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Under the Stairs Dog House, Kennel and Dog Nook Ideas

03/13/2024 – Are you in need of some extra space for your dog? Or maybe you just want to add a little unexpected fun to your home? Either way an under the stairs dog house might be what you are looking for.

Why create a dog house using the space under the staircase?

If you happen to have a staircase in your home, the empty space that is under the stairs is often not used or underutilized. Many times, it’s hidden behind dry-wall. But that wasted space can put to good use either as a dog den or kennel. I am sure most of us would welcome a few extra feet of living space.

Here, we will show you ideas on how you can turn that unused space into a dog’s paradise. Or at least something useful.

In this post we will

  • Discuss how much it can cost to build a DIY dog house that is located under the staircase
  • Showcase ways you can use the space for your dog
  • Show 48 inspiration photos of dog spaces that are under the stairs
  • Provide you with a how-to video on building a dog house under the stairs.
Under the Stairs Dog House, Kennel and Dog Bed Ideas - Title with a pic of a dog house built under the stair case.

What does it cost to build a Dog House under the stairs?

A DIY dog house that is built under the stairs can cost around $200 to $1,000. The actual cost will depend on size, difficulty, and the materials you choose. The cost to have a professional build it can be around $2,000 and $8,000.

Under the Stairs Dog House, Kennel and Dog Nook Ideas

There are a lot of possibilities for what you can do with the empty space under your staircase. But what you end up doing will be determined by where the space is and how difficult it is to open it up.

Safety first

Before you start any construction, you should call or visit your local building department to find out if you need a permit.

You should also call in a professional to make sure that where you plan to place an opening is not going to affect the structural soundness of your home. If it does you need to take the required steps.

Same things goes with any electrical or plumbing that needs to be moved. You should use a professional to make these kinds of changes.

Under the Stairs Dog House Ideas and Inspiration

One of the most fun and creative ways to use the space under your staircase is to create a dog house. Your dog house can have a door or be open, but what makes it a dog house is the trimming around the opening that looks like a dog house. See the projects below for ideas.

1. Simple design

Our first inspirational photo (see below) shows the simple off-white trim around the opening that resembles a dog house. Since the wall is covered in wood, the white trim stands out and makes a statement.

The opening to the dog house is actually pretty small, but the trim work around the opening makes the dog house look much larger than it is.

What you cannot see in the picture is that the space to the right under the staircase is open, allowing more space for the dog to spread out. This dog house was part of a new construction project.

2. Fancy Dog House

Our next inside dog house takes the idea to an extreme. This dog house facade includes a brick front, a slight roof overhang and two door lights. This dog house is actually part of the Gabriel Builders Showroom in South Carolina, which includes a personal residence on the third floor.

3. Farmhouse Estate

This whimsical dog house was built as a getaway space for the family’s dog in a modern farmhouse. The rough sawn lumber fits perfectly in with the farmhouse theme.

4. Mid-Century Farmhouse

This next dog house was built-in under the staircase in the basement. They framed the opening with baseboard to mimic the lines of a traditional dog house. A custom gate was also built for the space. The trim is painted a dark navy, though in the photo it looks like a light navy.

This house also features a custom dog shower in the mudroom. Wondering if you should add a dog wash station to your home? Here are 8 reasons why you should with inspirational photos.

5. Transitional Staircase

The dog house shown below offers an example of a dog house done in monochrome. While the trim resembles a dog house, the white on white color scheme makes the dog den disappear into the wall.

6. Beachy Farmhouse

This custom inside dog house has a secret. The little dog house front can be removed for easy cleaning. The facade is attached with magnetic closures. A custom gate has a latch to keep the family’s dog contained when necessary.

7. Farmhouse Chic

This next dog house is an optional amenity offered by Simon Homes. The small dog house is adorned with wood moldings, paneling and a removable plaque with the dog’s name on it.

8. Rustic Cabin Dog House

This rustic dog house is located in a 1,000 square foot cabin, so every bit of space needed to be optimized. Including the space under the staircase. The adorable dog den with its picket door faces into the dining room allowing the pup to keep a watch on the family.

