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Magazine honors Mars woman for her dogged design

About Rick Wills

By Rick Wills

Published: Saturday, July 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A sleek, modern kitchen and a wet, dirty dog do not go well together.

“Our dog goes outside to the back yard in all kinds of weather and can come back covered in snow, water or mud,” Sandy Wahl of Mars said of her dog, Goldie, a collie.

Last year, Wahl decided to do something about the endless mess when she redesigned her kitchen.

She created a designer crate built right into the wall and adjoining cabinets of the kitchen. She got recognition and prize money from a national magazine for designing the crate.

The crate, which is at the end of a counter and next to a sliding glass door, is made of cherry wood. It is about 4 feet long.

“It matches the other cabinets, which looks nicer. Most dog crates are ugly metal or plastic things that look horrible inside of a house,” Wahl said.

Wahl won a $1,000 prize for the crate's design from HGTV magazine, which also ran an article about the device on its website.

HGTV, also known as Home & Garden Television, is a cable television channel that features shows about home improvement, gardening, crafts and home remodeling.

The HGTV magazine is published by the Hearst Corp. in New York.

Attempts to reach magazine officials for comment were not successful.

Wahl doubled the size of her kitchen late last year. She did the design work herself, and her son, Trip O'Bryon of Mars, a carpenter, built the kitchen.

“It worked out well. She had a good idea. Her dog seems to like it too,” said O'Bryon.

Wahl won't become a millionaire from her design, however.

“We had to sign the design rights over (HGTV) when we won the contest,” she said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at



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