Converting a English Linen Closet into a DIY Pet Room

This is how I converted our English linen closet into, a DIY Pet Room, for my 5 cats. You can also do this DIY for smaller dogs or if you have a crate trained larger dog. 

I find living with animals and keeping a home clean can be challenging. They are messy, and  trash your house in seconds, but the unconditional love they give is truly incomparable. This is what prompted us to create a Pet Room for my 5 cats. This rooms many use, is to house their liter box, supplies, water and food station, which keeps my house cleaner.  

In our new home, we had the option to create a larger laundry room by closing in our foyer. Our prior laundry room was tiny, so we chose to implement this option. This change left us with a large “English Linen Closet”. Prior to moving in we predetermined that this area would make a great Pet Room for our cats. Above is a before picture of the room as a English linen closet. I know, not many shelves for a “linen closet”, I thought the same thing. 

The first thing was to add linoleum floors and an exhaust fan. The exhaust fan vents any smells from the liter box, directly out of my home. Good bye!!! This might be the single most important thing we did. As you know, if you have cats, the liter box smell can ruin your home. Next we painted the entire room with a scrubbable satin finish paint. This will help seal the dry wall and preventing even more odors from getting trapped in the walls. Finally we added a large utilitarian light fixture, nothing fancy it’s mainly for us to see to get the room clean.The next big thing we did was cut a cat door through our Master bedroom wall and hall door. Why did we cut a hole in our wall? Well we host a lot gatherings, parties and guests. This room set up will allow me to lock my fur babies in our bedroom during gatherings, which they actually prefer since the do no care for loud noises and large crowds of people. This also allows them access to their food, water and liter box, but with out the fear of a guest accidentally letting them out into the great beyond. The other pet door located on the hallway door gives us the  ability to shut our bedroom door when we have overnight guests. This grants the cats the ability to come and go as they please, which will save your doors and carpet, since they can be quite destructive when confined to an area against there will. So check this out, I came up with idea all on my own!!! JENRON DESIGNS developed this prototype Ventilated Shelf Cover (VSC). A DIY rig to make your room aesthetically pleasing, and on a shoestring budget. This process can be used on any wire shelving. We took teacup hooks to the back of some barn wood and used felt pads for spacers as you can see above. You literally hang the board right on the front of the wire rack. The finished product was this:

We created a facia board to cover the universal ugly wire rack. Then spray painted the support arms black to emulate iron. This process would be great for any wire rack that you would not use for hanging clothes. So try it in a linen closet, pantry, garage storage area or pet room. We also spray painted the wood letters of Meow, and popped them into the wall with a nail gun. 

Designer Tip: A wire rack allows light to pass through the to the floor, which keep the room brighter. Unlike with a solid wood shelving, that would block the light flow and make the room seem smaller and darker. 

We added a trackless liter mat, to cut down on liter leaving the room on their feet. I used pretty baskets to conceal small odd and ends like kitty treat bags, lysol wipe, and air freshener. Then decided to add in all my accumulated kitty art, hey, makes great decorations. We made a small wall hook from barnwood hold the liter scoop, bag holder and our scooper stool. I found these cute iron hooks at the straw market in Charleston, and added them to shiplap boards. You know how I love a theme!!

 

Share us with your cat loving friends, they will thank you for it 😀

 

The Shiplap “Drop Zone”

The Shiplap “Drop Zone”

As I mention several times in my previous posts, my shiplap addiction might be getting a little bit out of control. Honestly, I just love the stuff, and it is so easy to install.

After completing the ship lap fireplace (click to link to post). We decided that to add a small amount of the shiplap barn wood to an open area to create a drop zone. In most houses a drop zone is located near the garage in an alcove, hallway or the mudroom. Our floor plan did not meet this particular criteria at the time, but during construction we made a few framing decisions that would allow us to later add in a drop zone. We would need a place near the front door for guests, since our hall closet would be closer to the garage. Here is a before picture of the area where I decided to create a drop zone for our guests upon arrival to our home.   

Drop Zones have gotten so elaborate over the past few years, along with laundry rooms, and mudrooms. They are no longer just a messy corner piled up with dad’s muddy boots, the kiddos book bags and Spots leash. We are talking full on decorated spaces, just like the rest of the home. This is why I felt completely justified in putting such a functional space right in the middle of my open concept great room.

As you guys know I love my barn wood shiplap available from Home Depot, and we had some left over from our previous fireplace project. It just made sense from a design stand point that the drop zone should be the same type of boards as the fireplace, to carry the design theme through the house. 

I can still hear Mrs. Arnold, my interior finishes professor in college saying, ” You should never be able to stand in one place in a home and see more than 2 types of floor coverings.” No worries, as we have hardwoods through out our entire home for this very reason. I still feel like this same principal translates to wall finishes as well. See how this creates a uniform transition between spaces? Pulling the same finish from the fireplace to the drop zone makes the space seem very intentional, not piece mealed together as an after thought. 

Since this is a open concept space, which is mainly designed for guest to drop their coats and purses upon arrival. We opted to install this industrial style coat hook in lieu of baskets, cubes or cubbies. This will also allow this space to transition into something else if drop zones ever become passe’.  We purchased the Cast Iron Row of Hooks currently still available at Pottery Barn. I liked these strong durable iron hooks and how they mirrored our iron balustrades on the staircase. Plus you can also add to additional sections to create a larger size coat rack, which is very handy and adds a custom feel. We topped the drop zone off with our family name art, the pictures were from a local artist at the annual Yellow Daisy Festival, and we were able to find the perfect frame with 6 openings at Hobby Lobby.

Designer Tip: If you have trouble finding a frame with the correct name of openings or you have a longer name. You may want to purchase a long oblong frame and have a matte custom cut for the amount of letters your need. This will save you some bucks $$$. 

So the bench, was a suggestion from one of my dearest friends, Niki. She had mentioned to me that she loved having the ability to drag a bench over to the dinning room table, when you have extra guests. We currently have the Benchwright dinning table from Pottery Barn, which can be extended up to 108″ by adding both drop in table leaves. We decided it made perfect sense to invest in the matching Benchwright bench, for these occasions. So now when we have a large crowd, we can extend the table, and add the bench to one side, which is the equivalent of adding 3-4 chairs. However, in our day to day use the bench stores away perfectly as the seat for our drop zone. Just add a few fun seasonal pillows and now you have a functional yet cozy little drop zone. 

Designer Tip: Always look for items that can be used in multiple rooms, in different ways. I truly believe in a good multi-tasker, in fact prior to buying anything I need to have several uses for that item already in mind. This goes for tools, appliances, and furniture. 

A Sneek Peek Upcoming DIY:

Join our inner circle and get all the insider sneek peeks, tips and  “Shop My Look” sale lists, before we post. Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter below.