Homes of the pet-obsessed
The good news is that being a barking mad bloke or a crazy cat lady is getting a lot more stylish.
Architects, interior designers and furniture makers are increasingly moving into the lucrative market of the pet-crazed.
If you’d like to build a dog-house with airconditioning, heating and hot-and-cold running water, American websites are a goldmine for pet-pampering tips.
There are also some brilliant examples from Japan.
They may be zany, but these websites also offer some stylish solutions to common pet problems; and with a bit of ingenuity, they won’t cost the earth.
Pet furniture, for example, no longer needs to be an afterthought or an eyesore, while pet-friendly features can be attractive and tastefully integrated into your home.
Taking things a little further, why not try some bespoke furniture – and don’t forget to add pet requirements into the architect’s design brief for your next reno or build.
Scratching posts and “cat house” hidey holes have moved from kitsch eyesores to the status of real furniture.
Kitty Washroom Cabinet for the bathroom
Visitors to your home won’t immediately see the disturbing lengths you have gone to for your cats.
Indoor-cat owners will love the idea of furniture to hide litter trays.
Clever disguises include side tables, baskets and even large faux potted plants.
Discreet kitty litter boxes can even sit in the living room
If you can’t find a purpose-built litter tray disguise or an attractive cat climber, try the time-honoured “Ikea hack”.
The Ikea Hackers website is filled with brilliant ways to coax all manner of creature comforts out of Ikea products.
Modifications include ideas for wall-mounted perches and furniture for climbing, scratching and (of course) peeing.
Ikea hacker, Cave Lion’s “Billy” Cat climbing shelf hack in action.
American designer Akemi Tanaka has created a stylish way of allowing your cat to display itself among your other artworks.
Tanaka’s “Curve” is a wall-mounted, softly-padded display pedestal where your fab feline can pose in comfort, blending seamlessly with other wall-mounted artwork.
At $US200 ($185) for the Curve, you would hope so.
The Cats’ House seen here under construction. The Walker’s cats diligently supervises all building works.
If you would like to know how he transformed his home into pussycat paradise go to http://www.thecatshouse.com.
Walker built steps and ramps that wind up and around rooms. He has even customised walkways to help one of his cats climb up to the walkway.
It started as a couple of holes connecting to the lounge room and it just grew to a full scale renovation. There are holes in many walls now for his fury family to dip between rooms; they even have access to the roof space.
The home has “140 feet of elevated walkway” that crisscross overhead.
At the most extreme end of cat-friendly accommodation are homes designed from scratch, with ramps, steps, perches, playrooms, secret spaces and ceiling-high catwalks all seamlessly woven into the design.
A ceiling-high catwalk in The Cats’ House, Japan by architects Fauna +DeSIGN.
Two Japanese designers have delivered surprisingly inoffensive, even elegant results.
Architects Fauna +DeSIGN were commissioned to create a paradise for 16 cats and a home for their owners and five dogs.
Designer Asahi Kasei had fewer “clients” but also created kitty heaven on earth.
The Cats’ House in Japan by architects Fauna +DeSIGN
Both homes provide endless vantage points for the cats to survey their territory.
There are obstacles to negotiate, allowing the cats to exhibit great feats of agility, perches on which to display themselves and places for discreet supervision of their human companions.
The Plus-Nyan cat house by Asahi Kasei
Dog-lovers, your faithful friends haven’t been forgotten. As dogs tend to be larger and somewhat less agile than cats, they don’t get quite the same run of the house.
Much of the focus is on outdoor dog houses, but there are plenty of clever options for indoor dogs too.
Clever hide-away dog bowl drawers
Most interior modifications are limited to ground level; items such as benches, cupboards and the lower levels of bookcases have become new dog-friendly spaces in today’s homes.
These aren’t necessarily just indulgences either. There are some cunning ideas, such as low shelves to tuck food bowls away from foot traffic, or even using bottom drawers to hide bowls when not in use.
Dogs love being part of the action, but their knack of being underfoot can be annoying and even dangerous.
Denhaus dog beds
To counter this, beds are getting the same treatment as those for cats, becoming incorporated into more stylish items of furniture, such as side tables for small dogs or coffee tables for larger ones.
Builders and architects are unleashing themselves on homes all over the US.
Kitchens get bed areas under bench tops, laundries have purpose-built dog baths and showers and lounge rooms are being fitted with discreet dog flaps tucked into bookshelves set against exterior walls.
Spoilt Dogs live in a $20,000 Victorian Mansion
Nothing says “I love my dogs to death” like pay up a ton of cash on a dog house like this!
Doghouse mansions can be highly and costly with conveniences like plumbing, chandeliers, crown molding, built in robes, designer wallpaper, decking, yards and white picket fences. For this house, Kassis turned to Alan Mowrer, architect to some of the world’s most Spoilt dogs.
kennel builder, and owner of La Petite Maison, Alan Mower, was asked to create a small copy of her own home
This Maison is pawsome! Kassis also added a small plasma TV, because the pampered dogs love to watch Animal Planet.
