Posted 3 months ago
Becky and her pup Jelly (Image: Becky Ehlers)
By Chloe Bowen
These unique revamps are not only great to look at, they create a private place for your dog to snooze and make better space for storage in your home.
Becky Ehlers, based in mid-Sussex near Ditchling, originally started out in prop making and event decoration in New Zealand. Since being back in the UK, she has bought a decorative mouldings business and now turns tatty furniture into clever functioning dog beds.
Before and after pictures (Images: Chez Chien Dog Dens)
Becky was fed up with her dog Jelly’s crate taking up so much space in her house. She wanted to be able to store coats above it so decided to make her a den from scratch.
Becky said: “The idea of dog beds was born from a need for storage. Jelly loved her crate, so there was no question of losing that, but the space above her crate was wasted and I wanted a place to put all her gear.
“It has six drawers above the bed and a cupboard above that. I love it, she loves it, everyone who sees it loves it, and it encouraged me to make more of them.
“The original one was costly and time consuming to make. But when I fell into the world of furniture refinishing, I decided to try out modifying pieces into dog dens to keep the cost more affordable.”
Now owner of Chez Chien, Becky uses upcycled pieces where possible, where furniture is modified to create a space for a dog bed. It is then cleaned and repaired, painted and embellished. People love the look of them so much, she has had custom orders roll in since.
Becky spends around 10-20 hours on each repurpose and finishes them off by adding a pillow, pad cover and matching cushion to the dog hideout.
Becky's biggest transformation (Images: Chez Chien Dog Dens)
With an interest in dog cognition and behavior, she believes dogs need a cosy private spot to call their own.
She said: “They aren’t just arty pieces. They are functional, and are made with consideration for the way dogs think. Dogs are den animals and in the wild, this is their home where they feel safe.
“Most dogs appreciate a private, warm, snuggly place they can retreat to. If they are feeling anxious or a bit under the weather, most dogs will seek out a quiet, out of the way place. Many dog owners who have dogs that are frightened of thunder will have noticed this. Where’s the dog? In the cupboard or under the bed.”
Becky has managed to used her skills to not only give comfort to other dogs, but also a way of saving space in the home.
She said: “An ordinary bed is fine, but dogs really do love an enclosed den area, and I found that an open bed just took up much needed space. Even a closed topped crate wasted the potential storage area above it.
“You can put a bed under a table or counter, but I needed to be able to use the limited space I had efficiently.”
Another fabulous revamp (Images: Chez Chien Dog Dens)
By integrating her dog’s bed into furniture, she was able to use storage for more suitable things, and also give her pup a cosy retreat. As a bonus, Becky now has a unique piece of furniture in her home.
Find Becky's website here.