9. Back Entry Dog House

This next dog house idea is part of the Maryland Green Designer Show Home. The dog house located by the back entry under the staircase. Rather than the wooden boards we have seen on the other dog houses in this post, this design uses cedar shingles.

10. Craftsman Residence

Here is another example of a dog house with weather wood planks to adorn the front. Here they used a simple wood trim to outline the house.

11. Contemporary Dog House

Our last under the stairs dog house is fairly large compared to the others in this post. In addition to a large opening, it also features a porthole window and an arched window with a flower box.

Keep reading to see even more ideas on what you can do with the empty space under your stairs.

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Under the Stairs Dog Kennel Ideas and Inspiration

Not everyone wants to have a dog house in their house, but they still want to capitalize on the space under the stairs for their dogs. In this next group of photos we have concentrated on dog kennels that are located under the stairs but blend in to the surroundings.

12. Modern Dog Kennel

Our first under the stairs dog kennel design comes to us from the United Kingdom. In this compact space every inch needed to be put to use. In addition to the dog kennel under the lower parts of the stairs, there are also pull-out drawers next to it.

13. Spanish Elegance

Our next under the stairs dog kennel was part of a larger remodel. Here the kennel sits under a tall, curved staircase offering plenty of head room for a large dog. The metal gate matches the spindles on the banister. This allows the dog kennel to blend into the rest of the home.

14. Space for the dog

In our next photo, the dog kennel features a double door that fits the shape of the opening. The wood trim used to outline the kennel matches the furniture in the room allowing it to blend in.

15. Family Pets

Here is another under the stairs dog kennel that features a metal gate. In this case the dog kennel is fairly large when compared to the others in this post. They also chose to add a light in the kennel.

16. Doggie Niche Under the Staircase.

Here we have another example of a dog kennel with a wrought iron door. However, in this case, the gate is on a pocket door rail. So, instead of swinging the gate out to open the door, the gate slides inside the dog kennel to open. This allows the door to remain open, without it becoming an obstacle in the room.

17. Shabby Chic Dog Pen

Our next dog pen features a picket fence that contrasts with the brick wall giving the area a rustic feel.

18. Space for Two

This modern style staircase offers space for two dog kennels to be next to each other. If you plan to create more than one kennel under the stairs make sure there is enough room for the dog to stand, turn around comfortable and spread out if they are hot.

19. Space for Three

In our next design idea photo, the homeowners carved out enough space under the stairs for three small kennels. Here we see they also added lights to brighten up the space.

20. Space for Three

The photo show below is a close up of the kennels above. Here you can see that the dog can comfortable sit in the kennel.

21. Under the Stairs Storage

This next project was all about creating as much storage space as possible from the space under the stairs. The space includes two shoe drawers, a cabinet with shelves, a tall coat closet and finally the dog kennel.

22. Under the Stairs Storage

Here is a close up of the dog kennel from the project above. There is just enough space for a dog bed.

23. Closet turned Dog Den

This formerly unused space below the stairs was transformed into Fido’s Hideaway. The Dutch doors allow the room to be used as a kennel by keeping the top part open, but the space can be hidden away by closing both doors.

24. Sliding Kennel Door

When you are designing your own dog kennel you need to think about how to design your door. In the example below, the homeowners used a miniature sliding barn door with an open wire grate as a kennel door. This allows the door to stay open without forming a tripping hazard.

25. Kennel in Half-turn Stairs

Our next inspirational photo is of a kennel under half-turn stairs. Half-turn stairs are stairs that turn 360 degrees halfway down. This generally provides more space under the stairs that a straight staircase.

26. Kennel in Half-turn Stairs

Here is the close up of the same kennel pictured above.

Under the Stairs Dog Den Ideas and Inspiration

What’s the difference between a dog kennel and dog den? The main difference is that a dog den does not have a door. Here are few dog dens that are located under the stairs.

27. Coastal Farmhouse

Our first dog den is a place I would love the hang out in. The raised dog den is located under the staircase in the front hall not far from the rest of the house. The beachy vibe blends perfectly with the coastal location.