Ladies and gentleman check this doghouse out, it has its own private doggie pool!
Inside is fully finished with the same content level of attention to detail as the outside. Floorboards, doggy decals on the wall paper, a purpose built dog bed, and even an Air Conditioner. Everything a dog would want to feel at home.
Rachel Hunter with her two dogs. They live in the “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” from Beyond The Crate.
Beyond The Crate takes pooch pampering to a whole new level, with their watchword being “If your home just isn’t good enough… build them their own”.
Two seriously spoiled dish-lickers have a “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” which set their owner back $US30,000.
Without the exact specs of this pooch pad, Beyond The Crate’s website notes that the “extensive list of available amenities includes running water, lighting, air conditioning and heating”.
Inside Rachel Hunter’s “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” from Beyond The Crate
As for celebrity extravagance, the $30,000 Rachel Hunter dropped on her dogs’ “Hacienda” pales into insignificance after you see – yes, you guessed it – Paris Hilton’s mind-boggling excesses.
Her little darlings have a 28-square-metre, $325,000 mansion modelled on her own Beverly Hills home.
Their two-story dog house not only cost more than a lot of people’s homes, Hilton designed it with the assistance of her interior decorator.
Paris Hilton and her dog house. Photo: Life & Style Weekly
This monument to extreme wealth and the lack of even the slightest grip on reality is fitted out with chandeliers, airconditioning, a staircase, balcony, beds, a wardrobe full of outfits and what looks like a bizarre miniature nightclub area set up for pole dancing.
Hanging Fish Aquarium from Opulent Items
The renowned American architect and designer of Canberra, Walter Burley Griffin, was a man before his time in many ways, especially if one considers his design of the Fishwick House in Sydney’s Castlecrag.
This 1929 house had two fishponds with glass bottoms, suspended from the ceiling of the dining room.
But the design must have turned out to be impractical – who would have guessed – and they were replaced by skylights in the 1930s.
Aqua Sink High from Opulent Items
For a less radical but only slightly less impressive fishy feature, try the sleek Hanging Space Aquarium from America.
This design goes way beyond any standard tank and could probably put most other modern designs to shame.
These slim-line tanks hang from the ceiling giving a full walk-around view of their scaly inhabitants.
Photo of Paris Hilton’s dog house from her Twitter account
According to one distributor, Opulent Items, the fluorescent light placed on top of the frame makes the whole set-up glow, “thereby embellishing the ambience” of your home.
The aquarium’s filtration system is neatly concealed within the stainless steel tube frame or located many metres away in a more convenient location.
It’s certainly expensive – the large model is $US8500 – but for stylish fish-lovers it’s an attractive option. Singer Jay-Z’s former New York City residence – a $US31 million penthouse – featured some.
Paris Hilton’s Pomeranian, Marilyn, striking a pose on the “pole dancing”? stage of the club room in the dog house. Photo: Otis & Lucy Photography
There is no limit to the creativity of tank design, from the elegant wall mounted types to a rather unsettling bathroom vanity style.
The Aquarium Sink is just $US4,500 and the site says they can have one shipped over here in no time. You will need a plumber to install it and the lighting and pump need electricity too.
We wonder if the fish become distressed when water gurgles down the plughole at the centre of their domain.
Heritage Hen Mini Farm
This Heritage Hen Mini Farm is called Versailies-inspired Le Petite Trianon house which is described as the most expensive hen house ever.
The Fantasy Heritage hen house owned by Neimun Marcus. If you buy one of these costly Hen Farms you will be assessed Heritage Hen Farm specialist, Svetlana Simon, who will select 3 to 10 heritage-breed hens carefully selected to suit your area. Fitting includes two custom grown vegetable or herb garden beds
Influenced by Versailles’ Le Petit Trianon, this custom-made multi-story home impressively comes furnished with an beautifully classic chandelier features a nesting area, a broody room, a library full with chicken and gardening books for visitors of the human kind, an open plan living room for night-time roosting.
Going to “the dog house” has a new meaning;
If you have any other images of cool pet homes drop me a line.
About Jhai Mitchell
Jhai is an award winning Internet Marketing Real Estate Agent for Elders Toongabbie and Kings Langley. After running his own internet marketing business he has now set his own sites for the real estate industry. He observed that 90% of real estate agents did not know how to market themselves online. Jhai is now fixed on one goal. To teach real estate agents that they can market online so much better than they currently are.
Since then he has been consistently quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Real Estate Business online. He is a regular guest blogger on TheHomePage.com.au, sharing his expertise of marketing aspects for the Real Estate Industry. His biggest passions are his wife, martial arts, dogs and most of all property.