Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bedroom Redesign Post #1: Moving a Bathroom

The topic of this blog post is not very glamorous but it is a fact of life in our house, and any house with a furry family member that looks something like this:

A litter box.

Yep, that's our boy, Woods, and he, like most cats who aren't toilet trained, uses a litter box.

The first step I took in redesigning our bedroom was to brainstorm ideas of where to relocate his restroom. Its first home was the bedroom against the east wall by J's side of the bed. However, this location was less than ideal as Woods is a loud (and sometimes smelly, let's be real here) user of said box. It also meant he got pieces of litter (Woods is a master of flinging litter) on our carpets, which was a pain to clean. So the bedroom was out as a location for his bathroom. In our small apartment, that didn't leave many options. We could put it in the office, but we sometimes close that room off from the rest of the house in really warm weather (one less room to keep cool) and J spends a good deal of time studying in there. The kitchen, dining room and living room were out for obvious reasons. This left one room: our bathroom.

The next question became how to conceal his litter box so that when we (and our guests) visited the restroom, it did not scream litter box. I did some research online and found some cool options for this sort of problem, like this and this. Ultimately, these options, while stylish, did not work great for us because our bathroom is rather small and would not accommodate such big pieces.

My solution was to use our linen closet. The closet itself is fairly spacious and has several wooden shelves that can be easily removed. As such, I removed the bottom shelf, which allowed me to fit not one, but two litter boxes in there (even though Woods is an only kitty, we like to keep two litter boxes out at all times). Success!

Next, I removed the wooden door to our linen closet in the bathroom and grabbed a pressure rod to hang a sheer curtain that would somewhat conceal the contents of the closet but allow Woods to help himself to his thrones. Note that I may have used something other than a pressure rod if we weren't renting and didn't have plaster walls. You will notice from the picture above that the sheer does not cover the whole length of the linen closet, which is desirable because our cat is lazy and would probably not enjoy moving the sheer with his nose each time he went in there!

Finally, I grabbed some pretty boxes to collect and and display our towels, lotions, shampoo, conditioner, etc. in an appealing way since the sheers leave less to the imagination than a wooden door. I also slipped some pretty monogram pins I had used at our wedding (to keep the various bouquets straight!) on the baskets to personalize them a bit! More about how I wrangled this messy closet (and others) to come in a future post!

Once I had it all set up the way I wanted, I slowly began moving Woods' boxes towards the bathroom. I had heard that if you move them to a new location quickly, cats can start to use other things as their bathroom, like door frames or laundry baskets. Since Woods has never had an accident, I wanted to be sure that this didn't start a bad habit! This is when having 2 boxes helps because I could put one in its new location right away and slowly move the other towards it. After a few days, he was quite content to use the bathroom to do his business! Also, I must say that it is way easier to sweep and Swiffer our bathroom floor a few times a week to clean up after Woods than before when he would embed his litter in our carpet!

So there you have it, a rather long post about how we tided up the bedroom by moving Woods' "bathroom" to the bathroom! Next up, how I repainted and re-purposed a telephone bench to suit our bedroom needs!

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