Deluxe Baby-Gate Decor

Whoa, what? Baby gates are decor?

Not for most people.

For us, yes.

It’s one of those things that we just have to live with. As long as we have a cat, it will never go away.

This used to be the normal view into the living room, whenever I’m in the kitchen. Furbaby sits at the gate and watches me. Do you like the 2×4? Me too. It’s awesome in a yokel kind of way 🙂




Here’s what she looks like when she’s not peering through the gate. She’s a pretty girl. A tortoiseshell. Anyone out there ever had one of those? They have ….uh….interesting! personalities. She’s my shadow, following me around pretty much all the time.

Trivia of the day: The difference between a tortie and a calico is……the color white! Calicos have it, torties don’t. I know your day wasn’t complete without that gem.

I suppose you’re wondering “what the heck”.

A baby gate. A cat. It just doesn’t seem like it would work.

So here’s the deal, and a little more about me. If you’re still reading, I’m impressed! If you’re still reading and wondering WHY you’re still reading….well, I give you permission to just pop on down to the next picture. 🙂

Hubby thought he liked cats when I adopted her as a kitten from the shelter.

But as she got older, he realized that climbing on furniture, tackling anything that moves, and general cat-behavior was …well, cat behavior, not “kitten” behavior. He doesn’t really like the idea of animals in the house, let alone animals on the furniture. The “paws in the litter box” concept didn’t help either.

So, long story short, it turned out that keeping her out of the KITCHEN was the key to kitty-husband harmony. We started out in our apartment with a big flattened cardboard box as a barrier. Then I bought an electric mat to put in front of it so she wouldn’t be able to get close enough to jump over the cardboard.

Then we moved into our house, and there happened to be a nice doorway into the dining room, so a real baby gate was purchased for this spot. It happened to be slightly too small for the doorway, so we jimmied it with a 2×4.

Fast forward.

She doesn’t jump over it. Sometimes she stands on her hind legs and looks over it, but (knocking on wood) she’s never tried to jump over. I think she’s happy being able to see what I’m doing.

But the gate is BONA FIDE UGLY! It bugs me. I don’t mind stepping over it on a daily basis, but I hate looking at it. I also can’t stand that every time we try to quickly take it down (when guests come over) the 2×4 comes crashing down.

We needed a better gate, and I’m not going to spend big bucks for the swinging kind I’ve seen in the catalogs.

So I decided to make one!!!

I bought a wooden baby gate for $10. The plastic one will just be an extra.


I also picked up a 1×1 square dowel and some mini-blind brackets. I stuck a blind bracket on each end of the dowel to make sure they fit.


Bought some hinges:


Cut the dowel, and stained and poly’d the wood with the same stain we used on our mantel:


Installed the hinges to the gate and the dowel.

Installed the blind brackets to the wall on one side.



Now, we have a gate that can be stepped over OR swung open. And when I want it completely gone, the dowel comes out of the brackets and the gate goes away temporarily. The only evidence that remains is the funky little brackets screwed to the wall.


(Take THAT you Home Depot guys who said it would never work!)

I like it 🙂 I’m guessing we’re not the only house who keeps a pet (or kid!) out of a particular area, so maybe it’ll give you a good idea too! All in all, I think it’s a pretty good solution for a permanent “ugly”.

It cost $10 plus less than $10 for the brackets, hinges, and that fancy $0.50 dowel…..

so it’s nice and cheap, too.

Once again, please disregard those missing baseboards….it’s temporary 😀

Have a great day!!

I’m linking up to Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage and

Beyond The Picket Fence


Flaunt It Friday at Chic On A Shoestring

Please go check out all the fabulous projects – you’ll get some great ideas, I promise!


  1. I can't believe she doesn't jump over it. Amazing! I have a Cali cat that looks very similar to yours and yes, she has her distinct personality. She especially love the hubs and is almost pathetically attached to him.


  2. Great job! And I'm even more impressed that she doesn't jump over it. 🙂 We used to have a baby gate in the laundry room door, to keep the dog out of the litter box. But I fell over it once and that was the end of it. Your idea is SO much better.I'm adding myself as a follower, come over and visit.


  3. Good for you finding a way to have what you need and at a bargain too. those guys at the home improvements stores could learn some great tips if they'd listen to the women who shop there…Sonny


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