Pet Furniture Coffee table

Published on January 30th, 2008 | by Jules Yap


a tasteful dog crate you don’t have to hide

by night, it’s for her dog to sleep in. by day, it looks just like any other storage box. sheena turns the hol storage bench into a dog crate.

she writes, “my dog tweed is a butthead after dark, so he can’t sleep in my apartment with the other dogs. however, my studio apartment is really small, and i don’t like having a big ugly dog crate sitting around. so i made a dog crate out of an ikea hol storage bench. it was beyond easy – i simply put the bench together but left one ‘end’ off, and attached that end with a pair of small, simple hinges to create a door. the door is secured with an inexpensive hook-and-eye mechanism. when the ‘door’ is closed, it just looks like a coffee table bench.
Coffee table Coffee table crate

the only cautions are:
a) it would not suit a dog much larger than about 40lbs / 20” at the shoulder
b) if your dog is an escape artist from his crate, this isn’t sturdy enough to keep him confined – it’s for well crate trained dogs only and
c) you need to reinforce the ‘floor’ and the top sidewalls of the unit with a 1×1 cut to fit across and nailed or screwed (or glued!) into place. otherwise the sides of the unit bend around and the floor might sink.

it was incredibly inexpensive, the bench can be stained to match your décor (i haven’t done that yet) and it doesn’t look like a dog crate!”

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

36 Responses to a tasteful dog crate you don’t have to hide

  1. boxer says:

    Lovely! Unfortunately it is too small for my boxers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We just got ours ready for our little Tibetan puppy! It is super spacious, looks nice enough to keep in the living room and I could even use it as a side table. Thank you for the awesome idea!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a link to the small, cube sized one

    and the bigger one. Took me a while to find them…

    I’m considering the smaller one for my chihuahua, but I need to measure it out and really visualize if it’s bug enough.

  4. Hamma says:

    This is brilliant!!!

    I just wanted to reaffirm that some dogs LOVE their crates. When we first got our dog as a 8 week old pup, we went out and bought a crate for him which we thought he would grow to be the right size for. Well, we underestimated his final size, and he’s way too big for it now. It just sits in the bedroom, with the door off it. He still sleeps in it every night. He can barely turn around in it, but he loves it. I guess it feels comfortable to him.

    So yeah – let the haters hate, don’t pay any mind!

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a Great Idea my Beagle would love this lots of venalation and would look great in my living room also.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a great hack. All of you people who think people in a studio shouldn’t have dogs are either crazy or don’t know dogs. I live in a large house on 1/2 an acre, and guess where my dogs prefer to be? That’s right, in my 12×12 home office next to me as I type away. My 75 pound collie complains bitterly when I put her in the yard— she does her business and then wants back into my office. She’d be thrilled to live in a studio, then she wouldn’t ever be separated from her “pack”.

  7. Laura says:

    I agree with you. But they don’t sell them anymore.
    Dog Kennels

  8. hayley says:

    :( just found this and the “hol storage bench” is gone. so sad.

  9. Personally I don’t follow the logic of those who have criticized the poster for having multiple dogs because she lives in a studio. As long as her dogs have adequate food, shelter and the appropriate amount of excercise OUTSIDE does it really matter if her apartment is 200sf or 2000sf?

    I own multiple high energy dogs and they need to go OUT to exercise and burn off energy. When they are inside with me they spend the majority of their time sleeping and the space they need to do that is not much more than the size of a comfortable dog bed or in most cases my sofa or bed.

    My dogs don’t use my home as an indoor dog park and I don’t think any legitimate dog expert would say they should. Most are more concerned with access to outdoor space and the frequency and duration of leash walking as an indicator of meeting a dogs activity needs.

    If I am misinformed then please would one of you show me where the published recommendations for squarefootage per poond of pooch is published?

    If I were to continue along with what appears to be your criticism of this poster then am I to assume that anyone with a child who provides a safe, clean, but SMALL home is guilty of child abuse? And where are those specifications written?

    To the poster – what a creative idea and sure beats spending the obscene prices I have seen to buy an indoor dog crate that is fashioned to look like an end table.

    But what do I know since aparantly you need to live in a mansion these days to own a dog… How did dogs ever survive when man lived in a cave?

  10. susan says:

    I love this idea so much. But they don’t sell them anymore. Boo HOo. Just love it!!

  11. John Alexis says:

    I think it’s a great idea and I really appreciate your work here.
    I was searching for a blog on crate for a ling time and I think finally my search finishes here….

