Published at Monday, March 18th, 2019 - 23:50:53 PM. Outdoor. By Aili Otto.
Sometimes the neighborhood chooses your niche for you. Bonnie Spindler, CRS, team leader at Zephyr Real Estate in San Francisco, didnt start out as a specialist in Victorian homes. But as a history buff and former antiques dealer, she loved buying old houses and fixing them up. So when she moved her real estate business from Minnesota to San Francisco in the 1990s, she was immediately drawn to Alamo Square, with its famous, much-photographed “Painted Ladies”—Victorian and Edwardian houses whose exteriors were painted in three or more colors in the 1960s in order to enhance their architectural details.
Home layouts can also be optimized so animals can comfortably hang out with their human owners. Spring Creek Designs Smutko found that she and her husband were constantly needing to walk around their 60-pound German shepherd, Tess, in the kitchen. When the firm redesigned the room, she requested a larger aisle between the work island and sink. “We wanted Tess to be with us, but without being stepped on,” she says. She selected a hard quarter-sawn floor that would withstand Tesss claws. Technology and internet-enabled products can also help. Smart cameras and lights allow homeowners to keep tabs on pets and ensure theyre comfortable when alone in the house. New electronic collars can activate pet doors so that homes remain secure. Winter Park, Fla., architect, builder, and licensed interior designer Phil Kean incorporated that technology when he designed the New American Home in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders. He also used an artificial turf called K9Grass that is designed specifically for dogs and eliminates the challenge of muddy paws and dead spots on the lawn.
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