Designs Go to the Dogs

Daniel Martinez’s pint-sized craftsman-style dog house. Photo by Faye Chapman.

A large crowd gathered at Art-a-Fair to get a glimpse of designer dog houses created for Project Pet Houses last Friday, Aug. 19.
The shelters built by local architects and contractors will ultimately benefit three nonprofits that also shelter critters: the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, the BlueBell Cat Foundation and Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
They will be sold to the highest online bidder as part of Laguna’s 15th Annual Pet Parade and Chili Cook Off, scheduled for Sept. 11.
The effort was the brainchild of Nancy Pooley, president of Laguna’s Board of Realtors, and  Caroline Haines, of Laguna Escrow Services.
Judges Gary Boisen, Bolton Colburn, Mayor Tony Iseman, City Manager John Pietig as well as Pooley deliberated over clever and innovative creations of seven contractor-architect teams. They included Donna Ballard, Robert Carey, Ken Fischbeck, Marshall and Matthew Innins , Anders Lasater, Leslie LeBonn,  Daniel Martinez, Don McKeehan,  Al Oligino, Kirk Saunders, Morris Skenderian, Tom Simpson and Kacey Zantos.
Best in show was awarded to Morris Skenderian and Don McKeehan for their contemporary steel, glass and wood structure. Second was awarded to architects Marshall & Matthew Ininns and contractor Ken Fischbeck for their small-scale reinterpretation of North Laguna’s historic Witch’s House with its slanted roof and spaces. Third was awarded to Donna Ballard and Kasey Zantos of BB Architects whose contemporary design was called The Bow House, a nod to the Bauhaus architectural movement of the early 1900s.
The people’s choice was awarded to the team of Leslie LeBon & Tom Simpson for their classic beach Cattage, a retreat for felines.
Project Pet Houses are on display at the Art-A-Fair grounds and are up for auction online at
For more info, call 949.497.2474.

Share this:


  1. What a great cause! The houses look amazing and we LOVE that so many people have devoted their time and craft to help animals. Only thing they need now are a couple posh P.L.A.Y. pet beds to go inside. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here