What do you do if you’re an architect and you can’t find just the right house for your dog? Why, you design one, of course.
That’s what Rahil Taj, of Rah:Design in Los Angeles, Calif., did when his fiancée’s pooch needed somewhere tasteful in which to relax.
Taj explains, “We couldn’t find anything that fit our esthetics. We like modern, custom things, and as a furniture designer I have high standards when it comes to that.”
So Taj spent nine months creating a house — the MDK9 Dog Haus — that was not only impressive but could be flat-packaged for shipping.
His fiancée’s dog is an English bulldog, Guinness, 7, who weighs 120 lbs. and is 20 inches tall. Taj says figuring out the size of the house was a challenge. “It can’t be too big or small, and the dog needs to feel protected in the house. That’s where a lot of the development comes from. It must be cool but practical and fit in people’s homes, as well as be easy on the eyes in their backyards.”
Taj describes the MDK9 as a mid-century modern design. “It basically follows esthetics I’ve incorporated into my furniture design pieces and architecture drawings. It’s a sleek, streamlined design — not your run-of-the-mill domed design you usually see in dog houses. It has a slanted roof, which is not just a design detail but functional — you want water to slide off the roof.”
The house is waterproof inside and out, and the screen on the side is detachable, so the house has good air circulation and is easy to clean. Taj is working on something for the front entrance, to create a lockable crate.
The MDK9 is made of concrete, Brazilian teak and powder-coated steel. Smaller models are easy to bring indoors.
Houses can be made larger or in a different colour, as well.
Cost: $3,650 (U.S.)
Shipping: $500 within U.S., $1,500 internationally
Best suited for: The Mini version, which measures 46-by-30-by-30 inches, can accommodate dachshunds, Chihuahuas and small terriers.
The Large version, which measures 76-by-40-by-36 inches, can fit Great Danes and golden retrievers.
Dog mother: Lauryn Maes, who lives in Palos Verdes Estates, south of Los Angeles, bought the MDK9 for her Boston terrier/Frenchie named Stella, 1, who she describes as “fun size.”
“(The MDK9) was a total impulse buy. I saw it on one of my favourite design blogs and had to have it! I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Stella had a decent house prior to this one — by decent I mean it got the job done — but it was the kind of thing you’d banish to the side of the house when guests came over. The MDK9 Dog Haus integrates seamlessly into our current space. It’s luxurious, stylish and perhaps most importantly, it’s practical,” says Maes.
“It’s mobile, so we can move it all over the yard (and even bring it in the house sometimes). The concrete seems to stay cool on warmer days, so Stella enjoys laying directly on it when I remove the bedding to wash it. We also opted for an additional feature: ceiling lights. She seemed a bit scared when, on a rare occasion, she was left outside in the pitch-black darkness.
“On a note of vanity, I’ve really enjoyed the reaction of every guest who comes over and asks where I got that awesome dog house.”
Dog meter: “She loves it,” Maes says. “She still greets me excitedly when I come home, but after about 30 minutes she’s back to her comfy spot.”
Special touches: The home includes a special dog bed (waterproof and easy to clean) crafted by a company called Jax & BonesJax & Bones. Another company, Modern House Numbers, makes letters from aluminum for the dog houses. Four are included but each extra letter costs $25.
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