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Opening a door for someone is always a polite thing to do. But when it comes to our pets, who have to exit and enter the house on the regular, the gesture can get a little tiring. That’s where doggie doors have traditionally come in. The problem is, most of the solutions out there require you to cut a giant square out of your door and cover the hole with an ugly plastic flap. Any curb appeal your home once had goes out the window—er, door. Unless, that is, you take a page out of Atlanta-based designer Sherry Hart’s book. The pro and her go-to builder, Ladisic Fine Homes, have found the perfect balance between chic and pet-friendly.
The trick: a hand-welded steel door with one operable panel at the bottom. Hart tasked local ironworker Brian Womack with creating the stylish doggie door, pictured below, for clients who have two pups (peep little Charlie, a Cavapoo). The hatch features surface bolts that allow the owners to lock or unlock the door and leave it open so their pets can exit the wet bar–slash–laundry room space and run out to the pool when they please.
The solution might not be cheap (the one Womack designed for this home cost around $150 per square foot), but it sure beats the traditional plastic insert. The customization also comes in handy when you’ve got a large animal. “If you have a Great Dane, you can make the panels taller and just do four panes,” explains the designer.
The system isn’t totally foolproof. “So you have to open the door for them to go out?” asked many of the designer’s Instagram followers after photos of the fix went viral. “Yes, that’s the plan,” she explains, noting it’s a practical work-around when the owners are home and the weather is nice. A hidden bonus: All that glass offers uninterrupted views of the outdoors. “Bugs can get in (we live in the South), but it’s the cutest thing ever and it’s so convenient,” says Hart. After you, pup.
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