These comforting dens are as attractive as they are handy
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David McNew/Getty Images
Design-Forward Pet Crates
Crates are an essential part of any dog owner’s life. Whether it be for training a new puppy, flying with Fluffy in tow, or taking a road trip, a good crate is a life saver. And don’t be confused—while some think it’s cruel to cage four-legged friends, dogs actually have a natural tendency to seek out closed-off quarters to unwind. Still, for all their virtues, most crates leave a little to be desired in the looks (and comfort) department. Ugly crates often end up tucked away in a corner where pets are isolated from the fam, or hidden in a closet and rarely used. Fortunately, these design-forward lairs deliver enough amenities and style points to earn a spot front-and-center in your home and in your pup’s heart.
You’ll find plenty of furniture-like pet crates out there, but none will be as stylish or thoughtfully made as this one. This Is Urban Made manufactures its solid walnut stunners in Seattle, and the team’s attention to detail makes the splurge worth every penny. There’s the melamine-coated birch interior and removable back for easy cleaning; the 22-inch sliding doors with a brass bolt; soft-close dovetail drawers to stash, well, anything; an optional interior divider to house two pups; and a sliver of customizable color strip to make the piece truly your own.
Vintage Kandy Living will transform your existing not-so-cute wire crate into a stylish table. Just send the Washington-based designer the specs, choose your colors, decide on any fancy extras (from a fringed curtain to a furry blanket), and she’ll send you back the easy-to-assemble (really!), boho-chic addition.
When Vancouver-based design firm Gamla set out to create the perfect pet crate, they took a smart approach: The team looked to their own dog, a Welsh terrier named Gimli, for direction and inspiration. The result is this sharp little number that is as sturdy as it is lightweight, with aluminum mesh that lets through plenty of sunlight and black walnut bones that will stand the test of time. As with all Gamla pieces, every crate is handmade-to-order using sustainably sourced materials and no toxins.
Standard crates won’t do for tiny destroyer dogs and their adventure-loving pawrents. But, that’s where Idaho’s Impact Dog Crates comes into the picture. The makers of these all-terrain, nearly indestructible dens have thought of everything when it comes to keeping furry friends safe and comfy. From the High Anxiety Crate with tiny air holes that won’t wreck a chew-happy Rover’s teeth, to the collapsible model that folds down to a petite eight inches, to the powder-coated aluminum body that deflects heat, these heavy-duty crates display design genius in every cranny.
It’s true that sometimes crates can feel a little, well, cagey. A lucite design provides the security canines need with the crisp views of the wide-open. Pretty Kennel’s version is made in Austin with durable, scratch-resistant material, and it features laser-cut motifs that elevate the style while offering better ventilation.
Lords & Labradors’ tricked-out, metal crates are anything but cold. Let’s start with the wire cage itself, which comes in three colors and different rust-resistant finishes (like a powder-coated gold) to better fit into the well-decorated home. Then there’s the designer bedding and those charming printed covers, which also double as excellent blackout curtains when Fido needs more privacy.
Crate? What crate? Made of Strongman-like pine (seriously, it can hold up to about 350 pounds!), this angular tower barely registers as a cage. The ramp-style door opens and closes in a cinch (but only for human paws) with its slide lock and looks like just another cool design detail when it’s shut. You can opt to have the piece painted any color you like. And although the crate is best suited for small pups, the designer can custom-make larger units. Kitties have been known to lounge happily inside, too.
Acrylic glass is having a moment in the dog world and for good reason—it’s oh-so-pretty and practically vanishes into the rest of your decor. Clearly Loved Pets’ crate comes in three roomy sizes to fit dog beds, feeding bowls, and a treasured toy—plus options to expand as your little one grows. Not to mention, clear panels and on-trend colored frames look mighty smart in any space.
ZenCrate is like the baby bouncer of pet crates. It has sensors that detect when a pup enters and immediately gets to work on soothing nervous Nellies. Does your pup hate being left alone? A memory foam pad provides comfort, while a soundtrack eases fears. Do thunderstorms turn into a whole shaky ordeal? Sound-dampening walls and an automatic fan help drown out the sound, while vibration-absorbing feet let pups feel that they’re on firm ground. Moreover, there’s an option to add a Wi-Fi camera, so you can keep tabs on your furry babe from anywhere.
In recent years, rattan has become a workhorse of design for its flexibility to work well inside and outside. Small and mid-size pups love this cylindrical cocoon, which is covered with UV-inhibitors, raised to provide better airflow, and stocked with two doors. Place it in your living room to dress up a ho-hum corner or use it as a focal piece on the patio.