Style Unlocked: Puppy Sanctuary

Lifestyle specialist Leslie Lehr walks us through a doggy den remodel

Meet Leslie Lehr
Phoenix-based lifestyle and organizational specialist Leslie Lehr has built a business, Leslie Lehr Living, dedicated to living more with less. She strives to bring together joy and creativity for a healthy relationship with design that is refined and functional. She mixes contemporary styles with a dash of tradition, influenced by places she has lived — both coasts and the Southwest.

Meet Cricket and Blue
9-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Cricket joined Lehr’s family five years ago through the Cavalier Rescue Foundation of Arizona, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing neglected dogs and placing them in qualified and loving homes. Cricket enjoys lounging on the sofa, cuddling, playing with her toys and chasing butterflies. Last summer, she lost her big fur sister, Clover, who was also a King Charles Cavalier. She was lonely without her companion, so the family recently brought home a little fur brother for Cricket, Blue, a 6-month-old Tri-color King Charles Cavalier Spaniel from Dulce Cavaliers in New Mexico.

Cricket’s Cubby and Blue’s Castle
“As a lifestyle expert and organizing specialist, I am inspired by the opportunity to take unused and unusual spaces and transform them into stylish and functional rooms,” Lehr said. “When we made the decision to downsize and needed a designated area for our fur babies, the area under the staircase appeared to be a perfect doggy den.”

How the Transformation Happened
Lehr explains how she executed the remodeling project to transform a small drab space into a doggy sanctuary.

  1. “The first step was to remove the door with the help of my contractor, Gilbert Gomez, seal the opening in the trim and install fresh paint on the trim and baseboards.”
  2. The outdated lighting fixture was replaced with a gold pendant light.
  3. “To create a big impact in the small space, I turned to my friend Kalen Mehlman, interior designer and owner of Kalen’s Place. I wanted to install a stunning wallpaper. We selected a print by Hygge & West for its contemporary and playful pattern. The hues mirror the color palette that is carried throughout our home.”
  4. “Kalen and I designed a new dog bed in my signature colors, blue and white. By using outdoor upholstery fabric, we created a dog bed that is stylish and functional. Kalen ordered the fabric and I turned to my go-to upholsterer, Robert Llamas from Roberto’s Sofa Factory, to materialize our vision.”
  5. Custom details were added — such as laminated personalized placemats created by Lucy Grymes for the dog bowls — to make the space very special.
  6. “The final touch, to add a pop of pizzazz, was a piece of abstract art created by local artist Laura Madden.”

About Perrine Adams

Perrine Adams is the Managing Editor of The Red Book and Lifestyle Editor for Frontdoors Magazine.
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