a house plinth for a future curiosity

 

After spotting a plinth in the window of a NOLA home, we decided to make one on a weekend build. After the hutch, aka the project that never quit, it’s a new house rule to start and finish projects over the course of a weekend. In future, we’d like to find the perfect curiosity to sit atop the plinth. For now, a vase of flowers is a beautiful substitute.

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A New Hutch for Our House Rabbit, Eames

Our little house rabbit turned 8 this year! Eames was our first pet together, and the first time either of us had a rabbit. He is a joy in our lives, but a ton of work. Before we go into the details of his new hutch, I’d like to point anyone interested in getting a pet rabbit to Rabbit.org. There are a ton of misconceptions about bunny ownership out there. Rabbits are a ten year commitment and are so much more than a cute, furry novelty you keep in a cage.

Live 8-12 years
Make wonderful indoor pets
Not rodents
Should be spayed/neutered
Litter trainable
Have a diet of mostly hay
Require yearly vet visits
Are clean and quiet
Can die of fright
Should not be bathed
Need adequate housing
Need ample time out of housing
Most active at dawn and dusk
Like to chew

When we first made the decision to get a rabbit we realized that hutch options were limited. We wanted something that fit both our aesthetic and a rabbit’s needs, and decided that we would make something. At the time we thought a hacked piece would be easiest, and so the Ikea Besta Bunny Hutch was born. Eames used that hutch as a home base for four years. It was used as a place to keep his litter box, a place for him to be left alone, and a place to keep him out of trouble at night. At the end of its life it looked a little ragged, but it did serve its purpose well. We tossed it when we moved back from Boston to Houston because by that point we had already started his new hutch. We moved around a lot over the years that followed, toting the half finished hutch from place to place. It took an embarrassingly long time to finish, but he has been enjoying it for over a year now. We built it completely from scratch, and utilized things that worked from his old hutch and adjusted those that didn’t. It’s used in very much the same way as his old hutch: a place to keep his litter boxes, a place for him to be left alone, and a place to keep him out of trouble at night.

Instead of a sideboard, we designed this hutch to resemble a cabinet. We referenced two beautiful pieces: the V2 Model from Lindebjerg Design and the Joyce Cabinet from Pinch. We kept the shape and features mostly simple, but used wood slats to create a pattern on each side. This, of course, was directly inspired by the work of Ariele Alasko. The interior of the hutch was created with functionality in mind, and so almost no wood was left exposed. We chose a black penny round tile for the floors, and white subway for the walls. Eames enjoys the cool surface, and it makes cleaning quick and easy. We installed magnets under the tile on the first floor to hold a bar that keeps poop inside the hutch. Upstairs, we affixed urine guards to the wooden border which is itself, replaceable. We paired some new glass knobs with vintage back plates, both painted an antique bronze to match the rest of the metal. The perforated sheet metal is over 50% open, but we almost never keep both doors of the hutch closed. Two exceptions being these photographs, and when we have a young kiddo over and don’t want Eames to be poked or prodded. At night, and during the day if we want Eames in his hutch, we have a length of gate we cut down to fit the opening. He currently uses a platform to access the second story, but we’ll re-evaluate as he gets older. Lastly, we store all of his food and supplies behind the two sliding doors at the top of the hutch.

Daily cleaning of the hutch is simple and involves sweeping hay and poop* and scrubbing tile with a brush and warm water. Weekly cleaning includes cleaning the litter boxes, using a vinegar/water mixture to scrub the floor tile, and wiping down the wall tile. *Rabbits are litter trainable, but still use poop to mark their territory. You can read more about this on Rabbit.org

If you’d like to see photographs of our previous hutch, or progress photos from this one you can find them on this Pinterest board. If you’d like to see the hutch in use and the bun himself you can follow @Eamesthebunny on Instagram. We are opening up comments for this post, and will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Please note that unlike our previous hutch, we do not anticipate ever writing up instructions for this hutch. Also, please keep it kind and constructive!

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