Dallas-born and -bred designer Kathryn Nelson—of award-winning interiors firm Kathryn Nelson Design (kathrynnelsondesign.com)—has carved a niche for herself in the Dallas design space, specializing in high-end design services for residential new construction and renovations. But it’s her knack for imbuing her clients’ designs with exceptional consideration for their lifestyle that makes us super fans. Enter her latest stroke of genius, the “Doggo Room,” a completely reimagined, custom-designed space created for her client’s three rescue dogs and two adventurous cats. A space so good, in fact, that it won Nelson a first-place award in this year’s ASID Texas Dallas Design Ovation Awards for Best Unique Space! Here’s how she did it.


1. “This room was previously the third guest bedroom for the house. It is located off some public areas at the end of a hall, with no en suite bathroom. Our client had no need for another guest space after we finished the first two guest suites. What she needed was a place to bathe her three rescue dogs, Zeus, Teddy and Rocky, after they return from their ranch all muddy and their two kitties, Eleanor and Max.”

2. “By looking at the floor plan, we decided that opening the wall into the adjacent utility room was the way to go. We added double pocket doors, and ran the same large-format hex tile with dark grout from the utility room into the new Doggo Room. This allowed for easy cleanup after pet accidents or puppy showers.”

Nelson’s “Doggo Room” is the perfect slice of paradise for your furry friend. PHOTO BY ROBERT TSAI
Nelson’s “Doggo Room” is the perfect slice of paradise for your furry friend. PHOTO BY ROBERT TSAI

3. “Our client is an alum of UT Austin, so the burnt orange of the David Hicks-inspired backsplash tile was the first selection, which then decided the other tile and material selections we found. We were also sensitive to the fact that not everyone may love this statement backsplash tile; however, it could easily be swapped out for the next homeowner, while the white micro hex and gray concrete look are timeless crowd-pleasers. Custom cabinets with door panel styles to match the rest on the property in classic white and a modern take on shiplap for the wainscot helped to add an extra level of protection for the walls.”

4. “The piece de resistance was the custom-sized bathing enclosure fit for all three dogs. We added a matte black hand wand and tub filler for filling mop buckets and cleaning the space in addition to aiding in bathing the dogs. Other hardware solutions were the matte black shower rod to be used as a drip-dry closet, hooks with waterproof leash tethers to keep dogs in place per each specific neck height, and a fold-down teak bench with in-wall bracing for little Rocky to stand up on or the client to sit upon inside while bathing her bigger dogs.”

5. “Barco Glass helped us fabricate from our sketches to reality a custom glass door complete with an auto-lock feature, so a soapy pup cannot escape and wreak havoc all over the house!”

6. “We accounted for the cats in the taller counters for them to eat up top, power sources for their filtered water and auto-feeders, Rev-A-Shelf pullouts per the client’s organizational wishes, and a door cutout that leads to their enclosed litter boxes beneath. The cat wall is fun too—made up of wall-mounted hex boxes (found by our totally awesome client) with a series of perch points, sleeping nooks and places to hop-step up to them.”

Her next pet-friendly transformation? A custom Catio!