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s a fabulous idea. Dogs are natural cave dwellers, so they like to sleep in an enclosed, protected space. After 2 1/2 years of my mini-dachshunds’ sleeping in my bed, I found myself needing to relocate their sleeping quarters due to their over-zealous (and disturbing) enthusiasm over my BF & I’s noctural activities. Because they had been sleeping in my bed for so long, the transition was not an easy one and they would often wake up in the wee hours of the morning on their pillow bed not knwoing where they were and immediately start frenetic panicked barking, until they realized they were on the ground (after, of course, they’d woken up the entire house). Getting them an enclosed crate to sleep in made them feel much more secure (I still keep the door open) and actually did a lot to solve their insecurity about not being right next to me at night.

  13. Racu says:

    I’m not exactly sure what the anonymous poster was talking about (thru her/his hat, obviously) when they said there’s no ventilation. You do realize that every little square on the top, ends, and sides is a HOLE, yes? The black circle thing is a lens cap or something. There’s way, way, way more ventilation in this box than any standard crate. I think it’s a marvelous hack and not at all too small for the size dog pictured.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great hack! Wow there are a lot of stupid people reading this site.

    1) Apartment dogs probably get more exercise than dogs with yards. Apartment owners HAVE to walk their dogs several times a day whereas some homeowners tend to just let their dog in the backyard and pretend it exercises itself.

    2) Those airholes are plenty large, lol. That was just silly. Dogs want a den, not an open box. If it is getting too “hot” in there…then she needs to turn the AC up, not worry about the holes in the crate.

    3) Crating is good for dogs, dogs like crates when they are trained properly, and crating keeps the dog safe.

    4) This is a crate for a smallish-medium dog as the person said…and you wouldn’t want to try it with dog that isn’t already crate trained (potential chewing / mess issues)

    GREAT job. Ignore the retards who don’t know anything about dogs.

  15. prue says:

    lovely crates at the recommended site “gopetdesign”. if i had a dog i’d certainly go for the gilded version – it’s only 11000 bucks plus tax and shipping *grin* (the normal versions are really very affordable at 320 dollars upwards – boy, who pays that much for a dog crate?)

    sometimes you can just wonder…..

  16. The Border Collies says:

    A great idea for all you haters is to visit my blog and then come back and tell me how cruelly my dogs are kept. We live a block from the beach and my dogs swim every day of their lives. They participate in various disciplines and are multi-titled in agility and flyball. My dogs want for nothing and are fit, healthy, well socialized animals who are well loved in the building and the neighborhood.

    I have run a border collie rescue for 10 years and never once has a condo or apartment dweller surrendered a dog to rescue, but somewhere around 500 house owners and farmers have.

    As I made clear – this is not a crate for large dogs, or dogs who are not crate trained. This was a hack to provide my dog with sleep time issues a comfortable, secure place to sleep at night. There is PLENTY of ventilation, he can stand up and turn around in it comfortably and all the dogs go in and sleep in it by turns when it’s open in the day without coercion. He is never left in it unattended.

    Please don’t be alarmists. I have rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed more dogs in the last 10 years than many of you will even see in your lifetime.

  17. Anthony says:

    I feel that it’s pretty closed off in there. Take a look at for a more open and friendly design

  18. Ellobie says:

    This is a great hack for your purposes. Obviously not a solution for *everyone* who needs a crate, but I think it’s a good one for you! Nice work. :)

  19. Anonymous says:

    My dog loves his crate and I think he’d really like this hack. We leave his crate door open during the day and he hangs out in there even when we don’t ask him to. His favorite thing to do after a walk is to drag some toys into his crate and then take a nap when he’s done playing with them!

  20. Annie says:

    Hrmm… now I’m thinking about a HOL cube version of this for my house rabbit (he’s spoiled and usually sleeps under our bed). Good idea!

  21. Anonymous says:

    it definately has more holes than our plastic crate which only has small slits on three of the four sides, and no holes on top. Again, its the airline approved model.

    My dog LOVES her crate and goes in it all the time even with the door open. Not much difference between sleeping in the crate or under your bed, its all a den to them.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I would think that theres plenty of ventilation. My dogs giant airline approved plastic crate has a lot less holes in it than that box and they are a lot smaller than 2 of those holes. I think the not seeing out is part of the solution to her problem she states he is a butthead at night to the other dogs. Theres times I cover my own dogs crates with a blanket and they dont have an issue not seeing but they sure are relaxed.

    Any dog can live in a studio apartment if its properly excercised and more than 1 also insnt a problem its not as if shes got a dozen Saint Bernards the picture clearly shows that Tweed is a collie (mix?) and she also states he is smaller than 40 pounds.

