A dog crate is an unattractive necessity, especially when you raise puppies for a service dog organization. At the beginning stages of housebreaking, crates are scattered around my house. Multiple crates. Multiples sizes. Holding tanks for active bladders. Some soft-sided. Some cage-like. All ugly.
So my son and I designed a dog center in our laundry room. The rendering below was our initial inspiration.
We took a well-used laundry room closet and redesigned the space. It now fashionably accommodates the same items as before and the dog, too! Here’s how it turned out.
Ample cabinet storage space surround the crate. A Corian countertop sits on top of a KraftMaid CoreGuard kitchen sink base. (I had the center strip of the sink base removed–where the doors rest when closed.) One of Home Depot’s great kitchen designers helped me find this gem. It’s an engineered polymer kitchen sink base with slightly pitched forward shallow ribbing. Why did I choose that? Because puppies pee. Any accidents will flow to the front of the base and can be wiped up easily. Happy puppy. Happy owner! And don’t worry about the ribbing. The dogs don’t mind it. If you do, buy a crate mat.
For sizing purposes, above is a puppy and below is a full size retriever.
The doors are KraftMaid, also. Instead of solid panels, KraftMaid offers forged metal inserts. You can feed your pup a treat after entering. Good dog! I found the forged inserts on display at the Home Depot showroom. This is how they’re supposed to be used in a kitchen setting.
The hardware on the dog crate is from Stanley. It’s also available at Home Depot. I used two latches to eliminate the scenario where the dog pushes on the door and accidentally slips its paw under the door and gets it caught.
Hooks were installed so that we have access to coats for dog walks. I also installed a light box that illuminates the unit and also works as a nightlight for new puppies.
There is room for my vacuum hose in the right cabinet. The rest of the cabinets are filled with dog necessities like leashes, collars, meds, treats, dog blankets, poop bags, dog water bottles, dog backpack, dog mats, etc. Now they’re all tucked away out of sight. Wonderful!
The Corian dog crate top matches the countertop over the washer and dryer. I also had a top made for the dogs’ water dish. This is really nice. Easy clean up!
Engelke Construction in Brunswick, Ohio did the demo, drywall, electrical and cabinet installation. They did a great job and were so easy to work with.
The project is a closet demo and custom refit. You can probably do this for $5,000 or less depending on your choice of cabinetry and your custom features. It will be a lot less if you can do the work yourself. I only used KraftMaid cabinets for the dog crate. The other cabinets were stock.
If you like this idea, use it to create your own dog space. Sketch it out and take it to your home improvement store and they’ll help you turn your custom idea into a reality.
2017 UPDATE: While trying to replace a door that my dog chewed, I found out from Home Depot that KraftMaid has discontinued the forged metal grate door. I’m not happy. So you will have to scout around to find a different door. Everything else remains in stock.
Construction photos below.