WHAT IS IT with dog beds? Must they be those slobber-stained blobs that muck up an otherwise thoughtfully decorated interior? Luckily, a few designers, including Ellen Van Dusen, have pondered this as well. “Every bed was a shade of beige, and very utilitarian,” said the textile designer and founder of Brooklyn’s Dusen Dusen Home. “I didn’t get it—if you have all this nice furniture, why would you have this ugly pillow in the middle of the room?” Ms. Van Dusen has gone on to create color-blocked beds in vibrant shades, but pet lovers with more demure taste have stylish options, too—from flaxen chaise longues to rattan baskets that are plushed-out with fluffy cushions.
For safety’s sake, Gail Miller Bisher, the Fox Sports analyst for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, offered these tips: Avoid elevated beds for long-backed breeds like corgis or dachshunds, and steer clear of rippable fabrics if you have a teething puppy. Our picks reflect a universal truth: Cute is a mutable concept.
1. Conservatory Cute
This roost brings you one dog bed closer to that dream of a Victorian-style, glass-enclosed room. Sue Jones, creative director of Oka, the brand behind it, underlines its practicality: “It’s hard-wearing and sturdy, and light enough to lift and move around.” In widths from 26 to 42 inches (shown), it can be cozied up with a blanket or cushion.
Ideal for: A glossy Irish setter. Rattan Mattaban Pet Bed, from $350, oka.com
2. Industrial Cute
Like a chic exhaust vent, the MiaCara Covo dog lounge is butch enough for the loft that won’t be softened by dog or design. Though the bed is otherwise unadorned, Düsseldorf interior architect Uta Cossman sneaked a tiny-arch flourish into its bent-plywood base. The 28-inch cushion—in faux fur or a sandy weave—is orthopedic foam.
Ideal for: Tiny but tough-looking miniature bull terriers. $605, miacara.com
3. Opulently Cute
Maybe you’ve got a glamorous canine who needs a throne of her own? Howe London’s Great Bear bed, modeled on a 19th-century chair, is made of custom-sized spindle-turned beech and whatever fabric you (OK, or your dog) desire. The studio’s go-to? This repurposed antique carpet, hand-stitched and tasseled.
Ideal for: An equally regal Afghan hound. $4,227 plus fabric for 24-inch-square, howelondon.com
4. Casual Cute
You could tuck this Ghanian basket into plenty of living rooms niftily, but it might look best in a cottage by the sea (or in any home whose owner is aiming for a coastal vibe). Buff-toned elephant grass skews beachy, as do the stripes in a midnight dye: black at first glance, then streaked with navy. In sizes from 22 to 30 inches in length, the laid-back lairs are available in nine other patterns, too.
Ideal for: A Frisbee-fetching golden retriever. Large Bear Dog Bed in Cross, $180, designdua.com
5. Instagram Cute
Brooklyn designer Ellen Van Dusen, known for her pleasingly chaotic printed textiles and clothing, considers the punchy, social-media-friendly palette of this wool-blend and cotton-canvas bed to be “chill and calming.” We think the 36-inch-by-27-inch pillow would suit the owner who starts posting bright images at the mere mention of khaki. And the bed isn’t just color-blocked. On the canvas cover, embroidered concentric squares and rectangles of chain stitching form the shapes, and the loopy threads give the pillow a snazzy nap.
Ideal for: A Dalmatian, whose black and white polka-dot coat would create a positively Memphis tableau. Dusen Dusen Landscape Dog Bed, $184, dusendusen.com
6. International-Style Cute
At once minimal and commodious, the Linden Dog Day Bed by Bad Marlon is enough to make a Barcelona chair jealous. To merge design cred with ultra-chill appeal, Bad Marlon’s Ji Yeon Yu watched the studio’s pets relax…all day.
Ideal for: A mini-labradoodle, as pictured. The designer breed’s curly coat and fluffy coif provide a pleasing textural contrast to the neat 20-inch oatmeal-colored cushion. $480, crateandbarrel.com
7. Possibly Too Cute
Even in this “white” colorway—it also comes in pink—this ruffled confection of a den might appeal only to those swept up in the pastoral sweetness of cottagecore. The 20- or 24-inch-tall house, patched in Liberty floral fabric stripes, includes a cushion edged with linen-cashmere but not the pup’s treacly little skirt.
Ideal for: Sassy Shih Tzus. Louisdog Peekaboo Liberty Dog House, from $335, teacupspuppies.com
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