Design Trend (P)update:”Barkitecture” and Interior Design for Dogs

Decorating

I know, I know, trends pieces are supposed to come up around the new year and then die down, but here I am breaking all the rules to share an important design trend you need to be aware of: barkitecture.

That’s right, interior design is no longer just for humans! Our four-legged fuzzy family members are getting in on the action and enjoying the benefits of interior design and architecture!

Today, I’m giving you a little rundown of what this trend is all about, how we’re working it into our home design, and how to get it for your own home. Ready to see some fun design for the dogs? Let’s jump in.

What is Barkitecture?

I actually first heard the term “Barkitecture” from Pinterest. Pinterest for business does an annual prediction of trends based on the search terms that are increasing in popularity—and, this year, they had a whole section based on Barkitecture.

According to Pinterest, “In 2022, people will redesign their homes with Fido and Felix at the forefront, from luxury dog rooms to “catified” homes. Millennial, Gen X and Boomer pet parents are driving this trend.”

And, well, I can’t disagree. In fact, we’ve had plans for a while to incorporate Lia, our golden/dachshund mix, into our home (because, let’s face it, she’s in charge here). We’re not just throwing a bed in the corner—we’re building it into our living room cabinets.

The keywords Pinterest Predicts was citing include “catify your home,” “luxury dog room,” and “dog beds made from furniture.”

Ready to design for your dog? You can choose your own adventure, here. Some people are building puppy gates right into their woodwork, some people are incorporating cute pet portraits into their design (if that’s more your vibe, scroll to the shopping section below).

I’ll share a few of my favorite ideas—and a sneak peek at how we designed for our dog in our renovation. Ready? Let’s jump in.

2022: The Year to Design for Your Dog

As far as I’m concerned, the key to designing for your dog is to keep things realistic. If your dog isn’t into personal space, there’s no need to give them their own room to hang out without you (my Lia would hate this idea).

But, realistically, you probably have some animal accommodations around your home—bowls, beds, and crates, especially. Why not upgrade them and make them beautiful, built in barkitecture?? Get creative and you might just find fun ways to build in beds, hide leash storage, and decorate for the dog.

For instance, this under-the-stairs doggy house (complete with wallpaper and framed photos!) makes use of an otherwise unused area, while simultaneously tucking in something that otherwise would take up valuable floor space (a dog bed). Creative? Check. Practical? Absolutely!

Jasmine Roth has made this sort of doggy house a bit of a signature style, and here’s another example (complete with gallery wall!):

The trim around the opening really makes it next level!

Jasmine must have spread her doggy ideas to the rest of HGTV, though, because the 2022 HGTV Smart Home features a little built-in doggy nook in the laundry room. This version is built into an unused wall, and has bowls, a bed, and even hooks for toys. Cute!

Bowls are an inevitable necessity when you have pets, and they should ideally be in an accessible or centrally located spot, so your dog can get water whenever they need it. That being the case, why not build in the bowls? Here is a very chic example of dog bowls, with a pot filler, built into the kitchen island:

(This was a major inspiration for us in our own kitchen remodel!)

Of course, built-in isn’t the only way to go with your doggy decor—here are two very cool examples of building a crate/dog bed into your interior design by simply making sure it looks good! (Sounds simple, but dog beds are not notorious for being attractive!)

This one is also awesome because the dog bed ends up doubling as an end table—SO smart.

Sneak Peek: Our Doggy Designs

I didn’t want to just share a trend piece today—I also wanted to give a little peek into the ways we’re incorporating doggy design into our own home. Of course, everything is a work in progress (we’re doing way too much at once!) and I’m not ready to reveal the entire rooms, but Miss Lia has some peeks for you today.

Obviously our living room is still a work in progress, but we're excited to share a peek of "Barkitecture" in our own home...this built-in dog bed! Tap to see more examples of design for dogs, and ideas to incorporate into your own home.

Look at this model! Incredible, a natural.

Anyway, the first peek is of our living room! On either side of our new fireplace, we had cabinets built in to add some much-needed storage…except this bit! Right next to our fireplace, we asked our cabinet maker to leave an open section where we could slide in a dog bed.

