I first created the Mini Living Room for my three miniature dachshunds—Peaches, Challah, and Mitzi—in a spare bedroom of my house back in July of 2021. The original idea was to dedicate an entire room to my dogs in order to have an enclosed space where I could safely keep them while I’m not at home. You see, the dachshund breed of dogs is known for their long, sausage-like shape. But in order to accommodate their shape, they have elongated spines with very short legs, which makes them highly susceptible to injuring their necks or backs, usually from jumping onto or off of human-sized furniture. In 2016 when my dog Peaches was only three years old, she sustained a severe neck injury after jumping off of a sofa while I was not home. I found her crying in excruciating pain and barely able to walk—which I soon learned was due to a devastating herniated disc pushing on her spinal cord in her neck. Fortunately she was able to undergo emergency neurosurgery which was a total success! Her pain was gone! And after several months, she recovered fully and has had no issues since. But ever since that incident, I have promised to do everything in my power to prevent my dogs from injuring themselves in the future. With that promise in mind, the Mini Living Room was created!
In the beginning, I never envisioned the room to be what it is today. I planned to buy a few dogs beds and toys just to keep them occupied. But while shopping for dog beds online, I came across these "mini dog sofas" sold on Wayfair. I immediately bought three different styles. When they finally arrived, I just couldn't believe how hilariously realistic and perfectly "Mid-Century Modern" they all looked! It was hysterical! As a quirky and artistic/creative person myself, I couldn't help but to add some additional mini "furnishings" that I had lying around the house—plants, a rug, and wall-art hung at mini-dachshund height. It all came together perfectly! Seeing how great it looked, I decided to go a bit further. I wanted to add other furnishings that you might find in a living room—a coffee table, end tables, bookcases—only scaled down to mini dachshund size! There was just one big problem. There are no "mini dog furniture stores" to buy this stuff. So I got creative...
I went to the store HomeGoods, where I came across a small child's desktop organizer. (See Pictures Below) With the creative juices flowing in my brain, I was convinced that I could make some changes to turn this small desktop organizer into a mini side table. After sanding and repainting the body and drawers of the piece, I secured wooden legs to the bottom. Just like that, the perfect mini side table was born!
The original child's desktop organizer I spotted at HomeGoods.
First, I sanded off all the pink glitter. Then, I cut a wooden cylinder into four pieces, each of which I sanded into small legs. After repainting everything, I attached the legs, and voila!
A mini end table!
The mini end table in the early days of the Mini Living Room.
It was such an enormous success, in fact, that I realized I could "make" all kinds of mini furniture just by being creative! By finding the right normal-sized objects and then modifying them, I could make them look like mini furniture or decor. Next, I took a large wooden salad bowl and found a large wooden plate that fit perfectly on top. I glued them together to create a "drum-style" mini coffee table. To give their room some classy character, I spray painted a bathroom vanity organizer and then added mini liquor bottles along with a metal cotton ball holder to create a mini bar cart with mini ice bucket!
A mini coffee table created by putting a large wooden plate atop a wooden salad bowl.
A mini bar cart created using a bathroom vanity organizer, mini liquor bottles, shot glasses, and a cotton bowl holder as a mini ice bucket.
The rest was history! After going viral on Tiktok and accumulating hundreds of thousands of followers, I decided to turn the room into an ever-evolving digital art exhibition, of sorts. Now, I use my social media accounts to show off various editions of the Mini Living Room as it gets re-designed and decorated throughout the year. With each re-design, new mini furnishings and décor are rotated in while older ones are rotated out. And elaborate new displays and decorations are added for important holidays or occasions! My hope is that by continuing to show off the functionality and versatility of the Mini Living Room, others will come to realize the potential benefit of creating a Mini Living Room for their small pet!
Read more about the concept of the Mini Living Room and the philosophy behind it HERE