If you’ve ever owned a dog you’ve likely heard of the idea of using crates for training or creating homes within a home. Some people use crates to manage behaviour when an animal is home alone. Other simply seek to provide a quiet, out of the way place pets can go to feel safe.
Crates are intended to simulate the feeling of a den or cave and should be comfortable, at least partially enclosed and part of the family space.
The problem with old style crates is that they looked like cages. Who wants a cage sitting in their living room or family room or kitchen? Especially with a bigger dog, there is no way to hide or disguise such a monstrosity. Until now it seems.
For smaller dogs there are all kinds of colourful plush housing options and even wooden units that look like little houses. These are cute, maybe, but they still need their own space and will look out of place with most room décor, unless perhaps the intended location is a child’s playroom. There are brilliant options to consider though – available commercially or great do it yourself projects - that use existing space or blend in, adding to the quality of the room.
The first example uses either custom-made, bought or reclaimed furniture. The idea of taking an old cabinet television, removing the inner workings and converting the beautiful wood casing into a dog home makes sense on so many levels. Not only does is save something from going to the junk pile, but you end up with a piece of furniture that is both functional and beautiful. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/244038873528516204/
The furniture piece you choose can be stripped and redone to become more whimsical and decorative, still maintaining its role as an attractive décor piece while providing a comfy resting place for your pet. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/411586853417183336/
This concept works with a coffee or end table or even a night stand just as effectively. Giving your pet a safe and cozy place to sleep in the bedroom may keep him off your bed and out from underfoot, especially important for the safety of both of you if you’re one to stumble around in the dark of night. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/265712446738420573/
Using furniture, instead of the more traditional crate, also saves having ‘cages’ in multiple rooms in the house and can mean that wherever you are, your pet has a place to come and share.
Another brilliant idea captures unused spaces within your home like those underneath stairs. This may take a little more creativity and a little more craftsmanship but the potential is there to create something really unique and stylish that your pet will love.
The design can be subtle, http://www.therodimels.com/project-under-staircase-dog-house/ or obvious, http://followpics.net/built-in-dog-house-under-the-stairs-brilliant/. Either way you capture unused space in a practical way. Leaving the ‘cave’ open or adding a gated door will depend on the intent of the space and can influence the design you will choose.
Another source of existing space you can repurpose includes under a kitchen island http://www.houzz.com/photos/6136217/Melrose-Street--Newton-MA-transitional-kitchen-boston. What about leaving a portion of a built-in shelving unit empty and creating a cozy place for puppy and his toys? How about a bench seat designed with a cave-like opening?
Whatever your living space, no matter the size of your dog - or cat - there are many options for giving pets a safe and special place in your home without compromising your style.
By Heather Seftel-Kirk