Published at Saturday, April 06th, 2019 - 11:02:24 AM. Home Decoration. By Adal Meier.
Outdoor living can add enormous joy to homeowners lives, expand usable square footage, and provide a boost when marketing a house for resale. But with more and more Americans focused on wellness, a new gardening niche is emerging. Of course, the idea of a therapeutic garden offering refuge after an illness or trauma—or space to meditate, destress, and connect with ones spiritual self—is hardly new. During the Middle Ages, monastery hospitals developed therapy gardens, and for centuries Japanese people have been using Zen rock gardens as sacred places to perform their daily rituals. In the last few decades, hospitals, memory-care centers, and cancer clinics have taken the lead in constructing gardens that incorporate different features to serve patients specific needs, says landscape architect Jack Carman, founder and president of Design for Generations in Medford, N.J. Owners of businesses outside the health care industry concerned about workplace stress soon followed suit. Jarrod Baumann, CEO of Zeterre Landscape Architecture in San Francisco, has designed many on-site gardens where employees at high-tech companies can unwind.
Model homes and condos are a different breed. Custom homebuilders and developers are showing how much more important this niche has become by creating the illusion that a pet lives on the premises of their show homes. Toll Brothers, a custom builder of both single- and multifamily housing based in Horsham, Penn., stages swank models with plush pet beds and fancy dog showers that feature designer tiles. ICI Homes designed a “pet condo” under a stairway, a place that typically represents dead space, in one of their model houses. The area measures 4 by 4 feet, has a large opening with a gate, and room for a bed, bowls, light, and electric outlet. “The outlet can be used to plug in one of the newer self-cleaning litter boxes,” suggests sales assistant Sabrina Bosarge. Staging expert Kristie Barnett, founder of Expert Psychological Training in Nashville, Tenn., says builders arent risking much with these add-ons because they can easily be reimagined when needed—a shower can be used to rinse off small childrens feet or water plants, and a space under the stairs can become a play area or storage space.
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