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Before I begin this post, I want to apologize for the return to bad photo quality! Mere weeks after relocating our nice camera, we promptly left it and my entire purse at Kyle’s parents house when we went there for Christmas. It took us a few days to get it back and in the meantime I completed this project. All I want for my birthday (and the next five holidays for that matter) is a DSLR or, better yet, a mirror-less DSLR.

As you know, we hosted people for New Year’s Eve this year. As usual, we used new out-of-town guests as an impetus to complete another small round of projects at the house. We drywalled the closet, prepared a delicious dinner menu, washed and changed all the upstairs linens, and hung fixtures in the upstairs bathroom.

Since the goal was to have the place guest-ready, Kyle really wanted to do something about the upstairs bathroom which usually had litter all over the floor. The downstairs bathroom had this problem, too, which annoyed him even more. I’m not saying I like walking barefoot on cat litter, I just balance my own comfort with my belief that the cat should have access to two litter boxes because the formula for litter boxes is 1 + the number of cats in your home. Also, I think we benefit from having one bathroom on every floor and Logan shouldn’t have to use stairs to get to a bathroom either.

I checked out Pinterest for some ideas for hiding litter boxes and eventually came up with plans of my own.

If you can’t tell from the image above, the secret to one of the new hidden catbox is … a toy box!

I decided to go with a toy box because it was the right size and price for the project. Plus, it fills another void in the upstairs bathroom which lacks an obvious place to put towels out for guests. Turns out, there are some other good features, too:

  • First, I got a good chuckle about the “adult assembly required” label because I have really never been exposed to the wide world of assembly for children.
  • Second, it came with a slow-closing safety hinge.
  • Third, the depth of it means that we can force the cat to walk over a litter catching mat before he comes out of it, thereby decreasing litter track.
  • Fourth, it would seem to be a pretty easy-to-thrift item. Unfortunately, our thrift stores were all out on the day we went shopping for supplies.

This safety hinge is designed so that the toybox will stay open if a child is digging around in it for a toy and close slowly when they’re finished with it. That means cleaning the cat box is easy because the lid stays open the whole time and that we don’t have to worry about the dog getting her head slammed in the box.  If it weren’t so gross, Oats would really impress us with her dedication to eating available cat poop.

I assembled the toybox according to the box instructions and then took to it with a cat door template and our vibrating multi-tool.

This was pretty easy because the catbox template gave us enough room for error. The most frustrating part was that the knock-off Dremel kept vibrating so hard that the tool part came loose and it had to be stopped and restarted a few times during the cutting.

Finally, the box was set before the cat for his approval. You may not be able to tell, but Logan has mad swagger checking out the cat box. This is mostly because at one point during this process we had to hault the project because he caught a mouse. He caught it, we herded it into a box, I carried it outside and released it in the field across from our house, and we have had no evidence or squeaks of a mouse problem since! I’m pretty sure he thinks the new cat box was a gift to him for his obvious mousing abilities.

The other catbox is made the same way, but I started with a simple big-box store utility cabinet.

Obviously these things are not made very well! I’ll have to share a better photo when we receive the replacement door. For now, I’ll just leave you with the advice that if you buy a cheap utility cabinet, make sure you carry it upright to it’s new, permanent location.

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The retail world is aligning in my pets’ favor today.

I just came across this Popware for Pets Collapsible Travel Cup with Bottle Holder via Real Simple and think it would be so convenient. Of course, Oats thinks all waterbottles are her toys whether empty or not, so maybe we’ll have to train that out of her before we can really use this.

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 The indoor crate I shared earlier won’t work around my house but this Refined Canine Indoor/Outdoor Dog Day Bed at the Petsmart Pet Boutique actually satisfies a need we have! Oats gets irritated when we want to hang out outside and she has to lay on our deck to be around people. This would be the perfect solution. It even matches our deck set.

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Petsmart debuted their “Pet Boutique” today (or, at least, they informed me about it for the first time today) and I’m so excited to see so many well-designed and relatively affordable pet accessories. Oat’s won’t crate and Logan (the cat) won’t use anything we buy intending for him to use which is too bad because this BowHaus Modern Designer Dog Crate by DenHaus is gorgeous!

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Jess’s Picks

  • In case you’re worried that I’m only interested in personal beauty things, I also fell in love with this palette reading-corner bed at Rusta Upp. I featured the blog a few weeks ago in a Friday Reader Roundup, but it’s so good that it’s worth it just for the pictures even if the text isn’t your native tongue.
  • I have to give some love to this write-up about big dogs at Offbeat Home. I love all dogs big and small and I’ve ridden shotgun on a few twelve-hour drives to make sure a dog makes it to a good rescue. If a dog is part of your home, it’s important to understand the commitment and this is a great guide to sharing your home with a dog big enough to have (and lovable enough to deserve) it’s own bedroom.

Mary’s Picks

  •  Have you browsed around much on Kickstarter? It’s fun. Recently a friend pointed me to the All Thrifty States project, and now that it’s been completely funded I’m really looking forward to seeing more about it.
  • One of my favorite aspects of my sister’s 1950s bungalow in Houston, Texas is that it has the original hexagon white tiles accented with powder blue tiles in the bathroom. It’s lovely. Well, this week Pam Krueber over at Retro Renovation has been revealing her best find yet, World of Tile. It’s truly an amazing store and I really, really wish I lived near Springfield, NJ to go shop here.
  • Do you watch Design Star? I really love that show and this year it’s even better with the changes they’ve made. I mean, they’ve produced my crush, Antonio Ballatore and the only designer whose every aspect of their work I LOVE, Emily Henderson. This past Monday was the premiere and here Emily wrote her reviews about the show. She cracks me up and I totally agree with her about the judges focusing way too much on execution. I mean, if you took on wallpaper, you would hire someone.
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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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