Cats can be demanding housemates, but not everyone has the imagination to design their home around their furry friends’ needs. Yet, when Hiromi and Marek planned to rebuild their house close to Victoria Park in Hackney, they made sure to mention their cats, fluffy Chuck Norris and sleek Darth Vader, to their designers at Scenario Architecture.
Having refurbished the upstairs of their two-storey house by themselves, the couple set out to replace a cluttered arrangement of rooms and an un-insulated conservatory with a Japanese-inspired, open-plan extension. The new space would provide calming areas surrounding the large kitchen and a central feature for their cats: a dedicated walkway on top of the kitchen wall to allow both cats to inspect their surroundings from a very safe height.
“Both our cats are a little careful around new people and use it when we have visitors in the house” explains Marek. “The cat-walk continues across the hall and allows them to escape directly onto the staircase any time they feel things are getting a little too hot in our new kitchen.”
But the two did not stop there. With their new, open connection to the garden, the pair continued their catification. “Our cats were used to a life indoors, so it took them a while to properly master climbing the garden fences.” To help them stay off the ground away from neighbourhood cats and Hackney’s wild foxes, Marek and Hiromi created a second lofty walkway alongside the back garden fence. “We didn’t want to fully isolate the garden, so we build the walkway and left gaps so the foxes could roam in and out. Now everybody is happy.”
I love this project as it proves how easy it can be to integrate your pets into your stylish and contemporary home. All you need is a little bit of imagination.
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