pulled a number of good ideas after scouring the Internet for dog room ideas, and now I get to make a room specifically designed with my boys in mind. First, I needed to make a list of what purpose I wanted my dog room to serve. Below are the criteria around which I need to design my dog room.
  • The room needs to be large enough for both of their crates.
  • The room needs to be comfortable.
  • The room needs to feel like a safe place if the dogs get overwhelmed by company, construction, fireworks, thunder, etc….
  • The room needs to be easily cleaned without seeming cold and institutional.
  • The room needs to have sufficient storage space for their belongings (toys, collars, leads, medications, food, extra food, etc…).
On my first visit to what would be my house, I knew that the basement bedroom would be a perfect place for the dog room; it has concrete walls to help dampen offending noises, should stay cooler than the rest of the house in the summer, is attached to the laundry room (dog bathtub in the future?!), and is near the door to the backyard.
dog room 1
Dog room (before…ugly!)
After identifying the purpose and location of the dog room comes the actual design–I need to design the room and determine what materials would best achieve the goals of the room. Form, meet function.
My dogs are medium sized and apt to get into trouble when unattended, so the room had to be safe. Although the dogs are crated when I leave the house, I anticipate them voluntarily spending time in the room since it will have all of their toys and beds, and is near the library. I don’t want to constantly be watching them if they go into the room. I have narrowed the materials down a bit, but but final decisions are still pending.
  • Floor: Bamboo, cork, or carpet. All have their pros and cons, and making the final decision will be quite difficult.
    • Cork–Pros: softer than tile or hardwood, sound dampening. Cons: Not as durable as other options, limited designs and/or colors.
    • Bamboo–Pros: attractive, inexpensive, variety of colors and designs. Cons: maintains the basement feel and encourages echoing, easily scratched.
    • Carpet–Pros: Many available options, would make the room feel less like a basement, preserve warmth. Cons: can be expensive with the pad and carpet, more difficult to clean.
  • Walls: Either a pistachio or warm orange paint with white wainscoting around the room. The wainscoting will help minimize the basement feel of the room by partially covering the two exposed concrete walls, and will be easier to wipe down than the paint.
  • Door: Dutch door with dog door in the lower half. This style will allow the dogs access to the room while still enabling me to check on them quickly be peeking over the top of the lower door.
  • Storage: Some will be in the small closet, but additional storage must be in a cabinet or elevated so that the dogs cannot access it.
  • Closet: I will be completely redoing the closet and am undecided if I should incorporate a traditional closet with bar for hanging clothes, or a shelving unit more suited to storing pet supplies.

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