The Joy of Rabbits: A Tale of Three Rugs

This is not a sponsored post.

We had a really nice seagrass rug in the dining area of our eat-in kitchen for about two years. It was from Isle Crawford’s Sinnerlig collection at Ikea, and is the one in the original bunny hutch photographs. Recently and frustratingly, Eames took a liking to gnawing little holes in it. The rug was basically hay so I can’t blame him too much, but I can blame him for what happened to the next rug. I found what I thought was a nice substitute for our original rug at Ikea—the LOHALS. It was made out of jute, and was more tightly woven than the previous rug so he didn’t have any interest in chewing on it. However, he developed a major attitude problem after we laid this rug down, and in the weeks following he peed on the rug so many times I lost count. I scrubbed and scrubbed, and mistakenly used carpet cleaner on a couple of spots and completely bleached it out. We were able to salvage a small corner to use as a rug in our bathroom, but otherwise it was destroyed.

I’m not sure what took us so long in our rug search to think of Flor. They make carpet tiles that are modular—you can mix and match them into any configuration. They’re also easy to swap which was crucial, considering. We’ve never ordered a full rug from Flor before, but have ordered one or two squares to use as a cushy place for Eames to sit on in the past. We liked the sample we ordered so we purchased the appropriate number of tiles to fill the space with a couple extra to swap out when the inevitable happened.

And it did, and the spot cleaned up. We replaced the tile with a fresh one, and he hasn’t peed on the rug since. Thankfully.


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.


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 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

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!


A Recipe for Suzhou-style Mooncake Kolaches

We always make a point to eat soup dumplings when we visit NYC—each time trying a new place. On our last visit to the city we were recommended Shanghai You Garden in Flushing, and that’s where we discovered mooncakes. I’ve since learned that these Cantonese-style sweet pastries are popular around the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated throughout Asia. However this was not the style of mooncake we had. Instead, we had the Suzhou-style mooncake, still stamped with edible red ink, but with a savory pork filling. After my first bite, I wished I skipped the soup dumplings and opted for a pile of mooncakes. I also had an idea.

Take the mooncake filling, and put it into my favorite kolache* bread. After a few attempts I perfected the bread/filling ratio, and the mooncake kolache (moonkolache?) was born.

Here are the recipes for both the mooncake pork filling and Kolache bread, courtesy of Betty Liu and The Homesick Texan, respectively. I still have plans to try the traditional flaky dough, but for now this combo is a dinner staple.

Savory Mooncake Filling (doubled from original)
Combine ingredients and roll into 12 balls

1 lb. lean ground pork
4 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon dashi powder (optional)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 dashes white pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine

Kolache Dough Recipe
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt

To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, sugar, and one cup of flour. Cover and let it rise until doubled in size.

Beat together the eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter (reserve 1/4 cup for brushing on the pastry), and salt. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and blend.

Stir in about 2 more cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be soft and moist. Knead dough for about 10 minutes on floured surface. Don’t worry, it’s a joy to knead as the dough is smooth and highly malleable. Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise covered until doubled in size—about an hour.

After dough has risen, punch it down and pull off egg-sized pieces. In your hands, roll pieces into balls and then flatten to about 3 inches in diameter. Brush with half the remaining melted butter. Place flattened pieces on a greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise again for another half-hour.

After the second rising of the dough, with your finger gently make an indention in the center of the dough … (the recipe going forward is slightly adapted) and place a pork ball. Wrap and seal the dough around the ball being careful not to crush the dough too much.

Bake in an oven at 375° F  until internal temperature reaches 165° and the bread is lightly browned. This occurs somewhere between 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. Watch them carefully!

*Kolaches are a sweet Czech pastry. In Texas (or at least Southeast Texas) the word has come to describe the sausage and cheese breakfast pastry we gorge ourselves with on weekends, alongside donuts of course. If you want to get technical, the proper word for these is klobasnek (plural: klobasniki).