10 Dog Crate Ideas That Actually Look Good in Your Home
Your pooch loves you and wants to hang out with you—sometimes even more than your kids do! But putting your pup's plastic-and-wire kennel in a main room of your house may not be the decorating vibe you're going for. It's time to give your dog's space a crate facelift with one of these kennel decorating ideas that even your pup will do a happy dance for. Just remember, form follows function, and before you jump into a crate makeover, you need to select a design that is still a cozy, safe place for your dog.
"In the old days, a dog kennel in your home was a basic wire, no-frills crate that was often hidden away in a spare bedroom out of the view of guests," Mary R. Burch, PhD, AKC Family Dog Director and animal behaviorist, says. "But dogs are such important members of our families that the whole crate scene has changed. Now you can find multiple sources online that sell crates that double as attractive coffee tables, end tables, and credenzas." Or you can create those looks yourself.
Burch says your furniture-style crate should be big enough for the dog to comfortably lie down, stand, and turn around in. It should also have adequate air flow and be easy to keep clean. If your dog loves to chew, make sure his muzzle can't fit into the spaces between the crate's bars.
With these functionality tips in mind, here are 10 ideas for upgrading your dog's indoor kennel so it fits right in with your room's decor—and will keep your dog exactly where he wants to be—near you.
1. Make Your Dog Crate Into a Table
If your dog crate idea needs to fit a small space, try making a simple DIY table. Jeanette Lockmiller-Stretch took this approach when she wanted to help her Sheltie, Buddy, feel secure but also wanted his kennel to fit in with her sunroom's furnishings. She devised a skirted table with help from her husband, Mark. Together they spent two evenings and about $100 building a table from 28-inch-tall legs and a top. They applied a sun-bleached gray stain to give it the look of furniture. Buddy's wire crate fits perfectly under the tabletop. Cafe curtain panels hung from tension rods hide the crate's wire sides while still allowing for good airflow. Stylist: Kristine Kennedy
2. Cover a Crate With a Slipcover
Sometimes covering your dog's crate is the right aesthetic solution—and may even be something your pet's veterinarian recommends to combat anxiety. This affordable fabric look helps a kennel slip into a living room or bedroom as part of the scenery. Sew a slipcover that can slide over the kennel. Then top it with a desired surface to turn the unit into a pretty side table. When the kennel door is closed, a cover held by hook-and-loop tabs can roll down. A dowel sewn into the bottom of the cover will hold it in place. Stylist: Jeni Wright
3. Make the Dog Crate Into an Island
For large dogs that need lots of room, like Honey the Lab, consider a high-top solution to disguise your crate. Interior designer Kristina Crestin dreamt up a central island that fits snugly over a wire kennel in the center of the family mudroom. The island's substantial repurposed maple surface creates a drop zone for keys, papers, and dog treats. Crestin chose a quartzite flooring that gives a slate look and is easy to clean when Honey comes in from the outdoors with muddy paws. A string of pendant lights hung above the crate enhances its island feel. Now Honey has a place to hang out without being underfoot when the kids get ready to go to school or prep for practices. Stylist: Andrea Caughey
4. Build a Crate Into Your Decor
A wall in the home office turned into an ideal place to integrate a dog kennel for two pals—a Lab, shown, and his camera-shy terrier friend, not shown. Architect and interior designer Stacy Millman, owner of SKM Design, custom built an extended crate opposite the homeowner's desk. "The kennel was built for two dogs, but it's based on the larger dog's size so both could easily stand, turn around, and be comfortable," Millman says.
The 80-inch-long kennel measures 24 inches deep and 35 inches high to give both dogs room to either snuggle or lie down on their own beds. It stands slightly higher than regular counter height so the lab can easily maneuver. "There's a lock built into the floor on the bottom when they need the dogs to stay inside the kennel," Millman says. "We chose metal grills for the front for ventilation."
Millman hung upper cabinets above the kennel to match the look of the kitchen cabinetry right around the corner. "It's nice not to feel bummed out about your dog's crate taking over your space or to feel like you need to move it when you have company come over," she says. Stylist: Anna Molvik. Designer: Stacy Millman, SKM Design.
5. Build In a Kennel With Farmhouse Flair
Give a kennel a modern-farmhouse feel by building it into a lower cabinet or counter base and fronting it with painted beadboard. Make the kennel's door out of a flea-market find like this decorative floor grate to up its character. Adding an indoor-outdoor cushion creates a cozy roost for your best furry friend to sleep.
6. Give a Crate the Furniture Treatment
A dog crate can become a part of a bedroom's or living room's decor when you select an appealing ready-made, furniture-style piece. Hang a floating shelf above it to show off favorite artwork, and accentuate it with pet-safe houseplants in different sizes for a curated wall display tied together by natural touches. Stylist: Kendra Surface. Designer: Maria Mendez Reed
7. Build a Bench That's Also a Kennel
If you have one of those dogs who loves to follow you everywhere, why not build her a kennel in the heart of the family room? One that's sized for a small dog can even be used as a bench by your family members—or as a window seat for your four-legged friend to observe the neighborhood. Partial paneling dresses up the crate's sides, while simple metal rods allow air to circulate. (Just make sure there's enough room for your pup to freely stand and move around inside the kennel.) Interior Designer: Cathy Kramer
8. Embed the Crate in a Focal Point
One way to offset the utilitarian look of a crate is to build a shelving unit around it and paint it a playful color like this orange. The shelves add interest while creating display spaces that pulls the eye away from the wire frame. A roll-down fabric shade can be untied to lower when your dog needs a rest or when you want to hide the kennel from view. To fully integrate the crate-shelf into a room's decor, hang artwork above it and bring in accent pillows and a throw to adorn a nearby sofa or chair to create a complementary color palette that ties the kennel into the space.
9. Integrate a Kennel into a Window Seat
Adding a dog kennel attractively into a busy space like a breakfast room requires planning. Designer Pamela Porter decided to have her pup's crate anchor a window seat for one built-in unit that added seating and a side table to maximize the room's layout. She matched the crate's millwork to the rest of the room's aesthetic for a seamless look. Best of all, Porter got to say bye-bye to their unsightly metal kennel that once occupied the same space. And bonus for the family dog: They're now just a few feet away from any crumbs that land under the breakfast table. Designer: Pamela S. Porter
10. Convert a Cabinet into a Crate
An easy place to make over into a perfectly cozy pad for smaller dogs is a lower cabinet in a kitchen or laundry room. The key is to make sure the cabinet is spacious enough and that air can move. And of course be sure it's well separated from any cabinets that contain household cleaners or other potential toxins. Cut the side out of a cabinet in the kitchen for your dog to use as a kennel. Hang a curtain you can lower or tie back as desired.
With a little creativity there are endless ways you can make your pet's kennel look right at home in the heart of your home—right where your pet loves to be.