  23. David says:

    Julial and the anonymous poster who think the holes are too small must have never seen this piece at Ikea. Seriously, I think your concerns are unfounded, but we’ll find out after I do this for my shiba inu tonight!

    For the general crate haters out there, you’re uninformed. My dog feels very uncomfortable when she doesn’t have access to her crate. She likes to go to bed before we do, and at about 10:00pm, she walks up and stands outside her crate until we open the door to let her in for bed. I agree that you don’t want to crate an adult dog all day and all night, but giving a dog a den to sleep in is a very common and generally positive practice.

    This is the first hack that I will be performing myself in response to a post, and that’s the highest compliment I can pay it IMO. Thanks Jules!

  24. MadGastronomer says:

    Crate training is extremely useful when house training a puppy, and if you ever travel with your dog (as I do), it can be extremely useful for that as well. Plus, many dogs prefer to have small spaces to sleep in.
    Few people who crate train dogs leave their dogs in the crates “for hours” while they’re home and active. Usually, it’s at night or when the owner is out. It’s not cruel, it’s a recognized training method that takes advantage of canids’ natural tendency towards denning in small spaces.
    I do agree that having multiple dogs in a studio apartment is a bit ridiculous, though.

  25. Jenny says:

    Wow. This would be a great idea for a litter box too.

  26. JuliaL says:

    This is terrible! Dog crates have to be built to certain standards. That poor pup can’t see out properly and the ventilation seems poor. It could easily panic inside there and hurt itself. While crating dogs isn’t cruel (it’s actually natural for them to want a den) this is a glorified box with holes. I really love this site and am disturbed that you would post such a primative contraption. People might consider this a safe option to a crate and house their pet in there for hours.

  27. morningsideheights says:

    I’ve lived in NYC for 17 years, 5 or which in a studio, and I don’t understand how you can justify having multiple dogs in a studio apartment. I know how the city works; there’s no call for your “country hick” remark. People can be clueless anywhere, as you’ve made it clear. Those poor dogs.

    • kitten says:

      There is nothing cruel about having multiple anything in a small apartment so long as everyone is getting the exercise and attention they need to be healthy. The inside of your home is not the place that a dog should be getting it’s exercise, inside is for sleeping and eating and (as far as my girls are concerned) puppy piles. Long walks (several hours) provide all of the exercise and most of the mental stimulation needed to keep a dog healthy and happy for life.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Plenty of dogs prefer crate training. Mine is happier (and calmer) in her cage when I’m not home. Heck, she sleeps in it, even when she doesn’t “have” to.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Wow…I doubt that she left her hack on here to be attacked about how she treats her animals. She did say that it was used at night while the dogs slept. We also have two dogs and it was actually our vet who suggested that we train them to sleep in a kennel at night as it makes them feel more secure and they sleep better. Making assumptions about someone’s attitudes and actions towards their pets in kind of closed minded…just my two cents worth though.

    P.S. Great hack.

  30. Anonymous says:


    I think this is a VERY clever idea- but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE hear me out: those holes are TOO SMALL for enough air to get through that crate!! I am absolutely serious, you MUST cut some larger holes into that thing! It wouldn’t be difficult to do, and with a well thought out plan, it would look very attractive. All you need to do is borrow a gig saw! You could turn six of those small squares into one large square and scatter them all across the bench.

    It’s a way to let enough air and light in, without letting the dog out. I really hope you will consider this, as I cannot express to you how necessary proper air flow is for crated animals. ESPECIALLY in the summer time! What temp. might feel pleasant enough to you in room will feel MUCH hotter to your dog when placed in an enclosed space. Their body temperatures are higher than our own!

    I hope you will consider this; it’s a great idea that just needs tweaked for safety!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Dogs like crates. They feel safe and the atmosphere creates a situation similar to a den. I don’t crate my dogs and have not had any luck getting them to enjoy it, but those who do really like it. I’m a dog walker. One of my client’s dogs immediately high-tails it for the crate once we get inside. She feels anxious outside of it. And, my best friend’s dogs both get in their crates (very willingly) every night. A crate can be a very good thing.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Crating dogs isn’t cruel. It is, for example, a very good way to train dogs when and where to piss. Dogs really don’t mind it at all!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Idon’t understand people who get a dog and then shut it in a little box for hours on end. It’s cruel. If you only want a dog sometimes maybe an Aibo would suit better.

  34. Anonymous says:

    What a weird question. You must be a country hick who doesn’t understand how the city “works”?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Great hack, but why do you have multiple dogs in a studio apt.?

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