My dog sleeps in a fireplace: Turn your unused fireplace into a doggy alcove

August 28 | Guest post by Pufferfish
Hi, my name is Aristotle, and I love sleeping in a fireplace.
Hi, my name is Aristotle, and I love sleeping in a fireplace.

When we moved into our current house, one of the details that struck us as odd was the fireplace in the master bedroom. Why the heck would anyone want a fireplace in the master bedroom?

Well, lots of people were happy to tell us why anyone would want a fireplace in the master bedroom — I guess lots of people like fires in fireplaces, and find the idea of being able to watch a fire while in bed very nifty. Apparently, we're kind of odd.

The fireplace was a gas fireplace — or maybe it was originally a natural fireplace that had a gas hookup added to it. There is a pipe at the bottom of it that leads to a contraption at the back of it, and we were told that was for gas. But unlike the other gas fireplaces we'd seen, the front of the fireplace was open. And the whole thing appears to be non-functional.

We didn't care about the functionality of it — and to be honest, there were lots of other things about the house that were clamoring for our dollars that took precedence over figuring out and fixing up the fireplace. So it sat for almost two years.

During that time, our dog slept in a pen at the foot of our bed. It's a collapsible gate thing that's meant for toddlers — we set it up every night and take it down every morning so that the dog can have access to his bed throughout the day. You know, when he's not napping in his bed in the kitchen, or his bed in the den, or his favorite spot in front of the door, or his sunbeam on the carpet. My dog is kind of spoiled?

I finally got tired of dealing with the whole collapsible pen thing, and started eyeing the fireplace in a new light. Previously, I had thought of trying to turn it into a bookshelf, but never got around to it. Then one day, our general fix-it guy and house savior came by to help me with some stuff, and I asked him if he could build me a platform to fit the fireplace and also figure out some way to cap the fixture at the back. Yes, he could, and the result has been stupendous!

Here's the fireplace, sans dog bed:

fireplace sans dog bed

Here's the empty fireplace. The square box at the back is the covering for the gas pipes. The platform both covers the pipe at the bottom of the fireplace and keeps the dog's bed off of the grubby floor. It also helps keep him off of the colder stone. We live in Wisconsin — it gets cold here!

fireplace doggy alcove

The platform and the box are both removable should the next owners of the house not want a doggy alcove. It would take some work to get them out, but they are not permanently attached to the fireplace walls.

fireplace doggy alcove and bed

After the platform and box were in place, I slid in the bed. Perfect fit! The roll at the back is a self-heating mat that goes in the bed in the winter to help keep him warmer. I got it for him during our polar vortex this past winter.

At night, we put two sections of the gate in a "V" across the front of the fireplace to keep him inside. That's for his own safety, so that he doesn't ever get stepped on or tripped over by any humans staggering to the bathroom in the middle of the night. In the summer, sometimes he gets up in the middle of the night and sleeps on the hearth to cool down.

you cant even deal with this fireplace bed cuteness

I have occasional flights of fancy of putting a curtain rod up and stringing a little curtain up to make the space look less like a fireplace. But "my dog sleeps in the fireplace" has been quite the conversation starter for us!

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  1. So cute! You could probably use some contact paper on something easily removable if you wanted to cover up the cinder blocks. The platform and V-gates are such good ideas, and your dog looks comfy!

    3 agree
  2. He looks so happy in his bed! Great idea.
    And if having multiple dog beds and napping spots makes a dog spoiled, well…then my furbabies are spoiled too.

    5 agree
  3. What a great idea!

    I have a fire place in my dining room that I need to repurpose in some way also.

    Why is there a fireplace in my dining room? Well … it's only the dining room because I say it is. The builder's vision for the room is a den and the dining room squeezes into the (carpeted) living room. But I don't need a den AND a living room because I'm not fancy like that. I do however need a large (tiled) space for my dining room table because I am fancy like that.

    When I remodeled I left it empty and got one of the workers to take a can of spray paint and paint the inside black ( which is the color it was mostly ). This covered up the "burn marks" left from years ago.

    2 agree
  4. We have a sealed-off fireplace in our bedroom. It's the perfect size for our laundry basket!

    2 agree
  5. I love this! Our dog loves small, den-like spaces (when we adopted her, she spent most of her first two weeks under the coffee table). She would ADORE a fireplace den. Alas, we are fireplace-less and use a crate/blanket combo to create a den-like space.

  6. That's an awesome idea – and a very good use of space!

    When I lived in a place with a non-functional fireplace in the bedroom, I just put a couple of those big pillar candles in it so we could at least have the illusion of a flickering fire when desired (I figured it was the safest place for the candles anyway).

    1 agrees
  7. We put our TV in front of our non functional fireplace because our 1948 home was clearly laid out for talking around a fire and not easily rotting their brains in front of a tv. I like the dog bed idea.

    4 agree
  8. This is so cool! Your dog looks really cozy. Now I wish I had a fireplace bed to spoil my cat even more than he already is.

  9. Due to spatial issues..my litterboxes live in my faux fireplace. Behind the couch. Your solution is much more inviting!

  10. Holy crap this is a baskets moment for me. Our house has 5 (five, not a typo) fireplaces. None of which we've ever turned on. I think we're going to use one as a dog bed and we have a raised one that would be perfect for a litter box, as Bailey said. My mind has exploded with the possibilities.

  11. Love it – thanks for sharing!

    I'm actually one of those people who love the idea of having a fireplace in the bedroom, but to be honest, I'm sure it would get waay better use as a doggy alcove! (How often would I REALLY build a fire there??)

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