before and after

before & after: dog crate/desk + jen’s laundry room

by Grace Bonney

i have a soft spot for makeovers that involve furry friends. i spend a crazy amount of my day trying to make my cats happy, so when i see someone doing the same thing, it always makes me smile. photographer and designer jamie kovach shares a small one bedroom home with her boyfriend and their two dogs in austin, texas. alway looking for ways to make the most of their space, jamie decided to take on a pet project that would serve dual purposes. because jamie’s dogs had outgrown their puppy crate, but still crave a small space to curl up in, jamie decided to create create a desk/crate using her own two hands. with a little plywood, plexi, ikea table legs and a hole saw, jamie created a functional space that the whole family (human and canine) can enjoy. now jamie’s only remaining problem is that her landlord won’t let them repaint those red walls. ;) great work, jamie!

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for jen’s grey + yellow patterned laundry room makeover after the jump!

next up is jen at fresh crush, who’s tugging on my heart strings with the grey and yellow color palette. jen decided to makeover her drab laundry room by creating her own stencil on acetate. after stenciling the wall with the yellow pattern, jen installed a new storage system from rubbermaid and extra baskets from home sense to keep the clutter and cleaning supplies in order. the final result is so sweet, and jen says that now she doesn’t seem to mind doing the laundry as much ;) great work, jen!

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  • This is really funny…ahha..very good idea and save spac…esp good for places like Hong Kong where Im living in….so crowded

  • Ooo This is such a good idea. I’ve been working on trying to find a good way to “conceal” my dogs’ crates because they like to go in them as their “caves” so we’re not getting rid of them. But they can be such an eyesore. This is a great idea!

  • First, where did you get that cool orange dog crate?? I love the color! And secondly, what landlord paints walls RED?? Also, your dog is adorable with his little eyebrows – he looks slightly bewildered at the changes.

  • There’s not enough air in the dog crate! I feel like the poor guy is going into jail. He can barely see out of the holes :(

    • kt

      please note: it’s no longer used as a crate. jamie explained that they enjoyed having a small enclosed space to nap in, so this is a place they can use voluntarily to sleep and hide-out in. ;)


  • In an effort to make the space as comfortable as possible, I didn’t put a back on the crate, and it sits 3 inches from the all so there is plenty of air coming through.
    Patty, the old dog crate was originally black, and I spray painted it orange.


  • KT, dogs really love dark spaces to hide out. They are den animals, so this type of space is something they are really into. There are plenty of holes for some light and air. Our dog crawls under our bed, into our closet and under our desk. She loves dark little spots to curl up and nap.

  • The dog nook is such a good idea! Our dog also loves having a place of her own to snuggle in…

  • Ingeneous…Both of them! We have a large…no…xtra large crate I always tried to do something better with. And the fun sunny colors and patterns in the laundry room. Who knew laundry could be so fun!

  • LOVE the dog crate idea. We need the crate for when we visit friends and family out of town so we need our dog to like and be comfortable in her crate. We’ve had the hardest time finding a place for it in our house and I think this is a good solution.

  • I am so in love with the stenciled laundry room, does anyone know what that pattern is called??!?!

  • 1. cute desk. 2. that’s my dog, but with floppy ears. I did a triple-take on that pic! I wish I knew how to embed an image so you could see how alike they are!

  • I don’t mean to upset or anything, but that cage looks pretty claustrophobic for your poor pooch.

    Maybe change the door material.

  • Oh opps, I should have read the comments earlier. sorry. Yea’ that is really a lovely desk.

  • Hi Nikki, I was inspired to make that stencil after doing a google search for “moroccan tile”. I saw a similar pattern on the edge of a rug on one of the images that came up. I used Illustrator to create it on the computer, printed it out, and traced it onto some acetate. Cut it out with a blade — and there you have it, a custom stencil. Thanks!

  • Dog’s crate looks fantastic. Big surprise for the guests:) I would never guess what’s hidden in the desk.

  • love the dog hideout idea! i have 3 pooches and evidence of their residence is more than a bit intrusive at times.

  • i love the laundry room! I think it’s a great design idea to have the front loading machines up a little higher so you don’t have to lean over so far to load and unload. And the lip around the platform would help when the inevitable washing machine freak overflow.

  • Karrie, Don’t know how rambunksious/young your dogs are, but when I travel to my parents my lab stays in a folding/portable “kennel” from Target. It collapses down easily and is made out of nylon, like a pup tent. It’s her “home base”/ “safe place” when visiting. Easier to use now that she’s older.

  • This looks fantastic! I’d love to know if the stencil paint took 2 coats, or if 1 was enough? If 2, how do you do the 2nd coat?… Thanks!!

  • The dog crate is soo clever! I must try something like this at home… my pup loves his kennel but like the “before” its giant and mine is a bit of an eyesore. Would love to turn it into something functional for both of us!

  • oh, what a nice space for your dog.

    I have a (100% litterbox-trained) pet house rabbit, and it’s always a challenge to find attractive ways to hide where his litterbox is and where his latest favorite fabric-shredding project is located. Right now it’s a closet with a cloth curtain partly over it, and the highly-visible space beneath my coffee table. Maybe I can adapt something from this cheerful design, though. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Jen, is there any way you would be willing to share your illustrator file? I have been desperately searching for this exact stencil for my daughters bedroom!

  • I initially would have argued that the crate design would make me nervous for my pup, but once I saw the comment that it was a voluntary space for napping, I love it! I know how puppies get into their fav spots, so this is great for our furry friends!

  • Jamie, I would be eternally grateful if you’d post a tutorial, or just a list of the tools, supplies & specs of said supplies. I am DYING to make this for my pony, I mean, dog. We moved into a smaller home & don’t have room for his crate & he’s not happy about it.

  • As long as it’s not used as a crate, I’m sure it would be a great hideaway from them. My cats would love it, too. And I’m in love with your laundry room. The two-tiered hanging racks are a great idea. Often I see rooms that size with only a large blank wall. I’ve always wondered why that space wasn’t better used. Thanks for a great example of what to do … definitely something I’ll do someday!

  • For some dogs the difference is whether or not they were “crate-trained” as pups. Our first boxer couldn’t handle a crate, no matter what tricks we tried—so, no go. But, our second boxer was raised from birth in a large cardboard-walled say one-foot high) area that had a small crate attached to it that had comfy blankets in it. The puppies all used it. When we brought our puppy home, I just said “sleepy time” a few times a day and he happily went in. My mom’s boxer seeks out her crate at night, or when she is upset and wants to feel secure, or when she has something she’s not supposed to have and wants to secretly munch on it. :)

  • I would also be interested in the illustrator file for the stencil pattern-if willing to share. This is a great idea and adds so much character to the room! I love it.

  • A couple of you have asked for the file for the wall stencil. I’ve put up a PDF of the pattern on my site available for download. freshcrush.ca Thanks! Happy Stenciling!

  • LOVE the yellow stencil, just had to leave a comment to say thanks so much for sharing the pattern! I have been looking at wallpapers for months and can’t bring myself to spend $500 for one wall but couldn’t find a stencil I loved. I am SO excited about this one!

  • Did you make the pattern your self for the walls? Or did you buy it!! I love it, I’m doing our kitchen in yellow and grey and trying to find something for behind the oven and the counters!!