We had it made to the dimensions of this bed from Etsy, and just popped it right in there! Perfect. (Did I obsessively measure our dog and her existing beds to be sure this idea would work? I will leave that up to you to decide.) I will say this area isn’t quite done…and that I can’t wait to get my wallpaper installer back out…

Obviously our kitchen is still a work in progress, but we're excited to share a peek of "Barkitecture" in our own home...these built-in dog bowls! Tap to see more examples of design for dogs, and ideas to incorporate into your own home.

Next up, from the pup modeling queen, we have a look at our kitchen! Has this been the absolute slowest kitchen remodel in history? Maybe. Are we happy to have Miss Lia accommodated before we are? Of course, she runs this house.

We were so excited to build in a section for dog bowls (from this set!) in our kitchen island, because we were sick of having to have another spot to store them, people accidentally kicking them, etc. Dog bowls are surprisingly hard to find a home for! Plus, that section next to the bowls is actually a pull out drawer for her dog food, keeping everything in one spot and SO easy peasy.

While we liked the pot filler idea from our inspiration image above, we didn’t think it would be worth it, and we like to give her bowl a rinse when we refill it, just to keep it from getting gross. We currently just have the cabinet wood in this area, and we do recognize that the water bowl will cause some wear over time, so we will eventually need another solution. We priced out matching the countertops, and it just wasn’t in the cards at this time…but maybe someday.

Shopping for Doggy Design

Of course, there are a number of levels at which you can adopt the barkitecture trend. Perhaps it’s a silly illustration of your pet, an upgraded dog bed, or a built-in for bowls. There are even wallpapers featuring furry friends and side tables that double as dog beds or crates. Should we go shopping? I think so!

Would you incorporate your dog into your design? Today I'm giving you a little rundown of what barkitecture is all about, how we're working it into our design, and how to get it for your home.

Sources: Peekaboo Custom Dog Portrait | Watercolor Custom Dog Portrait | Regal Custom Dog Portrait | Reserved for the Dog Pillow | Dog Bowl Station | Dog Ear Treat Canister | Woof Treat Canister | A Warm Welcome Art Print | The Commissionaire’s Dog Print | Dachshund Art Print | Brass Dog Hook | Dog Faces Pillow | Resident Dog Coffee Table Book | Bone Shaped Toy Bin (we have this one!) | Dog Curtain Tieback | Black and White Dachshund Wallpaper | Dog Toile Wallpaper | Fancy Dogs Wallpaper | Puppy Pile Wallpaper

Upgrade the Utilitarian Dog Items

All of the examples in this post are really about upgrading the utilitarian—the functional can be beautiful too! And I love the idea of a funky dog treat container, like this one with ears, or this “woof” one, pretty bowls, or a nice bin for dog toys and bones. This hook would also be a great option for a leash, especially if you have a lab (also comes in Basset Hound and French Bulldog!).

Dog Portraits and Artwork

If you’ve got your practical bases covered, you might begin considering decorating with (or for) the dogs. I love the idea of getting a pet portrait done of Lia, but first we’d have to choose between this corner peek, a classic style, or a regal costume fitting of her station. If you’re more into general pup art (instead of your specific dog), I love this classic photo “The Commissionaire’s Dog,” and Janet Hill also has some great dog art in her Etsy shop.

Dog Wallpaper

Whether it’s going inside of your built-in dog bed, in a powder bathroom, or anywhere else, wallpaper with dogs runs the gammut from chic to playful—and it always brings a bit of pizazz. Go with a whimsical dachshund paper in classic black and white for your bathroom or laundry room (as seen here by Joanna Gaines), or try this fun “Puppy Pile” in a kid’s room (similar seen here by Lay Baby Lay).

Interior Design for Pets

So, there you have it. Definitive proof that doggy design is on the rise—but I don’t see this trend passing quickly. As more and more of us treat our dogs as members of the family, it will continue to be important to incorporate them into our homes in practical and decorative ways.

And, I don’t know about you, but seeing these ideas just gets me more and more excited about fun options and practical solutions alike. If anything, I want to find more ways to treat my hound like a princess in her home, and that’s what barkitecture is all about.

Would you include your furry friend in the interior design of your house? Let me know in the comments!

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