28. Modern Living Room

In the D.C. renovation shown below, the homeowners opted to use part of the space under the stairs for a dog den. The taller section is reserved for a wine room.

29. Beach House Dog Den

Here we see the homeowners carved out a large space under that stairs to dedicate to their dog. The wide opening makes the space feel even larger.

30. Leo’s Man Cave

Leo looks very happy in his cave. Here it appears that Leo’s man cave is also a storage place for his toys.

31. Classical Home

This next dog den is located under the staircase of a traditional style home. The narrow space provides just enough room for a dog bed. In keeping with the traditional space, the dog den is lined with shiplap.

32. Modern Den

This open modern dog den is the perfect place for the family’s dog to survey the area.

33. Casual Coastal Den

This dog den mimics the casual coastal style of the rest of the house. The reclaimed wood wall echoes the wood paneling in the kitchen. The den is plenty big with space for a dog couch, food and water bowls and a light. It even has its own address sign.

34. The Round Dog Den

While many of the dog den designs shown so far are angular, they don’t have to be. In our next photo the dog den features a large curved opening and a round window on the side.

35. The Round Den

Here is a look at the round window into the dog den shown above.

36. Rustic Curved Dog Nook

This dog nook fits in with the rustic style of the home. The curved opening mimics the front entry shown to the left of the picture.

37. Mid Stair Dog Den

This next dog den is not actually under the stairs, but located half-way up the stairs. When the homeowners created a new staircase, it blocked off a small closet. So, they decided to extend the landing are into the small recess to create a dog nook. The arched opening is consistent with the rest of the home.

38. The Dog Office

Anyone that has a dog knows they like to be close. (Mine is lying next to me as I type.) This next project made sure they were close to their family by creating the dog nook right next to a small desk space that is also under the stairs. The nook is also adjacent to an open kitchen and living area.

Under the Stairs Dog Feeding Station Ideas and Inspiration

In additional to space for your dog to sleep, the space under the stairs can also be used as a feeding station. Here are a few projects we found.

39. Dog Den with Feeding Station

This compact dog den and feeding station has everything a dog needs. In this case the dog feeding station is located in a drawer that can be closed when it’s not needed. Just remember that most dogs should have access to water at all times.

40. Feeding Station in Cupboard

This next under the stairs feeding station has double doors that slide into the cupboard when open. This allows the bowls to be available when needed without the doors in the way.

41. Home Show Dog Feeding station

This next photo is of an exhibit at a home show. While the room is only a display, it does provide inspiration on what the space can be used for.

42. Under the Stairs Feeding Station

Our last photo is of a real home. The staircase is located in the kitchen, making it the perfect place to keep the dogs’ food and water bowl. The homeowner opted to tile the area to keep water from getting on the walls. The accent tile matches the tile used in the kitchen.

A Look Inside Dog Rooms that are Under the Stairs

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a dog den looks like? We are found a few photos of dog dens from the inside.

43. Beach Style Staircase

Here’s another look inside a dog kennel. In this dog kennel, there is plenty of space for a dog bed, bowl and toys.

44. Outside and In Dog Kennel

Our next two photos show the same dog kennel. The first one is from the entrance. The second photo is inside the dog kennel


Before and after Under the Stairs Dog Room Project

Our last set of photos are the before and after of a under the stairs dog room.

46. Before

Here is the space under the stairs before the project is started.

47. After

Here are the sliding barn doors to the dog room.

48. After

Here is a view of the dog room from inside the area. As you can see they opened up the area to create a lot more space.

For more dog room ideas, check out our post Dog Room Ideas – How to Create a Dog Room

How Build a DIY Dog Den Under the stairs

Here is a quick overview video I found on how to build a dog den under the stairs. This video provides a simplified look at how the homeowner created their under the stairs dog house. It will give you an idea on how it is done but remember that your staircase and project may be different.

If you are new to these types of projects make sure to seek professional help.

Looking for more home related dog ideas? Check-out our post on How to Build an Outdoor Dog Potty Area