Canine cubbyholes: Dogs have taken over our homes — and now they’re taking over our kitchens too

Country Life's interiors editor Giles Kime on a bold new idea which bows to the inevitable and gives a pair of pampered pooches their own dedicated kitchen spaces.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the emancipation of the family dog has been their escape from poky, sometimes fetid ancillary rooms and the fact that they now have run of the entire house, around the clock.

According to Forbes, dogs have become child substitutes in the USA, where households with pets now outnumber those with children. There is exponential growth among millennials, many of whom have realised that owning a pet is not only good preparation for parenthood, but also a passable (and cheaper) substitute for children.

Owners who see dogs as a four-legged child will naturally want to treat them to a few more luxuries than their feral ancestors. However, the upgrade in the quality of dog furniture isn’t merely an act of altruism — if dog beds aren’t restricted to boot and boiler rooms, there’s an incentive to come up with designs as beautiful as they are functional.

The dog-bed designer Charley Chau, in particular, has been at the forefront of the response to this demand and the company’s beds are intended to complement any interior, with sleek designs and fabrics in fashionable colours.

Charley Chau’s ‘Deeply Dishy Dog Bed’ in green velour. If you’re thinking that this looks better than your sofa, you’re probably right.

However commodious a dog bed or gossamer-soft its upholstery, it needs to be accommodated among all the other paraphernalia of everyday life. With this in mind, the designers at Neptune in Cheltenham have come up with a brilliant solution: the fitted dog cupboard.

Working with the owner of a Georgian house near the town, they realised that the best place for the family’s pug and schnauzer is tucked away either side of the sink, freeing up floor space and keeping them well out of the way as they snooze.

It might only be a small step for kitchens, but it’s a huge leap for the canine world — and a great example of how a collaborative relationship between a designer and client is at the heart of solving a creative challenge.